Why You Should Refresh Old Content and How To Do It

A post on my blog has driven the most traffic to the site since I wrote it. It’s nothing special, in my opinion. It’s a post about how to write a professional bio, which apparently many people need to do and aren’t sure how. All of the traffic to the post comes from search engines. But I noticed that the post’s traffic was declining. It was causing a hit to my overall site traffic. So, I refreshed the post at the beginning of the month. It was simple to do, just tweaking a few things here and there, and the traffic has more than doubled since. 

Wouldn’t it be great to double traffic on an “old” but relevant post on your website? That’s precisely why you should refresh content. This post explains why you should refresh old content and how to do it.

Why Refresh Old Content?

What happened with the post on my site is a perfect example of why to refresh old content. Refreshing a piece that’s performed well in the past will bring it back to life in search and keep it relevant to those who need the information. 

Reasons to refresh old content include:

  • Update It. Chances are you included data and links in the piece that need to be updated. A refresh allows you to republish the piece on your site while making it relevant again.
  • Fix Issues. When you refresh a post, you may discover issues you need to correct. For example, broken links, improper headers, or no longer relevant photos. Some of these issues may be impacting your search results. Repairing them will help the post and your overall site in search.
  • Apply New Knowledge. Your writing and understanding of just about any issue improves with time. Updating or rewriting content on your website lets you offer this new knowledge to your audience.
  • Identifying Opportunities. Refreshing also gives you a chance to link to more recent posts on your site that are relevant to the piece, and it may help you think of ideas for content that your site needs.
  • Follow Best Practices. Best practices in search change often. Refreshing posts help you strategically update them, so they adhere to these changes.
  • Serve Readers. The most crucial reason to refresh blog posts, in my opinion, is to provide readers with the most up-to-date information they need to know in your content niche. After all, serving your readers is why you have a blog in the first place.
person using laptop computer beside aloe vera
Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

How to Refresh Old Blog Content

As with most things, there’s probably more than one way to go about refreshing blog content. Below is my recommendation to ensure your refreshes are comprehensive and your valuable time is used effectively.

Perform a Content Audit

It would be easy to sit down and update blog posts willy nilly. And I’ll admit that it’s what I did on my blog. I saw a post that wasn’t performing as well as it used to, so I updated it. But there’s no telling what else on my site needs updating. Probably most of the posts could use a refresh. By performing a content audit, you’ll get a complete picture of what’s on your site, the data surrounding every piece, and the most strategic way to update posts to get the most out of your content.

Think Strategically About Keywords

When you log onto a post to update, the first thing to consider is the keywords. Do a little bit of research to determine if those keywords still serve you well or if you need to update them. If you update them, you want to make sure to refocus the content on the updated keywords. If you don’t, make sure you’ve used the keywords appropriately in the post.

Revise On-Page SEO

I would almost guarantee you need to update the SEO on any blog post you refresh. That’s because SEO practices change. Update your SEO title tag, meta description, post title, and subheading to adhere to the most up-to-date SEO practices. 

Update the Content

This might be the easiest part. Go through the piece. Make sure the examples are still relevant—update statistics with the most current data you can find. Ensure links work and go to the most relevant posts. And, of course, make the post clean and well-edited with updated examples.

Also, while updating the post’s content, don’t forget to revise the Call-to-Action, if necessary. Be sure to follow best practices for writing CTAs.

Refresh Images

I almost always change the image any time I update a blog post. There are a couple of reasons. First, I want to ensure that the image is compressed and isn’t bogging down the site. Huge images bog down your site and make search engines ding it. Second, visual appeals change rapidly. People look at images first, so I want to ensure that it best reflects the content in a way they’ll relate to now.

In addition to updating photos, consider whether the post could benefit from a graphic or video. Adding this type of visual content will likely help a post perform better in search and make it more appealing to your audience.

And, with any image, be sure to have proper alt text, making it accessible.

Republish the Post

Once you make all the updates your post needs, it’s time to republish it with the current date. People look at the post’s date to determine if they’re still relevant, so you want to be sure not to just save the old post. I recommend a mix of post refreshes and new content. Do what makes the most sense for your site, but be sure everyone benefits from your older content.

Refreshing Old Content

Now you know why you should refresh old content and how to do it. Does it sound like a lot of work? It is, especially when you’re trying to run a business. You need time to do the updates and specialized knowledge on what to do. But it’s worth doing to get the most out of your site’s content and, therefore, your investment in content marketing. Want Content Journey’s expert writing, editing, and SEO team to help you revise your old content and write new stuff? We’d love to! Book a call today.

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