In the fast-paced digital landscape, where information is constantly evolving, maintaining the accuracy and relevance of blog posts is essential. Updating blog posts not only ensures the delivery of reliable and up-to-date information but also offers numerous benefits for both content creators and readers. This article explores the significance of regularly updating blog posts and its impact on relevance, search engine optimization (SEO), and user experience.
Why You Need To Update Your Blog Posts
Over time even the most evergreen post becomes outdated. New developments and innovations relegate things obsolete, new research renders what was once correct incorrect, links become broken, new ideas percolate and you want to incorporate them, trends in your industry arise, even personal developments can change your perspective. There are so many reasons blogs need to be updated from a purely factual standpoint. Yet doing so has huge benefits. Here are the top reasons why you should be regularly updating your blog posts.
Ensuring Relevance And Accuracy
One of the primary reasons to update blog posts is to preserve relevance and accuracy. Time-sensitive topics, industry trends, and news-related content can become outdated quickly. By revisiting and updating blog posts, you can ensure that the information remains current, reliable, and aligned with the latest developments in your niche. This helps you maintain your credibility as an authoritative source of information, fostering trust among your readers.
Boosting Your SEO
Search engines value fresh and updated content. When you update your blog posts, search engine crawlers recognize the changes, leading to potential improvements in search rankings. This can increase the visibility of your content, attract more organic traffic, and enhance overall SEO performance. Regular updates signal to search engines that your website is active and consistently delivering valuable content, which can positively impact your search engine rankings.
Enhancing User Experience
Providing an excellent user experience is crucial for building a loyal readership. Outdated information can be frustrating and misleading for users, leading to a negative perception of your blog. By updating your blog posts, you prioritize the user experience by ensuring that the content remains accurate, relevant, and helpful. This instils confidence in your readers and encourages them to revisit your blog, increasing engagement and fostering a sense of loyalty.
Updating blog posts allows you to enhance the value of your content over time. As you acquire new knowledge, insights, and data, incorporating them into existing blog posts can make them more comprehensive and valuable for your audience. You can provide additional examples, case studies, or statistics, further enriching the original content. By consistently improving and expanding your blog posts, you position yourself as a trusted and go-to resource in your field.
Social Sharing And Engagement
When you update a blog post, it presents an opportunity to promote the updated content across various channels, including social media and email newsletters. By notifying your followers about the updated information, you can reignite their interest, encouraging social sharing and engagement. This amplifies the reach of your content, attracts new readers, and potentially expands your audience.
Updated blog posts can serve as a foundation for creating new types of content. By repurposing the updated information into different formats, such as ebooks, infographics, videos, or podcasts, you can extend your content marketing efforts. This diversification allows you to reach a broader audience through different mediums, increasing your brand visibility and establishing yourself as an authority in your field.
Regularly updating blog posts is vital for maintaining relevance, improving SEO, and enhancing the user experience. By ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of your content, you establish trust with your audience and position yourself as a reliable source of information. Additionally, updating blog posts contributes to improved search engine rankings, attracts more organic traffic, and increases social sharing and engagement. Embrace the practice of updating your blog posts to keep your content fresh, valuable, and aligned with the evolving needs of your readers.
How To Update A Blog Post
Okay, now you’re clear on why it’s so important to update your blog posts, how exactly is it done? It’s easy to update blog posts once you know what elements should be updated. Most people get this wrong simply because they don’t really know how to update blog posts, or they don’t see it as an essential part of the SEO and content marketing process, so don’t bother. It’s actually one of the most effective ways of ensuring your content ranks, and continues to rank. So, here’s a step-by-step guide to doing it effectively:
Review The Existing Content
Read the blog post carefully to understand its current state and purpose. Identify areas that require updates, improvements, or expansions.
Take note of any outdated information, inaccuracies, or gaps in the content that need to be addressed.
Fact-Check And Verify Information
Verify the accuracy of any statistics, data, references, or quotes used in the blog post. Cross-reference the information with credible sources.
Update outdated information with the most recent and relevant data available.
Ensure that any claims or statements made in the post are supported by reliable sources and evidence.
Add New Content
Research recent developments, trends, studies, or news related to the blog post topic. Look for updated information, insights, or perspectives that can enhance the content.
