Most website owners are not aware of how important it is to update website content regularly.
Blogging is a valuable part of your overall SEO strategy. However, if you’re publishing content and never touching it again, you could be missing out on a lot of valuable traffic! Information changes rapidly, and what may have been a relevant and high-performing post a year ago could now be riddled with out-of-date information and broken links.
When you routinely update website content you help keep it fresh plus it’s a great way to bolster user experience and build your website’s authority. Read on to learn why you should not let your site content go stale plus, which content you should be updating and how to do it most effectively.
The Importance of Updating Website Content
Here are the top 5 reasons why you want to keep your website content fresh.
1. Improves Click-Through-Rate
The first page of Google is where everyone wants to be. If you look at publication dates, you’ll notice that most of what you find on the front page has been published in the last year or so. This is a result of how search engines assign value and determine the freshness of your website content (more on that in a second) but also what content is the most useful for the end user. Content becomes quickly irrelevant (stale) once it’s out of date. Users are searching for the latest news and developments, so you need to make sure your content fits that description if you want people looking at it.
2. Keeps It Fresh
Google, and other search engines, consider content freshness as a ranking factor to determine the quality of your site (Neil Patel). This means the newer your content is, the more up-to-date and useful the search engines will assume it to be. When you update website content on an older blog post with current information and change the publish date, this makes it more relevant and appealing to search engines and users alike.
3. Builds On Existing Authority
Your older blog posts have already earned a bit of street cred. This means you’re updating website content that already has some SEO working for it rather than starting from scratch (HubSpot). This pre-existing authority is improved when you update it and further boost the traffic by sharing the new and improved content across your social media channels and email lists.
4. Better ROI
We’re all about working smarter, not harder. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it is easier and less time-consuming to update website content rather than creating something brand new. This is especially valuable for smaller teams or single-person operations. Instead of scrambling to find new content every month, reflect on posts that have performed well in the past, and update them with the latest links and industry information.
5. Makes Content More Valuable
While we can preach the value of SEO until we’re blue in the face, at the end of the day it’s important to remember that your content should be built around user experience. As we’ve mentioned before, the world moves quickly. Posts covering topics like ‘the latest SEO tips’, or ‘best content strategy for the new year’ can quickly become out of date. Maybe the bulk of your content still applies, but it’s worth going through and updating it according to the newest trends, technology, and information. Give your website visitors the helpful content they’re searching for, while boosting your SEO in the process.
Choosing Which Content To Update
The rule of thumb is to update website content that did well the first time. Look through your website analytics and see which posts are the most popular. This sounds obvious, right? Of course, you’ll want to get even more specific than that. Spend some time browsing through your website’s analytics and pay particular attention to these types of blog posts:
- High traffic but low conversion
- Low traffic but high conversion
Get the most bang for your buck by improving the conversion rate on blogs that are already getting a lot of organic traffic and improving organic traffic on posts that are generating high conversion. This can also be referred to as Conversion Rate Optimization, and (you guessed it) Search Engine Optimization.
How To Update Website Content for SEO & Conversion
Keywords and CTAs
Things may have changed from when you first published your blog post. Conduct fresh keyword research on your topic to see what needs updating and consult a keyword tracking tool (like Moz or HubSpot) to see which keywords landed users there in the first place. Boost traffic by updating your content to include the keywords that users are searching for right now. Evaluate and update your calls-to-action when needed to best fit the search terms that people are using. This means presenting website users with offers than are the most relevant to their search intent. In other words: give them the solution to the problem they were searching about.
Update Broken Links
There’s nothing more frustrating for a user who’s interested in your content to then click on a resource to find themselves before the dreaded ‘404 Not Found’ page. Search engines don’t like this either and your website’s ranking can take a serious hit with too many broken links! Make life better for your users (and your SEO) by verifying that all links are functional, relevant, and up to date.
Tip: Use the free Google Chrome extension Broken Link Checker to quickly root out broken links on your website pages!
Add Internal Links
Chances are that since you wrote your original post, you’ve also written other blogs with content that’s related. Make it easy for your users to continue their research by linking internally to other posts you’ve written on the topic. Improving your internal link structure is beneficial for user experience and keeping them on your website for longer (which helps your SEO)!
Update Graphics & Media
Graphics and multimedia should also be included when you update website content. The graphics and multimedia that you’ve linked or included in your post are still relevant. Where you can, seek to update media for a fresh look with the most current information. What may have been the best source at the time of your original post could now be outranked by something else. Provide maximum value for your users by including the best media you can find.
Update the Publication Date
Remember that freshness factor we were talking about? Once you’ve cleaned up and updated your old blog post, make sure to change the publish date so it appears as a brand new post on your blog. From there you can go ahead and promote it like you would with any new post. Share it on your social media channels, send it to your newsletter subscribers, and feel rest assured that Google will see it’s minty fresh.
We hope you’re excited to update website content by diving into your blog archive! While optimizing old posts is important, don’t forget that it’s only one part of your blogging strategy. Don’t neglect creating new content for the sake of updating old posts. By both updating old content and creating fresh blog posts, you’ll have a solid content strategy that makes the best use of your time and website SEO.
Do your blogs need some help, but you don’t know where to start?
Our team of SEO specialists would be happy to chat with you about your blogging and content strategy!
Contact us online or call our office at 1-888-262-6687 to ask your specific questions or gain general guidance on how to update website content to boost your SEO, your traffic, your leads, and your bottom line.