Regularly publishing on your blog seems like a huge deal, often. And we usually forget about them after the first time we promote it. But it is also critical to revamp and update the old posts for improving the SEO ranking and increasing the traffic too.
10 ways to update old posts for higher SEO ranking
Adding relevant updates to your old posts is critical, especially the time sensitive topics like “New Year resolutions” or “Holiday gifts”. These are evergreen posts, but unless you update them with new content the algorithms might ignore them as old posts.
Instead of churning out content week after week, spend sometime to update old posts and that will help you in improving your SEO ranking and thereby driving more organic traffic. Here are some ways to do just that.
1) Edit your content with relevant updates
Has your opinion or thoughts recently changed about the topic? Or have you learned more on the subject?
Do not hesitate to make the changes in your old posts. Even adding the current year to the heading (H1) might be a good idea for periodical posts.
Linking with time sensitive researches and infographics are other smart ways to update old posts for higher SEO ranking and traffic.
2) Tune up to the current formatting style
With all the fast changes in blogging world happening, keeping up with the recommended formatting style becomes vital.
For example, including a schema and adding relevant H2 tags to your posts will help you get to that spot as featured snippet in Google search page.
Also the uniform layout and styles will keep it easy for your reader’s eyes.
3) Add related posts
One of the easiest ways to keep the readers hooked to your blog is showing them more related content.
A few months ago I started doing this on my recent posts as an attempt to take some traffic to my old, neglected posts. I added a “Similar posts you might like” section before I signed off (or CTA), and there has been a significant decrease in the bounce rates.
You can even add a simple plugin if you are on Self hosted WordPress to do this for you!
4) Fix (or remove) broken links
Adding external links to your posts improves your credibility in the eyes of your readers. But as time passes, those links may become irrelevant or broken.
There are many free sites that can scan your site for broken links (for free!). And once you get the list of broken links on your site, remove and/or update the broken links manually.
Fixing these broken links creates a better user experience as well as shows the search engine and its crawlers that the post is still relevant and updated.
5) Rewriting your meta descriptions and titles
Ensure your older posts have your meta descriptions and titles filled.
With all my enthusiasm to churn out content, I had not bothered to fill those important details for quite a number of posts in my earlier days of blogging.
As a step in improving the SEO I am writing and rewriting the meta description and adding meta title tags to my older posts.
And guess what? The search engines consider this as new content and sends in more traffic!
6) Add in Alt text tags to your images
While updating your meta descriptions and titles, add the alt texts with relevant descriptions (or keywords) of your images.
I have already spoken in depth about the importance of alt texts in my post on Easy steps to SEO for bloggers here. But in short, alt text tags help the search engine crawlers to identify what the image is about.
7) Create Pinterest worthy images
With more and more bloggers shifting to Pinterest for promoting their sites, it has become essential to have a few Pinterest sized images in each posts.
While some might choose to hide a few of these images, they all have to be Pin-able and Pinterest ready.
If you are newly adding these Pinterest sized images, update your old posts first!
8) DO NOT CHANGE THE URL
When you are in the process of updating old posts for higher SEO ranking and traffic, ensure you do not edit the page URL, unless it is absolutely essential.
Editing the URL would lose the valuable traffic and history that the post had gained so far. For this reason, it is better not to have any dates/years (like 2018 resolutions) in your URL.
But if you had to change your URL for some reason, ensure you use a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one.
9) Update your affiliate links
If you have joined new affiliates sites or if the links have changed, now is the good time to scan and fix them.
Using a plugin like thirsty affiliates this might be easier to do, in a self hosted WordPress.
10) Promote all over again
Finally, when you have finished all updating your old posts, promote the post like you would promote any new content, for higher SEO ranking and traffic.
Now that your old post is refurbished with updated info, new images and links, it is as good as a new one. And this will drive more traffic from social media as well.
Once you re-up your old posts keep an eye on its performance and metrics. I am sure there will be a spike in a week or so. And if you schedule some time to update a few of your old posts every week, you will can see a continuous increase in your organic traffic too.
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How often do you update old posts? Have you seen any improvement in your organic traffic due to that? What other blogging topics do you want me to discuss? Let us talk.