It’s almost a proven fact that we can no longer stand outdated things. An obvious example is expired bread, but it’s even more complicated than that. Constantly, newer versions of cell phones, laptops, headphones, and even delivery services are popping up because we want the best. This applies to old content as well.
If you’re looking for an article on the best dog food, you’re more likely to click on an article from this year because you know it’s up-to-date and relevant. The more you update your content, the higher the chance someone will find your blog post in Google’s SERP and you can increase your blog’s traffic.
How to Find the Old Content
The first step is to purge your blog for every article. Using software such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console can help you find the blog posts that gain the most traffic, but may also be outdated.
If you’re looking for blog posts to update through Google Analytics:
• Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
• Choose a timeframe to focus on
• Organize by Page Title
• Choose 25-30 pieces of content to update
• Keep track of these changes by exporting the data to Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel
Things to Look For:
Grammar and Spelling Errors
Grammar and spelling can positively or negatively affect the user experience. If you notice one or both of these errors, then the reader most likely noticed them as well.
Take a minute to read through the blog post and fix up these mistakes so the content is easier to read.
Pro tip: Use this time to check for broken links, too.
As you know, keywords are still incredibly important for SEO. If your blog post is called “15 Best Dog Food Brands,” your keyword phrase should be “best dog food” or “2018 best dog food” because that’s what a user would search for on Google.
Make sure your post is optimized for your keywords so Google knows what the content is about and users are more likely to stumble across your article, in turn increasing your click-through rate.
Change that Date and Add Accurate Information
If you have a blog post on your state’s dog biting laws, and you’re aware that a recent bill on this issue was passed, you definitely need to update the article. Not only should you add information on the new bill, but you should update the date as well (because Google loves fresh content).
Add Internal Links
If you categorize your content, this part will be easy. If your most recent blog post is the “Top 15 Dog Food Brands of 2018,” and you’ve written on each of those dog food brands before, you can include internal links in your most recent blog posts that point to those other posts.
Read over the text and look for opportunities to include a link to your other blog posts. Not only is this great for the reader, since they will be able to find more information on the topic, but this can also increase your click-through rate as your reader will be searching for more information on your website.
Update Your Titles and Meta Descriptions
Make your titles and meta descriptions more keyword and SEO-friendly by updating them based on the topic and suggested title length. The title should be specific enough to where your reader (and Google) knows what your article is about, but not too long.
Moz suggests the title tag should be around 50-60 characters long, and the meta description should be no longer than 160 characters (including spaces).
Chances are, you probably didn’t use many images in your old blog posts from 3-4 years ago. Take advantage of this opportunity to win some SEO points by adding relevant images with alt-tags. This is one of the best ways to increase user experience and the chances someone will come across your article through Google.
Pro tip: Optimize the title of the image file along as the description.
Break Up Those Bulky Paragraphs
It’s easier to read longer blog posts when the paragraphs are broken up and the content contains different sized headers, images, and bullet points or numbers. Keep your reader’s attention and encourage them to read further (to find those internal links) by improving the readability of your article.
The “Ideal” Blog Post Length
Before Google came out with their guidelines and algorithm updates, shorter blog posts did the trick. However, now Google wants lengthier blog posts to gather more information on its context.
Multiple sources cite that your content should be around 1,000 words. However, quality is better than quantity. Take into account your audience, their interests, and your blog’s topic in order to figure out the best length for your posts. Our attention spans are getting shorter, and it’s easy to scare someone off with a lengthy article.
If your old blog posts are around 400 words, consider adding more relevant information to beef them up a bit. Not only will this help you rank better in Google, but your reader will have the most up-to-date information and stay on your site longer.