Why & How to Edit Old Blog Posts Of WordPress?

update-wordpress-content

My longest Blogging journey of 10 years is awesome, and I have learned so many working strategies by keeping on doing the experiments and analyzing the results. 

I often come across a question among the emerging bloggers – How to edit blog posts for improved SEO!

And on Quora, I have seen so many queries about updating the old blog content like

How does editing the blog post boosts its Google ranking?

Does updating the old article affect SEO?

What would happen when I modify my earlier post contents? 

Well, I have taken a nice opportunity to discuss this matter in this blog post! 

Why Edit Your Former Piece of Content? 

Blogging is all about sharing information. Hence, the sole purpose of blogging is to create evergreen posts to ensure that the readers are finding some value even in your old posts.

This isn’t often the case though as old posts get outdated with time if you don’t update them with fresh updates or insights.

Moreover, Google loves fresh content, and it got stronger after the Freshness algorithm change in 2011.

Editing and republishing old content with updated information not only improves user experience, but it can also help you boost your SERPs (search engine ranking positions).

Yes, you can edit old posts for better SEO and improve your organic traffic to a high level if you follow some basic rules! 

Benefits of Updating Old Content

If you are blogging for a while, then the chances are that you have more than 100 posts on your blog. A lot of them would be outdated with the insufficient latest information. 

And few of those may be lost its search engine ranking positions by the latest contribution of your competitors. 

Yes! Google is looking for the most recent information to serve the search phrases as it values user experience more than anything; chances are that your old posts get outranked eventually.

Hence, it is essential to update and edit your old posts for better user experience and SEO.

Now, let’s have a detailed look, here are some of the benefits of updating past blog posts. 

#1. Boosts Click Through Rate

Despite ranking at the top of the search rankings, your website or blog URL doesn’t get enough clicks for reasons like outdated content, and older publish date, etc.

You can boost the CTR for your top listings on Google and other search engines by changing the publish date as well as changing the title of the post.

For example, let’s say you have a post titled “Best Digital Marketing Tips in 2016” ranking for keywords like digital marketing tips or best digital marketing tips.

The chances are high that most users will ignore your listing even if it’s in top 5 and prefer latest posts ranking below your listing because you didn’t change the year 2016 to the current one!

You can tweak the title of such posts and update the content with latest or fresh data and republish the post to attract a better click-through rate.

#2. Improves Readability

Just pick any of your first ten blog posts and read them now. You will be surprised to find a load of grammar mistakes and spelling typos on your earlier posts.

Most of us aren’t alert or critical of our blog posts in the initial days as our primary goal is to set up and post articles as many as possible.

The excitement of launching a blog is too high that we often ignore proofreading the blog posts and publish it right after writing the article.

Updating old blog posts can also help you proofread and check on as well as correct any grammatical or spelling errors. You will also find your writing style in the initial days to be very mediocre.

However, this time, though, you can rewrite the posts with better formatting to enhance readability, and yes it would offer a great experience for your readers. 

#3. Removes Dead Links

If you are someone who likes to cite references from other blogs or resources on your blog articles, then updating old blog posts can come handy to you.

For a blog post published a couple of years ago may have dead links or resources that are either outdated or don’t exist anymore.

While editing old blog posts, you can get rid of broken links to improve user experience on your blog post and earn some Google love as well. 

I would not recommend you install the Broken Link Checker Plugin because it is heavy and may affect the site speed performance.

Instead, you may use the Google Chrome extension – CheckMylinks to find out the links on your site that are not live. 

#4. Enhances Topical Authority

Considering that you have written the older articles some time back, you may or may not have targeted all the significant keywords. Most importantly, keywords change according to trends, and user intent plays a larger role in Google rankings.

While updating old blog posts, you can perform fresh keyword research and analyze the top-ranked posts for all the targeted keywords and update your old blog posts with better keywords and content.

You can add more sections and add more relevant images to improve user experience and readability of your blog post. I’ll tell you how to take the keywords that would help you get top Google rankings in the following section. 

Besides, updating old blog posts will also help you achieve improved accuracy on the older posts as well as increase the tally of fresh and evergreen posts.

Now, let’s see how to work with your outdated content and skyrocket your SEO! 

How To Edit Old WordPress Articles For Better SEO? 

Google likes the enhanced content, but simply updating your old posts won’t boost SERPs of your blog. You must be smart and wise while editing past blog posts and add SEO factors to improve search engine rankings.

