Things need to be updated every once in a while. Now that’s a statement that holds true for nearly everything around you. Be it your dressing sense, your palate, your mobile, mailing address, your playlist. Or are you someone who wears red bellbottomed trousers with yellow shirts? I can’t, even if someone gave me a sack full of money, or probably I will.
Our Marketing content is not very different either. All the things mentioned above get outdated hence stale with time. That is sadly the way of life! Both as a human and a content marketer one needs to stay updated for people to be interested in themselves and their content.
Luckily for us content marketers, updating our old content is not very difficult. Or neither is it very different from updating your wardrobe. You check in what are the latest trends, what are people interested in for the season and you wear them according to your comfort of seasons.
These 2 reasons would convince you into giving serious thoughts to updating your old content:
- Any searcher could stumble upon one of your really old post that ranks well in search. Not all searchers check the date/time while reading. Yikes, That’s one risk we content marketers can’t afford, giving inaccurate and outdated data to our readers.
- Not all your present readers have seen your old content. By updating your old yet high performing posts you can actually extend their life and the results over time.
Which Old Blogs To Choose For An Upgrade?
You rather be smart not to apply tactics into all your posts and not do selective work. And if you will do that, you will risk not maximizing the results.
Start by creating an inventory of all your blog posts. See which good ranked posts make sense to your business presently. Not all the blogs are similar, some will always be valued more than the others for reasons like-
- Readability and depth of content
- More shareable
- Higher conversion rates
- Resonates with your readers more leading to more time on page and lesser bounce rates.
There are some effective steps to follow when deciding which posts to update. I will guide you through. Read on:
1.Find out your best performing posts – Trust your Analytics solely, numbers do not lie. Strategically narrow down posts that are backed by handsome looking metrics. Like
- Inbound Links – I personally give more value to this metric as it gives a very definite idea of the search authority. Look out for your posts that have the maximum inbound links.
- Traffic – Look at your blog analytics and set your time frame for the whole of the previous month. This will give you an idea of all the old posts that are still getting you a lot of traffic.
- Social Shares – People share your Post for a reason, and that is its relevance. The number of social shares indicates how well performing the post is. They play a BIG role in social ranking, buddy! To see how many times a post was shared enter its URL into com. It is a free tool by Hubspot which tells you the number of times your URL was shared on social media.
- Keywords – You should use updating and republishing your old content as a strategy to elevate your keyword game. Do you have plans to place certain keywords higher for search? Use a particular keyword(On Google Analytics) to look out for keyword ranking opportunities. Do you have any posts in your inventory that are already ranking for these keywords? This is the chance, grab it to position them better now.
2.Keep in mind the content and the trends running presently – Yes, taking a metrics-driven approach helps but you shouldn’t be ignoring your content and the trends. To be true your metrics-driven approach should be running parallel to the trending content for the best results. For instance, we found that a lot of our readers were recently asking a lot about how to use storytelling in blogs. Interestingly our Google Analytics results weren’t suggesting it as a good target for updating. And we had covered this topic long ago which got lost buried in all our posts and to be true a little outdated with time. So we decided to update and republish the original post. It was much better than writing a new post from scratch and then instigating Google with duplicate content. Google’s clever and short tempered!
The jobs not done yet. Things have changed with time, you can’t just come back with content and expect it to work. These are some small things which hold a lot of relevance now:
- Graphics– A single attractive yet relevant Graphic can increase the chances of your post significantly. Obviously, because it shows that your content is Fresh as summer. You can do that with tools like Canva, Pic Monkey, Photoshop etc. Blog posts with more images engage viewers efficiently and rank higher in Google.
- Writing Style – The writing style that you used back then might not necessarily work while you repost now. You might want to change the tone of the post as per your present audience sensibilities. Like for example, when we started off we had a very plain self-explanatory tone to our blogs. With time we have shifted to a very narrative and user engaged tone. It’s a win-win for us and the readers.
- Length of Blog – You must have learned a lot of new things since you posted that blog. Use that knowledge and add the additional information for your readers. Lengthening your old posts will make you Google’s favourite too. (Google loves long meaningful posts). You might have used a plugin that is not active anymore or talked about a tool that is not up-to-date now. You should be careful to add up-to-date and meaningful information for generating the right traffic.
- Social Media Inputs– Sharing on prominent social media platforms might not have been an option when you posted that old content. Social media has changed significantly since then. Like for example, you should use vertical and not horizontal images to be seen on Pinterest. Today it is possible to tweet or share a post on different platforms simultaneously. Give your reader that power to share.
- 404 Redundant Links – A single link from an authority site is any da much worthy than 10 low-quality links. Broken link building is the way to it. Understand what Broken links mean first. These are dead links that lead to nowhere or a 404 page. So if a site has too many broken links they can actually be penalized. So you be a noble soul and let the blog owner know about this. But be smart to suggest your link addition or be replaced instead. It’s a win-win for both sides. Google and Dead link checker will help you in finding such lists with the dead links.
- Internal Links – You must have written a LOT of posts since you started. It is very likely that you have covered an entire blog on a certain keyword used in your old blog. i.e.- Here Internal Link is a subheading in my blog, with time I might want to write a whole blog covering it as a topic. And in future when I update and republish this blog I definitely should be providing an internal link to that new blog I covered. I wouldn’t want you, precious people, to miss out on updated information. Fresher backlinks on your old page is signal that the content is relevant and fresh. And also remember that backlinking to your internal links is any day better than building the backlinks to your homepage. Obviously, a relevant internal linking is more informative and useful to the reader.
By now you would have earned authorship on multiple blogs as a guest blogger or as a contributor. You may also have republishing rights on your own blogs on those websites. You can add relevant backlinks from those of your own blogs to this republished blog to get more traffic from search engines.
- Monitor your competitors backlink sources. If you see that your competitor has gained a couple of links from certain authority blogs and is ranking well in Google. All you have to do is find out how they did it and do it much better than them.
Now with some great content at your disposal what do you guess is the next viable step to follow? The answer is to have a social sharing plan for them.
Pick up any successful social media marketing plan that has worked, it certainly has a calendar that they follow. It will basically help you keep a track of all content that you want to float during a certain time period. There are 3 approaches to go about it.
- One is the manual way. You will keep a spreadsheet schedule of when you want to post what content. The plus side here, your thorough control over your content. The major negatives, the time and effort consumption.
- Use a tool like Buffer. This tool gives you the option to schedule your social media posts in advance.
- A very old school way to go about it would be a WordPress Plugin, Evergreen Post Tweeter. This tool keeps sharing your old posts on Twitter. Your engagement is not required except for the initial set up.
Now your evergreen content is floating on all prominent social media platforms. You see good reader engagement and a couple of readers are sharing too. What more could you expect? You should expect it do better than what it did as the initial post. Generating traffic was why you did it, didn’t you? It’s best to keep a record of the stats “BEFORE” you post the new blog. This will make it easier for you to compare after you have republished. Now you can see how the update affected its overall performance.
You are convinced to give new life to your old evergreen posts. Tell us in the comments about your personal tips and takes on republishing your blogs. I could gain some knowledge too.
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