If your business uses blog content as a major part of your inbound marketing strategy, then chances are, you're publishing on at least a weekly basis.
Once your site's been live for a few years, those weekly posts add up.
You can end up with a ton of content on your site.
For the most part, that's a good thing.
But at the same time, not every post is intrinsically “evergreen.”
Some topics change pretty slowly, or don't change at all. But in other industries, it's possible that something you published three to five years ago is now woefully out of date.
Older content can also affect your click-through rate if you're ranking in the Google SERPS (search engine result pages).
When possible, Google generally shows a date next to each result, indicating when it was posted.
Depending on the subject matter, it's possible that users might actively avoid content that was published before a certain date, looking for something more recent instead.
This doesn't mean you need to purge your blog of old content, although in some cases, there may be a few underperforming pieces in there you might want to remove.
A lot of your old content can probably be refreshed and updated, helping you breathe some new life into it and start getting more mileage out of it.
In a recent article from Marketing Land, columnist Sherri Bonelli explains how to give your aging blog posts the TLC they need.
How to improve old content
If you find you have a lot of old, outdated content that isn’t either converting or isn’t ranking as high as you would like it to, you can either update the content or delete it and do a 301 redirect to a new piece of content that is performing better. Here are some tips:
1. Check out your competition.
Carefully evaluate the pages that are ranking high for the keywords you’re shooting for.
What are they doing right?
How many words do they have on the page? What about images? What sites backlink to them?
Sometimes just looking at your high-ranking competitors will give you simple and easy-to-implement ideas on how you can improve your content.
2. Make sure the blog post structure is sound.
Double-check your headers, title tags, descriptions, bulleted lists, images and so on.
Make sure that the structure of the content and the SEO strategies used throughout the blog post are solid.
3. Update and optimize pages that currently rank in positions #7-#15.
Grab the low-hanging fruit.
If your page is already ranking high but is falling just short of the top spots or the first page, then you may be able to boost your rankings through content improvements.
4. Update images and screenshots.
Things on the internet change almost every day, so be sure to update screen shots and images to reflect the current day.
And remember those alt tags.
5. Look at the comments on your blog posts.
Often you can find information that may have been missing from the original blog post by looking at the comments and questions in the old blog’s comments section.
If a good question was asked or a point was discussed, add that information when you revise the blog post.
6. Once revised, change the date of the blog post.
After you’ve revised and updated the content, remember to change the publish date.
You can do this in WordPress by clicking on Quick Edit and changing the date there.
7. Promote your revised post through social media.
Whenever you have a new piece of content or revise an old post, let your social media followers and fans know and encourage them to share and comment.
If applicable, be sure to @ mention people or companies that are featured in the blog post when you share on Twitter.
(That good deed will often lead to them retweeting your post.)
8. Email your list.
Let the people on your email list know about this newly updated content.
Be sure to emphasize the new content in the post and the benefits people will get from reading your post.
9. Contact commenters.
Reach out and contact people who left comments on your old post.
Send them an email thanking them for visiting your blog and alerting them that the post has been updated with new information you thought they’d be interested in.
10. Reach out to influencers.
There are several tools that help you identify industry influencers.
Let the influencers of the world know about your post in the hope that you can get some exposure with your newly honed and refined content.
You can read more about how to update older blog content over at Marketing Land.