Having a business blog (and regularly publishing on it) is all the rage. A whopping 86% of content marketers are doing it. For those of you who aren’t doing it, it’s never too late to start. And for those of you who are blogging, it may be time to update some of your older, outdated articles.
After all, who wants to read old content? Definitely not your target audience. That’s why I’ll let you in on a (not-so) little secret—updating is the key to getting readers. Learn how to refresh your outdated blog articles.
How To Give Your Outdated Blog Articles A Makeover
For an effective blog to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and help you grow your business, you need a library of useful and current articles.
You don’t have to take a bulldozer to all your old articles when updating them. Some of them have great material that you don’t want to (and shouldn’t) get rid of. That’s why you may be able to work with what you have when updating an outdated blog article.
Here are four ways to give your outdated articles a little love.
1. Check For Accuracy
Your first order of business is making sure your articles are accurate. Something you wrote about five years ago could be totally inaccurate today. And if you’re giving advice or tips of any kind in your blog, updating for accuracy is oh-so-important.
For some website viewers, your blog is the gateway to your business. Your brand awareness machine, if you will. Articles that are full of inaccuracies could hurt your business’s credibility and wind up costing you a potential customer.
Keep in mind that it’s not enough to have accurate information if it’s not current. You need the most up-to-date studies to back up your claims in the article.
When combing through an outdated article, check for and update things like:
- Current trends
- Numbers and rates
2. Do Some Keyword Research
You want people to find your articles, right? Absolutely, no questions asked. Otherwise, what’s the point? Cue keyword research.
Maybe you optimized your article way back when you first wrote it. Maybe you didn’t. Either way, do some new research to find out if there are fresh keywords to incorporate. Between the time you first published it and now, new queries might have come up.
If you are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), take a look at what the article is currently ranking for. What’s the article doing well? What could it do better?
If you’re unfamiliar with keyword research, no worries. Familiarize yourself with the search engine optimization process. Sign up for SEO tools that will help you research relative searched keywords. Watch informative videos and subscribe to SEO-related newsletters to stay up-to-date with best practices.
3. Beef It Up
If you want to improve SEO and engage readers, consider writing longer, quality articles that completely cover a given topic.
According to Yoast, your articles should be more than 300 words (bare minimum). And, high-quality articles that are 1,000 words or more have the best chance of ranking well in Google. HubSpot recommends 2,100 – 2,400 words.
Keep in mind that the “ideal” blog article length can vary depending on what you’re writing. The number isn’t set in stone. But, it’s still a good idea to beef up your articles.
Take a look at the current article’s word count. Is it a little on the skimpy side? Are you missing opportunities to add more detail? Consider what kind of new information you can add to it to drive up that word count and make it chock-full of useful information for your readers.
Be careful not to drive up the word count by prattling on. Instead, add new details, tips, data, and even quotes that you’d want to see if you were reading the article.
In short: Add length to your articles, but don’t talk just to talk. Give value.
4. Update Your Visuals
You know what they say, behind every good blog post is a great visual (or something like that). Your article may have a featured image as well as an infographic or two. Or, you might not have any visuals in the article. Whatever the situation may be, consider what you could be adding to make the article pop.
If you currently have visuals in the article, great. When it comes to the featured image, consider:
- Getting a more modern image
- Making sure you have the rights to use the image
- Resizing the image to fit best practices
- Adding an appropriate alt text
Adding visuals, like infographics, in the article can break up text and highlight important information. When updating or creating infographics, consider things like:
- Brand colors and style
- Sizing and compression
- What information you want to convey
- How you want to present the information
Catchy headlines, flow, design, and interesting information (e.g., statistics) all make for a strong infographic. So if you’re updating your visuals, see what else you can add to increase engagement.