Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Update Old Blog Posts to Revive Them

updated on Sep 27, 2017
How to Update Old Blog Posts to Revive Them Search engines love fresh and valuable content. However, it is not a good idea to focus on adding new content only. There are chances when you need to look back to your old blog posts and give them an update.

Among the existing posts on your website, there should be some which were popular or even are. For these posts, updating them can bring them a new life, and as a result, you are able to see an increase of the traffic, social shares, and even the income.

Now, here come the questions: which posts to update, and how to update them. Undoubtedly, you don't need to waste time updating all posts on your blog. We will offer some helpful tips for making the necessary updates.

Why You Should Update Your Old Blog Posts

Actually, we have found that many bloggers prefer to come out the new content but not willing to update their exisiting posts. But actually, this is totally wrong. Here, we have come out some reasons as why this practice is important.
  • You have to admit that you may change your mind for some specific topics after writing your post contents. If so, you need to update the old content with your new ideas.
  • It is possible that the old post may contain the outdated information. If so, you must replace the old information with the new one to keep your blog up-to-date.
  • The webpage design trend changes constantly. A few years ago, the cool thing is to use the small images and bold fonts frequently. But now, things are totally different. In this case, you should update the old article for the better design.
  • Both Google and readers prefer the fresh content. In this case, with the update, Google or other search engines will consider the new publishing date and show it in the search engine result page. This can increase the CTR effectively. And also, your old posts will not be useless to contribute the overall bounce rate of your site.

Which Old Blog Posts You Should Update

Not all the old blog posts are worth your time and energy. However, some really need an update because your visitors won't be happy to see the outdated information in a post that they think valuable. Keeping the posts up-to-date shows your professionalism and the care about readers. Besides, it is a good method to increase your website traffic.

If you have no idea about which posts to update yet, find the following types of posts first.
  • Those posts with the highest traffic – Since those posts make up for your online success, updating them with new information makes sure that you keep the edge in the competition.
  • Posts with the most shares – Such posts should be very popular in the past. And small tweaks can bring a new life to them. To find these posts, you can make use of tools like Buzzsumo.
  • Seasonal posts – No one wants to read a post named "2016 Best Web Hosting" while searching for the best web hosts in 2017.
  • Posts with the potential to succeed – Such posts are those that appear at the end of the first page or on the second page of the search results for keywords with a high traffic volume. Making improvements to the posts brings the opportunity to surpass your competitors.
For the last type of posts, you can use SEMRush to locate them. In the "Top Organic Keywords" report, you are able to find out the posts that rank 6-15 easily.

Top Organic Keywords

How to Update the Old Blog Posts

Updating could be as easy as changing "2016" to "2017", but some posts may need more efforts if you want to revive them. Here are some suggestions and tricks that help.

Replace the outdated information with the latest

In some of your posts, you may have used surveys or third-party statistics to support your idea. However, those things like the "2013 survey" are no longer useful enough for readers in 2017. In such cases, you'd better look for the latest surveys and statistics and update your content accordingly.

Besides, if your blog concentrates on tutorials, you should also update the screenshots which might use an older version of the software introduced in the tutorial. While replacing the screenshots, you may also need to update the steps, or introduce the new features.

Add a major update

For those posts without much outdated information, you can add extra paragraphs to tell readers about your recent researches on a topic. Also, your list posts may need more items in order to gain an edge in the search results. The newly added content makes it easier for your old posts to be re-crawled by search engines.

Provide better visual content

For most websites, the visual content includes images, videos, and infographics. For those posts that target the traffic from social networks, it is necessary for you to provide more appealing visual content. Therefore, remember to replace the low-quality images with high-resolution ones. If you want to make an infographic for a great post, then refer to this tutorial.

Provide Visual Content

Improve the SEO

Updating posts doesn't mean updating the content only. In fact, you should also update the SEO elements to make the posts rank higher on the SERPs. Make sure the primary keyword is included in the post title, meta title, meta description and the main content. Besides, images should come with an alt tag.

The internal linking is also something you are able to improve. It is probable that you have produced more relevant content after a post was published, so read through the post and add internal links to the newer content.

If you need more tricks, you should learn about on-page SEO.

Check the grammar and spelling errors

It is important to proofread your blog posts. Most of the times, I will proofread my articles carefully before publishing online. However, when I look at that post a year later, I sometimes still find some silly mistakes related to grammar or spelling.

In this case, when updating your old post, you can go through the whole content to figure out whether the article is error-free or not.

Break up the old content

When looking back at your old posts, you may find that some of them are too long to read. If so, you have to break up the content so that your article can be easy for your visitors to read. For the effective breakup, you can use the headings, insert the large images and create the short paragraphs that have no more than 5 sentences.

What to Do After Updating the Blog Posts

The task doesn't end if you have been done with the content update. To let your readers know that those posts now include the latest information and to gain more traffic, you still need to do the following things.
  • Reset the publishing date – The easiest way to say a post contains fresh content is to change the publishing date to "today" (the day you update the post).
  • Display the date of the last update – If you don't like the former solution, you will probably want to display the last updated date next to the author name. This requires some coding skills, but you can find ready-to-use code snippets easily online.
  • Promote the posts – There are multiple ways to promote your old posts after updating them, for example, sending them to the email subscribers, or sharing them to your Facebook or Twitter account.