If you have a blog then you have to keep it active. In the sense, not just publishing blog posts every day instead you have to edit or update your older blog posts as well. When it comes to blogging, you can keep it under your own control right from working schedule on the background and being on a schedule for the readers.
At the same time, your blog’s topic is the one which directly affects how you are updating your blog posts both in terms of, how often you are updating your blog? as well as how much more you update? on a day-to-day basis.
Personally, I used to plan my blog posts ahead and most of the time, I won’t strictly follow it most of the time, instead I change the focus in real-time. However, I will be always focused to complete all the planned blog posts. This happens with most of us.
I mean, I have the control and I have the flexibility.
- I also plan for old post editing. When I quit blogging 3 years and came back this year, the very first step for me is to update those outdated blog posts.
- Secondly, I also changed the theme code to use the last modified date instead of published date and also, added a twist by removing date only from old blog posts.
Also, I started focusing towards writing more content to the blog, focusing towards my target audience (those who own a WordPress blog) and trying to write regularly for BlashO (which includes updating older content).
Why do you update old blog posts and what are all the advantages of it?
As I mentioned earlier, the blog topic highly decides it. If you are running a news blog then you may not get more opportunity to update an old blog posts because news is real-time.
Today’s news is tomorrow’s history.
Similarly, if you are blogging on an evergreen topic (like this blog) then you always get a choice to update your old blog posts. Few of the examples include a recipe blog, a health or fitness blog which are always evergreen and there’s no expiration date for the topic.
If you are into such a blog topic then you get this golden opportunity to edit your blog posts often.
Fresh vs Outdated Information.
Updating an old blog post with refresh information definitely adds value to your post.
For example, your old blog post had linked to an out-dated statistics that was refresh when you published. In this case, you can link to the latest statistics of the current year.
Similarly, you would have referred to some external articles that might be an outdated one today. In this case, you can find similar yet interesting article and link to it.
This way, you are turning an older blog post into a latest blog post and your readers will also find it much useful.
How Your Blogging Thoughts Vary from Time-to-Time?
Your own thoughts will vary every day. When you don’t have much experience about a topic, you may think differently when compared to today where you have a great experience. This happens naturally with everyone including me.
When you relook into an older blog post, you may get better thoughts today. You may find that you had missed some information. Or, You may think from an entirely different perspective on that topic.
You can cover those missed information or you can drag the article towards an entirely different perspective. This way, you are turning an older blog post into a best blog post.
Go, read your old blog posts. You will feel this, how your thoughts had varied from the past.
Do Updating Old Blog Post Helps to Increase Blog Traffic from Search Engines?
This is an interesting yet more valuable question.
Search engines like Google are always looking for fresh information. Today search results are more and more real-time. Hence when you update an older blog post for sure, search engines will re-index them. If it finds more value in the content, for sure it will rank higher than before.
Search engine bots used to crawl our pages often and if you add more content to an older article for sure, it will be re-indexed by them.
Do not worry much about search engines as long as you are making the content better than before.
The advantages are always great and for sure you will get more blog traffic.
Practical Guidelines to Follow When You Edit an Old Article.
When editing an older blog post, be aware that we should not screw it up. If you can always follow a process then it will be helpful to you and easily repeatable with every older posts.
- Don’t Change the URL of Blog Post. Always keep the URL unchanged and don’t edit it. If you change the URL make sure you are using a proper 301 redirect inside your blog.
- Shall Edit Title, Keep Targeted Keywords. You can enhance the title to whatever you want, however, make sure that you are not removing or changing the targetted keyword. If you change it then the whole purpose of the article will get affected. Think twice before you remove any keywords.
- Update Sub-headings. Similar to blog post title, you can enhance the sub-headings. You can add appropriate keywords to it or change it to be more conversational (considering the recent Google’s hummingbird algorithm change). It also helps your reader to better understand the problem and solution.
- Add More Content under Sub-headings. You can enhance each section of the blog post especially the content under a sub-heading. When you add new content under each sub-heading, your old article will be completely enhanced with great information. Try this method, it works.
- Revised Meta Descriptions. Re-look the meta description and see, how you can add more call-to-action words to it. You can also see the CTR of that blog post from Google Analytics report and consider tweaking the meta description say, by adding a question to it. This may very well increase CTR.
- Improve the Link Structure. Look for broken links and remove them, you can use a plugin like Broken Link Checker. Further, you can link to a latest blog post from the old blog post, you can even automate this using SEO Smart Links plugin.
- Kee an Eye on Affiliate Links. If you have linked to any affiliate pages then make sure those products are still active. You can also update it to include a recently famous product or anything else that you are using today. This also helps to boost your revenue. Use AffiLinker plugin to easily manage affiliate links in order to periodically update or change affiliate links on any blog post.
- Re-Share on Social Media. Once you are done with updating the blog post, make sure you are re-sharing it on all social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+. This helps to get more shares and also, your new/recent followers will find it useful.
It’s worth to update older blog posts. This has a lot of advantages to your blog right from adding value to the topic, adding value to readers as well as boosts ranking on search engines like Google.
Frame a process or guideline for yourself and follow it whenever you update an older blog post.
Go ahead, update those untouched blog posts and give a new life to it.