Why and How to Keep Posts and Pages Fresh
In the very first blog post for this website we explained how to create a blog post that gets results. That post explained why blogging is necessary for a business and how it translates into more customers.
But over time, a blog post becomes stale. How? And what does this mean for website owners?
Why a blog becomes stale
Search engines results pages known as SERPs are generated by a complex mathematical algorithm. The SERPs are generated based on what a person types into the search engine. The closer a post or page matches what is searched, the higher it appears in the results.
But part of the algorithms used today is a cosideration of how fresh, new or recent a blog post is. Because blogs are basically journal rolls, the newer posts are automatically viewed as more fresh. This makes newer information more likely to rank than older pages.
If a post just sits on the website and is never updated, it will become stale in the eyes of the search spiders. Search spiders are the bots that index pages. And they watch for what is new; anything else is ignored because there is no point in wasting computing energy re-evaluating what has already been reviewed and indexed.
Hence, refreshing an older post is important to growing your website traffic.
How to update a blog post
In the video below, we updated our first blog post to show you how.
After the video, we include 8 simple step-by-step instructions to help you update your own posts. We recommend watching the video then reviewing these 8 steps. This will help you better update your own website.
8 Simple Steps to Updating a Blog Post
Before updating an older post, we recommend opening both the post to be updated and your post library in two windows or tabs. Place them side-by-side or on the same browser...whatever works best for you.
This will give you access to other posts which can be added to the one to be edited. If you can add them to include the entire title, you can then link the entire title. This creates what is called anchor text, which still helps with SEO, though in a minor way. Review or scan all or many other post titles before starting your update.
Now, to update or refresh your blog post take the 8 following steps:
- Re-read the entire post aloud, watching and listening for obvious grammar and spelling errors missed the first time.
- While reading, watch too for opportunities to insert a link to another post on your website. If you find one in the text, add the link now. If you think you need or can rewrite the text for a better link, do so and link it.
- Look too for places to add images or change images. If the images are fine, consider changing the captions. If you did not use captions, add some. But always make sure the caption relates to the subject of the post.
- Watch for overuse or underuse of certain words and phrases related to the subject. If overuse, alter the words using various tenses and forms of the same words if possible. Alter the phrasing as well.
- Look too for run-on or complex sentences. If you can say it in fewer words, do so.
- Make sure headings are properly spaced (no more than 350 words between headings.
- If you can change a paragraph into a numbered list or bullet points, do so.
- Get creative. Look for better ways to make the post more appealing. Add color, change font styles or whatever you think will add value for your readers. Just be careful not to go overboard.
Once you have finished updating the post, check on the backend for tags and snippets. Consider adding new tags and getting rid of others.
Review your Google Analytics. If the post is getting alot of impressions but a low click-thru-rate (CTR), you may want to change the structured snippet. The snippet is what people see in search results. Low CTR indicates they do not like what they are seeing there, so change it.
If you do not have Google Analytics or need any help with it, read this then get in touch.
What is a low CTR?
A low CTR or click-thru-rate can be anything you decide. But if you figure that Google SERPs show 10 organic search results, 10% CTR should be a good average. Anything less means the snippet is not appealing to searchers.
Over time, we tend to add more categories to our blogs. Now would be a good time to see whether this older post can fit into a couple more categories. If so, add it.
By using catagories with our blogs, people can find related posts much easier. As our traffic and following grows, this becomes an important and useful tool for our readers. Also, the search engines consider how well interconnected your website is so adding more accurate on-site links helps with SEO as well.
Where can I find more help, perhaps personal attention?
If you still have questions about how to improve your older blog posts, feel free to complete the form below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, he can also serve you online via a web conference. You can call him directly at 337-660-4774.
If you simply want to outsource this task to us, we are happy to work with you.