The year is in full swing, and while you’re planning new content, your old content sits there patiently awaiting your attention. What do you do? Get rid of it, update it, or just let it sit? Show your old posts some love, and you’ll be in a better position to attract new readers and increase conversions.
Why Do Old Blog Posts Matter?
Your site has hundreds of pages, possibly thousands. How do hundreds of old blog posts affect your bottom line? Let’s dive in.
The problem is that neglected content may do more harm than good. First, you’re limiting your blog ROI when a post gets ignored after initial publishing and social shares. The goal of any blog is to keep new readers engaged and turn seasoned customers into brand ambassadors. Stale content won’t accomplish this.
Furthermore, there could be incomplete or inaccurate information lurking in old blog posts. Or, worse, duplicate content. Gasp. As industries adjust to market demands, science broadens our knowledge of the universe. Old technologies that take a backseat to new content written years ago deserve to be reviewed, updated, and re-promoted.
Finally, giving old blog posts a makeover typically requires less work than starting a new post from scratch. Showing some love to old posts with thoughtful revisions and strategic shares may provide greater ROI without much additional sweat equity. Not a bad deal, huh?
Should You Delete Old Blog Posts?
Whenever possible, you should try to preserve old blog posts (and thus the backlinks they’ve earned) instead of deleting them. But, sometimes, deleting an old post is simply what needs to be done.
How do you know which posts to delete? Use Google Analytics to evaluate older posts, including their performance, word count, keywords, backlinks, and other valuable on-page data. Then, ask the following questions:
- Is the content targeting the wrong keywords?
- Is the blog’s information still relevant to my brand?
- Is the content part of a thin category of content on the site?
- Does the blog have glaring grammatical errors, minimal words, or questionable statistics without a source?
- Does the content focus on newsworthy topics that are no longer relevant to your audience?
How Do I Refresh an Old Blog Post?
If you’ve answered the above questions and think there might still be value within your content, refreshing your post is worth the time. Updating content isn’t like slapping a fresh coat of paint on a classic vehicle, however.
The how of updating old posts will largely depend on your audience, current SEO and content marketing goals, and the outlets you use to promote your content. Here are a few ways to upgrade, recycle, and reuse old blog posts to increase brand visibility, gain new customers, and increase sales.
Promote Old Content
When you have older content that is still accurate, relevant, and helpful, all you may need to do is get more eyes on the page. In this case, you won’t need to do much extra writing or designing; you just need to choose 10 or 20 old posts and get them in front of new faces. Here are a few ideas:
- Share the post on social media.
- Include a link to old blog posts in email marketing messages.
- Incorporate links to old posts in new sales campaigns.
Revitalize Evergreen Content
Evergreen content captures more views over time than any other type of content. Make your evergreen content stand out to readers (and search engines) by expanding content to answer your audience’s top questions and solve common problems. This doesn’t require fancy programs or keyword search tools, either. Plug the search term in Google and look at the “People Also Ask” section for related questions and answers.
Update Statistics and Links
Whether your post includes juicy data or statistics relevant at the time of publishing or contains broken links, updating the included links and associated statistics is an effective way to bring your content up to date while commanding visitors’ attention. Review your external links to ensure you’re linking to authoritative, relevant pages, and readers aren’t stuck with a 404.
Add Visual Interest to Old Posts
Most blogs start with minimal visuals and interactive content. If you have a great post published and are struggling to figure out how to update it, add some visuals to the post or transform the content into a shareable meme or infographic. Use the visual media to capture attention on social channels and link to the old post to bring new viewers to your site.
Monitor Your Post’s Success
Whether you’ve decided to add visuals to your content or update targeted keywords, you won’t know if your efforts are paying off unless you dive into the analytics—schedule time every month to monitor your post’s traffic and engagement. Then, continue to tweak your blog update strategy to get the most out of old content.