Incorporate new information into the existing post, either by expanding on existing sections or adding new sections to cover the latest findings or developments.
Consider including recent case studies, examples, or real-life experiences to make the content more up-to-date and relevant.
Aim to add 25% fresh content. So, if you have an original blog that’s 1K words long, it should be 1250+ by the time you’re done.
Top Tip: Adding a video version of your written content to your blog counts as a major update, you can do this in lieu of writing an additional 25%.
Enhance Your Readability
Review the overall writing style, tone, and structure of the blog post.
Ensure that the content is clear, concise, and engaging. Make edits to improve sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Break down long paragraphs into shorter ones for better readability.
Use subheadings, bullet points, or numbered lists to organize the content and improve its scannability.
Consider using storytelling techniques or incorporating anecdotes to make the post more relatable and captivating.
Further Optimise For Search
Evaluate the existing SEO elements of the blog post, such as the title, meta description, headings, and keywords.
Update the title to include relevant keywords and make it compelling for readers.
Craft a concise and informative meta description that encourages clicks from search engine results pages.
Optimize headings (H1, H2, etc.) by incorporating keywords and structuring them logically.
Sprinkle relevant keywords and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) terms naturally throughout the content, but avoid keyword stuffing.
Consider adding internal links to other relevant blog posts or pages on your website to improve navigation and encourage readers to explore more of your content.
Include external links to authoritative sources that support or provide additional information on the topic.
Refresh Your Visuals
Assess the visuals used in the blog post, such as images, infographics, charts, or videos.
Check if the visuals are still relevant, accurate, and high-quality. Replace outdated visuals with up-to-date ones.
Add new visuals to enhance the presentation of the content, provide visual explanations, or make it more visually appealing.
Optimize images by compressing their file size without compromising quality to improve page loading speed.
Incorporate User Feedback
Review comments, feedback, or questions from readers that are related to the blog post.
Address any concerns or questions raised by readers in the updated version of the content.
If there are common themes or additional insights provided by users, consider incorporating them into the updated post to make it more comprehensive and reader-friendly.
Update Timestamps And Republish
Update the timestamp of the blog post to reflect the most recent revision.
If the changes made are substantial, consider republishing the post to push it back to the top of your blog’s feed or archive.
Communicate the updates made to the post within the article or by adding a note at the beginning or end to inform readers of the changes.
Promote Your Updated Post
Share the updated blog post across your various channels, such as social media, newsletters, or relevant online communities.
Highlight the updates or improvements made to entice readers to revisit the content.
Consider reaching out to other bloggers, influencers, or industry experts who might be interested in sharing or linking to the updated post.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your updated blog posts provide accurate, valuable, and up-to-date information to your audience, enhancing their overall reading experience and keeping your content relevant in a rapidly changing landscape.
Pro Tip: What Not To Do
Do NOT simply rewrite your words and think that constitutes an update. This won’t achieve any of the above effectively, and can actually damage the quality and existing ranking the piece has. For example, if you have a blog post that has earned a Featured Snippet on Google SERPs for one of your keywords, and you rewrite the section of the post that is in that featured snippet, you will very likely lose that ranking and no longer be featured in the snippet. Likewise, rewriting your introduction is a bad idea as Google may no longer recognise the article as the piece it has been ranking for various keywords, and you will lose those rankings too.
Rather than redoing what you have done, improve on what you have done. If something is factually incorrect, change it, otherwise leave the existing content as it is and augment it with fresh content, fresh information, new references, etc.
How Often Should You Update Your Blog Posts?
The frequency of updating blog posts depends on various factors, including the nature of your blog, your target audience, and your available resources. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
If your blog covers topics that change rapidly, such as technology or current events, it’s essential to update your posts frequently to ensure the information remains accurate and up to date.
Type Of Blog Post
The type of blog you have can also determine the update frequency. News blogs or industry-specific blogs often require frequent updates to keep readers informed. On the other hand, personal blogs or evergreen content-focused blogs may not need updates as frequently.
Traffic and Engagement
Pay attention to your blog’s analytics to identify the popularity and engagement of your posts. If you notice that certain posts are generating significant traffic or engagement, it’s a good idea to update them regularly to provide fresh information and maintain user interest.
