It's easy to get caught up in creating new content.
After all, when it comes to content marketing – publish, publish, publish seems to be the catchphrase of the day. And many businesses and individuals take this catchphrase to heart – every day, bloggers publish 6 million posts a day.
However, creating new content isn’t the only important consideration for growing your brand. It’s also critical to update existing and older posts.
What might have been an informative, SEO-optimized post a year ago could be outdated now. And an outdated post won't do your blog any favors. That's why you need to update.
There're many more reasons why you should be taking the time to edit and update your existing content. Like:
- Keeping up with industry news & trends
- Improving the accuracy of facts & statistics
- Enhancing reader experience
- Increasing content visibility
- Removing old links & adding new ones.
Also, updating doesn't mean starting from scratch and writing a new post for the same topic.
It's all about editing the existing content to keep it relevant and engaging for readers.
In this post, we'll give you a guide for what to consider when editing existing content. Keep reading to make sure that you update and optimize your content for the best effect.
1. Check Facts & Stats
The facts or statistics you used one year ago are likely to change the next year. Especially statistics; they constantly keep changing as technology and world demographics shift. Even slight shifts in statistics matter and are worth updating.
For example, if you made a report about social media users and included data like total globally active users – then you'll need to update for sure. But if you wrote a report on something that doesn’t change very much, like the electric output for a region, you don’t need to hurry to update this.
When you keep your audience abreast with the latest facts, it shows that you're active and that you care about quality information. And make sure to add links to credible sources for any statistics you use.
Be mindful that you don't feed your readers the wrong information because you could lose credibility and the trust of your loyal readers.
Plus, remember, Google rewards updated and factually accurate content. Google's algorithms can detect outdated and incorrect content.
So make sure to check the stats and facts you used in your post and update them to keep your content relevant for search engines.
2. Include New Keywords
The keyword that got high traction last year might be outdated now.
To stay relevant and to keep engaging new readers, it’s important to check the current trends and include new keywords in your existing posts.
Last year, the term ‘inbound marketing’ may have worked for you as a main keyword. This year, you might find that ‘account-based marketing' or ‘consulting' needs to be included.
What happens is that your competition could overtake you for certain terms. Or that your audience looks for content differently than before. And sometimes, related keywords become more relevant i.e. search terms that spin off a main search term. These shifts in keyword usage trends are important and you should optimize for them.
The needs and pain points of your readers change over time. Get into keyword research to find what people are looking for and include new relevant keywords
And nowadays, researching keywords is so easy. It's auto-done by AI-driven research tools such as Google Trends, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs.
These tools can generate thousands of keyword ideas in no time that you can use to update your content.
3. Update Meta Descriptions
Google uses meta descriptions to determine what your page is about, so they should be up to date. Make sure the meta description of your post is accurate and reflects the latest updates you made to it.
It might not affect your rankings directly, but it influences click-through rates. How? Well, if your meta description is outdated or false, people won't click.
For instance, if your post title reads “the latest guide to content marketing,” but your meta description is about traditional marketing, then people won't click because it's misleading and irrelevant.
4. Update Images & Audio-Visual Content
If your blog post has visuals and audio, make sure to update them as well.
Some trends come and go quickly, and if you have images or videos about them, it's important to update those too.
For example, if you’re a Youtube who teaches people how to build sites on WordPress, then you probably have a lot of content about creating posts and using plugins.
However, WordPress keeps updating its features. And the steps, images, and instructions you made earlier will be completely different from what’s happening now.
That's why you need to edit pictures, update your videos, graphics, and more.
You may also need to change the captions in your images. For example, if you wrote ‘How to create a bestselling novel in 2022’, you’ll have to update the in-line text and caption to 2023.
5. Use Previous Feedback
If you got feedback or a suggestion in your blog comments section, then use them while editing.
Suppose you wrote about the tools for social media management, and one of your readers suggested a new tool – this is the perfect opportunity to make relevant updates.
Check if this tool is good and then put it in your post.
Also, you and your writing style have evolved over time, so don't be afraid to add your own thoughts, suggestions, and touches.
Perhaps, when you wrote the existing post, you used too much jargon, and now you noticed that. So while editing, try to make it simple and easier to understand for your readers.
For such cases, you can even borrow the help of writing fine-tuning tools like Grammarly, Hemmingway, etc. These are amazing writing tools that can help you make your post simple and readable.
6. Update The Dates In Your Post
If your blog post titles and content mention a specific year, then update that for sure.
Let's say one of the titles of your existing post is – '12 Tips for Growing Your Blog in 2021′.
Now the year 2021 has passed, we're in 2023.
So update it with the new date. This will make sure that your readers don't think that the post is outdated.
Also, don't forget to go through the post and update the dates in the body of the content too.
The title is not the only place where dates are mentioned. You'll find them throughout the body of the content.
7. Change Prices and Offers
Prices are ever-changing. So if you mention the prices of tools, products, or services in your blog post then be sure to update them with time.
Some brands even take away free offerings or add new ones. Some increase their pricing substantially, and others do away with tiers or services altogether.
Hence, you'd need to keep an eye on any brands and pricing you’ve mentioned in your content and update them accordingly.
Also, check if you mentioned any contests, offers, and discounts and if they have expired. Or some new offers have replaced them. Like a 20% discount offer on a product, last year might become a 30% off offer the next.
While going through your existing post, if you come across any such schemes, then update, remove, or change these things according to the latest information.
8. Update Partner Information And Content
If you have partnerships with other businesses, influencers, partners, etc. – see if they are still relevant.
You may have written a blog post about your partner's product or service in the past. But are they still in business today, or are those products or services still valid?
If there are any changes in the partnership, then be sure to update the post and make the necessary changes.
You might have cut ties with a partner, be sure to reflect that change in your posts and pages. All you'll have to do is remove all mentions of that partner. And in the editing process, mention and include any new partnerships and collaborations too.
It’s critical to make this update because the mention of a former collaboration can lead to confusion among the readers.
Start Updating Your Blog Content Now
Editing existing content on your blog is just as important as writing new content.
It's the only way to keep your posts relevant and engaging for readers. And it also tells Google your website is relevant.
Because Google loves fresh and updated content, so make sure you keep your blog posts updated with the changing market trends and conditions.
But it's not easy to know exactly what to update and when.
That's why take the above-mentioned tips to refresh your material. Start with the basics and move on from there.
So start making changes, and you'll get rewarded with traffic and more engagement.