All blog owners have the same goal to see their articles appear on the first page of Google search results. Too often, they see quantity as the magic bullet to dominate search engines. The content is linked, while the updates are neglected, they are sucked into the whirlwind of new publications. However, among the blog articles already published, the material to work on is substantial and its potential is too often untapped. It is precisely these articles buried in the depths of the blog that, if properly optimized, can bring the bulk of organic traffic to the site. When and how do you update your blog posts? The answers in this article!
Why is it important to update your blog posts?
Blog owners may be tempted to remove content that they think is too old on their site and put more and more new posts online. However, each time new content is produced, Google needs a certain amount of time, more or less, to “digest” it and start showing it on the search results pages. The speed at which this process takes place depends on many factors, including the age and authority of the blog. So updating blog posts is important, if not essential.
Regular updates for quality blog posts …
The data, particularly encrypted, entered in an article can sometimes change and become obsolete. Information monitoring and updates are therefore necessary to be sure of always offering quality content to users. It is also a good practice to check if the links to which the article refers are still active.
… And satisfied readers!
Editing old blog posts helps reduce the bounce rate of the site. This indicator is decisive since it allows to know the time of presence of visitors on the blog, it is, therefore, essential to optimize it. Regularly adding images, links, and relevant information will make readers want to stay on the site longer and they will be less likely to give up reading in the middle of an article.
Search engines are very responsive to blog post updates
Updating articles is crucial not only for readers but also and above all for SEO. Search engines greatly appreciate well-designed and thoughtful updates, so it should be pointed out that efforts are being made to adapt the site to the changing needs of users. The concept of freshness was also introduced by Google in 2011, with the main objective of highlighting updated articles, especially in areas where users want to obtain the most recent information possible. Keeping blog content “fresh” and up to date then helps generate more traffic by moving up in search results.
When to update your blog posts?
There is no specific rule for how often blog posts are updated, it varies by industry and post content. Some subjects are indeed hotter than others and will require more frequent modifications. To identify these articles and know when to update them, each piece of content should be analyzed on a regular basis, approximately every six months. If the blog generates more than 10,000 visitors per month, it becomes important to update the content quarterly.
How do I choose which blog posts to update?
Identify the best performing publications
Analyzes are a valuable guide to calculating the performance of each post, giving interesting metrics such as:
- Backlinks or inbound links: This is the most important metric to look at, as it is the most indicative of search authority. Which articles have the most inbound links?
- Traffic: Which old posts are still generating a lot of traffic in the last few months?
- Shares on social networks: the number of shares on social networks that a publication has generated is also a good performance indicator, especially since these shares are also taken into account in search engine rankings.
- Keywords: Updating and reposting content is also a way to support the blog’s keyword strategy. What are the most relevant keywords? What posts are already ranking on these keywords? Is it possible to improve their positions in the ranking?
Take into account the relevance of content and trending topics
Depending on the content strategy and the blog’s marketing objectives, updating content can sometimes be free from quantitative analyzes. For example, if prospects ask questions on a specific subject, their expectations should be met. In the event that an article already exists on the topic, it will be fashionable to update it, even if the metrics do not designate it as an immediate target for the update.
Best Practices for Updating and Reposting Blog Posts
Once the publications requiring an update have been identified, it is still necessary to know what to improve. Here are some good practices:
Updates to increase the SEO value of blog posts
Text links, insertion of keywords in link labels, transversal navigation, etc. The optimized meshing of internal and outgoing links is very important and could greatly contribute to improving the position of the article in search engine results. Concretely, it’s about checking and replacing internal links, especially if there are now better resources to refer users to.
Optimize article illustrations
Contrary to popular belief, images play a very important role in SEO optimization. When updating a blog post, it will therefore be necessary to ensure that they serve their purpose correctly. For this, the size of the illustrations must be reduced significantly to speed up the loading of the blog page; the description, the caption, and the alt tag must be duly completed, otherwise, the site could lose positions in the results for the benefit of other pages that are faster to load and better informed.
Extend and rewrite the article
Search engines like big articles. When updating a blog post, the practice is to rewrite at least 20% of the content and lengthen it to at least 1000 words. “Fresh” content will rank more easily and higher in Google search results. Be careful, however, not to completely change the nature of the article, such a practice could have the opposite effect to that desired and negatively impact SEO.
Keep an identical URL
If it is tempting to change the URL of an updated article, it is on the contrary very important to keep it the same, even if the blog automatically creates a redirect. This is because redirects strip some of the value of the link, so it’s best to keep it as is.
Keep keywords in the article title and subheadings
The title and headings of the article can be updated if necessary, but drastically changing them would be a mistake. As with the URL, the keywords must remain the same for any changes to the article to remain relevant and the content to remain visible on Google.
Optimize the meta description of the article
Metadata is the first information captured by search engines, so it greatly contributes to improving SEO. To optimize the meta description, you need to review it, just like the article. Is the information always correct? Is there any way to make it more eye-catching? The meta description can impact an article’s click-through rate from a search. It should therefore be an accurate reflection of what is in the post and be engaging enough to entice users to click on the content from search results.
The aim here is to assess whether the proposed CTAs are still the best option for the post and if necessary update them to increase the reader’s engagement rate. Between the time you published the article and today, it is indeed possible that you have created new premium content, such as a white paper, that it would be interesting to highlight in a dedicated CTA.
Improve the quality of the content before reposting the article
With each update of Google’s algorithm, SEO experts realize that the quality of content plays an increasingly important role.
Add an update date and adapt the content of the article to current events
Adding an update date is a great idea, it will give guidance to both readers and search engines. This update should also be an opportunity to assess the accuracy of the post and determine what needs to be changed, added, or deleted:
- Replace outdated statistics with newer and more current data, add new recent examples, or replace old ones.
- Update dated screenshots: This is especially important for walkthroughs.
- Add new good practices that have emerged and delete “best practices” that no longer exist.
If, on the other hand, the article is not updatable, the topic is too dated, without new news, it will be better to rewrite a new article on a similar topic. In any case, it is better to favor evergreen items, which will not need too much maintenance.
Change article format
There are several possible variations to update the content regularly. For example, a general white paper could be split into different articles or several white papers. This format is quite long and expensive to develop, updating it by presenting it in another form, therefore, saves time and money.
The reverse is also possible: bring together several blog articles dealing with the same subject to make a white paper, or a “river” article, with the idea of sending a strong signal to search engines, by increasing the dimension of an old post.
To promote these different formats, the reader must be given the opportunity to navigate from one article to another. For example, offering to download the full white paper at the end of reading an article, or on the contrary, offering the abridged version of a long article.
It only takes a few edits to update your blog posts and make them interesting, fresh, and relevant. It will then be a matter of reposting and promoting them as you would any other new content. To further maximize your traffic, promote it on your social networks. Do you want to know more about the best strategy to adopt to optimize the SEO of your blog?