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.
There are two questions that can fluster any bookworm. One is the infamous “What’s your favorite book?”. And the other is our very own “What should you read next?”. Of course I am speaking from my own experience (you can read about my method in choosing my next read here).
I recently came across the Book Blogger tag on Bookwyrming Thoughts‘ blog and I loved the questions. So here I am answering the Book Blogger Tag, which apparently is ancient. But better late than never right?
I am gonna take this chance to talk about the things that happen behind the screen of this blog. And this tag is a good way to keep off my slump that might be around the corner now. Let us get on with it shall we?
How many times do you check your email every day?
I check my mail box twice a day, or less. But I also view them on my mobile notifications as they come in. Unless it is very important I do not respond right away.
I just wanted to mention this, I do not respond to review requests unless I am interested to review it. And looking at the number of unread mail I have currently, I definitely need a better system.
How many times a day do you go on Goodreads?
I don’t use Goodreads as much as I used to, a few years ago. I still go on to the site to post my reading updates as soon as I finish a book and to post my reviews.
That comes to almost twice a week, at the best.
How long does it take to you to edit your posts?
I recently updated my site’s theme, mainly to address this.
It took me way longer to edit my posts and do those formatting than I liked. So now I have made it much more simpler.
And also I love the Gutenberg editor as it makes the formatting much simpler, especially from other apps like Notion or Evernote.
Answering the question, it takes me anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to get a written post up and live on the website.
What kind of laptop do you use?
I am currently using HP laptop, which is lighter, faster and definitely easy to use. But it is definitely an upgrade from 5+ years old Dell I used to have. It doesn’t hurt that this one has a touch screen and Tablet mode.
How often do you check your Twitter?
To be honest, I spend about 15 minutes or so almost daily on Twitter for MY BLOG. But I spend a LOT more time on book twitter during the day and while commuting (at least before the Covid virus lock downs).
I love Twitter, but it is also (one of) my big time sucker(s)!
Why do you use Blogger, WordPress, etc?
As much as I loved Blogger and customizing it, I took a call to move to self hosted WordPress in 2017 and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I use(d) everything that I learnt from Blogger – HTML, CSS and generally keeping the blogging system (kind of) organized and I am loving it.
Are you good at keeping up with your reviews, tags, etc?
sure, I have a spreadsheet (among the many) to keep a tab of the books I have read and I want to review. And I fairly have it under control – yay me!
Not so great at this but I catch up with them eventually. I can attribute it safely to the fact that I write up a very few tag posts and since they are far and between, many of the tags disappear and forgotten.
Welcome to the final part of the series on making blogging schedules work for you, and this is where I tell what works for me and what doesn’t. Here is my typical day as a book blogger to inspire and help you make your own blog schedule that works.
Typically I spend more than 30 hours per week on my blog and book blogging related works, making me a part time blogger and more. I also juggle between beta reading, writing and content development work for my clients. And none of this would be possible without a proper blog schedule that works for me.
I normally post four times a week and I have a bookstagram where I post thrice a week. And I am nothing if not being consistent. Yes that sounds like a lot for a hobby blog, but fortunately Elgee Writes is not just a blog that I work on for fun.
To put it in perspective, I work so hard on my blog because it acts as my portfolio and this is where I generate my paid clients from. You will understand it better if you start substituting “content marketing” every time you call it “blogging”.
I love spending the first hour or so on writing, so that I can actually focus and not worry about answering texts or calls.
7 to 8 30 AM: Usually I have prepared outlines for the blog posts or article for my clients the previous day or so, and I just have to put my thoughts into words without having to use the browser for research (AKA the distractions) much.
8 30 to 9 30 AM: Once that is done, and as my family wakes up I make a quick breakfast and coffee hustle. If you personally know me, you would understand when I say “I need a breakfast before 9”. Else, you will have to believe me when I say “HANGRY” was made up to describe me.
Since we are all working from home at the moment (and possibly until the end 2020 at least), things are kinda slow for now. Else this would be my peak time in terms of household chores.
9 30 to 11 00 AM: This is when I write down my to-do list for the day and check if any weekly goals have to be changed. Speaking of goals, I also do a check in of my Google analytics and social media stats on a daily basis.
