How to update old blog posts for SEO
Updating your old content on your blog is vital to keeping your posts fresh in the eyes of Google. But learning how to update old blog posts for SEO can be daunting!
Creating new content takes a whole lot of time, and you should definitely be doing this on a consistent basis. However, refreshing your old content to stay relevant is another way to help drive more traffic to your blog and to help your Google ranking.
Setting up your schedule to post a certain number of posts per week or per month has its benefits… But don’t forget about all that gold you have sitting in your blog already!
Google and your target audience are still searching for those topics you write about 2 years ago! They just want up to date info… and if you’re creating evergreen content chances are a small tweak could have you skyrocket up the SERPs once again!
I want to run through a few things to consider as a blogger when thinking about updating your old blog posts. This is a simple and straightforward look at some of the easy things you can do right now to improve your seo! It’s not full of jargon and tech speak… hope it helps. 🙌
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Why you should regularly update your old blog posts
New users are potential new fans
Google loves fresh content! And so do your readers. You could be spending a massive amount of time creating new content for your readers, however… don’t forget that plenty of those readers are NEW TO YOUR BLOG!
New users vs returning users is one of those metrics you should be paying attention to!
Think about that for a second. So many of those eyes that are hitting your site for the first time have never seen any of your content!
According to a recent Databox survey a whopping 68% of users to a site are new users!
That’s a massive amount of potential right there to gain a new loyal audience and have them spend a bit more time on your site.
Don’t forget that a whole heap of traffic to your site is NEW. So take the opportunity to delight them with ALL of your content.
Google likes to serve up the most relevant information in its search results… What this means for you is that you want to make sure your well performing posts are continuously being tweaked to remain highly valuable to both your readers and ultimately to Google.
If Google sees that you are continuously improving your content and ensuring that it remains relevant this will greatly increase your chances of it featuring on the top SERPs.
If you have had content that has previously performed well, it will already have a good PA (Page authority) … tweaking this content is a whole heap easier than creating from scratch and ensuring it maintains its place in Google results.
Google trends to crawl sites more often that have new, fresh content. By updating your content regularly you are signalling to Google that you are remaining relevant and have value added content to share. The more Google crawls your site, the more likely you are to show up in rankings.
Google also changes its algorithm over time. And what was once super vital to Google may nowe not be as relevant. Also, because Google is ever evolving, it’s important to make sure your posts are too!
Take for example Google Featured Snippets … Google Featured Snippets are the result #0 right under the paid ads on the 1st page of Google results. That’s a pretty powerful position!
Not so long ago this was something that you wouldn’t have imagined to think about in the structuring of your blog posts.. But now… hmmmm you probably want to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance to feature!
How to refresh old blog posts for SEO
Ok, so let’s get to it! There’s one thing you need to consider BEFORE you jump in!
Which blog posts should you refresh first?
Which blog posts should I update?
This one’s vital! You don’t want to be spending your time and energy jazzing up old posts that didn’t perform well the first time… or those that are irrelevant to your target audience…
Run yourself a little audit… (you should be checking your stats regularly anyway)…
Carry out a blog post audit
- Which blog posts are continuously performing well for you?
- Which ones have great traffic already?
- Which ones are close to ranking on page one of Google?
- Which posts have great external backlinks to them?
- Which keywords are you currently doing well in in terms of ranking and impressions?
- What is trending right now in terms of topics? And, do you have an old post that you could revitalise?
- Do you have a particular set of posts that did extremely well the first time round on social media?
Capitalise on these factors when choosing your posts to revamp!
You can use tools like Moz, UberSuggest, Google Analytics and Google Search Console to find out this information.
I suggest to schedule in updating your old blog posts once every quarter as ongoing maintenance. Keep a spreadsheet of your updates to keep track of your edits.
6 key ways to update your old blog posts
1. Update structure and design
I wrote a fair bit about how to delight your readers and Google by structuring your blog posts properly recently. The main thing to remember when updating your old blog posts is that you want to make sure the pages are easily crawled… AND that they are friendly to the reader. You want to make it easy for both your audience and Google to find relevant snippets of info.
The main things to focus on here are:
- Create plenty of white space
- Update headers (H2 and H3)
- Create lists where applicable
- Add in potential for Google Featured Snippets
- Make paragraphs shorter
Using a fabulous tool like Jasper to help optimise your headers can be super useful. Head over to my post on AI writing to read more about how AI can help you be more SEO friendly 🙂
2. Improve your posts SEO
Some simple ways to do this are to take a look at your keyword or keyphrase. Is it relevant? Is there a better keyword you could be targeting?
Do your research here. Plug your keyword into UberSuggest or Moz and search for alternatives. Check how easy or difficult it is to rank for that keyword. Check what your competitors are ranking for. Can you tweak your keyphrase to rank for a slightly easier term? It may be about simply adding in a word or two, like “how to”… or “”simple tips for” … or even “Top”.
