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How do you update old blog posts (and why you should)
If you’ve been publishing content for a few years, you probably have a lot of old blog posts.
And some of these old posts 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 organic search)
- Save hours by not having to start a post from scratch
- Make your content even more valuable for your readers
Don’t let a reader land on an old post and be unimpressed (especially for health 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! #UpdateContent #Blogging Click To Tweet
1 – Choose an old post to be updated
Anything that’s at least a year old is fair game for a refresh. Look at all your blog posts that are over one year old.
Choose one that is worth updating (because sometimes, you may just want to remove it altogether and create a 301 redirect so the link isn’t broken). Here are a few tips. Choose a post that:
- Relates to a product or service you want to start promoting again soon
- Is getting a ton of traffic, so you can spruce it up even more (and maintain your status as a top-ranking post)
- Has great potential, but could use an update (i.e., has outdated information, old branding, etc.)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 choose a post to update at the last minute. Consider doing a quarterly review to look for outdated posts and put them into your editorial calendar for updating.
See related post:
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?
The first step for search engine optimization is keyword research. Search term trends change over time (COVID-19 sure changed a lot of the online health sphere), 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 still has a good number of monthly searches and isn’t incredibly difficult to rank for, then make sure that exact term is in the slug/web address/url (and all of the other essential spots—more on this in #4 below) 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 create 301 redirects so none of my old urls bounce to my 404 page. Instead, they go to the updated blog post.)
See related post:
3 – Update the content & format
Now that you’ve chosen a post (and found a keyword, if desired), it’s time to update your content. (Kind of like I recommend you customize all done-for-you content.)
Read through your post with an editorial eye. A year or more later, you’re certainly a better content creator and know more about your audience and your niche, so make sure your updated post:
- Speaks loudly and clearly to your target audience using their language
- Represents your current branding and unique position in the market
- Has sentences that are easy to read and the paragraphs are short
- Contains no old, broken links (update those too)
- Includes more internal links to recent relevant content you’ve published in the past year
- Shares accurate and up-to-date health information
See related posts: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 professional! #Accuracy #Credibility #Health Click To Tweet
4 – Optimize your post for that keyword (for the SEO-savvy)
If you’ve done the keyword research and updated your url, be sure to optimize your blog post for it. This means putting it in the title, a heading (or two), 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.
See related post:
5 – Update any old 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.
See related post:
6 – Include relevant (or more) calls to action
Each piece of free content that you create should have at least one call-to-action. This means that when someone is reading your post you want to invite them to get a free opt-in incentive to join your email list, share your post with their friends, and or book a free discovery call with you. It’s your choice, just be sure to have at least one concrete action that you’re asking them to take. You can use a button or link to a relevant email opt-in form or landing page. Whatever you choose, make sure there is something for them to do.
7 – Tell readers the post has been updated
For full transparency, feel free to mention at the bottom of your updated post that it has been updated. You can add an italicized line as I did for this one: Originally published in March 2018, updated with even more awesomeness in April 2019 and June 2022.
8 – Publish with a new date and promote it like it’s new
If you’ve made updates to your post, you can change the publication date so that it appears at the top of your blog page.
See related post:
Updating old posts can help you get more readers and more respect. Showing your audience and search engines that you keep your posts fresh and up-to-date is good for your health practice!
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?
Want help with keyword research, blogging, or marketing those blog posts? Check out how I can help you with your health content here.
Originally published in March 2018, updated with even more awesomeness in April 2019 and June 2022.
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I’m Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
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