Guest post by: Marc Bartolome
With digital and content marketing improving constantly, it’s not surprising that brands continue to find ways to elevate their SEO strategies.
When it comes to SEO, content truly reigns supreme–after all, pages that give users valuable content perform significantly better than websites that simply focus on just the technical aspects.
If your pages are performing extremely well, chances are you have high quality content that users enjoy reading.
That being said, creating content is not the easiest thing to do. After all, you don’t just create something for the sake of posting on your blog. In fact, publishing content that no one finds interesting or valuable will probably do more harm for your page.
A good practice for SEO writing is to create content based on the user intent as this assures you that you give your readers what they want.
While it’s important to keep your content fresh, you should also browse through your previous content and update pages that are performing relatively well.
If you’re looking to utilize old pages on your websites, here’s our guide to updating your old content in 2021:
Why should you update your old content?
While high quality content is absolutely crucial for you to rank higher on search engines, constantly having to create new content can be rather difficult. After all, you want to create content that not only surpasses your competitors’ content, but also provides value to your readers.
Thankfully, there’s a way around this that maximizes your website’s current content: you can update your old content.
Updating old content is an easy way of giving Google (and your readers!) fresh content without starting from scratch completely. This helps with your overall content and SEO strategy. Updated content generally builds upon three things: backlinks, reader loyalty, and SEO practices.
Here are the benefits of updating your old content:
Get more backlinks
No site wants to have a link that goes to a page with outdated content. Updating your old content gives you an edge over your competitors, especially if you are among the first ones to update your blog posts.
This gives you a prime chance to acquire your competitors’ backlinks. Chances are, if you provide updated content then both Google and other sites will notice this.
Build reader loyalty
If your website is pretty new for most of your readers, chances are, they may come upon outdated blog posts. Having content with erroneous or outdated information doesn’t leave a good impression, especially if your users are looking for the latest updates.
Keeping your blog posts updated is a great way to build trust among new site visitors. This shows them that the content you create is not only relevant to their searches, but also factually correct and recent.
If you have a pretty dedicated reader base, then you can be pretty sure that they enjoy reading your blog pages. In this case, adding something to their experience will definitely foster their loyalty. Updating old content adds value as to what they can read, giving them more incentive to stay and explore your site.
Make sure your content is still SEO-friendly
Google algorithms are constantly updated. If your blog post was written two years ago, chances are the content hasn’t been optimized for today’s SEO best practices. While it is still possible to do relatively well even if your page isn’t completely optimized, it becomes difficult to rank.
Keep your pages relevant with updated content that follows SEO standards.
Update your content for better SEO results
If you’re trying to rank for search engines, make sure that your blog posts are optimized for SEO. While there are several SEO algorithm updates that SEO specialists get on top of constantly, these are often applied to more recent blog posts.
Updating your content ensures that you get better results for your overall SEO strategy.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make your website perform better, then keeping your old posts relevant is a great way to start. There are several SEO benefits for your blog when you update your old content.
Here are some of the benefits of updating your old content:
- Increased traffic to your website
- Higher search engine rankings
- Increased domain authority and trustworthiness
- Better user experience
Ways to update your old content
If you’re going for a content refresh, you need to be able to update your posts in several ways that don’t feel forced or obvious. Depending on the kind of content on your blog, there are different methods you can try when you update old posts.
Here are some ways to update your blog as advised by experts:
Add the year to your title tag
One of the first things that readers will see when they interact with a post is the metadata, specifically the title tag and the H1. When refreshing your blog posts, one of the easiest ways to quickly update your content is to add the current year to your metadata.
For example, if you’re rewriting a blog post about SEO strategies, you can simply add the current year to your metatitle and H1. This signals to Google and readers that your content has recently been updated. Articles and blog posts that have the present year on their titles have a higher clickthrough rate.
Adding in the current year is especially important for articles that need to be kept constantly up to date. Other examples of articles that you can attach the year to are trends, tech updates, business news, and annual event features.
Don’t forget to update your article as well. Add the appropriate changes to your article every time you update old content. With this method, your content can be considered as new every time you update it.
Boost or target new keywords
One of the most common SEO services provided by experts is keyword research. If you’re updating new content, then you might need to target new keywords. This entire process isn’t as easy as just choosing new keywords, so working with experts that can guide you through will be very helpful for your website.
Your SEO experts will tell you which keywords can help you achieve your goals. On your end, it’s up to you how you will create or edit your content in order to include these keywords.
Take note that even if you want to include these keywords, the insertions still need to seem natural and the additional content you add must give something valuable to your readers.
Answer “People Also Ask” questions
The “People Also Ask” questions found in the SERPs give social marketers an idea about what else people are asking about a certain topic. Add more value to your content by expanding your blog posts with answers to these questions.
Answering these questions lets you have a more authoritative page, since your blog post will provide information that other readers usually ask about. You can simply add in a new section to your blog post or even add a few more words to your article.
Simply answering the “People Also Ask” questions is a great way to increase your word count and add fresh content to your old articles.
Add internal links
Internal links are a great way to optimize your blog. If you’re updating old content, then adding in internal links to the content you’re updating lets you feature your newer posts. This is really useful, especially if you have a lot of new published content related to your topic.
Since internal links are a great way to let Google explore your site, putting them on newer posts encourages both Google and your readers to stay on your site.
Link to recent studies
If your content has been written in the past year or two, chances are there are new studies that further solidify or support your claims. This is especially true for evergreen articles that only get stronger with time. Include these newer studies when you update your content, especially if you rely on your data.
If your article features a lot of data-driven analysis, make sure to find external linking opportunities to authority sites to give your blog posts more credibility.
While statistics and data establish the reliability of your claims, having these claims linked to a credible source makes your blog post even more trustworthy for your readers.
Adapt based on your competitors’ content
When it comes to re-using content, you don’t need to look very far for inspiration! As they say, keep your friends close and your “enemies” closer. While you won’t exactly wage war against your competitors, you can definitely use their strategy for your gain.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your content, then check out your competitor’s sites. What kind of content do your competitor’s post? What blog posts have the most impressions and which posts do users flock to more?
Observe their posts and look for gaps and weaknesses in their strategies and adapt accordingly.
Take a journey to the past!
Let’s face it: creating fresh content is hard. With how much Google values content, it can be hard to deliver high quality outputs constantly to keep your website afloat. Thankfully, “fresh” content doesn’t necessarily have to come from scratch!
While it may seem that churning out new content is always the way to go, utilizing old content can actually help you out too! Take a look through your past blog posts. These are actually valuable resources you can update and use to help you with your content. Take a cue from your best-performing content and look at how you can improve your previous posts.
Update your blog posts with these tips from SEO experts and watch your SEO strategy improve.
Author Bio: Marc Bartolome is a strategist and enabler of hundreds of successful digital marketing campaigns. Always looking out for the little guys, he specialises in helping SMEs create a bigger impact online – which is why he writes blog posts like this.