Blog Update: Do You Refresh Your Content Regularly?
You keep a blog, but its pages don’t rank well? Maybe it’s because most of the content there got outdated. Keep reading to why you may need a blog update and how to refresh your content.
In one of our previous articles, we discussed the benefits of blogging for business. Some of our clients ignore blogging at all thinking it either has no use or there are better things to do. However, keeping a blog opens possibilities for attracting more customers and turning them into regular buyers.
Along with lots of other benefits, this is your chance to improve the site’s ranking in search results. The more related topics you can cover the more users will come to your blog, which may lead them to your product pages and ultimately to purchasing the goods.
That’s why publishing useful content will always give you extra points. And that’s why we highly recommend blogging to our customers.
All the themes for AliDropship plugin allow you to create and keep a blog.
However, one should keep in mind that website content gets outdated as the time passes. Although there are ways to delay this decay, in general, you need regular blog updates.
Why you need a blog update
You may be wondering why learn how to update a website and why update it at all! After all, even if there’s a bunch of old posts nobody reads anymore, what’s the problem?
To keep the information accurate
First of all, sometimes people do read outdated articles, and that may be a huge problem! Let’s assume you wrote a post about top-10 smartphones.
The time has passed, and the post got buried under dozens of new articles. But somehow a visitor found it and read it… two years later. As one can guess, the information became a bit inaccurate, to say the least.
As a result, this particular reader may think that your content (including fresh posts) is useless or even accuse you of misleading readers.
So, articles devoted to the topics that quickly change require regular updates.
To show old content to new site visitors
Another reason to update content is to show newcomers something that’s hard to find because it’s outdated.
The content devoted to the so called ‘evergreen’ topics decays much slower. However, it still gets lost behind new posts, and new visitors can’t see it – at least unless they deliberately search for it on your blog.
But think about it! There are people who enjoy your content, and there’s essential content they can’t see. Not good! Updating such posts and moving them to the top of the list will allow them to finally meet.
We all get better at what we do regularly. Besides, with time, you learn new data and secrets, and someday, you realize that right now you can say a lot more than when you first published a given post.
But do you really want to write another post on a similar (or the same) subject? It’s much easier to update the previous article by adding fresh data and new ideas instead.
Updating blog for SEO
Updating content can also improve your site’s ranking in terms of search engine optimization.
First of all, whenever Google or another engine crawls your URLs, it may skip some web pages because it has a limited crawl budget, i.e. the number of pages it’s going to analyze. Let’s suppose your blog contains 40 old posts and 15 fresh posts. If Google’s crawling budget is only 50 pages, 5 URLs (including the new ones) may end up unchecked.
Simply speaking, a large amount of outdated content turns the site into a dump, and search engines can hardly find something fresh there.
For that reason, you want to update or even remove some of the old content.
Furthermore, Google likes new content. The more frequently you update old posts, the better Google’s opinion about your site is. Look at this screenshot.
This is the traffic dynamics of one of our articles about niche products that was updated several times. As you can see, after its publication, traffic began to drop, but after each update, the situation improved.
Moreover, when you update a post, you can also use new keywords, thus improving its reach. The screenshot below shows how many keywords Google saw in this article before and after updates.
Lastly, Google and other search engines regularly update their algorithms, which can cause serious fluctuations in the performance of your web pages. For example, Google’s last update, BERT, now allows you to focus more on the content rather than on formal keyword placement. Such changes are another reason to consider updating your content.
What content to update?
Before moving to an actual blog update, let’s learn how to find content that requires rewriting or removing.
Despite being old, such content doesn’t necessarily require refreshment. To understand what parts of your website need revising, analyze them from these perspectives.
Traffic and conversions
First of all, content is created for attracting site visitors and turning them into customers. One can assess the efficiency of a post with Google Analytics. Look at such metrics as traffic, conversions and bounce rate. If you see a performance drop (I mean a serious drop, because fluctuations are typical), the given post may require an update.
Value for users
What is the content of the post? Is it useful or entertaining? Can people find it valuable?
If it contains important information or has a distinct emotional value, you may want to keep it despite a performance drop. However, if you think nobody wants it or the information is not relevant anymore, you should probably delete it.
By quality I mean how well a post is written. Is it easy to read? Does it have a clear structure which is easy to navigate? Did you use fine pictures when posted it for the first time?
If you feel the post is embarrassing, it definitely needs updating.
With time, content may become irrelevant. For example, an article with a review of the latest season fashion will become outdated after a year or two. But you can still keep the article on your hard drive in case you want to make a post about how fashion changed for the past five years.
You may also want rewrite or even remove content if it causes troubles. This includes pretty much anything from duplicate content to legal issues.
If some of your posts don’t meet these criteria, it’s time for cleaning!
Blog update: What to do with the old content?
1. Change the text
Although it’s really obvious, keep in mind that replacing a couple of words with better options will not work. Google will not regard a post as updated unless you change at least 10% of its content.
You don’t have to actually replace paragraphs with new one. Instead, you can just add new passages with fresh information. What info? Pretty much anything – new ideas, better explanation of the old ideas, fresh statistics and data, etc.
2. Don’t change URLs
Instead of publishing a new article, it is best to refresh the old ones because they already have certain value for Google. However, if you change the URL, Google will see the page as a new one, and all the credit earned before it will be lost.
That’s why whenever you write something like ‘10 best Instagram posts of 2020’, don’t include the year in the URL. This way, you can update the post each year without having to publish it as a new one.
3. Change the keywords
Search volumes constantly change.
Let’s suppose you wrote a piece of content about how to wash a cat. You had to choose between two keywords – how to wash a cat and how to clean a cat. Back then, the first one had a higher search volume, so it became your focus phrase. But now the second keyword has a higher search volume.
As you can see, their meaning is almost identical, so in this case, you can replace the old focus phrase with the new one.
4. Change SEO title and description
Even if you decided not to replace the old keywords with new ones, you may still want to rewrite the SEO title and description. The same goes for the heading. If you think you’ve got a better, eye-catching or click-bait title, don’t hesitate.
5. Refresh visuals
As you update the content with new information, you have to adjust the visual content. So, make new screenshots if necessary. Even if you use pictures unrelated to the given topic (just for better look), replace them as well.
You can also add videos if possible because after the new update, the more types of content your post contains the better.
6. Check the links
Another important task is to check the external links as they may be broken. Also, do that if you managed to find a better source and fresh statistics.
In addition, as the content of your website grows, you may want to add internal links to other posts on the site which did not exist when the article was published for the first time.
7. Fix spelling and grammar
And of course, you want to fix any kind of misspelling or grammar mistakes you’ve noticed as they make a bad impression.
8. Track performance
Lastly, you want to keep record of how the content performs after the update compared to its previous metrics.
All this, however, doesn’t mean that you must update each and every piece of content on your site. Before making the decision, one should carefully analyze the performance of a given page.
It requires a balanced approach: while certain parts of the website should be updated or even removed, other parts can and should stay unchanged. And of course any site needs new content.