Creating fresh content on a regular basis is an incredible way to keep your readers engaged and entertained. However, that doesn’t mean your old content should be labeled as useless. Let’s explore how you can make small changes to refresh your old blogs and bring them back to life.
You probably have some published blogs that no longer attract traffic. In other words, they have been buried in search engines’ graveyards. Here is why your audience starts abandoning or unable to reach your old content:
- Search engines tend to show newer content unless you create something evergreen.
- Your website visitors are unlikely to dig deep into your older content.
- People believe that older content isn’t useful so they prefer to get fresh recommendations and advice.
- Your content wasn’t well-optimized for SEO.
Hey, you have spent hundreds of dollars creating those posts. It would be disastrous if you let them die. All you have to do is make some tweaks and refresh your old blog posts.
Determine if your old content is worth refreshing
When you tell Google that your content is new, you’re likely to boost your search engine traffic. But wait. You probably have a number of old blog posts. Not all of them can be updated. So, first, it’s important to determine which content is worth refreshing.
For example, updating old news articles or content about product launches doesn’t make sense. It would be a good idea to refresh your evergreen content that has dropped off in traffic over time. Consider the following three things to determine if a piece of content is worth your time:
- Blog posts’ topic: it must be relevant today.
- Blog posts that performed well in the past.
- Valid backlinks
Topic relevance is probably the first thing you need to consider when selecting blog posts for a refresh. Some of your best-performing posts are also the oldest. People have already loved it. Nonetheless, their popularity declines over years. Be sure to update them to improve your chances of generating traffic and leads.
Also, you can completely transform your old posts into an entirely different form of content. For example, a best-performing blog can be converted into a YouTube video or podcast. Or, bloggers can recreate a popular video into a blog. Just be creative. Opportunities are endless.
Tips on how to refresh old blog posts
Here is what you can do to revive your old content and put it back to work:
1. Improve the SEO on existing blog posts
When people start blogging, they aren’t that good at optimizing their content for search engines. They create great content but fail to get the due attention through organic means. If you’re one of them, then it’s time to evaluate your old posts to determine their SEO health.
Small changes like using targeted keyword phrases in titles and subheadings can make a big difference. Make sure your blogs are formatted properly with H1, H2, and H3 tags. Optimizing image tags, proper formatting, and a good URL structure will help you improve the chances of your old content being refound in the SERP.
You can refresh old blogs both from a visual appeal and SEO standpoint. To be specific, take into account the following factors:
It might have been a good idea to use long blocks of text twenty years ago. However, long paragraphs and hard-to-consume content doesn’t perform well today. So, use a lot of headings and short paragraphs when tweaking your old content.
81% of readers on the internet just like to skim through content online. In other words, they just look at headings and subheadings to get their problem solved. Search engine bots also pay attention to subheadings when indexing a blog post.
Linking your content to credible sources is surely a good idea. But make sure to set external links to open in a new window if you don’t want to send your leads and customers away. After all, you want your readers to browse through your site. So, audit your old content to see if all the links are still valid and credible.
Another key component of your blog posts’ SEO is URL structure. A well-crafted URL makes it easy for both search engines and human readers to understand the destination of a web page. It contains the title that helps search engines index a post according to the topic. It would be a good idea to use focused keywords in your titles.
Do some keyword research
If you’re not familiar with how search engines work and rank content, make sure to use SEO tools. Take a look at your old posts to find out whether or not your old posts are doing well and what you can do to make them better. Sign up for SEO tools that will help with keyword research and other content optimization practices.
Recommended SEO tools
2. Add more content to short posts
While the length of your blog posts varies based on topic and audience needs, longer and value-riched blog posts produce higher search rankings.
Want to do a little experiment? Just go to Google and type in a marketing-related question. The top results Google returns will likely be long-from posts answering your question. A study found out that the average length of content ranked in top positions is likely to be more than 2000 words.
If you want to revive your old content and bring in more traffic, consider adding more content to your previous, short posts. If you wrote an article on a topic ten years ago, you will be able to add plenty of new information to it.
According to Yoast, high-quality articles that contain 1,000 words or more have the best chances of getting ranked well in Google. Anything between 2,000 and 2,500 words would be an ideal length. However, there’s no hard and fast rule.
So, take a look at the word count of your old blog posts and find the missing opportunities to add more valuable content. Don’t just add anything to boost the word count. Make sure the content you add is relevant and helpful. In short, always focus on delivering value.
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes for a moment to understand your readers’ needs or what kind of content they would like to consume when reading your blogs. When you decide to expand upon old blog posts, you get the chance to generate more links and leads.
3. Add visual content
Visuals such as videos and high-quality images are key components of a good blog post. Modern readers like to consume visual content because it makes things easier for them. So, when you decide to refresh old blog posts, consider adding a video and images to make them look more appealing.
Adding visuals to old posts will help Google see your content as fresh. It is also a good idea to embed a newer video into an old blog post to spice your old content up. This will help you restore the interest of your readers in your content.
