New content is being published constantly online, and while there is plenty of reason for generating new material, updating your existing content can be a game-changer for your website’s traffic and overall performance.
According to Orbit Media’s blogging survey, creators who actively update their old articles witness staggering 270% more results than those who neglect this approach.
The survey also highlights an encouraging trend: the percentage of bloggers who regularly update their old posts has increased significantly over the years.
In 2017, 53% of bloggers were engaged in updating their content annually. By 2021, that number had jumped to 71%.
This upward trend signifies the growing recognition of the importance of enhancing existing blog articles to stay relevant and reap the benefits of increased traffic.
Here are the top 7 tips for updating old blog articles:
- Update statistics and facts
- Replace broken links
- Identify and target new keywords
- Add new visuals
- Change the formatting
- Add internal links from old articles
- Promote previous articles
You can identify content gaps, ongoing trends, and waves you can catch in developing a solid content marketing strategy using comprehensive analytics and data.
Updating your existing blog posts will support your brand, help you remain relevant, and deliver quality to your audience.
With that in mind, this article will equip you with seven actionable strategies for effectively updating your old blog posts. Let’s dive in!
1. Update Statistics and Facts
An essential step in updating old blog articles is ensuring the accuracy of the information provided.
Let’s say you published a blog post back in 2018 titled “The Rise of Ecommerce: A Look at Online Shopping Trends.”
In that post, you highlighted a finding that said Ecommerce sales reached $2.8 trillion in 2017, a 23.2% increase from the previous year.
Fast forward to 2023, when the ecommerce landscape has experienced significant transformations. The statistic used in the post is no longer relevant, and after some research, you discover that global ecommerce sales have soared even further.
To update your old post, you should revise the statistic: Ecommerce sales surged to an impressive $4.2 trillion in 2022, representing a remarkable 50% increase from the previous five years.
This minor update improves the credibility and relevance of your blog post. It also demonstrates your commitment to updating and maintaining your existing content base, which is a compelling reason for people to go through your entire archive.
2. Replace Broken Links
Broken links can frustrate your readers and negatively impact their user experience. Apart from deterring them from exploring your content further, they can also harm your website’s SEO.
Though it may sound like a lot of work, maintaining a successful blog means you’ll sometimes have to comb through your older articles to check for broken links.
Luckily, updating them shouldn’t be too tricky: just search for reputable websites that provide up-to-date information on the topic.
Once you find a suitable alternative, replace the broken links in your old blog posts with new, functioning URLs.
You can make your life easier by using SEO tools that can automatically scan your blog post for broken links.
Tools such as SEO PowerSuite, SurferSEO, and others like it can identify no longer functional links, allowing you to rectify the issue promptly.
Moreover, you can double-check the backlinks for your articles and implement link reclamation strategies in your off-site SEO campaign.
Restore missing links, and update nofollow to dofollow to improve your website rank on Google.
3. Identify and Target New Keywords
Keyword research is also essential when updating old blog posts, as using relevant keywords will help your content rank better in search results.
Explore new keywords that are relevant to topics you’ve covered before and incorporate them naturally into the existing posts.
Suppose you have an old blog post, "Top 10 Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Busy Professionals,” published several years ago. The article offers a selection of breakfast ideas for individuals with hectic schedules.
However, new trends and keywords related to healthy eating and breakfast recipes have emerged with time.
You can analyze the current search landscape using a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner to find a rising interest in “quick and easy breakfast recipes” and “meal prep breakfast ideas” among busy professionals.
Also consider a keyword mapping strategy to assign targeted keywords in your old blog articles.
You can optimize your old blog post by incorporating these new keywords based on this information.
You might modify the title to “Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes for Busy Professionals: Meal Prep Ideas for a Healthy Start,” which incorporates the updated keywords and reflects the current interests of your target audience.
You can strategically add new keywords to the post's headings, subheadings, and text. Include phrases like "time-saving breakfast recipes" or "simple meal prep ideas" to drive more free traffic from individuals seeking efficient and healthy breakfast options.
4. Add New Visuals
Adding new visuals to your existing blog articles effectively enhances engagement and makes the old content more visually appealing.
Images, infographics, and videos are great at grabbing and retaining your audience's attention.
When updating old blog articles:
- Look for visuals that are directly related to the content of your old blog posts.
- Use visual representations of data, such as infographics or charts, to better communicate complex information in an easily digestible format. These are especially relevant if your old blog post contains statistical data or step-by-step processes.
- Where relevant, consider creating short tutorial videos or demonstrations that complement the topic of your old blog post. Alternatively, you can embed videos from platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to provide additional visual content.
- Remember to add or update any descriptive alt text. Alt text helps search engines understand the image's content and improves accessibility for users with visual impairments, which should be one of your SEO KPIs.
5. Change the Formatting
Improving the formatting and readability of your old blog articles is essential to encourage readers to stay on your page.
For instance, long paragraphs may discourage them from engaging with your content. When updating your old blog posts, break down lengthy paragraphs into shorter, more digestible chunks.
It creates white space, making your content appear less overwhelming and easier to read.
Bullet points and numbered lists are also effective formatting tools for presenting information concisely and in a scannable format.
They also enhance readability and improve reading comprehension.
Check for bold text, italics, or block quotes when scrolling through old posts. If your articles lack these elements, you should incorporate them to highlight critical information.
Simple formatting edits like this are there to draw attention, making it easier for readers to grasp the main ideas of your blog articles.
6. Add Internal Links From Old Articles
When updating old blog articles, consider ways to include internal links that strategically lead to your newer pieces. There should be plenty of opportunities to connect new content organically with existing posts.
Start by focusing on articles relevant to the topics discussed in your old posts. You should view them as resources providing additional insights and covering related aspects to your old articles' topics.
Then, to ensure a smooth and natural flow between articles, integrate the internal links contextually by linking specific sections or subsections of the new content.
Overall, this approach creates a network of internal links that encourages readers to explore multiple pieces of content, keeping them on your website for extended periods.
7. Promote Previous Articles
Don’t let your old blog articles get buried in your archives without further mention. Instead, actively repromote them to generate renewed interest and drive fresh traffic.
Tips on effectively promoting content from your old blog articles:
- Use your social media channels to reintroduce old articles to your followers.
Example: Looking for tips on boosting productivity? Don’t miss out on our popular blog post from last year! Discover practical strategies to supercharge your efficiency: [insert link]. #ProductivityHacks #TimeManagement
- Send email newsletters to notify your audience about your updated old posts. Personalize the email and segment your email list to target specific readers who may find the content particularly useful.
Example: Hey [Name], we’ve recently added new insights to one of our popular articles on [Topic]! Dive into our archives to discover new information that will take your [Topic] game to the next level. Check it out here: [insert link].
- Repurpose your old content. Convert old text articles into engaging videos or informative podcasts, then share these new formats online to maximize exposure.
Example: Exciting news! We’ve transformed our popular blog post into an easy-to-digest infographic. Get a visual overview of our top tips and tricks in a single glance. Check the infographic here: [insert link].
Over to You
Your existing content holds immense value; optimizing it should be part of your content strategy. With a little effort and creativity, you can unleash its full potential and drive more visits to your website in the process.
These tips will help you see a surge in traffic and engagement as you breathe new life into your old blog posts.