If you’ve been blogging for some time, there’s a good chance that some portion of your content has become outdated or stale. What was relevant a few years ago to your audience may have changed, especially if your industry is always evolving.
So, that means a content audit is in order. To take your blog posts from the past to the present, there some specific things to ponder. In this post, we’re sharing the seven things to consider when updating your blog posts.
Why Bother Updating Old Content?
You probably have some old content buried in your blog. And maybe you think it’s not worth updating, and you should just keep adding new content to your content calendar. However, in spite of being able to create content consistently, it’s never a bad idea to look back.
If you’ve optimized certain posts and they do well in search engine results, then a buyer could easily come across content from a few years ago. So, it’s absolutely worth the time to update your blog posts. This is, after all, the biggest advantage of blogging—content that continues to drive traffic and leads long term.
But what if the information is outdated? Consider a post that’s an overview of a regulation central to your audience. That regulation could have changed dramatically from a few years ago. Audiences are still searching the term, but you need to ensure the information is accurate; otherwise, your market won’t consider it valuable.
Now onto the considerations for updating blog content.
Consideration One: What Should You Update?
In looking at all your content assets, you’ll need to identify which blog posts are worth updating. Here’s some criteria to consider:
- High-performing content that’s at least 18 months old: that’s a general timeframe but typically 18 months is enough time for new insights to be established on a topic.
- Content that has inbound links: look, for example, if you have a blog that uses internal data to support an argument, others may have used it to support their assertions.
- Content on regulations, laws, policies, or other industry information that may have undergone a change: for example, HIPAA compliance is big in healthcare, but it’s changed dramatically since it was first passed by Congress.
- Blog posts that use keywords that are trending up: if search queries for a topic have increased over time, it’s time to optimize this content.
Consideration Two: Do You Have New Data to Support a Topic?
Buyers love data-driven content. They do so because it’s not just ideas or opinions; it’s backed by facts. By updating blog posts that include data, you’re offering even more value to users. And data may have changed.
For example, in your industry, you may have a data point around a challenge or problem. Well, that challenge may have become more severe. This means it’s probably more urgent for your reader. By simply updating a few data points, your content is automatically more relevant.
Consideration Three: Can You Add an Example or Case Study?
Having real-world examples in your content makes it more meaningful to buyers. If you have a high-performing post based on content analytics, consider how you can make it even more valuable by either incorporating or linking to an example or case study.
Let’s say you have a blog about how a company can reduce costs associated with an activity. While your current blog post may have a list of how they’ll save money, adding a case study example with real numbers makes it more powerful. It’s no longer an unsubstantiated claim.
Consideration Four: Do You Have Posts that Could be Updated with New Internal Links?
Internal linking is important on your website. It has many benefits, including for SEO and getting users to stay on your site longer. Go back to your list of blog posts that are worth updating and scan them for opportunities for new links.
This is a good step to put in your content planning and something to revisit regularly, as it’s a quick and easy update that could yield great benefits.
Consideration Five: Can you Update Keywords and Titles?
If you have high-performing posts that had lots of views but aren’t tied to organic search, then there’s a possibility you should update keywords and titles. By looking at metrics, you can see that the topic is of interest to your audience, but it can get a broader audience if you add new keywords.
To find new keywords, get suggestions based on the ones you’re using currently. If you find that related keywords have higher volume and/or less competition, try including these to see if the post moves up in rankings. Revisit these updated posts regularly to understand if the keyword tweaking was beneficial. Also, rework titles to include these new keywords for maximum optimization.
Consideration Six: Can Old Blog Posts Benefit from Expansion?
You may find that for specific keywords, longer blog posts rank higher than yours. If you find this to be true, then going deeper (making them longer) could help you gain spots. Don’t just add text that’s fluff or not helpful.
Instead, look for opportunities to elaborate on points or add new ones that weren’t in the original content. Also, as you are adding content, make sure you use plenty of headers and images or infographics, so that long-form content doesn’t look too intimidating and is scannable. This way, readers will at least get the main points if they don’t dive into the entire post.
Consideration Seven: Do You Have Posts with Low Readability Scores?
Readability is measured by tools like Yoast and can impact your SEO. In general, no matter how sophisticated the topic, your language should stay conversational. Sentences should be short and easy to read. Adding in big words kills readability scores, as well.
Looking at readability allows you to focus on being concise instead of wordy. If you are clear in your points, then your reader is more likely to get value from the post.
Before you kick off your new content strategy for 2020, it’s a smart move to update old blog posts. And if you want to do this in an organized manner, use a content marketing platform like DivvyHQ that can facilitate a regular content maintenance schedule. See how it can help your team today.