Refreshing Blog Content: When To Do it & How to Do it Right

Are you a content-hoarder? Do you have old blogs and whitepapers stacked to the ceiling in the backend of WordPress? You’re not alone.

A lot of people come to our Toronto SEO agency with their content and say, Help! They’re pretty sure it’s well-written and insightful, but it’s still not ranking well or producing any leads. There are few things more frustrating.

It’s Ok to hang on to a piece of content because you think it just missed the mark, and a few simple tweaks will fix it. In fact, we encourage it because your oldest posts can be your highest-performing ones. At the same time, auditing and updating your content can increase your traffic by anywhere from a much-appreciated 75% to an astounding 139%.

How do you know when it’s time to refresh your blog? How often is too often? And how do you know what to save?

This blog will walk you through how to refresh old blog posts and find the right time to do it.

It’s time to Refresh Your Content When…

Too many companies will only revisit their old content when they bring on a new writer or a new SEO company. They may say, “Go through the old blogs and see if there’s anything worth saving.”

You can do better than that. If you can do it once a year and make it a part of your annual content plan, you will be glad you did.

But you can do it far more often than that. We think it’s a good idea to constantly test your site’s speeds (which has never been more important to SEO) and audit your content when you notice the site starting to slow down.

All of those blogs, images, and videos can take up a lot of room in the backend, which can slow your entire site down. Routinely purging old content can help you keep running nice and lean. Anything taking up space in the backend should have value right now, or there needs to be a plan to make sure it has value in the near future.

How Do I Know What to Save?

When do you call the time-of-death on a piece of content? And when do you try giving it the defibrillator paddles and yelling, Live damn you live!

Sometimes you just have a gut-feeling that something is worth saving. And you’re probably right. If you have that feeling, try one of the tactics we explore in the next section.

But the first items you need to purge are blogs that are now dated or irrelevant. This could include:

  • Newsjacking pieces (i.e. How a Second Term From Trump Would Impact Tourism)
  • Something tied to a past event (i.e. The Top 5 Things to See at Nuit Blanche 2019)
  • A consumer guide (i.e. The Best River Kayaks of 2020)
  • Something forward-looking (i.e. Industry Trends to Look Out for in 2020)
  • A forward-looking piece that was way off (i.e. How Bing Will Change Everything)

Note: You should hold onto an out-dated piece if it’s still garnering traction, earning views, and getting people to click deeper into the site. But if the numbers say it has worn out its usefulness, chuck it.

You will also want to throw out something that you feel is simply written poorly. If it would be easier to just put the idea on the whiteboard and try it again, throw the piece out.

Tip: Do not base your decisions on views or shares statistics! A tepid blog with only 16 views could soon balloon to 16,000 with the right changes.

How Do You Refresh an Old Blog Post?

Image of a person on a laptop posting a blog to WordPress

Let’s say you have (what you feel is) a piece of engaging content that should be performing better. How do you fix it?

There are a few tactics you should consider, and you can do more than one of these things to any given piece.

1. Change the Headline

This is the first thing to look at when performing a content post-mortem or blog refresh, because this is the first thing your audience will see. And if the title is flat or boring, it’s the only thing they’ll see.

So much of SEO copywriting is about psychology. You need to put the keywords in, but you also need to put yourself in the would-be readers’ shoes. What emotions are they feeling?

Let’s say your keyword is the best campsites in Ontario. That’s almost a blog title in itself, so you could go with a simple title like The Top 5 Best Campsites in Ontario. Not bad. But you can do better. Why not take things up a notch with Kid Approved: The Top 5 Best Campsites in Ontario For Families.

Now you’ve tapped into the emotions felt by parents looking to book a campsite for their hard-to-please kids. It’s more click-worthy.

2. Change the Keywords

Maybe you targeted the wrong keywords for this blog? Maybe they were too competitive and some of this content could be used to target a more attainable keyword.

Your blog refresh is a great chance to perform some additional keyword research to find new opportunities. Keyword data does change over time. If this blog was written a few years ago, re-running your research can uncover low competition/ good volume keywords that can help you tap into a new niche.

Some new keywords and a new title can help you reinvent and repurpose seemingly stagnant blogs. 

3. Refresh Blog Images

Blogs with images receive 94% more views, while BuzzSumo has reported that articles with an image once every 75-100 words get twice as many shares as blogs with fewer.

If you’re looking to refresh blog content that is very data-heavy or statistic-heavy, consider adding an infographic to convey the complex information. People absolutely love infographics. They read them, they share them, and they link to them—all of which is good for you. Infographics are 30X (not a misprint) more likely to be read in their entirety than blog posts or news articles.

Want Blogs That Actually Help Your SEO?

Tired of blogs that don’t move the needle? We can help!

We have Toronto’s best fleet of content writers (actual writers!) that know how to get to know your brand and your target audience. We also have a link-building team with strong relationships and they can help you find quality guest blogging opportunities.

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