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Amanda Harvey
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Harvey

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How to Update an Old Blog Post to Reach More People

It’s important to stay on top of the little things in life, sticking with current trends and updating what you can. This could include a new wardrobe, a new car or if you’re tending to your business, new online content. Updating your website is one thing, it’s costly and time consuming. However, updating the blog posts and content on your site is an exceptional way to give your visibility and reach the little boost it might need. There are some specific procedures to follow when it comes to updating or republishing content, some of which we’re sure your readers will thank you for!

Read on for all the details regarding how to update an old blog post!

Why update old content in the first place?

Of course, you should probably know that one of the main benefits of blogging in the first place is SEO practices. Search engine optimization is essential for how your content is categorized as well as how it’s found online. Your website's visibility is increased when SEO is performed correctly. Further, when SEO is optimized correctly, it means that anyone can stumble upon your content at anytime. With that in mind, it is crucial to update information-based content including statistics, municipal laws and so on. These things change over time, and you definitely don’t want to be known as the blog who offers their clients misinformation.

Lastly, by updating some of your highest performing posts, you can breathe some new life into them, extending their lifespan while increasing their readership. As mentioned, this is a simple and easy way to draw in old readers as well as engaging with new ones. The practice of updating posts isn’t recommended for every single one, but doing a few is a definite way to optimize your time while still maintaining a consistent publishing frequency.

How to choose which posts to update

1- Identify the posts which have performed the best

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source: unsplash

Identifying your top performing posts can be done easily by way of Google Analytics. Looking at your analytics, focus on posts which have excellent looking metrics in comparison with others. These can include aspects such as:

  • Inbound links: This will be a good indicator of search authority;
  • Traffic: When looking at your blog analytics, examine the last month and ask yourself if any old posts are generating extra traffic for you? If you find a few, these are the ones you should focus on;
  • Shares: Another key indicator of a popular blog post is how often it’s been shared on social media. This aspect will often factor into search rankings. In order to determine how many times a link has been shared, use the free online tool LinkTally.com. This will tell you how many times your content has been shared across a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

2- Trends and relevancy

In addition to reviewing your website analytics, it is important to consider current trends in your marketplace as well as the relevancy of your subject matter. For some businesses, this may be a better approach than focusing on analytics alone or at all. Do some research and find out what your customers and prospective ones alike are searching for online. Then, look back through your content to see if you have anything of relevance to update. Even if something you have is the bare bones of a hot topic, think about ways that you can update it so that it is relevant.

How to update the content itself

Now that you’ve decided on the content you’re looking to update, you’ll have to follow through with the matter. Here are some of the practices to consider when updating the content itself:

1-Keep keywords but review meta descriptions

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In some cases, changing the titles and meta descriptions of the articles you’ve chosen will be necessary. Titles, meta titles and meta descriptions are important when it comes to SEO and in turn, the click through rate. They don’t directly affect your search engine ranking but they are still an important aspect of your overall content. An accurate meta description will work to entice people and convince them to click.

However, if you are going ahead with this practice, make sure to keep it close to the original. Focus on the keywords your original article employed. These practices are important because if anyone has linked or shared your content, it may be inaccessible if you change too many of these factors.

2- Do not change the URL

The point of this exercise is to avoid publishing articles from scratch. For this reason, it is best to keep the original post as well as the same URL. Since the article is already live, it is recommended that you republish the original post after making the necessary changes. As with keywords, it is important to keep the same URL, since changing it will create a re-direct and will cause the article to lose some of its original value and clout.

3- Design and structural elements

In some cases, an old post can have excellent content but its' look, images, videos or formatting could be dated. If a specific font or style of post used to be popular, but now has become outdated, it would be best to change these elements around. Reformatting and updating the design elements of a post can breathe new life into it. Just remember, if all of your content is outdated design-wise, then it might take some serious time to comb through it and update it all. Start with your most relevant posts when considering a website overhaul.

4- Republish

By now, your content should be updated and ready to re-post! The process of republishing will directly depend on the platform you use, but as suggested you should probably keep the same post to make it easily accessible to those who have already shared it. If your new post doesn’t do this automatically, make sure to update the date and time of the posting. 

If you're looking for more information about how to blog, you should check out our article: How many blog posts should you publish every week?

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