If you have an established blog, odds are you have older posts which are becoming stale.
Which offers you a perfect opportunity to do a little house cleaning.
And today, I’ll show you a few techniques you can use to update your old content.
But first, I want to discuss why updating old blog posts are in your best interest.
The Benefits of Updating Blog Posts
Old blog posts which have grown stale are doing no good for you.
- They’re not generating any new visitors.
- Old posts are affecting your SEO because your site is becoming bloated with dead content.
- They’re using up great content topics which your audience cares about.
Like I said, stale content isn’t helping you. revamp traffic to a piece of content, and if the update is thorough, you should see sustained traffic growth to that post. Here’s an example:
So: revamping stale content will generate traffic to a piece of content, and if the update is thorough, you should see sustained traffic growth to that post. Here’s an example:
Revamp your stale content. And if the update is thorough, you should see sustained traffic growth to that post over time. Here’s an example:
In early February, I published this blog post:
And it was generating solid traffic. But I knew it could do better.
Enter the update.
After the update, you can see our sessions began to steadily increase.
Comparing first three months (February 1 – April 30) of sessions to the next three months (May 1 – July 30) after updating, we saw sessions increase by +57%.
And this was all possible because I took one day to update a blog that was starting to stagnate.
You know the benefits to updating old blog posts. Now let’s shift to the tactics I use to generate these results.
Tactics For Updating Old Blog Posts
In this section, you’ll learn simple yet effective techniques for updating old blog posts. These tactics are designed to generate higher visitor traffic, improve engagement, and increase search engine visibility.
Let’s dive in.
1. Increase & Improve Visual Content
Using images throughout your blog is now more important than ever. That is, if you want to engage your visitors…
Just look at any content from the Backlinko blog.
I randomly pulled one post from the backlinko blog, and here are a few stats:
- Post Word Count = 4,324
- Post Image Count = 80
- Words per Image Count = 54.05
While this blog post is +4K words, giving Brian a lot of room for image use, whats important to look at here is the words/image count.
And if you need validation for using more images, just look at backlinko’s post comments, and social share counts…
Moral of the story: when you’re updating old blog posts, one quick win is to increase image use to boost engagement.
Let’s move onto our next tactic…
2. Increase Word Count
Increasing word count is a logical tactic for updating your old blog posts.
This is where you add content to existing ideas or introduce entirely new concepts to the post.
Here’s how increasing your word count can help:
Google prefers long-form content compared to thin, short-form content.
And this means SEO visibility is going to increase. And the increase in word count leads me into my next point…
3. Increase Keyword Use & Density
When you first write a post, it can be tough sprinkling your target keyword throughout the content.
You may be focusing on writing a logical piece which is designed for human readers, and not Google.
And this is the right mindset to have. No matter how long or how many keywords you have in your content if you’re not writing for human eyes, your content is going to look spammy.
The update gives you a refreshed look at the content. And with this refreshed look, you can strategically insert your target keyword, or rewrite sections of the post to include your target keyword.
4. Include Guest Contributions
This tactic is where you find other content writers in your niche and ask them to contribute to the existing post.
And because your content already exists, you can send the content writer the published piece. From there, offer two options:
- Ask them to contribute to a section of the post which they’d prefer, or
- Ask them to comment on a specific section of the post.
Asking other content writers to contribute is going to increase visibility for your republish. Because odds are the content writer will share the post in return for a backlink.
5. Optimize Meta Elements
This is my finishing touch for optimizing old blog posts.
Right before I republish, I check to see if my page title and description can use some love.
Things I’m looking for are:
- Title and description truncation: This means that your organic result headline and/or description are being cut off. So readers won’t get a full picture of your content from a SERP.
- Keyword optimization: I check to see if my target keyword is mentioned early on in the page title and if I used it in the description.
- Overall messaging: Here’s where I try to make sure my result is appealing. Am I using a CTA? Am I mentioning my target audience? Etc.
Start Updating Your Old Blog Posts with These 5 Tactics
You now know my formula for updating old content. Try it on content that’s gone stale and start seeing results like this today:
Are there any other tactics you use for updating old blog posts? Let us know in the comments below.