I also quickly hop on to the social media to check if my scheduled posts are getting posted and answer any DMs or mentions I have received. This invariably ends up with my scrolling my Twitter and Instagram feed for a while.
If there were any client calls I schedule them here, so that I can alter my schedule if needed.
Depending upon the day and the work schedule, I usually spend the morning reading something for work (AKA beta reading a manuscript) or a non fiction.
11 00 AM to 1 00 PM: This is the time I spend on cooking lunch, catching up on errands and household chores. I also have a very long curly hair routine which I try to squeeze in here too.
1 00 PM to 2 00 PM – I usually hit the gym on weekdays just before lunch. This is a practice that I am trying to build again, now that the gyms are open in the UAE and we are free to use them.
Being the bookworm that I am, I usually read on my phone while workout on the treadmill or so just to keep me distracted from the fact that I am actually working out. I will let you know when it actually works.
2 30 to 6 00PM – This is the time I completely spend on research and development which means I am doing email outreach and pitching for clients.
This is probably the second most productive time of my day.
The daily chores can range from clicking photos for bookstagram to logo designing for a client. And one day is like no other. There is always something going on and fire to put out.
One of the major blog goals I had when I started was to have a consistent post schedule and be more organized. While I have things in control, it took me so long to reach this place of peacefulness. Let us talk about a few tips that can help you create a blogging schedule that you’ll stick to easily.
In our next post we will talk about the blog schedule that I have been following for a while, so that you can use it as a guide to make your own.
Set your blog time aside
Everybody’s life and routines are different. So to start with, identify the best time for you and your blog and set aside a few hours to spend only on your blog. When I say blogging it may include everything that you do for a blog from researching a topic to scheduling your social media or answering your DMs.
Next, you have to make some tough calls. Note that there is no magic number or correct answer to these questions. You just have to choose what works for you. Remember we are aiming for consistency, so think of the long term when you choose your blogging schedule.
How often do you want to publish on your blog?
Who are your target audience?
What are the broad topics that you will write on and does that match with your audience’s interest?
What are the items that you depend on someone else’s input?; and
Which ones can you outsource or automate?
Once you honestly answer these questions you will have a realistic idea on what you can and what you can’t do.
Create an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar is the correct place to start with while creating a blogging schedule that you’ll stick to. A blog schedule and editorial calendar are closely interlinked.
An editorial calendar will act as the backbone of your blog and will keep a track on what is being published and when, and also what are you planning to publish in future. Usually it is filled for a month and I know bloggers who do it for a year even.
I use Spreadsheets for marking down the special days on the calendar and the blog content for the month. If you participate in any memes or link ups, you can put them down on it too. This will ensure you won’t forget what is pending and what’s written up.
Build an idea tank
How many times have you sat in front of the screen and waited for inspiration to strike to write a post? Not knowing what to write is one of the major reason why we do not post as per schedule.
And that is why you need to build an idea tank. Yes it is exactly how it sounds. You need a place to dump all your ideas without judgement.
I use Evernote for that and any topic that remotely feels like it can be a blog post topic goes into a note. It is not the right time to think if it is a good idea or not, just dump it there and stop thinking about it.
A quick tip to get things done faster – batch similar tasks. If you are designing header images for a post, do it for the entire week or even month at a time. Work on SEO research for all the posts at a time instead of repeating the same task for each post.
This is one of the best things that I learned in the last few years and it only saves me time but ensures I don’t get bogged down by small tasks repeatedly, and thus keeps me on the blogging schedule that I have been following religiously for a while now.
So ensure that your blogging schedule includes time for all these social media activities like following your peers posts and engaging with them. And these activities should not be affect your other blog schedule.
Get a partner or ten
Another quick tip to ensure you stick to your blog schedule is to rope in a partner or two to keep you accountable. Or you can quickly join a Discord or Facebook group of like minded bloggers who are also working towards similar goals.
While all the above tips might help you to create a blogging schedule that you’ll stick to, I believe everything starts from your inner self. So when the going gets worse and it feels like the blogging schedule is getting out of your way – slog through it. Because slump begets slump.
The more you procrastinate or cancel things, harder it gets to go back to your routine and schedules. So as much as possible push it through and get yourself on to that discipline of following the schedule.
Of course that doesn’t mean you have to overwhelm yourself. Just take one step at a time and get things done.