In this post, I will discuss the advantages of updating old posts in your blog. You can drive more traffic to your blog by updating old posts. If you check your Google Analytics content drill down section, then you will see that after a while, a post loses its charm and it doesn’t rank that well as it once was in search engines. The reason is that a better post has been written and this particular post is now outdated. However, you can still revive this post by updating it and by adding more relevant content, adding images and videos, fixing internal link structure, removing broken links, proofreading and checking the formatting again, and by updating title and tags. The new version of the old post will be a refined one and it will rank better in search engines and will be shared more in social networks.
Here are the advantages of updating old posts in your blog:
1) Content update: Plugins, software and technology is frequently getting updated. For Example, I wrote this post last year about the advantages of Jetpack WordPress plugin. However this year, new features have been added in Jetpack plugin like Related posts, Site verification, Tile galleries, Infinite scroll, etc. Instead of creating a new post about the latest features in Jetpack, it would be easier to update my old post. In future if they add new features, I can simply update my old post. Also, if a feature has been dropped by Jetpack, I could easily remove it from the list.
Sometimes while writing an article you can’t recollect all the points. If you think you can add more points in a particular article then you can do so by updating the content. Also, if you get other ideas on making an old post better in some way, you can go ahead and update it.
2) Remove broken links: While you are updating your old post, you also have a chance to fix the broken links in your post. Sometimes when you externally link an article, its permalink gets updated or it might be even removed. Both humans and search engines don’t like broken links in a post. If a post has broken links it definitely qualifies for being flagged for stale content. While you are updating the post, you can have a quick look on the external links of the post.
3) Add new images and videos: When you are adding more content in your post, you may also think about adding more images in your post. If you write about software updates, plugins, themes or about apps you always have option to add screenshots. These screenshots are very helpful to the reader and they get a clear understanding about the topic. For a reader it is easier to understand what specific changes have to be made and what settings you are applying in your blog. Also, when you add more images, you will receive more traffic from Google image search. New images can also be posted to Pinterest and Instagram for driving more visitors to your post. If it is a complicated tutorial you can go ahead and create a help video in YouTube and Vimeo and embed it in the post.
For the old images in the post, you can check if the alternative text and image title attribute are correctly entered. You can fix typos (if any) or if you wish you can also update it.
4) Social sharing: Updated posts are also more sharable. You simply cannot share a post with all your heart which has broken links or which has insufficient information. After you have updated a post, you can also go ahead and schedule a message using HootSuite for sharing this post in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and in LinkedIn. Your social followers will see a revived version of your old post which is better than the earlier version. This will encourage them to share it.
5) Improves quality of the post: There has been a significant improvement in the way I have been writing posts. It is because of the diligence and consistency in writing content. When I write posts these days, I always create a first draft which I write as is. After that, I keep researching topics related to this particular post. Then, comes the second or the third edit. After that, proofreading, verifying alternative text and image title attribute for the images, adding tags, etc. However, I do remember last year I never did that much research before writing posts, whatever came in to my mind, I just wrote it. So, when I update a post, this copy would definitely be better than the post I wrote last year.
6) Internal linking structure: From this year I am using long tail keywords for internal linking. While I am updating an old post, I also fix the internal links for the blog. You should read Neil’s article on long tail keywords for internal links and its implications on search engine rankings.
7) SEO benefits: When you are updating an old post, you are adding more text, adding images, improving quality of the post, fixing internal links and fixing the broken external links. All these points are helpful for SEO and your post will rank better in search engines.
8) Check formatting: I always check a post twice before hitting the publish button. However, sometimes human errors creep in and I do find blank spaces in between texts and images. When a post is updated, there’s another chance for me to fix the content formatting for the post.
9) Proofreading: While I am updating a new post, I do another spelling and grammar check of the post and sometimes I find typos and other grammatical errors in the post by using Jetpack’s in-built proofreading tool. Thus, the updated version is more refined than the earlier version.
10) Add an online presentation: If your post has multiple steps and includes many images you might want to add an online presentation in to the post. I recently created an online presentation using Roojoom. The best part of this presentation is that it can be embedded right in to the post and you can also share it in different social networks.
11) Update title and tags: Although for most of the articles I don’t have to update the title and tags. However, if you feel you can write a better title for the updated post, you can go ahead and update it.
12) Update permalinks: Sometimes you might have to change the permalink URL of the post too. However, you need to make sure that you add a 301 redirect for the old post. You can use a free WordPress plugin for adding a 301 redirect. The only disadvantage in changing permalink for a post is that, you will lose the social sharing counts which is displayed for a post. If you are concerned about the social sharing numbers for your post, you should refrain yourself from changing the permalink.