Knowing When to Update Content

You know you need content on your website to help it rank higher in Google searches. But did you know that you need to update content regularly to keep your site in those top search spots and help it perform better overall? Knowing how and when to update your posts can help you formulate a strong content strategy that keeps your blog working for you.

Why It’s Important to Update Content

Keeping your website’s content up-to-date can significantly affect your search traffic. But more importantly, updated content is valuable to your audience because it gives them the information they need. (Check out this post on what is valuable content for more on this topic.) 

Regularly updating content can help your business by:

  • Improving Users’ Onsite Experience. When your posts are regularly updated, you can fix broken links or outdated data before they become a problem. Plus, you can easily guide your audience through your content by adding links to other relevant posts you’ve created since the original publication.
  • Keeping Content Relevant. Sometimes a Google search can feel like drinking from the firehose of information. Updating your content can ensure your audience gets information relevant to their search intent when they land on your site.
  • Boosting SEO. Google wants to provide the most relevant information to searchers. Updating your information helps you rank higher in search.
  • Accounting for Behavior Changes. What made a search relevant one year may make it irrelevant the next. Searchers may look for different information when searching a specific keyword than they were previously.
  • Making Your Content Keep Working for You. It takes time and energy to create online content. Updating that content means it can pay off for years to come.

According to Close, more than half of your monthly content should be updated posts to take advantage of what’s already there while adding to your new content. 

Half may seem like a lot of work, and it can be. But if you make a content updating strategy, you can ensure your old posts don’t stop working for you. In the end, it’s more work to continually create new content and let it “expire” than it is to make sure what you have is still beneficial.

A woman works on a computer while writing in a notepad

Ways to Update Your Content

There are a lot of reasons why you should refresh content. And when we say update content, we don’t mean you have to rewrite the whole post or page from square one. Here are some ways you can easily update the content on your website.

Include Up-to-Date Facts and Figures

To rank high in search engine results, Google wants your information to be accurate and relevant. So, if you have a post that references data or statistics from a few years ago, it’s time to update that information.

Updating facts, figures, and links signals to Google that you have the latest information. 

More importantly, it tells searchers that you’re keeping an eye on this information, and your content will reflect that attention to detail. It can help you build trust with potential customers who land on your site from a Google search.

Focus on a New or Changed Audience

When you write a blog post, you write that information as an expert. But your searchers aren’t likely to be experts. In fact, they’re probably dipping their toes in the information. So when you make updates to your content, make sure that content makes sense for those beginners. 

Similarly, if you’ve had a new influx of traffic or social media followers who don’t know as much about your industry, you’ll want to make sure content updates address their needs as a part of your audience.

Keyword Research Update

Any good content plan always starts with some research. The same is true for content updating. 

Take a look at the analytics on your old content. How have your posts been performing? If they’ve consistently ranked high for long tail keywords, do more of that. 

Update pieces that aren’t performing as well as they should be, given the search volume on the keywords. 

Also, take some time to see how search terms have evolved. This research could be as simple as the difference between “low-carb recipes” and “keto meal plans.” Functionally, these keywords could have a lot of the same content behind them, but you want to make sure you’re targeting the keyword that people use more commonly now.

Improve Mobile Compatibility

Most searches are from mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet. Google wants to know that your content works just as well on mobile devices as on a desktop computer. 

While you’ve probably made changes to your site to ensure it works on mobile, individual pieces of content may not be optimized. 

When you revise old content, see how the page looks on a mobile device. If it’s easy to use, then you’re good to go. If not, it’s time to update that particular post.

Refresh Images

Did you use stock images in a blog post showing people making calls from flip phones? While trends are cyclical, and the fashions we loved 20 years ago are making a comeback, that’s not likely to be the case for technology. Find new images for your posts, and make sure they aren’t too large. Large image files can severely slow down the time it takes for your site to load, causing people to leave.

When you update information, make sure you’re linking to the newest, most legitimate sources. Also, check for any broken links and replace them with new links. If you’ve been hard at work making new content, don’t forget to include links to some of those newer posts when you’re updating content.

When Should You Update Your Content?

Now that you know why it’s important to update content and how to do it, it’s time to make a plan. But when is the best time to update your content? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Indicators that it’s time to update content include when:

  • Your Audience’s Needs Change. As your audience becomes increasingly more familiar with your industry, updating old content can be a great way to offer a fresh spin on an old post to keep them interested.
  • Google Changes Its Algorithm. No one fully understands Google’s algorithm, but SEO pros can tell you what gets the best results. Updating content to align with what works can help you rank higher in searches.
  • Content is No Longer Relevant. If your posts mention a date that’s no longer relevant or an event that’s long since passed, it’s time to update.
  • Content Underperforms. Posts that didn’t drive the sort of traffic you thought they should may need a little boost in the form of an update to bring in the views you were expecting.
  • Your Business Changes. When you get a new logo, update your services or products, or even change your name, it’s time to update your content.

Ready to Make a Content Update?

Do your old blog posts need some freshening up? Do you need some help with your content mix? Contact Content Journey today, and we can help you make a plan for updating content and develop a content strategy that works to meet your goals.

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