To Update Or Not to Update – What to Do with Old Content on Your Website?

To Update Or Not to Update – What to Do with Old Content on Your Website?

Updating old content on your website is one of the SEO elements that has a positive impact on how the search engine robots see the site. In our today’s entry we’ll share with you some useful tips on how to use the potential of your already published texts and what to focus on while updating them.

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Improve the position of your website in the search results by updating old articles on the blog

A business blog is one of the tools that can help you to increase the traffic to your website and be displayed higher in the search results. On the other end of the spectrum, for visitors, such a blog is a perfect and reliable source of information about the company, the industry in which it operates, your products or services. The aim of writing a business blog is to develop a good relationship with the users who read your entries and thanks to them perceive you as an expert in a particular field.

Provide up-to-date and valuable content

Now it’s time to reflect on what happens in the course of time with the entries you publish. Obviously there are subjects or fields that don’t change so frequently and the provided information is accurate even after a few months. However, in the present world technology is developing at such an incredible pace that many facts, products or techniques turn out to be out-of-date very quickly. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at entries that have been on your blog for a long time and analyze whether the information provided there is still relevant.

As it’s been already mentioned, disseminating knowledge is the main purpose of blog posts. Consequently, if the articles present outdated ideas that aren’t applicable in the today’s world, the users won’t be able to benefit from them. After reading a piece of such an entry, people will probably notice that the content has nothing to do with the current situation and as a result they’ll leave the site. This in turn will negatively affect the bounce rate and consequently the search engine will be informed that the content on your website is of questionable quality for the users. In such a case, Google may decide to downgrade your position in the search results which will certainly affect your traffic and impressions. Due to this aspect, it’s worth providing your website with up-to-date content. Updating your texts is a way to give them second life and to ensure that your blog doesn’t become a storage of useless articles. Google and, more importantly, users will undoubtedly appreciate the present-day content and this will allow you to achieve better results. Note that updating your old entries is equally important as creating new ones so don’t forget about it.

Updating old content

How to check which entries need to be updated?

It can be stated for sure that articles with various types of advice, analysis or reviews are rather universal and don’t need to be totally updated. On the other hand, the texts that you should pay particular attention to include those concerning specific products and services. Consider whether their use or form hasn’t changed over time and whether the links redirecting to their detailed descriptions are still the same. In case of finding such content, it’s necessary to modify it. You should also remember to update links and images that enrich the articles.

As we’re discussing the problem of updating old content, let’s also mention Google’s algorithms. It’s highly probable that new guidelines, concerning formatting or structure of the text, have been introduced since the time you published your old entries. If this happened, you need to read the guidelines carefully and tailor the texts to the latest requirements.

At this point, it’s also worth mentioning the emerging new technologies which help you to achieve even better results. As an example we can mention the implementation of the compressed format of static and animated WebP images which can significantly affect the loading time of the website. Therefore, if you struggle with it and want to reduce the loading time of the site, convert all of the large images in your content.

What tools are useful while analyzing which content needs to be updated?

When you decide to update your old content, it’s a good idea to go through all the texts that have been published since the beginning of your website. If the entries are so numerous that they can be counted in hundreds or even thousands, it’s advisable to use appropriate tools that will facilitate the whole process.

  • Screaming Frog

It’s a program that helps you to find all the existing URLs of your website. When Screaming Frog finishes scanning your page, you receive a set of URLs of the website and information about them (the free version is limited to 500 URLs). Thanks to it you’re able to check the title tag content, meta description, as well as H1 and H2 headers.

Screaming frog

Thanks to numerous filters you can sort the URLs according to your own preferences. That’s how you can get groups of URLs that have an incorrect structure, too large graphics or missing alt attributes. This tool enables you to quickly find addresses with elements that need improvement without having to manually analyze a large number of subpages.

Wyniki w screaming frog

As it can be seen in the picture above, Screaming Frog also allows you to analyze the loading time of individual subpages. This way you can easily check which site needs more time to load. The large size of graphics in the article may be a reason why your website loads so long. In this case, you’ll need to convert the existing images into ones with less weight.

  • Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool extremely useful in analyzing the traffic and user behavior on the site.

SEO - should we update content? Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides you with a lot of helpful information concerning aspects such as the traffic on individual subpages, the bounce rate and the average time that users spend on your site. The analysis with the use of Google Analytics makes it easier to draw advantageous conclusions that will help you to identify the content and subpages that need to be updated. On the basis of the bounce rate, the average session duration and the number of impressions you can deduce that users encouraged by a catchy title visited a particular subpage numerously, however the short time they spent on it may indicate that its content was probably of little interest to them. This is a clear signal that the text on this subpage may need to be updated.

Updating old content on your website – useful tips

1. Add a few new lines to the text

If you’ve already analyzed the traffic on your subpages and you see that some of them have a high bounce rate, it means that their content isn’t particularly interesting for the users. Although there might be several reasons for such a state of affairs, the most common one is unsatisfactory product or topic description. Short articles that don’t provide answers to the users’ questions make them quickly realize that you don’t have much to offer, therefore they decide to leave your website. If you want to keep them on your website, ensure valuable content that covers all aspects of a given field. Short texts that are only snapshots selectively related to a given subject should be complemented with a few extra paragraphs.

2. Complete or improve the metadata

If the analysis in Google Search Console indicates that some of your subpages have many impressions but hardly anyone enters them, it may result from an inappropriate title or meta description which is displayed to users in the search results. Correct or improve the metadata concerning these particular pages to attract potential visitors.

3. Provide images and other multimedia elements

If you aim at keeping users on your website for longer, you should enrich the content with images, infographics and various multimedia elements such as videos. Such components make reading the text more enjoyable and the entry itself also becomes more appealing. When posting images remember about alternative descriptions because they’re of great importance for SEO.

4. Consider introducing the comments section and rating systems

Introducing the comments section and various rating systems will enable users to take an active part in creating content on specific subpages. Moreover, it’ll also provide you with feedback – you’ll learn how your posts are perceived by the users and what can be improved. Apart from enriching the content of the website in terms of volume, comments constitute an additional source of knowledge for other readers. This in turn has a positive impact on the quality of your website.

rating blogpost

5. Provide the users and the search engine with the date of publication

When you publish or update the content on your site, it’s a good idea to provide the date of publication or modification of the entries. Users want to know when a given text was written. Because of it, at the very time of entering a website, they’re able to assess whether it’s worth going through the text that may have been written ages ago and whose subject matter has significantly changed since then. If the data on your website is structured, make sure you also complement the datePublished and dateModified parameters. This will provide the search engine robots with information when a given entry was published or updated.

updating blogpost for seo

6. Ensure proper internal and external linking

While updating old content on your site, remember to check if all links coming from older entries work properly and refer to appropriate sites. Moreover, while complementing the content, don’t forget about linking and whenever you come across a place on your website that should be visited by the users, point it out to them. If you provide links to external sources, data or reports, ensure they’re up to date.

7. Notify users about the introduced changes

It’s a good idea to inform the users once you’ve updated the content. For this purpose you can take advantage of various social media platforms – simply share a link to a modified subpage.

8. Analyze and draw conclusions

Try to use analytical tools regularly and make them the basis of all content updating activities. Thanks to the abovementioned Screaming Frog or Google Analytics you’ll be able to obtain relevant information and guidelines regarding your website and its content. Moreover, they also enable you to examine the results and efficacy of your activities.

To conclude

Updating old content on a website is equally important for users and search engine robots. If the first ones realize that you provide them with interesting and reliable content that is up-to-date, they’ll definitely revisit your site. Consequently, the search engine robots will be informed that the website is active and full of life and that it’s reasonable to display it higher in the search results. Both of these facts will positively contribute to the organic traffic generated by your website.

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Author
Junior SEO Specialist - Rafał

Junior SEO Specialist

In Delante from January 2019. IT specialist with a passion for Internet marketing and SEO, in his work tries to provide users with valuable content, and customers with the first positions in search engine results. He loves vinyls, sports shoes and traveling. In his free time he will scratch on turntables, alternating with the turning of subsequent pages of criminal books.

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