Why you need to update your old blog posts (and 4 tips to get you started)
Do you ever take a look back at your old blog posts and cringe? Don’t worry -- there’s no shame in it. You may be a pro blogger now, but everyone had to start from somewhere. Although, you shouldn’t ignore your old blog posts and pretend they don’t exist. Instead, make the most out of them by updating them.
Updating your old blog posts will breathe new life back into them. Not only will you be able to turn those posts into something you can be proud of today, but updating your old posts has a number of other benefits as well. By freshening up your content, you can boost your search engine optimization (SEO), increase your click-through rate and possibly even see an increase in subscribers and customers.
According to an Adobe study, 38% of users stop engaging with unattractive content. Imagine a reader landed on an old blog post of yours, and instead of being unimpressed and abandoning your website, they’d be met with updated content that accurately represents your expertise.
It's time to take a little trip into the past. Check out these four tips for updating your old blog posts:
Update with new information
Looking back on some of your first blog posts, you’ll likely find that you’ve learned a lot since writing them. With the important knowledge you’ve gained throughout the years, go back and beef up your content with new information. If you’ve learned more helpful tips on a topic, weave them in. This will give your readers higher-quality content and will lengthen your posts -- and Google loves lengthy, highly useful blog posts.
Also, take the time to check if the tips you previously wrote about are still accurate. You might find that a plugin you recommended no longer exists. Or maybe you suggested a certain email marketing service to your readers but you’ve since found a much better option. Make sure your old blog posts contain tips and advice that you would still use and recommend to your readers today.
Your old blog posts may not be optimized for SEO; if they’re not, add relevant keywords. Keywords are essentially the words or phrases that users type into Google to find your post -- they’re key to getting your content found by users on the web.
If you’ve become decently skilled in SEO since writing your first blog posts, you can take a look at your website analytics to find the keywords you’re currently ranking well for and add those keywords to your old blog posts. Just remember, add your keywords to your content in a natural way. Stuffing your content with irrelevant or too many keywords for the sole purpose of SEO will not only not be effective, but it will turn off your readers.
You can also update your titles with keywords for improved SEO. For example, instead of “My Healthy Living Update,” you can change your title to something like “5 Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle.”
Link to related posts
Since creating your first few blog posts, you’ve probably written a ton of awesome new content. So, take the time to read through your old content to find opportunities to add links to new related posts. For instance, if you mentioned Instagram marketing in an old blog post and have since written an in-depth article on the subject, link to that new post in your old one.
Adding links to related posts, otherwise known as internal linking, will help guide your readers through your blog; it encourages them to click around from one post to another, allowing them to discover more of your content and stay on your website longer. On top of that, internal linking also gives you a boost in SEO by helping Google and other search engines find your content on the web.
Proofread for errors
When you were new to blogging, you might have been eager to press that “publish” button without proofreading your post for errors. It’s OK -- we’ve all been there. Even the most professional of bloggers deal with spelling and grammatical errors every once in a while. But now is the time to go back and find those pesky errors that make your blog posts look less professional.
While you’re searching for spelling errors, keep an eye out for dead links you should remove or replace as well. Another great tip is to get rid of the dates. If in your old blog post you mentioned that it was about to be a new year and dropped in “2013," get rid of the specific year. Users who come across your post and read it might move on to another website that seems more timely.
Once you’ve updated your old blog posts and they’re looking great, share them on social media to get new eyes on your newly updated posts. With these tips, instead of having your old blog posts sit on your website and take up space, you can transform them into traffic-boosting content for your site.