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16. Updating old blog posts

In the last post I spoke about removing old content and updating content where you can but what exactly does that entail? This post will look at the various ways you can and should update old content to make it work for you and your site’s SEO strategy.

Google loves a well-maintained website and showing it that you are updating your content regularly will help to increase the reputation of your site. I love the plugin WP Last Modified Info for doing this but it is more than just opening the article and saving it again with a new date. You will need to take the time and make sure that the content you have published is relevant, up to date and well written.

First I want to broach the subject of old content that isn’t of any use to your readers but you don’t want to delete it or put it in drafts. In this case, you should noindex your content. This is so search engines do not count it towards the content on your site. It could be that these are personal posts, after all, that’s why most of us started our sites in the first place. If you are using YOAST then this is an easy guide on how to NoIndex your posts.

Now on to updating the posts that need work. You should have a list of them based on the previous post, what to do with old blog content. You could add these to a schedule to update one a day or similar to match your availability or you could set aside a lot of time and try to do them all at once but realistically once you have finished this list you should then have another list to work through as you need to keep updating content every year as a minimum.

Start with old content that doesn’t do well in search but that you think has a lot of potential. Check the keywords that you used (if you even did use keywords back then), and do some research on better ones. I know I had lots of posts with random keywords that had nothing to do with the actual content but which gave me a lovely green dot in Yoast! Once you have fixed the keywords to match what the content is actually about take a look at adding headers if appropriate, using images with alt tags, improving on the meta description and finally improving the overall written content. If you install Grammarly into your browser it will work well at pointing out where your written content can be improved, just watch out for Americanisms. You may also want to rewrite the title but try to keep the URL the same as an old URL can work well in your favour as long as the content gets updated. Add internal links to other relevant content on your site and use the internal link juicer plugin to build links to this content from other posts.

You should also look at adding a pinnable image if you don’t have one. Pinterest can be a huge source of traffic if your post is a round-up, a to-do list, a recipe or instructions. I will be writing an article about getting the most out of Pinterest shortly.

Once you have updated your new post, don’t forget to add it to your social content sharing calendar and reindex it in the Google search console.

So there you have it, an easy way to update old content and hopefully bring in new search traffic. Let me know how you get on.

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