Have you included your keyphrase in your title? Intro? And meta description? Is your keyword featured once or twice in your article? Does your keyword feature in your image alt text?
Can you add in secondary keywords to your blog that make sense for your content?
One way you can easily see alternatives to your main keyword by scrolling to the bottom of Google search and looking for the alternative searches for that keyphrase.
Or use a tools like Moz to search for alternative keywords.Simply head over to Moz and select keyword research on the left hand sidebar.
You can then enter your search term and click through to more suggestions.
3. Add in new internal links
Internal links are super important for both Google and for user experience. Make sure that you are pointing to your own posts where relevant in your content.
This helps the reader navigate your site and also tells Google how to navigate your site.
Regularly updating your old posts with new internal links is one of those tasks that should be part of your quarterly routine!
At the same time you should be updating any external links to make sure they are current, accurate and useful.
4. Add new multimedia
By incorporating infographics and various types of media on your blog posts you get your readers tos stay long… AND you offer them a far more interesting and enriched experienced, building loyalty.
Updating your old posts with new infographics, new videos, new imagery and tables is an easy and creative way to add value and help optimise your pages for search. Google loves tables and graphs!
Another way to add in new multimedia content and kill two birds with one stone… Is to create new pinnable images… you can either simply add these into the post… or you can hide them with a plugin like Tasty Pins, making them visible only when someone goes to pin your post.
Also take this opportunity to make sure that all your images, old and new have appropriate alt text. This is a biggy for Google.
5. Increase word count
Gone are the days when a 400-600 word post is what Google wants… Yes, there were days like that in the past! … Now, Google likes longer form content… so, I generally try to make sure my posts are between 1200- 2500 words long. But every now and then it’s great to also make sure you have some grounding posts… so long as they are useful and not waffly! … of more than 2500 words… These mega posts can do very well on Google.
Add in step by step processes where applicable, create lists, include customer stories or case studies, or dive deep into one or two areas that you previously skimmed over to help add value to your post.
So, if you have a post that was a bit thin… and you now know a whole lots more about that topic… Go to town! And make that baby a beauty! You can also use Jasper to help you flesh out any paragraphs if you are stuck!
You can also add in a wee paragraph at the end of your post to include the information about when the post was updated and first published.
6. Ask Google to reindex your blog post
Nice work! You did it !….now, the best part… you get to ask Google nicely to please review your blog post.
This part is super easy and means your post will get reindexed.
- Head on over to Search Console
- Click the URl inspection tab on the right hand sidebar
- Add in your page URL
- Click request indexing
The one thing to NOT do when updating your old blog posts
Do not change the page URL or page slug! You will create yourself a whole world of pain if you do this with all of that hard work you’ve put in over the months or years to direct traffic to that blog post. This is the one thing that needs to stay the same. DO NOT CHANGE THE URL.
How to update old blog posts for SEO in 6 easy steps
#1. Update blog post structure and design
#2. Improve post SEO
#3. Add in new Internal links
#4. Add in new multimedia
#5. Increase word count
#6. Ask Google to reindex your blog post
It’s so easy to create something new out of your old blog posts and in the process boost your blogs SEO. You needn’t recreate the wheel every single time you want to add content!
Just be sure to take this opportunity to let your readers know that there is new content! And don’t forget that oftentimes your audience will have missed it the first time round anyway!
Updating your old blog posts needn’t be laborious! There are some really simple things you can do to up your traffic and rankings. And remember – track your progress!
Let me know what’s worked for you in the comments below! 🧡
58 thoughts on “How to update old blog posts for SEO”
Thank you for this comprehensive guide. I might have to sit on this and update my old posts!
Wow perfect timing! I was literally just taking a break from updating some old posts to read this. So thank you! Great ideas about adding more internal links and media. I’d also like to learn more about the schemas you mentioned. Thanks!
This is so helpful. I am literally daunting updating old posts but your step by step guide is so useful. I think I can do it now 😊. Thank you for sharing
Darina from daramiblog
Thanks Darina! So glad it helped.. let me know how you get on! Its one of those things that you can do when you don’t necessarily feel like writing a fresh… and still feel like you’ve accomplished something!
I appreciate this blog article as I’m in the middle of doing just this with my ‘pillar’ posts. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks so much for this, it was so helpful and really informative! I’m going to be working through all my old content now for sure!
Wow, this was actually SO helpful. As a new blogger – SEO is something I have a lot to learn about and refreshing old posts would have never crossed my mind! Thank you so much for that advice!
Amazing information. Thank you
This is good to know for when I have to update my blog. Thanks for sharing these tips
Wow, this article is just so ON POINT for what I’ve been working on now! My old blog posts are pretty rubbishy in terms of SEO so I have been updating them one by one but oh boy it takes AGES. These tips will be a great help though, thank you for sharing!
