A number of tricks that will make your old content loved by users and Google.
What is your benefit?
Some bloggers consider updating old posts a waste of time. They believe that only new content helps rank higher and get traffic. But the old content can be a source of constant traffic through the years if properly updated.
Updating old article is usually a lot easier and faster than creating a new one from scratch. In most cases, you should take care of a few sections, add some fresh data and polish the headline.
An old article can bring you a high amount of traffic after the update. Especially the so-called ‘evergreen content.’ Those articles can bring you stable traffic through the years (like on the screenshot below). Just make sure they include the fresh data and latest tips.
Finally, by updating your article info, you send a signal to Google that your content is ‘fresh’ and invite bots to crawl your link. It may impact article’s rankings.
What articles to update
You should choose the right articles for the update and know the right time for doing it. Here are the main factors you should check to select a proper article for the update:
Not only your evergreen posts may be updated. In Google Trends, you may notice that some searches have regular spikes in traffic. Those are searches for seasonal events, holidays, sports, etc. If you have such posts - e.g., “Super Bowl recipes” or “Summer vacation tips” - you can also update them closer to the respective dates.
What not to change
There are a few elements you should not touch when updating your article. Of course, you should not change the best parts of the post. You should not change the general topic as well. The users who visit your page should see the information they expect from the headline. So only minor updates can be done here.
And you should never touch the URL! This URL already has some authority, backlinks, and inbound links. If you change it - you lose all its ranking potential and have a bunch of broken links pointing to your website which is bad for SEO.
Start with keyword research
So, you have an article to update. How do you think users find it in searches? Do your keywords answer the ‘searcher’s intent’? Do you actually rank for the keywords you set as your target ones? You may need to update your article with more relevant keywords that will take it higher in SERP.
Update the article's Meta-data
Title and description are the first things that users see when they find your post in the search. Think of how the title and description can be improved:
Update the article contents
Take a closer look at the article’s structure and content. Check out those parts that should be revised or rewritten. You might also need to change the order of the article’s sections, add more specific info to attract various groups of readers.
You may also wish to add new examples or take new screenshots. If you used various data and surveys in your post to prove your thoughts, it might be that right time to find more recent researches. Don’t forget to proofread your article to remove mistakes and make it more readable. You can use HemingwayApp to improve your writing style.
Improve your links
Interlinking is one of the ways to tell Google that the page is important. Inbound links increase trust from search engines and readers as well. Proper interlinking helps boost the time a user spends on a website.
Check out your article for the links it has, and remove/fix all broken links. Broken links on your website (no matter - inbound or outbound) lead to the poor user experience. Of course, you can’t control the links on other websites. But you definitely can fix broken links on your own website: either replace them with live links or set 301 redirect to the relevant links.
It's time to share!
Updated article is not a new one, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need promotion. You should make people learn about the article as if it were new:
Don’t reach out to bloggers if you did just a ‘face-lift’ to your article like changed its title and description or added/fixed a few links. Do promote the article with major updates like improved parts, new data, and fresh tips. It will improve trust to your content and attract the relevant audience.