Why Should You Update Old Blog Posts? 7 Steps To An Effective Blog Makeover
How long have you been running your business blog?
After years of posting regularly, you should have a decent collection of blog articles.
But when you look at the content you wrote some years ago, you probably feel the inevitable cringe. That doesn't mean your blog is bad. Quite the opposite. It means you are improving. But the mistake many businesses and bloggers make is that they just forget the old posts and move on with the new ones.
In this article, you'll find 7 tips on how to reuse and update your old blog posts to turn them into well-performing pieces of content. And why you should do that regularly.
Why should you update old blog posts?
Coming up with new topics takes time and mental capacity. After years of writing, you might have just hit the brick wall. Old articles can substitute the new ones and generate more organic traffic. This way, you don't need to waste time coming up and preparing new topics and can focus on expanding and improving the old ones.
How often should you update old blog posts?
Strive to audit your blog regularly to notice performance gaps. If you post weekly, try to review old blog posts every six months. Annual updates are enough if you post twice or once a month.
When should you delete a blog post?
Rarely a blog post is completely hopeless. You can still make something out of it. But if it hasn't performed since you published it, provides zero value to your readers, or doesn’t have the information you could reuse for other articles, you can delete it. Don't forget to deal with the links and redirect old links, otherwise, it'll affect your website's performance.
However, there are always ways you can update your old posts or at least reuse them. And here’s how.
7 ways to update your old blog posts
1. Go over the basics
No matter how often you've proofread your work, you miss at least one tiny mistake. Review your grammar and style to find incoherent sentences, typos, and other errors that make the content look sloppy.
Click on the links to see if they are still working and relevant. If the information is older than a few years, try to replace it with newer data.
Edit grammar mistakes, typos;
Fix broken links;
Align and update images;
Add links to your new articles.
2. Go over the structure
The more you write, the more you understand that archaic structure rules for articles aren't meant for the modern eye.
Many bloggers and content writers know that short paragraphs and short sentences are easier to read and comprehend. Well, you don't need to be a professional to understand that. But when you start writing, you’re likely to rely more on what you already know. That means a lot of knowledge about writing comes from school.
And I don’t know about you, but my language teachers always asked for chunky paragraphs and convoluted phrasing. Which doesn’t work for online writing.
Just by reviewing the structure and simplifying your sentences and paragraphs, you can make a significant difference and the content more readable.
Cut unnecessary and fluffy words;
Simplify your language;
Add bullet points;
Use headlines (H1, H2, H3…) and listicles.
3. Go over SEO
On-page SEO can boost your content exposure big time, increasing organic traffic and customer conversion. Check the keywords the article already ranks for and see if you can add some related keywords to boost the search results and match the search intent better.
Use the right intention for each keyword to achieve the right action from your readers. Then add keywords to the headlines, anchor text, meta titles, and descriptions. Make sure your images have ALT text and are compressed for a better loading speed.
Do keyword analysis;
Use keywords sparingly and make sure they add value and match the search intent of your topic;
Add ALT text to images and compress them;
Write meta titles and descriptions;
See if you can make the posts more relevant to the reader.
4. Connect similar posts
During the years you've been writing your business blog, you've probably covered many similar topics that could go for one bigger article. If that's the case, instead of deleting a post completely, combine it with a related article to make it more informative and complete. Just don't forget to create redirects to divert the old URL to the new one.
Find groups of articles that cover similar topics;
Find repeating information and take out the unique parts;
Merge similar articles into one large piece of content;
Redirect old links to avoid page errors.
5. Expand your articles
As a general rule, your articles and web copy should be longer than 300 words for SEO purposes. But most content marketers see better results when the copy is around 1600 words or longer.
The longer the post, the more information, keywords, and links it has. People prefer longer articles because they usually provide more value, hold more information, show your credibility and knowledge.
So, go ahead and find subtopics that can be unfolded. Maybe there's new information on the topic, you gained new experience to illustrate your words, or you can just add questions people search about.
If you're struggling to find what people search for about the topic, go over competing pages, and see what topics you could cover better or have a unique viewpoint. See what the websites on the first two pages of Google rank for. Use those topics to add more information to your posts. Search engines favor an article or a landing page with more information for the reader. But only if it provides value. So, while covering the topic fully is good, don’t try to go over your head writing every little subtopic that barely has a connection to the main subject.
Answer the questions people search for;
Cover the topics the first two Google pages rank for;
Add your unique angle.
6. Repurpose the old content
If you can't save the article and it makes no sense to update it, think if you could use some parts for other types of content. A not-so-good article can become a social media post, FAQ section, landing page, etc.
7. Make articles more evergreen
Evergreen content remains relevant for a long time because it always has versatile information. But even the best evergreen article can be damaged by adding temporary figures. For instance, let's take the topic "Best SEO tools in 2018." Those tools might still be relevant and even better now, but the year 2018 makes them seem obsolete.
While you can keep the date, don't forget to update articles with dates each year. And don't put the year in the URL, otherwise, it might damage your ranking, and you will have to redirect it constantly.
And if you can, try to avoid dates or short-term trends (unless that's your content strategy) that spike your reads just once. Aim for informative, reader-focused, compelling articles that stay relevant for a long time.
It takes time to write a good blog post. When you already have a long collection of blog articles on your website, don't waste good material by letting it age like fine milk. Using this simple 7-step guide, you can update old blog posts and turn them into informative and credible content pieces.
If you need help updating old blog posts, building an improved content strategy, and boosting your ranking, let’s talk to see how we can work together.