Everyone has heard this objection relating to the internet: “There is just too much content out there.” The truth of that statement makes it imperative that content marketers focus on producing high-value content that provide users relevant, actionable information. With the amount of current information available in just a few seconds, searchers are looking for content produced in the current year and even within the last 6 months.
With the ever-evolving nature of the digital information space, that means only one thing: Out with the old and in with the new, right? Content is king in the marketing realm, so marketers are always producing new content. But what do you do with old blog posts? Do you simply unpublish them to make room for newer content? Or could updating popular old blog posts cause a 15%-30% increase in traffic?
Can Updating Old Blog Posts Improve SEO?
It’s likely your old blog posts contain old data, old links, and old keywords. And since Google is known for measuring documents for freshness and assigning them a score, new improvements to your documents will catch Google’s attention. While Google’s precise formula for determining a document’s “freshness” is unknown, there are certain contributing factors on which SEO experts agree. These are:
- Hot topics or recent events
- Frequent updates
- Frequently recurring events
- Search volume
- Social media spikes
While there are likely others, these factors pull a trigger within Google that cause higher rankings. If you have been producing content for a while, and depending on your business, you will likely have some documents already published that deal with certain popular subjects. Analyze your current page activity to see if a recent jump in traffic is evident. Pages that provide information about a current trend or others that are evergreen no matter the trends can be freshened or “thickened” to upgrade their SEO and generate a further increase in traffic.
Which Blog Posts Should be Updated?
There are two main reasons to update old blog posts. First, as you research keywords or topics, you discover an increased use of a particular search term or increased popularity for a topic for which you have older content. You may have addressed the subject in question at an earlier date, but your content is presented in a dated or static form.
Second, searchers may be landing on your older content with increasing frequency, but your content is irrelevant or inaccurate because time has brought new discoveries or information to light. If this is the case, it is definitely time to update the content. You do not want your site to become known for outdated and irrelevant content.
What are the Top Suggestions for Updating Old Blog Posts?
- Change to a Last Updated Time Stamp – Changing the time stamp on your blog posts from “published on” to “last updated” when you update old blog posts is a great indicator that the content is new and up-to-date.
- Create New Sub-Sections – Adding additional useful content, or “thickening” your old post, is a great way to grow longer tail traffic. Perform searches using your current keywords and look at Google’s suggestions in the search bar, their own “people also ask” suggestions, and related searches shown at the bottom of the search page. These can provide some natural ideas for additional content you can add as a new sub-section to your existing post.
- Add Links to External Resources – A simple way to incorporate more content and value into old blog posts is to work in more external resources. Look for ways to update older data with newer data, add new research, or provide a list of additional popular resources.
- Link the Page to Other Pages on Your Site – The easiest links to get are links from pages on your own site. Look at your most popular and most linked-to pages and add internal links back to these older, high-value blog posts.
- Convert it to Video – Your old content is likely just text with a few images. Use that text as narration or subject matter in a video. The video can then be used on that same page to add quality and freshness to the post. Here are a few options.
- Cover main points in the blog and record your screen.
- Convert it into slides. Add photos to those slides and make a video in the webinar format.
- Turn the blog into a presentation and give the presentation on camera.
- Set up a camera and simply talk about the most important parts of the blog post.
- Do a Facebook Live recap of the post and save the recording.
- Make it an Infographic – Everyone loves infographics. Readers can easily get a quick understanding of your subject with graphics that support and illustrate the main points. Take your great informational content that is newly popular and make an infographic to add to the post.
- Convert it Into a SlideShare Presentation – Slide presentations provide a great opportunity to educate people without requiring lots of reading. Great presentations offer only the most important points of a subject and back them up with stats, graphs, and images. Be sure to embed the presentation into your existing blog post.
- Make it Into a Podcast – Podcasts provide an opportunity to boost your brand through a medium people can use while doing something other than reading or skimming the net. Consider simply reading the blog post out loud and recording yourself, or asking a close associate with a “radio voice” to read it for you.
- Turn the Blog Post Into a Webinar – Another great way to repurpose old content is the webinar. Invite a guest to discuss the blog post contents with you, and even consider introducing new information in the webinar that will then be re-posted to the existing blog after the webinar is completed.
- Combine Related Posts Into an eBook – Go through your old blog posts and find related articles. With just a little additional writing, these can be effectively aggregated into one giant e-book on a particular subject. Make each post its own chapter in the book. If the topics you address are currently trending, offer the eBook in exchange for user responses, such as subscribing to your newsletter or booking a consultation for your services.