On a recent consultation call I was asked, “How do I update old blog posts?”
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably got a number of old blog posts with a lot of great content. You might even have old blog posts with great content but not the best looking photos – am I right?
It’s always smart to focus on creating new content – Google and your readers love this – but it’s also smart to update and improve some of your old content.
First, I’d research some of your old posts that are performing well. (Google Analytics will help you here. Confused? Read How To Use and Read Google Analytics: The Basics).
Next, choose 3 old posts that you can update and improve upon over the next couple of months! Yes, you can update more posts, but remember Google likes fresh, new content – so let’s not go overboard.)
5 Benefits of Updating Old Blog Posts
Here are 5 benefits of updating old blog posts:
- Increased traffic to the post. Newer readers that weren’t followers before + some beautiful pictures should provide increased traffic… which is a huge benefit!
- New date will be updated in search results. The date of a blog post can be a factor to some of your readers on how relevant your post is. The newer the date, the more relevant the post is. Note: this only applies if you include a publish date on your blog post.
- You could add some affiliate links, if they would be a good fit with the post.
- If you work with brands, you can ask a brand that would be a good fit to sponsor the new post. Heck, you already have proof it’s been successful so it should be an easy one to pitch to a brand!
- You get the opportunity to refine the keyword + SEO for the post. Were you using Yoast SEO (free) plugin when you originally wrote the post? If you think the original keyword used could be better, update it. And you can name new images with the updated keyword too!
How To Update Old Blog Posts Correctly.
As you’ve just read, there are benefits of updating old blog posts, but you need to know how to do it correctly!
- If you can avoid it, keep the URL the same!
If another site has a link to this post or it’s been shared on social media (like Pinterest) and you’ve changed the URL of the post, you will lose all of that referral traffic and social shares that the previous URL accumulated. And the person who clicks on the old URL link will find themselves looking at a 404 page “page not found”.
Also, if your blog post ranks high on Google search engine results and you change the url, people who click on it will wind up at the 404 page on your site as well.
YES, YOU CAN set up a redirect, but… Google doesn’t really like a URL that simply redirects to another. So you could lose that page rank – I’m not saying that you will, I’m just saying be aware that it could happen.
If you are going to update an old post JUST to change the URL, I wouldn’t do it because you’re not going to get a significant boost from doing this.
- If you’ve decided to change the URL of your updated blog post, you can.
If by updating, republishing and making changes to the content and previous (ugly) photos to improve the overall page quality AND it makes sense to change the URL to something more “user-friendly”, then do.
The route I would recommend you use is the WordPress Redirection plugin, found here.
Note: you never want to use a plugin to make a site wide permalink change. This should always be done within your .htaccess file.
Now that you know my answer on how to update old blog posts, good luck!