Search engines often favor websites with fresh content. Regularly updating your blog posts can help improve your search engine rankings, especially if you optimize the content for relevant keywords.
Resources And Time
Consider your available resources and time constraints. Updating blog posts can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large archive of content. Ensure you can dedicate the necessary time and effort to maintain a consistent update schedule.
While there is no fixed rule, a good starting point for many blogs is to update at least once a month. However, you may choose to update more frequently or less frequently based on the factors mentioned above. Ultimately, it’s important to find a balance that works for your blog and your audience.
What If A Blog Post Has Become Completely Irrelevant?
If you have a blog post that has become completely irrelevant and you want to delete it, here are some steps you can follow:
Evaluate the relevance
Double-check the content to ensure it is truly irrelevant. Consider factors such as outdated information, changes in your niche or industry, or a shift in your blog’s focus. Bear in mind what I’ve already said: when updating a blog you don’t want to rewrite it. If updating your post will require such extensive edits that you are effectively rewriting it, deletion may be the better option.
Analyse traffic and engagement
Review the analytics data for the blog post. If it consistently receives little to no traffic or engagement, it may be a sign that it’s not valuable to your audience.
Redirect to more relevant content
Even if you delete the blog post, assuming it has been indexed by search engines and you have links pointing to it, people may still end up at it. You don’t want them running into a 404 error because the link they followed is dead. Put a redirect on the URL for the post to another post or page on your site that is related or relevant.
If the deleted post had search engine optimization (SEO) value, ensure it goes to a piece of content that effectively answers the questions of any search terms it ranks for. If you don’t have existing content that does this, write a new post to redirect it to. This helps preserve the SEO benefits and ensures that users searching for the original content are still directed to relevant information.
Inform your audience
If you have an active readership or subscribers, it’s a good practice to communicate with them about the removal. You can write a new blog post explaining the reason for deletion and provide alternative resources if applicable.
Backup the content
Before deleting the blog post, make sure to back up the content in case you want to revisit it in the future or repurpose it in some way.
Delete the post
Once you’ve completed the above steps and are confident in your decision, remove the blog post from your website or blogging platform. Ensure that any associated links or references are also updated or removed.
Update internal links
If you had internal links pointing to the deleted post from other blog posts on your site, update those links to point to other relevant content or remove them altogether.
By following these steps, you can effectively handle a blog post that has become irrelevant and ensure a smooth transition for your readers while maintaining the quality and relevance of your blog.
Final Thoughts On Blog Post Updates
Given the value of updating your blog posts regularly, as well as the value of longform content, one of the best ways you can rank content is to write a longform piece of content, and regularly update it to add 25% (while following the other steps outlined above). This is also a very handy way of creating longform content for your website. By longform, I mean blogs of around 2-3K words in length. This is the length of blogs I always use for comprehensive content marketing strategies. It’s the length I use in Divine Blogging, my signature service and book teaching you to DIY your own pro-level content strategy.
But for a lot of people, 2-3K on a weekly basis is a super daunting prospect. It doesn’t bother me, but that’s because I can write that much in a couple of hours without much effort on most topics (the benefit of having over a decade of experience as a freelance writer). If you’re new to blogging, don’t enjoy writing, don’t have a lot of time on your hands, or struggle to think of that much to write, 2-3K seems impossible.
Doing it every week seems absurd.
Likewise a lot of clients balk at the notion of spending that much money on their content strategies. Hiring me to write that many words on a weekly basis isn’t cheap, either as a freelancer or as part of the Divine Blogging service. Even if you’re using our agency services (which means your content isn’t usually written by me, personally), the price of a 2.5K article every week is just under £900 per month at the time of writing this. That’s a hefty investment.
So, if you don’t want to write that much every week, or don’t have the budget to support someone else writing it, updates are your answer.
Start with a short post or one of 1K words, update it a month later, update it a month after that, keep updating. You’ll be at just under 2.5 K in four months.
If you want to learn more about creating an effective content marketing strategy for your business, you can currently get your hands on a FREE advance reader copy of Divine Blogging by signing up below.