Easy steps on how to update an old blog post

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In this post, you are going to learn exactly what to do when you need to update an old blog post.

This is how to update an old blog post

Everything in life is going fast toward an end. Our lives are no exception. I mean literally everything.

But what makes things continue to evolve? simple answer? Updating.

Look at the cars manufactured in the 1950s. How big and ugly they are compared to the recent versions! (I am supposing that you’re not a fanatic fan of everything classic.)

Things that were working in those times are not working now. Big rectangle-shaped cars moved on the streets where no traffic jams occurred, and when not everyone could afford to buy a car. Gas consumption, technologies, and even the needs of people have changed significantly as compared to this time.

However, what made cars smaller and less gas-consuming? The updates that companies made were due to people’s new needs and intentions. What was working then is no more now, and what’s working now is simply an updated version of the past.

Unfortunately, this is also the case with your marketing strategies and blog posts. Lots of things change over time and become outdated, and in this post, you’re going to learn how and why to update an old blog post.

Why should we update old blog posts?

The reasons mentioned in the introduction apply to everything, including your old posts.

Search engines don’t know you and don’t take things personally. They want to send their searchers to valuable new content. Google loves fresh content.

Although there are many hidden secrets in algorithms, we can rank our posts by applying what we’ve learned from Google’s requirements.

One of the best practices that bloggers use is well-performed search engine optimization. This will not only rank your posts but also drive traffic to them on an ongoing basis.

You may have published a post before, but it is still performing well by ranking on top of the SERPs and driving traffic every month.

Someone may stumble upon this post and discover that there is some out-of-date data, invalid techniques, or broken links. In this case, you are more likely to lose authority and allow others to take your place.

Another reason to update an old blog post is that, by doing so, you extend its life and move it higher on the search results pages.

The final reason is that it is way easier to update an old blog post than to start writing it from scratch. Your outline is somehow ready, and your keywords, your structure, and everything else are already optimized. All you need to do is make some easy-to-apply changes and dress up your old post.

How to update an old blog post?

Updating an old blog post should not be a painful process. It undergoes a series of steps, and you may not need to apply all these steps together to your post. This depends on the location of the “surgery”.

For example, to update your post, you need to look into its analytics and performance. You may get positive indications regarding your present keywords but have issues with backlinks. Social shares and traffic are also important.

We are going to see the steps needed to update an old blog post, but remember, always do what is necessary and leave what’s performing well.

Steps on how to update an old blog post

Step 1- Choose the blog post you need to update

Logically, you need to go through all of your previous posts and select which ones need to be updated.

Go to Google Search Console>> Performance and check how your posts are performing, then select the ones that you need to update.

Focus on outdated material, information that hasn’t been optimized for search engines, out-of-date content, “thin” content, badly written content, and any other stuff that you believe requires updating.

Make a list of these posts, select the first one, and proceed to step 2.

Step 2- Look at page one on google to peer out at the ranking content

Google’s first page displays the best results based on searchers’ intent. This is what they say.

Spying on the content of the first page is not only a great, legit way to find content ideas for your blog but also to find out what is missing in your posts that prevents them from showing up on page one.

After selecting a post to update, type the query in Google search, and look at the following:

  • Titles (types of titles ranking). If you don’t know how to use and craft titles, read this post.
  • Meta description
  • backlinks
  • featured snippets
  • Video (embed a video if you find many videos displayed for a particular search)
  • Content length
  • Images (infographics, statistics, pins, etc.)
  • Content (what more can you add, what is missing that you should write about?)

Step 3- Do keyword research

Once you decide which posts you need to update, it is time to do keyword research again.

The old posts will definitely contain keywords that no one is looking for or at least have low volume.

Others have high volume and high SEO difficulty because of the big competition on these keywords. Through keyword research, you’ll be able to determine which keyword has the best chance of ranking and which one you need to change.

The best practice here is to change the single (or two- to three-word) keywords into long-tail ones. By doing this, you are escaping the fierce competition and ranking your post for another type of keyword with the same content.

For instance, the keyword “chocolate” is a “single” keyword that gets 2400 searches per month. The keyword “Does chocolate have caffeine?” is a long-tail keyword that gets 10 searches per month. This is an example of how long-tail keywords have a higher chance of ranking due to the low competition.

You can use Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to do free keyword research.

Apply this to your keywords, and let’s move on to the next step.

Step 4- rewrite the title, keep the keywords

If you feel compelled to update the title, do not change it drastically. Another important tip is to keep the keyword in the title. In the case of the previous example (chocolate), you can change it to “Does chocolate have caffeine?”. As you can see, the main keyword “chocolate” is still present in the title.

Step 5- Keep the URL untouched

The most important thing to avoid is changing the URL. This is because it holds your authority accumulated throughout the days and because it is the link that Google and other search engines have indexed before.

In case you feel that there’s no way but to change your URL, do not forget to redirect the old one to the new one using 301 redirections. This is easy with a redirection plugin.

Step 6- Update your content

The best practice I recommend is to run a technical SEO test before and after you update an old blog post. The first test is for telling you which issues on your blog are preventing your posts from ranking, and the second one is for checking if all the issues were resolved.

