By Katie Mientka

Keep it fresh. It’s good advice for your look, your relationships, your career and professional knowledge… and your business’s blog. Search engines are on a mission: they want to deliver the most relevant, timely results to their users. Outdated and obsolete content can tank your rankings in the results pages, costing you valuable visibility and traffic. Keeping your blog updated is essential – and not as difficult or time-consuming as you may

You Need a Blog Update: Old Information Could Be Hurting Your Business

Even Google is telling you to keep it fresh. Their so-called “Freshness Update,” rolled out way back in 2011, prioritized recently and timely content. This remains the case today. Updating your blog is critical as old information can negatively impact your results. Stale content:

  • Hurts SEO Efforts. As mentioned, old content does not rank as highly on search engine results pages, and you’ll miss out on organic traffic. Less traffic, fewer visitors – and fewer chances to convert customers.
  • Makes You Seem Obsolete. A significant value of content marketing is that you establish your expertise and authority in a given space. But when searchers uncover old information, it may not only be irrelevant – it could now be inaccurate as well. In some cases, you may even be held liable for such information. Either way, your brand image takes a big hit.
  • Can Cost You Sales. On a related note, consumers turn to online resources to research potential products, services, and solutions. They are not going to purchase from a source that provides old information.

In addition to avoiding these issues, updating your blog allows your brand to:

  • Create High-Performing, Evergreen Content. You can turn older, high-performing pieces into even stronger assets by updating the information, freshening up the language, and ensuring it aligns with your brand goals.
  • Save Time and Money on Your Content Marketing Efforts. It’s easier, quicker, and less expensive to revamp an existing blog than it is to write a new post (but please do that as well!). Save time where you can by updating your blog.

You know you need to do it – so how do you start updating your content?

Start with a Blog Audit

Take a look at the content you currently have on your blog. It can be helpful to make a spreadsheet, noting the title, category (e.g. home remodels, bathroom remodel, kitchen appliances, smart appliances, etc.), date of publication, and a quick description. Try to keep this updated so you can refer back to it as

Identify Top-Performing Posts

Turning a high-performing blog post into a fresh new piece of content is a great way to gain traction in the search engine results pages, attract traffic, and convert potential customers. Identify top performers by:

  • Number of Inbound Links (this indicates search authority)
  • Volume of Traffic
  • Number of Social Share

Identify Your Opportunities

Through your blog audit, you’ll:

  • Spot Duplicate Topics. If you have two blogs on one topic, say “5 Affordable Upgrades” and “10 Cost-Friendly Home Improvements.” They are two separate posts, each with helpful information – but it’s still redundant. Think about deleting one and combining the information to create one strong piece.
  • Determine Relevance. Are readers still interested in particular topics? Sometimes, a topic can have a short shelf-life. If something is outdated, obsolete, and/or inaccurate, consider deleting it.
  • Identify Opportunities. Are you trying to rank for certain keywords? Identify pieces in which you can organically integrate these target words and phrases. You can also take the opportunity to think about trending topics. Do you have some older pieces buried in your blog that could quickly be leveraged into strong performers? See what your audience is searching for, determine if you have related content, and give it a refresh.

A Note on Deleting: Do it sparingly. It is better to rework posts rather than delete a large number. If you delete a post because it’s on a duplicate topic, use a 301 redirect to guide search engines to the correct blog.

Updating Your Blog Posts

Some best practices for refreshing your blog content:

  • Correct Outdated and Inaccurate Information. Once you’ve selected the blogs that need to be updated, do some fact checking and edit any information that is obsolete or irrelevant. Add in new research, facts, figures, infographics, screenshots, images, etc.
  • Check Your Links. It’s frustrating to click on a dead link, and it can create a negative impression with your visitors. Do a quick check of all your links to ensure they’re good to go. And if you’ve since published new content that would be appropriate to link to, add these as well.
  • Check your CTA. Is your CTA still appropriate for this post? Do you need to update the call to action, the language, and the style of the button?
  • Use the Same URL. Modify the original blog rather than posting it as new (Google will flag it as duplicate content). Be sure you use the same URL.
  • Keep Your Keywords. Keeping the title the same is helpful, but if you must change it, at least ensure your keywords are still included.
  • Review Your Meta Description. Look for accuracy – and for ways to make it more enticing for searchers.
  • Republish. The process will vary depending on what blogging platform you use, but again, modify the existing blog instead of creating a new one.
  • Track Performance. Compare the “before” stats with the “after” upon republication. Look at metrics like number of comments, inbound links, and social shares, post views, leads generated, and keyword ranking.

Take a look at your current content. Is it time for a blog update? Keep it fresh!blog