The new year symbolizes a fresh start and a neat transition point for many people. If you want to develop a skill, start a new habit, or refocus your efforts on a project, this is the best time for it. As a result, many blog owners see the new year as a time to change or refine their content strategy.
You don't need to wait for January, though; you can revamp your website anytime you think it could use a fresh start. In fact, it could be good for your blog if you always check old posts and identify ones that could use an update. While it is fun to come up with new topics for content writing, don't disregard published content.
Why You Should Update Old Posts
Instead of coming up with new content every week, you should revisit old posts and improve on them. Doing this achieves three things for a website. For one, you can get more links and customer loyalty. You can also keep your pages SEO-compliant when you do.
It gets you more backlinks
When you are one of the first among similar businesses to update an old topic, you can get more backlinks. No website wants to link to content with outdated information. For example, suppose you rewrite a blog post on an event like an annual conference. In that case, you will likely get backlinks to your site from people in your industry waiting on news about it.
Furthermore, backlink checker tools can show you sites that link to your competitors. After updating your content, you can inform these websites that your blog has the latest news. The administrators or owners will likely be willing to link to you instead.
It keeps readers loyal to you
When people land on outdated content, it turns them off from examining your other posts. Ensure that you have the latest information so people will keep clicking on your posts. More than getting clicks, though, up-to-date content will provide more value to people. They are not there for the sake of having entries; they guide people on their decision making. When you can help someone with an everyday concern, they give more weight to your insights.
It keeps your website search optimized
Review your site's old content and make sure it adheres to industry standards. You need to do this because industry practices in SEO are always changing. What was great for blogs to do in 2017 is not what they should do today. Looking at images and other elements ensure that you're meeting Google's ranking factors. Keyword stuffing, for example, was an accepted practice in 2010. Today, though, Google penalizes websites that add keywords to every other sentence.
How Do You Choose Old Posts to Update?
It would not do, though, to overhaul all your old posts. In SEO and content writing, choosing which articles to update is as important as the actual revisions. You can put in place several criteria that would help you identify posts that should be redone.
Check the quality of links you got from the post
Identify pages that gained links from reputable websites but haven't performed well recently. These could be due for a refresh. Since many other websites link to it, people already see it as an authoritative source. If you keep the information timely, you'll definitely see more people visiting it.
Find posts that are underperforming
Posts that are more than a year old and rank lower for its main keyword could use a refresh. Remember to exclude posts that aren't targeting keywords and ones that haven't been up for a long time. It takes time to build authority, so your page might still see its rankings rise. Wait at least 12 months before considering an update.
Rewrite your page to align with search intent
For some underperforming pages, the issue is not the topic of the post but the angle. Rewriting your page to consider search intent will boost your rankings. If you disregard how people search, they might overlook how your post answers the query. They might not connect how you present data with what they're searching.
How often should you rewrite old posts?
A blog post, like any piece of content online, has a lifespan and lifetime value. Lifespan refers to the amount of time it stays on top of news feeds. Meanwhile, lifetime value is the average revenue your post might bring while it is live.
A study by marketing firm IZEA shows that blog posts take two years to reach 99 percent of impressions. They also noted that posts have three distinct life phases. The first is the Shout phase. It lasts seven to 10 days and registers an exponential increase in impressions. Shout phase posts receive up to 50 percent of the impressions they will get in their lifetime. It is due to the post receiving a boost from its freshness
The next is the Echo phase, where the post receives up to 72 percent of its impressions. It lasts for the next month or so. Finally, the Reverberate phase will record the remaining impressions. This phase lasts anywhere from 30-700 days.
Refresh content for posts in the Reverberate phase, so you can reap the most benefits. Otherwise, you might over-optimize your page, which is also harmful. Also, it is best to do quarterly updates on your posts. That way, you give the article a few weeks to gain traction, while ensuring that it has the latest data. While SEOs have different practices, most adhere to a quarterly updating schedule.
On-page SEO Tasks For Updating Content
There are many things to do when updating your blog apart from ensuring accurate content. You could keep yourself from updating many individual posts by merging mid-performing ones. Merging lets you lengthen the post, provide value, and prevent duplicate content. Combine your thin content into comprehensive guides. When you do, you make your posts attractive to both algorithms and human readers.
Make sure you have well-written meta elements like alt text and meta descriptions. These contribute to the page rankings of a website. If you have not changed your meta elements since you published to post, it is time to update these as well. Finally, remember to promote your updated post. Your loyal readers might not know that you refreshed your old content, so promote it on social media. You also get new traffic into your article when you link to your article through social pages.
These are not the only things you can do for a website, but these are among the most important. They keep your content relevant and updated, and they also get you in front of readers. If you need to know details on SEO and content writing, consulting an optimization expert is the key.
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