Step 1: Identify Articles To Edit

You can’t update 100s of older blog posts at one go. You must follow a smarter approach and identify the posts to be updated.

The main goal is to choose the older posts that are already ranking for some lucrative keywords as these posts have better chances at improved rankings.

To revamp the SEO on your old blog content, you may make use of the best SERP trackers

Check the SERPs of the oldest blog content for the targeted keyword and choose the ones that rank on the 2nd or 3rd page of Gooogle.

For example, If I will edit this post (shown below) with better keywords and content, then it is more likely for me to drive more search engine traffic to it! 

check-serp-keyword

Step 2: Research of New Keywords

Once you have identified the old posts that require an update, you can do new keyword research. Remember, you will already have the best keywords. Hence, the new keyword research should target long-tail keywords and relevant search phrases. 

Besides identifying the long-tail keywords around your main keyword, you must also determine the content format or user intent these keywords serve.

You can do that by reviewing the top rankings for these keywords and check what they are doing. You can review the top 10 competitive pages for these keywords and reformat and edit old posts accordingly as these pages are already dominating.

To identify the old blog articles, you may also use Google Search Console to find the top pages generating most organic traffic as well as shortlist the top search queries dominated by your blog.

You may look for the search terms ranking on the 2nd to the 4th page with more impressions as I have shown below! 

edit-content-with-keywords

You can take these keywords and create a list of best old posts to update and drive targeted traffic from Google search. 

Keyword research is an essential task, and try to use the best tools like KWFinder and its alternatives; grab the profitable keywords and place them naturally in your content. 

Step 3: Reformat & Add Sub-sections 

Readability and user experience are the key to ensure that Google maintains your rankings.

The goal of every blog post is to help the reader with relevant information that they look for. Once you have the keywords and user intent clear, you can reformat your blog post entirely.

If you look at blogs dominating the Google search, you will find that the blogs emphasize a lot of user experience and readability.

Add sub-sections within your post to help the user understand and grab the information quickly. The idea is to make the reader scroll through the article without getting tired or bored.

Keep the sentences short and straightforward. Use bulleted points or lists, so the readers get the information loud and clear without reading into the posts too much.

Step 4: Fix Grammar Errors & Broken Links

The basic idea of updating articles is to improve reader experience. Well, the visitors wouldn’t appreciate too many typos or grammatical errors on your post.

Well-written content will not only serve the purpose of the article but also enhances your credibility in the digital world. 

You should also get rid of any broken links on your post and update the links with better resources or internal links to boost the user experience.

Step 5: Add Images & Internal Links

An image speaks more than 1000 words. Having relevant images on your blog post engages your audience to an exceptional level, especially if you are writing tutorials or guides.

You should also update the alt tags of existing images with freshly researched keywords. Alt tags must be added to the new pictures as well.

You should also update the anchor texts on existing internal links or add new and relevant internal links with better anchor texts.

You can quickly boost the organic traffic and rankings of your newer blog posts by linking them smartly on these old updated blog posts.

Step 6: Update Title & Intro

You may have a great introduction on your old blog post, but there are chances that they are old-fashioned and senseless. 

You can either change the intro completely or add an “Update” remark on top of the post to tell the user that the blog contains current information and the remark will also serve the purpose of the new introduction.

Whether a reader reads through the entire article or not depends a lot on the first paragraph, your intro must be relevant-to-date and must serve the user intent to convince the reader to continue reading the article

Besides the intro, you should also tweak the title of the post or change the title completely. The title of the post will also feature on your Google listing unless you have a different SEO title.

The blog title should be on point with targeted keywords and creative enough to gain the attraction of the searchers.

Step 7: Display Last Update Date

Updating content on old posts isn’t enough if you don’t change the publish date. Well, Google will know that you have updated the blog post with fresh content, but that’s not the case with your readers. 

They must also know that the article was published some time ago and updated later with new information. Otherwise, they will ignore the post looking at the publish date in SERPs.

You can always change the publish date and republish the old post on a recent date. Otherwise, you may install the WordPress plugin like WP Last Modified Info to show the modified date. 

However, the best option is to add a timestamp that displays the “Last Updated” time and date. It will allow keeping the credibility intact without minimizing your efforts on the new articles on your blog.