Read this and run a technical SEO check-up whenever needed >> How to do technical SEO? The full guide

Now it is time to renew your old post. If you are not using the Yoast plugin yet, install it and see how SEO and readability issues will be easier to find and resolve. Go through this mini-checklist:

  • Add more content that you find missing in step 2.
  • redistribute your keywords in your post. (avoid stuffing)
  • Keep your keyword in the introduction
  • Use outbound links
  • Shorten your long sentences and paragraphs
  • Find and update any broken links
  • Update or remove any invalid information
  • Make sure the text length is enough

READ MORE >> How to write a post fast

READ MORE>> Blog post checklist, how to optimize your blog?

Step 7- Make changes to the headings

Headings are more than titles for posts or paragraphs. They tell both readers and search engines what to expect and make it easier for them to understand what you write about.

These headings are:

  • H1 for the title
  • H2 for subheadings
  • H3 sub-subheading
  • H4 etc., for more child subheadings

Keywords or key phrases are mandatory in H1 and are recommended to exist in subheadings as well.

However, sometimes you may find it difficult to use keywords in H2 or H3. In this case, try your best without stuffing them in a way that shows you are pushing them to fit while they don’t.

Step 8- Update your images and alt texts

Try looking back to a published post six months ago and thank me later for the smile on your face when you see the images you’ve once chosen. As I told you in the beginning, everything is changing.

When you want to update an old post, look at the featured image and the images inside your post. Update those terrible images by replacing them with more suitable and high-quality ones.

Use free-to-use stock images or create new ones using Canva.

Optimize your newly-added images; otherwise, you’ll slow your blog down and ruin users’ experience, thus negatively affecting your ranking.

READ MORE>> How to make your website load faster?

Step 9- Add more internal linking

Internal linking is an essential player in the SEO game. Linking your post to relevant posts and vice versa has a huge impact on SEO and UX (user experience).

Google bots use your links to crawl, understand, and index your posts. On the other hand, more links mean more dwell time and a lower bounce rate.

Moreover, internal linking is one of the best practices to keep your readers hooked on your blog.

I recommend reading these two relevant posts:

What do we mean by dwell time and bounce rate?

9 ways to keep readers hooked to your blog

Step 10- Optimize the meta description

A meta description is displayed under the title in the search engine results. It is mandatory to check if the meta description for the newly updated post is still working.

Is the keyword included in the meta description? Can you make it a bit more appealing? Remember that while meta descriptions do not affect your ranking, they might affect your clickthrough rate from search. Make sure your meta description is updated to entice users to click through to your content from search results.

Step 11- On-page-optimization

On-page optimization is about everything you do to optimize a page and takes place on your website exclusively. By using Yoast, you can easily optimize your posts for SEO.

The plugin shows you exactly what is good and what needs improvement. These could include:

  • SEO title width
  • Text length
  • keywords in the slug
  • keyword density and length
  • Internal and external links
  • Images
  • Meta description
  • Readability analysis and tips to improve it

If you want to learn more and run a full on-page SEO campaign, check out:

What is on-page_optimization? the ultimate guide

Search engine optimization, the secrets of the monster

Step 12- Edit and proofread

Before you hit that publish button, you need to edit and proofread your post.

Check your images, links, videos, and all the previous updates twice or more. Also proofread your titles, subheadings, meta description, and text, and fix any grammatical or punctuation mistakes. You can use the free versions of Grammarly and Quillbot to help you do this.

For more details about editing and proofreading, read this checklist

Step 13- Speed up your blog posts

Page speed is undoubtedly a ranking factor due to its close link to SEO and UX. Always keep your blog post speed high if you want your update to pay off.

Page speed optimization includes optimizing image format, size, caching, minifying JS and CSS files, and more.

I’ve compiled all you need to speed up your website in this post.

Step 14- Tell google to reindex it

Now everything is ready, and you’ve done everything needed to update an old post. Waiting for Google to observe the updates may not happen very soon and may take months.

So, you need to ask Google to reindex your post (even though it will index it without asking).

Open Google Search Console, paste the URL of the updated post, and click “request indexing.”

Step 15- Share it wherever you can

Now it is time to spread the word.

You need to show your readers your new version and bring more visitors to your blog.

Share your new post on all the writing platforms that you know, as well as all the social media platforms.

If you want to know about more places, I recommend reading these two posts:

How to get free traffic to your blog?

9 critical reasons preventing you from getting traffic

Step 16- Send the updated post to your email subscribers

One of the most effective marketing strategies is email marketing. It has the highest ROI (return on investment) in the market.

Send the new post to your newsletter subscribers, telling them about your updated post.

Now it’s your turn to pick up and update an old blog post.

READ MORE>> 9 reasons why every blogger needs an email list

FAQs

How does updating an old blog post help with SEO?

Because the content is outdated, old content is less likely to attract fresh backlinks. 

Updating previous blog entries can help you preserve the backlinks you already have and gain new ones.

What to do with old blog posts?

It is not recommended to delete old posts unless they are terrible. Updating them is the best way to preserve your backlinks and give them a push toward the first page.

What to check when updating content?

Check the title, subheadings, keywords, images, and other visuals, text, meta description, on-page SEO., linking, and page speed.


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2 Responses to “Easy steps on how to update an old blog post

  • Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

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