If you’ve had your website for a while there’s one thing that should be fairly obvious to you by now: websites are never done. They are a living, breathing representation of your business which (hopefully) is also ever changing, growing and improving. It’s important for your small business that you regularly review your website for ways to improve it and make it more useful for those visiting your site, especially if you have outdated information that no longer serves its purpose. One area where you likely have outdated information if you’ve been committed to content marketing for a while is your blog. Should you rewrite old blog posts to attract new readers? Is it worth the effort and will it bring results? Let’s take a look.
Why blog in the first place?
There may be a few people reading those who may not even BE blogging so before we look at if you should rewrite old blogs, let’s talk about why you should blog at all. Awhile back, we wrote a blog, “7 Reasons Why Small Business Owners Should Blog”. All seven reasons still ring true today. Here are the 7 reasons:
- Blogging Helps Your Website’s Search Engine Optimization
- Blogging Drives Traffic to Your Site
- Blogging Positions You as a Subject Matter Expert
- Blogging Helps Your Presence on Social Media
- Blogging Keeps You Top of Mind to Your Current Clients
- Blogging Drives More Qualified Traffic to Your Site
- Blogging Doesn’t Cost Anything But Your Time
If you haven’t starting blogging for your website, please make a commitment that this year is the year you’ll start! We have lots of great ideas on our blog that can help you get started on blogging.
What rewriting old blog posts may accomplish
If you’re dedicated to blogging a few times a week, once a week, or once a month, you know how hard it can sometimes be to come up with fresh, relevant blog post topics that will engage your audience. You might even be diligent about following an editorial calendar for your blog. With all that hard work, wouldn’t you like to get the most traction out of your writing? Here are a few ways you may benefit from rewriting those old blog posts:
Old content brings in a lot of website traffic. HubSpot almost tripled the number of leads they generated on a monthly basis by optimizing old blog posts. Check out this chart below that illustrates the results they saw:
Another reason is that Google likes fresh content. Google displays dates in the SERPs to show searchers when a piece of content was last updated. So, if you update older blog posts, Google will show the date you last changed a blog post on the results pages rather than the original post date. Talk about breathing new life into an old blog! Much easier than writing a brand-new content piece. Editing old blog posts also prevents them from adding to the bounce rate of your website. How? Since you’ll be adding relevant images, links, and information, readers will be less likely to click away. It will also bring new eyes to old content that may still be relevant, but more recent blog subscribers may not have seen it.
Old content can have a negative impact on your site. If a searcher finds old, outdated information on your site, that could impact your credibility. Sure, posts typically have dates as to when the post was published, but why take that chance when you can easily update the content? Old posts may also have broken links, which is not good for SEO. And let’s face it: how good were you at blogging one, two or even five years ago compared to today? Most companies get better with blogging over time; those old blogs may be nothing short of embarrassing at this point. It makes sense to revisit old content.
How to easily update old blog posts
Create a system to go back and revisit all old blog posts. Start by inventorying your content. Moz provides great tips on how to do a content audit. You can make it as easy or as in-depth as you’d like, but basically, understand what content you already have, look at how well each piece performed (Google Analytics is great for this), review from a technical/SEO perspective (links, etc.) and then look for outdated content that needs to be refreshed. That might include adding updated images or updating recommendations that are aligned with current industry standards. This inventory will also tell you what topics you may have saturated, and which topics could use more attention.
Put it in a spreadsheet to track or use any number of content inventory tools out there. We found a very handy content inventory spreadsheet by Maadmob. Slowly work your way through until you have a good idea of what you have, what is awesome just the way it is, and what can be updated. While it may sound like a lot of work, again, rewriting old blog posts is easier than creating a new one, and can’t we all use a little more free time in our day?
You should rewrite old blog posts as part of your overall content marketing strategy. If you need help creating an inventory and plan, reach out to a small business marketing professional who understands the process and can help you get the most out of your efforts. You’ll be surprised what kind of results you can get from your old blog posts!