Here is another possibility: transform your old posts into visuals. Your old blog posts are a goldmine of ideas. While any idea can be turned into visuals, just pick out the ideas that are worth pursuing. Here are some of the popular forms of visual content:
When creating, updating, and using visuals for your content, consider the following:
- Sizing and compression
- Royalty-free images
- Your message
- Brand colors and style
Great design, interesting information, catchy headlines, and flow are some of the key ingredients of visual content.
4. Update content for accuracy
This one is pretty obvious that you need to examine your old content for accuracy. The articles you wrote a few years ago are likely to have outdated stats and other information. If you don’t want to add new content or visuals, just update the information to refresh a brilliant idea.
Let’s say you wrote a blog with the title: “digital marketing stats every entrepreneur must consider”. If you wrote that piece in 2016, there is going to be plenty of stuff you can update. Figure out all the inaccuracies and make the piece relevant for today’s readers. Blog posts are written around tips and advice that also need to be updated for accuracy.
For most of your website visitors, your online content is the gateway to your business. Content containing inaccurate information can seriously damage your online reputation. So, you don’t let obsolete content hurt your business’s credibility.
In some cases, bloggers can quote something from a source created ten years ago. However, it’s not advisable to have information that is not current. Use the most recent studies to strengthen your ideas. When evaluating your old content, watch out for the following things:
- Rates, etc.
You can’t always replace the old information with the updated one. Sometimes, we’ve to entirely remove certain sections. To get some inspiration, go to other websites to find a similar kind of content published recently. Top pages that are getting the most engagement and visibility will help you understand what’s new and trending. Besides, make sure to use popular keywords tags to improve your chances of getting the most traffic down the road.
While adding new links to your old posts make sense, be sure to check for any incorrect or broken links. The links you’re using must be authentic and lead readers to the right place.
Why is it important to fix broken links? Because they dampen the user experience. Not to mention, search engines take them as red flags. If you’re not good at managing links, try tools to make things easier.
Wondering how to fix a broken link? A simple solution is redirecting it to another page. For instance, if you delete a blog post and other posts are linked to it, then you can simply point users to a similar page that is related to your old content. SEO plugins for WordPress can help you set up redirection or create 301 redirects.
Don’t forget to use LinkWhisper
It’s always a good idea to have a smart tool figure out things for you. When it comes to finding and building internal links to old posts, LinkWhisper is a must-have platform. It will help you find out which pages have fewer or no links and quickly add new internal links with ease.
In-depth link reporting will give you full control over your blog structure and the data you need to improve your content. From broken links and 404 errors to suggestions on additional internal links, LinkWhisper will give you a complete picture of your old content.
6. Align old content with search intent
Search or user intent is the reason why people start a query on search engines. To bring real life to your old content, you need to understand the search intent or why users need your content.
Enough has already been said on search intent and how it impacts your SEO ranking. Now, it’s time for you to take your old posts and align them with your audience’s current needs. For this, you need to adjust the format of a page to align it with what most people are looking for.
Some of the common content formats include:
- Step-by-step guides
A general old blog post trying to solve a problem can be updated into a how-to article. Likewise, blog posts talking about random products or ideas can be transformed into listicles. When you align a blog title with the search intent, it gives your audience a reason to click and visit your website.
Also, take into account the content angle which is the selling point of your content. What do your readers need? Are they looking for beginners’ guides or top-lists kind of content? After answering these questions, figure out how you should republish your old posts.
For example, if your readers are looking to understand a concept, then it will be a good idea to refresh your old blog as a definition. This is how you use the content angle to enhance the value of your content.
7. Connect your old and fresh content
Let’s say you have a few great older posts in your archives that are still valuable to your readers. Link those old posts to your newer, relevant posts, and vice versa. When updating an old post, make sure to link to new, relevant content. Or, if you’re creating a new blog post, link to your old posts to capitalize on your traffic
8. Republish and promote
When you refresh a blog post, make sure to let your readers know about this. Some bloggers use the “updated today” banner in the title to do so. Others like to have an introductory paragraph explaining what’s new in the post. This certainly helps readers understand that the content is recent and more valuable.
Once you have republished your old content, the next step is to promote it. Your old content has been around for a while. This doesn’t mean you can skip the promotion part. Run your newly-refurbished content through your promotion tactics. Social media is one of the best platforms to get the word out.
Bloggers often ask this question: should I change the date the blog post was published? I think you should alter the date unless you haven’t edited anything. There’s nothing wrong with giving your old piece a new publication date when you rewrite it and add some value to it.
I am sure you’ve learned a lot about refreshing old blog posts. Your old posts are a significant amount of your content and marketing investment. Don’t waste it. It’s just like renovating your old house and actively maintaining it to increase its value.
So, use the above-mentioned practices to bring your content back to life and quickly increase your website traffic and conversions. If you’ve got questions or want to share your experience, feel free to leave a reply!