How do you refresh a blog post? One of our founders, Erik, has made a quick and informative video on just the topic!
But to start, what is refreshing or refurbishing a blog post anyway? What we mean by this is that you would find an existing post on your blog and spruce it up a bit. The process isn’t necessarily labor-intensive, but the goal is to update the post so it can rank better in the search engines.
Sound like something you’d like to know more about? We’re here to fill you in.
Why Not Just Do It Right the First Time?
Before we take a deep dive into blog post refreshes, let’s examine why we want to do them. In short, the why is so you can rank higher in Google results. But why we do this has more to do with content marketing and ranking overall. Why would you need to revisit a post? Why not just write it correctly the first time? Now, it’s completely understandable why you’d ask this, but it actually doesn’t apply.
In order to understand this a little bit better, let’s use a metaphor here. You might think about a blog post like a magazine. You write a post once a week, people subscribe and they follow you, and they read everything that you put out. Originally, that was a great way to think about blogs, especially when considering that the origin of the word ‘blog’ comes from the weblog.
But today, that’s not how blogs work, especially in the content marketing game. So start to think of it as a content library. You have a topic, and you’re building a library around that topic. It doesn’t matter what order you produce things, you just need to keep putting out articles to make that library better. So then, when you find things in your library, you will want to make it a little more up to date and you’re always looking to provide the best possible reading material.
So What’s the Rationale?
Is it in any way a reflection on the original author if you update their post? Not at all. Refreshing blog posts is something that might be a good idea when certain outward situations happen, or if you just think that a post could use a little pick-me-up. Here are some reasons listed below.
1. The World Changes on Your Post
For instance, our industry is the tech industry, and that world changes pretty fast all the time. So if you write about C (sharp) and then all of a sudden they come out with the next version of it, then your post six months later when they’ve released a new version might already be out of date. And because of this, you might want to go in and change some things about your post so you can reflect on how C sharp currently works.
Or, more simply, the actual date changes. Maybe you’ve titled something “Why Distributed Tracing Is Important in 2019″ you’ll need to update the post to reflect 2020. Maybe every year you go in and change the title, but you should also update the information in the post to reflect the current times.
Another thing that changes all of the time is Google itself. The ranking factors from last year may not be the same as this year. In the early days of SEO, everyone used to do “keyword stuffing” where they would say the same thing over and over again in a post because the more you said the keyword the more Google liked it.
The last thing that can change is your competitors. They will go in and write articles while you’re writing things too (no surprise there). But maybe awhile ago, you wrote a post and it ranked at the top of Google for the keyword. But since you wrote it, several of your competitors have addressed that topic in a more comprehensive way than you initially did. So you might want to go back to your original post and make it more detailed.
All of these things are valid reasons why you should consider refurbishing posts.
2. Refreshing Blog Posts Is Smart Business
When you write blog posts, you’re investing money and labor into each post. In order to get traction in this world, you need to get a fair amount of posts out there in general. And the truth of the game is that not every post is going to be a home run. Not every post is going to rank. So it probably wouldn’t be wise to write a few posts at 3,000 words.
Instead, you might want to write several posts at 1,000 words and see which ones gain traction. Then, you can elevate the ones that are starting to rank by refreshing them.
3. You Want to Link to Newer Posts
This is pretty straightforward, but maybe you’ve written posts that you want to link to that didn’t initially exist when you wrote a blog post. Here’s a good chance to go back and link to them. This also helps with SEO.
4. Revisit Your Keyword Optimization
Finally, you might write a post where you were trying to rank for a certain keyword or query, and now that post is actually ranking for a slightly different, much better keyword. There is absolutely nothing wrong with leaning into that. You can just go into that post and tune it to adapt to the situation by which searchers are finding you.
How Do I Actually Refresh a Post?
Alright, so we’ve gone over the reasoning for why you might choose to refresh a post. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. We’re going to provide you with a refresh checklist you can use to apply this to any posts you want to refresh.
1. Revisiting Keywords
Okay, what is a keyword, again? Very broadly, a keyword is a question you as the searcher are asking a search engine. It can be implied, like searching “programming jobs without a degree” or it can be explicit, like searching “how to get a programming job without a degree.” Both are a query you’re asking. So while refreshing a post, it’s important to be specific and intentional about the keyword you’re choosing.
2. Fix Your Meta
What is ‘meta’? Well, if you look at a search result in Google and you see something like “How to Get A Programming Job – Daedtech” that’s a meta. In short, it’s a meta description of the blog post, parsed from the blog posts’ code. There’s code behind every post that tells Google what should appear in the search so people know what your post is about. A meta is made up of the brief description and the title that is outward-facing so people can scroll through results and easily understand what your post is about.
Therefore, it’s pretty crucial to make sure this is doing its job effectively, and Erik has more tips for you on how to check that in this video.
3. Doing Your Links Correctly
Finally, let’s briefly touch on links. It’s important for your post to have links to external sources so Google can take this and use it as social proof that your post has something to say. Think about it like giving posts credibility. For instance, if Microsoft wrote about something and linked to a source of yours, Google trusts Microsoft and therefore finds you more credible, and they’ll rank you higher.
Dive Deeper into Refreshes
To learn more advanced tips about refreshing blog posts, be sure to watch Erik break it all down for you with examples in the Youtube video. Subscribe to our channel as well to not miss out on future content!