Great info! I never knew you could get google to reindex! Thanks!
yes! Google search console is a great tool for lots of stuff including re indexing! .. great if you upgrade your posts or site xxx
While I am a new blogger with not as much content currently as others, this post was still extremely helpful to me. I knew it would be smart to update old posts, but I did not know the steps and actions to take. Thank you so much for sharing your insight!
You’re so welcome! Glad you found it useful. Its also a really fun way to take a break from creating content from scratch! and I always find some things to tweak when I go back to old posts!
These are great tips! Definitely gonna save this to read later. Thanks for sharing!
Excellent thoughts! I’ve been working on this lately and decided that I am going to try to update one old article a week in addition to my normal blog “schedule.” I’m also trying to add in relevant freebies for email opt-ins to my top performing articles as well! 🙂
Yes! its so good to return to old posts and have a fresh mind and go… aha! …. with a new optin or freebie! …. plus … if you have over 50 posts on your blog, then you’re only returning to one a week for a year!
This is extremely helpful, especially for a new blogger like myself! My first couple of posts definitely needs some love! Thank you for sharing your tips!
Yep! It’s kinda scary to go back to post #1 right! ha ha ha … but a testament to how far you’ve come!
Good tips! I need to go back and refresh some of my content on my older posts.
These are really helpful. I love the detailed instructions on how to update each aspect of an old post. I didn’t know that you could request Google to reindex your posts. I’ll definitely be referring to this as I go through my older posts and punch them up for SEO. Thanks!
Glad it’s helpful Laura!
These are cool tips to update old blog posts, specifically for SEO purposes. I learned a thing or two here. Thanks for sharing 🙂 – Jojo Reyes Jr
You’re welcome 🙌
Insightful and useful blog post all bloggers should read. I love that I am able to reuse a post and gain more traffic!
Love all the advice you have given, we have been food blogging for a year this month and really need to look back on our old posts as we have learnt so much since then! You checklist will help me so thank you!
You’re welcome! hmmm I saw a post a while back specifically on food blogs and updating recipe cards… shall see if I can find it again for you!
Great tips! Will be using these to go through and revisit my old posts for SEO. It’s always so fun to see how much new knowledge you can apply to old posts.
IKR! I really enjoy doing revamps 🧡
Great SEO tips here! I think a lot of people forget to ask Google to re-index the updated post 🙂
Thanks Karen! Yes! Such an easy step right?
Great tips on updating older posts! I have done that to several of my old posts, and it has given them life again. Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome Denise x
Very good information that I really needed to see. Does changing the URL make it a whole new post with a new created date? Thanks.
Yes… changing the URl makes it a whole new post for ranking purposes… but also you’ll lose ALL backlinks that point to the old URL…. and all that great link juice you would have hopefully built up!
Thanks for the info. I was wanting to get the published date more recent.
Yep… Just unpublish and republish with new date! … adding in a wee note at the top of bottom saying this post was originally published on XYZ… the updated version was published on ABC… etc
Good to know. Thanks.
My pleasure… lemme know how you get on!
My blog is only a couple months old, but I can see how putting these into practice down the road will be of benefit. Bookmarking!
I have been trying to do this with my blog recently. It can be a lot of work, but it is actually kind of fun and rewarding to update old posts. I have especially been keen to make sure the word count is higher on posts I can now expand on. I find that my best performing posts are also the longest ones. Thank you so much for sharing this info today.
Hey Valerie! Yes! It is fun! .. feels like so much less pressure to update old blog posts than to create whole new ones from scratch right! and this way you’re adding to the knowledge base! and not starting from a blank slate! I often find when I go back… even to quite recent posts… that I can quickly add value with a list or a graph!
Great post with some easy steps to stay relevant. I’ll be using some of these to update some of my content.
This was pretty helpful, have you done it yourself with success? I’m thinking about how to interpret this for my own website as it’s not a typical blog.
Yes! I regularly go back through old posts and tidy them up! … especially to add in new structure to make it easier for Google to crawl.
Love the checklist! Can’t wait to use the info.
Thanks! hope its useful!
Outstanding guide for updating old posts! All bloggers should check it!
I have already seen positive results updating old blog posts!
Thanks Chris! Same! it’s so good to go back with a fresh and clear mind!
I have been literally thinking to update old content but felt like it’s too early since I started blogging 2 month ago. But, now I know more about SEO I can still optimise it and aim for longer words. Thank you.
Never too early in my opinion! I find there’s always tweaks to be made!
Great resources. Thanks for the tips. I was actually wanting to do so, but wasn’t sure where to start. This post is surely helpful for me to follow the right flow to update my old posts
These are great tips! I’m saving for future reference.
I think I naturally did all of these recently (for all of my posts as part of implementing Rankmath), EXCEPT ask google to reindex my posts. I must go and do that! Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome! they are not overly technical! but I think that’s the best sort right! easy to implement and not overwhelming!
This came at the right time as I was actually planning to update an old post later. Thanks for the tips!
My pleasure, Kimberley x