In the world of content, sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the need to produce innovative copy that we forget about all the great (and not so great) posts that we have already created. Simple changes such as on-page SEO and a fresh take on the topic can reignite your blog’s value, especially when these updated posts get shared across social media. Therefore, I thought I’d discuss why, as content creators, we should care about the oldies, and why we should give them the TLC they deserve.
Reasons To Care About Old Blog Posts
As Dreamhost states, ‘poorly maintained content may actually be costing you revenue or worse’ for reasons including:
- Brand Image: If potential customers find outdated information on your website, they’re likely to view you as untrustworthy. Moreover, it makes you seem unknowledgeable in the area/service/industry in which you are writing for.
- Liability: Any information you publish is a reflection of what you as a business believes. Old blog posts may relay old views, and outdated information may expose you to legal or financial liability.
- SEO-unfriendly: If the content was originally poor, these posts are just taking up space and not adding value. High bounce rates and disinterested visitors will contribute to low rankings, minimising the amount of future traffic, engagement and conversions that your website can create.
“Your blog is a reflection of your company. It shows that you’re knowledgeable in your industry, provides valuable information that keeps potential clients interested, and is one of the keys to a successful SEO strategy. So if you haven’t posted in a while and if your content is outdated or incorrect, then you’re not making the most of an extremely valuable tool. Plus, depending on your site, it can result in decreased search engine rankings and potential liabilities.” – Kathryn Marr, co-founder, Blue Ivory Creative.
Ways To Update Old Blog Posts
There are lots of simple things you can do to update old content, including…
IMPROVE YOUR GRAMMAR
One of my pet peeves is reading content that is full of spelling mistakes and improper use of language. With tools such as Grammarly and ProWritingAid readily available, creating poorly-written content doesn’t bode well for the brand that produces it. Therefore, start here. Go through your old posts and check that they all read well, double-check quotes and ensure that everyone from an industry expert to the general public could understand what you’re talking about.
LINK IT UP
Internal linking is a great way to improve search rankings as it helps Google understand the structure of your website, and guides visitors to high-converting pages. Therefore, go through all posts and link to newer ones, as well as any pages that may be relevant. For example, we always link to relevant service pages in all of our blog posts, helping potential clients learn about everything from content marketing to PPC.
At the same time, outbound links have their merits, including:
- Giving search engines a clear idea about what your business is all about.
- Helping you to build relationships with other bloggers and websites that may be open to collaboration.
THEY HOLD THE KEY(WORDS)
It’s likely that old posts need updating with newer and relevant keywords that your audience are searching, so when you’ve discovered what these are (you can use tools use as Keyword Planner and SEMrush) ensure that they appear in the following places:
- The title.
- The meta description.
- The URL.
- The alt text of images.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW…FORMAT.
It pains me to say it, but there are lots of people out there who just don’t like to read. They may take part in the latest Buzzfeed quiz or read a instagram post or two, but offer them a fantastic classic such as Little Women or To Kill A Mockingbird and they’d rather watch a film version or listen to them on audiobook. However, this does provide a business with an opportunity to present old blog posts in new formats, such as podcasts, videos, slideshows and infographics that can promote your brand, website and content in fun and engaging ways.
This may seem like a lot of work, but the results can be invaluable for success. As an example, CopyBlogger – the content marketing geniuses – turned one of their favourite blogs ‘The 3-Step Journey to a Remarkable Piece of Content’ into a slide deck, which has so far gained over 70,000 views on SlideShare. Easily digestible, with a link to the website at the end, it’s a great way to drive new traffic to the website.
Other great things you can do with old blog posts include:
- Case Studies: Use the topic of an old blog post and find an example that illustrates its point. For example, we’ve created case studies for Infinitel that show how effective they are as a business, and the great work they’ve done for SmartFreight and Zodiac Aerospace.
- Send the topic of an old blog post to industry experts and ask them to provide their opinion on it. Then you can publish their answers as a new blog post, linking to the original post for its basis.
- Take inspiration from old posts to help you create guest posts for related websites.
The Content Checklist
So what can you do to ensure that your content is always fresh, optimised and constantly creating great value for you as a business? We recommend a rigorous content review process, which includes:
- Doing quarterly reviews of all blog content, ensuring its suitability, reliability and evaluating how certain pieces can be improved.
- Checking Google Analytics for high and low page performers, taking special note of bounce rates, time spent on pages and sessions. Consider resharing great posts on social media, and updating low performers with better content and imagery that earns them a spot on your website.
- Identify all links that point to your old blog posts and decide whether they’re necessary and relevant. You’ll want to keep posts with valuable backlinks, so before deciding to delete any, consider updating them with better keywords and a fresh take on the topic.
- Similarly, search-test your blog. See what terms and phrases your blog posts appear for and improve at will. Old blog posts may show up for newly popular search terms and therefore could be good for a repost on your other channels.
Then when the next review rolls around, you can see the improvement this has made to your blog as a whole.