Do you ever wonder how to update old blog posts – and why?
Updating old blog posts doesn’t need to take hours, but it is a worthwhile investment. Why? Well, Google increasingly looks at the quality of content when ranking search results. So editing old blog posts and republishing them can be the most effective ways for busy bloggers to boost their SEO!
Click here for a simple guide to SEO for food bloggers.
This means if you have old content with small, low quality images or outdated information, refreshing the post can improve the experience for your readers, AND help that post rank better in search.
It’s not just about search, though. Imagine if you have 5,000 blog posts and you can refresh them to bring just an extra 10 readers each. That’s 50,000 new readers to your blog! It’s far easier to reach 50k people via an old post than creating something new.
Here are our top suggestions for how to update old blog posts.
One of the classic mistakes that new bloggers make is to use photos that are too small. Not only that, but most of us get better at photography with time. So it’s likely that photos you took 3 or 5 or 10 years ago aren’t a patch on what you can produce now.
If your post is a recipe, why not re-make the dish and take fresh images?
Search Optimise the Content
When I first started blogging, my understanding of SEO was pretty much limited to, “use the keyword a lot”.
Refreshing an old blog post is the perfect opportunity to do things like adding secondary key words and phrases, adding in H2 titles, image tags and other search optimisation techniques. Don’t forget to add alt tags to images while you’re at it.
Check Content Accuracy
One of the most important things when updating old content is to ensure that it is accurate for today’s readers. When we’re looking at food content, it may be that brand names or the way we use ingredients has changed. Check facts, especially things like pricing, quantities, opening hours and names.
Perhaps over time, you’ve started to use coconut oil in a recipe rather than olive oil? Or there’s a new variety of that sauce you’re recommending that’s healthier or more environmentally friendly?
Add Internal and External Links
Google tends to rank pages more highly in search if they carry relevant internal and external links.
As a food blogger, when you update old blog posts, you might consider linking to other recipes in your archives. So if you have an old recipe based on chicken, you might want to link to the tag results for “chicken” on your blog, or to another “Indian chicken” recipe. You might add a few sentences leading readers to relevant side dishes or things that would complement a recipe particularly well.
Also, check and update/add external links. You might want to link to a purchase link for a product (an affiliate link is even better). Or you might want to link to another blog or website that has content that has inspired or would be relevant to readers of your post.
In general, Google tends to prefer content that is longer – because people are more likely to find that content interesting and useful. If you have old posts that are under 500 words, consider adding more content – assuming you can do so in a way that is useful to readers.
Think about what you’ve learned about your readers since you wrote that old post. Do they like bullet point lists? Do they prefer short paragraphs? Do they like a more informal tone, or something that’s very detailed instructions? Can you amend the text to answer questions people left in the comments?
Streamline for Speed/Mobile
Another thing lots of us didn’t think about back in the day was how long our pages took to load on mobile devices, or in general.
When you update old blog posts, do spend a minute checking how it looks to mobile users, and consider elements that might make the page load too slowly. Also, look out for interactive elements that don’t work on mobile, or page elements that aren’t responsive.
This might be an old graphic or image that can be resized or optimised using cacheing. You might want to consider removing old widgets on the page that you no longer use.
Add Pinterest Images
It’s likely that your site’s branding has changed since an old post was written so consider using Canva to whip up a new batch of images and add them to your post.
These images can also be used in your sidebar to help push traffic to old content that’s still useful and relevant. And that will reduce your bounce rate at the same time!
Investing a little time in the SEO and updating old blog posts is one of the most effective ways to increase your site’s overall traffic and performance. So what are you waiting for? Go refresh an old post today!