SEO for Bloggers: How to Optimize Your Older Blog Content
If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can refresh your old content, which offers incredible results for search engine optimization.
Take a strong look at your blog with this question in mind: how long you have been posting fresh, unique content?
You may be surprised to learn that your first blog post was published quite a few years ago.
While this is a good thing for many reasons, including the fact that it continues to provide your audience with high quality information, it may be time to revisit the content with an eye toward making some changes.
1. Identify Blog Posts
The first thing you need to do is identify which blog posts deserve your attention. After all, you don’t have the time, money, or resources to update hundreds or thousands of posts. Instead, you need to focus on those that will generate the best return on investment.
Here is what you should do: focus on posts that have generated the most interest in the past. Pinpointing this is as simple as reviewing the following:
- Number of inbound links
- Number of social shares
- Overall traffic
- Monthly and weekly traffic
Once you identify a list of blog posts, here are the steps you can take to bring the content back to life:
2. Check for Accuracy
When you created the post there was a good chance (hopefully) it was 100 percent accurate. Over time, however, things have a way of changing.
For example, if you posted a killer article about SEO strategy in 2016, it goes without saying that the tips and advice you provided are no longer up to date.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon the post and start from scratch. After all, you have a good jumping off point. You should update the post with fresh information, ensuring that it is accurate in today’s day and age. Doing so can help boost search engine traffic, while also providing more value to your audience.
3. Add and/or Edit Statistics
There is nothing better than a well-written blog post that is backed up by solid statistics and data. Conversely, a post with outdated stats can make you look bad. This is why you need to pay close attention to the statistics you shared in the past.
Once you identify statistical references, double check recent resources for accuracy. If you can link to a better source, one that is more current, don’t hesitate in doing so.
Statista, for example, is a great place to turn for statistics related to almost every industry imaginable.
This is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to edit outdated statistics, thus bringing more value to your website.
4. Provide a Fresh Perspective
You will evolve over time as a blogger. What you said five years ago may not be what you believe today. How you explained a particular topic last year could be entirely different than how you feel at the present time.
You have the right to alter your blog’s content to better match your current feelings and opinion.
Try this: pick out several areas of a particular post that you want to update with a fresh perspective. Don’t delete what you wrote before. Instead, add a section below each providing your “new take.” Not only does this add more unique content, but it also gives readers the opportunity to see how you have changed over time.
- Along with the above, here are some additional quick-tips to consider:
- Link from older posts to those you have recently published.
- Insert a new image or video (or both), especially if it adds value.
- Keep the URL the same.
- If you change the title, don’t change the keywords.
- Optimize the meta description to better describe the content (now that it has been updated).
Know When to Say Goodbye
Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to keep or rewrite old content. If it’s no longer timely, or new information has made it incorrect or fixing it is not possible, it might be time to put it in the trash. But before you say goodbye, see if you can repurpose the old content to other blog posts. And enable a 301 redirect to maintain any backlinks that the post might be recieving.
How to Delete Old Blog Posts
If you decided to delete your pages, you have to consider what to do with the old page URL. You can either redirect it to a relevant page, your homepage or serve a 410 header.
Difference between 404 and 410 as told by Matt Cutts
If a page is gone and you think it’s temporary, go ahead and use a 404. If the page is gone and you know no other page that should substitute for it, you don’t have anywhere else that you should point to, and you know that that page is going to be gone never come back, then go ahead and serve a 410.
Final note: compare the “before” stats with the “after.” This will give you a clue as to whether or not your changes made a difference, either for the better or for the worse. Once you identify what is working and what is not, you can devise a strategy to employ as you edit additional posts.
Old blog content may be buried on your site, but that doesn’t mean people still aren’t reading what you published a long time ago. By bringing this content back to life, you may be surprised at the SEO results.
This could lead to an immediate boost in traffic and social media engagement. What more could you ask for?