How do you update old blog posts (and why you should)
Originally published March 2018, updated with even more awesomeness in April 2019.
If you’ve been blogging for a few years, or even regularly for a few months, you probably have a lot of old blog posts.
And these are diamonds in the rough!
By updating old posts and republishing them as new (as I did with this one!), they will help you:
- Increase your traffic/views (hello Google organic search)
- Save hours by not having to start a post from scratch
- Make the posts even more valuable for your readers
Don’t let a reader land on an old post and be unimpressed (especially for health and wellness information)!
So, how exactly do you update old blog posts?Don't let a reader land on an old post and be unimpressed! Be sure to update old blog posts--Here's how! #HowTo #Update #Blogging Click To Tweet
1 – Choose an old post to be updated
Look at all your blog posts that are over one-year-old.
Choose one that:
- Relates to a product or service you want to start promoting now
- Is getting a ton of traffic, so you can spruce it up even more
- Has great potential, but could use an update (i.e., has outdated information, old branding, etc.)
PRO TIP: Ideally, you won’t be scrambling to find a post to update at the last minute. You can schedule a quarterly review to look for outdated posts and put them into your editorial calendar for updating.
2 – Do keyword research (optional, if you’re SEO-savvy)
If you’re updating a post, you may as well try to rank it higher in search engines, right?
Do keyword research to find a keyword to optimize your updated post for. Search term trends change over time (psst, cannabis was #5 in Canadian news in 2018), so don’t assume your old keyword is still good without giving it a double-check. I use a program called WebTextTool to check my old keywords.
If your old keyword is still good, then make sure it’s in the web address (url) and update the date when you hit publish. If you found an even better keyword, then use that one in your headline, post, and update your url while setting a 301 redirect so that anyone with the old url gets redirected to the new updated one.
(HINT: I use the paid version of Yoast SEO WP Plugin to do redirects.)
3 – Update the content & format
Now that you’ve chosen a post, it’s time to update it. (Kind of like I recommend you customize all “done for you” blog posts.)
Read through it with an editorial eye. A year or more later, you’re certainly a better blogger and know more about how you uniquely serve your audience and your niche, so make sure:
- It speaks loudly and clearly to your target audience using their language.
- It represents your current branding and unique position in the market.
- The sentences are easy to read and the paragraphs are short.
- To check all of the internal and external links and update broken ones.
- To include more internal links to recent relevant blog posts you’ve published since then.
- The health information you share is accurate and up to date!
PRO TIP: Here’s how to research health topics efficiently.Update old blog posts to make sure the health information you share is accurate and up to date! This is an opportunity to boost your credibility as a health & wellness professional! #Accurate #Credible #Health Click To Tweet
4 – Optimize your post for that keyword (for the SEO-savvy)
Since you’ve chosen a keyword, make sure you use it. Not just in your url, but also in the title, a heading, and a few times throughout the post. Don’t overdo it, and don’t fit it in where it doesn’t sound natural. Before you hit “publish,” don’t forget to check that the meta-description is still accurate. Your Yoast plugin or WebTextTool can help you out here.
Interested in getting started with search engine optimization (SEO)? Here’s a checklist of simple SEO tips to optimize both your website and your posts.
5 – Update the images and branding
Add more or updated images, screenshots, and branding.
And don’t forget to update your social sharing plugins, as well as your Yoast plugin to include your updated images, headline, and description for social shares.
PRO TIP: You may need to use Facebook’s debugger to give Facebook the head’s up that this url/link has been updated.
6 – Include relevant (or more) calls to action
You can link to a relevant email opt-in form or landing page. Or even create a new, or better, content upgrade that can be downloaded after readers opt-into your email list.
7 – Tell readers the post has been updated
You can mention at the top of your updated post that it has been updated as I did right at the top of this one: Originally published in March 2018, updated with even more awesomeness in April 2019.
8 – Promote it like it’s new
Updating old posts can help you get more readers and more respect. Showing them and search engines that you keep your posts fresh and up-to-date is good for your health and wellness business!
Signing off and toasting: To consistently updating old blog posts to improve credibility and traffic!
Over to you
Have you updated old posts before? Did you get better results?
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.