Step 8: Drive Traffic From Social Media

After editing your old content with better content, images, and links, share it in the social media platforms like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Reddit.

If you have decent followers, then you will get some social signals that would add some authority to the post. 

What could you do if you don’t have a high number of social media followers? Don’t Worry! Just take part in the active Facebook groups and make use of their Promotion feature. 

My blogging friend Santanu has created a FB group to help the bloggers and digital marketers by sharing the experience & solving their troubles, and he allows you to share your blog post for promotion every Saturday.

Hundreds of passionate guys participate over there, and hence you may make use of such groups to earn some social signals & shares to your modified blog posts. 

Step 9: Check Comments

Your old content may have meaningless and spam comments from the black-haters and its time to get rid of them. Just remove the comments that don’t make any sense and make sure to reply to the ones that add value to your blog post. 

When replying to the old comments, you may use the relevant keywords as they would boost the topical authority and may help your edited content get better SERPs. 

Step 10: Build Backlinks

Once you have followed all the above steps, try to get some authority backlinks for the articles that you have altered for better performance.

I’m yet to write a detailed link building guide for my readers, so at this time, I would suggest you go with the White-hat methods like Guest posting and outreach methods to stay authoritative to the eyes of Google and other search engines. 

Closing Thoughts For Editing The Old Content

Building the WordPress site needs a lot of efforts, and driving the targeted search traffic for every blog post requires some consistent work. 

If you not touching the content that you have crafted in your earlier phase, then it is bad for SEO and spoils your brand image as well.

Giving a new life to your old content will help you get more readers than writing and publishing the new blog posts. Just identify the best content to edit and optimize them for improved page views. 

Follow the steps I have listed and let me know how it goes for you? If you need any help in dusting off your outdated content, then reach me anytime, I would like to help you get the more focussed audience through the search queries. 

23 thoughts on “Why & How to Edit Old Blog Posts Of WordPress?”

  1. How Much Should You Change When Republishing a Post? Read it carefully. Update the post to fit with what’s happening today (particularly if you write about software, social media, or any other area that changes rapidly). Consider adding more detail. Check all links. Link to some of your (recent) posts.

  2. Nice information. I have always believed that updating old content will bring good traffic. Use of Search Console is an important factor in this context. You need to find the “queries” that have ranking between 11 and 20 and then include them in the article. You can check the keyword difficulty, to see if you can rank for them. https://www.seotipsit.com/check-keyword-difficulty/

  3. Very nice and informative. Thanks for share with us. Keep writing like this.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Diverse Sign Studio

  4. Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!|

  5. Well written and very informative. I m struggling to boost my keywords and this article helped me a lot. Will share with my website developer.

  6. Hi Nirmala Santhakumar,
    I completely agree that old posts have a lot of potential drive more traffic. In the SEO world, “Old is Gold”. The old website and Old post do well then new. I also started doing it and see some good results in refreshing the content. This article is very useful to me and gives some hidden golden nuggets. Thanks for sharing

  7. I didn’t aware about the benefits of updating old posts. Few of my targeted keywords got positioned on 1st and 2nd of SERP. But not on number one position. I will try the techniques you mentioned in the post and hoping for number one position. Let’s See.

  8. Yup! Always keep updating your previous posts which give you the most traffic. Also, Sharing these Posts again in social media helps the same.
    Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. Wow!
    Thanks for sharing this it’s wonderful way for all blogger. I always follow this article and wait for new posts. Thanks a lot.

  10. Besides updating old content, another practice of looking at previously written topics from a new perspective is also a great practice. It shows the development of thinking on the blogger’s part too. Moreover, by approaching the same topic again, a blogger can broach new subjects as well.

    Loved this write-up! Keep it up.

  11. Sir, I read your article every day. The way you write your head is very good indeed. I have been reading all your articles from the beginning and by learning from you I prepared my own website. For everything thank you soo much sir.

  12. superb,
    Thanks for sharing this it’s a wonderful way for all blogger. I always follow this article and wait for new posts.

  13. I was wondering how old is WordPress and how far in the past we can find websites created with it. I’m quite fascinating by ancient and retro technology

  14. Nirmala,

    Purposeful article. Both the users and the search engines will get bored with outdated information. It’s our responsibility to feed our readers with updated data and details. This can also make our audience to believe in us that we are active in the niche that we work on. Thanks for your ideas to update the content with potential keywords from GSC.

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