Keep your content fresh and up to date!

How do you make sure that all content on your website is still relevant? Why is that even important? For some of you, coming up with new ideas for blog posts seems the biggest challenge of blogging. However, you want your existing posts to show up-to-date content as well. And that could well be an even bigger challenge! In this post, I’ll explain why it’s important to have fresh content on your site. After that, I’ll give some tips on how to achieve this. 

Why is up-to-date content important?

Updating content is important, because you don’t want people to find information on your website that isn’t valid anymore. If you have optimized your post well, chances are that people will find that post in the search engines. That was the whole point of optimizing that post in the first place. Imagine a blog that hands out SEO advice to its readers. Older posts shouldn’t contain advice that isn’t valid anymore. People would make terrible mistakes in their SEO strategies.

Why is fresh content important for SEO?

Keeping your content fresh is important for SEO reasons as well. If you rewrite an article, Google will notice changes in that particular article. If you update your content regularly, you’re actually showing Google that your site is alive and up-to-date. You could either update an article – with or without changing the date – or you could republish the post.

Read more: Should you republish old content? »

Tips on how to keep your content fresh

1. Most important: update those cornerstones

My most important tip on keeping content up to date is to focus on your cornerstone articles. These articles should be the best articles on your website. These are the articles you want to be found for. So, these should be on the top of your list, while updating content.

Let me give you an example from I write about blogging and about content SEO. The most important article about content writing is SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide. Every week, I write a new blog about content SEO or about copywriting. I do some research for each and every one of those (I really do!). I discover some new things. These new discoveries should be covered in my cornerstone article as well. So, I (should) take the time regularly to update my ultimate guide. And you should do the same!

2. Update those posts that generate a lot of traffic

Updating can be a lot of work. And if your site becomes really large, this could be a day job! If you have to make choices which articles to tackle and update first, take a look at which pages generate a lot of traffic. Start with those. These are the pages that are actually seen by your audience. These pages have the highest priority on showing fresh content.

3. Delete those really outdated posts

As your blog is growing and you’re writing tons of blog posts, some of your content just slowly becomes really old. Some posts are evergreens, but some posts just aren’t. If these articles aren’t read by anyone either, you could decide to delete them all together. This will clean up your site nicely! If you do decide to delete a post, make sure to read Joost’s post about properly deleting a post.

Keep reading: The site structure of a growing blog »

4. Don’t forget ‘other’ pages

Not only your blog posts should have up-to-date content, other pages are important as well. Don’t forget to update those FAQ. Perhaps new questions have emerged among your audience. Make sure to add those. While updating your website, don’t forget the ‘about page’, the ‘contact page’ and other static pages on your website. I understand that this content doesn’t change that often, but make sure that changes are actually being made!

Conclusion on how to keep content fresh

Keeping the content of your website up to date and fresh is important if you want to attract readers from the search engines with (somewhat) older posts. While rewriting and refreshening old content, make sure to start with those cornerstones and most popular articles first!

Read on: Website maintenance: clean up old posts & pages »

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11 Responses to Keep your content fresh and up to date!

  1. Antonio Caballes
    Antonio Caballes  • 2 years ago

    Good day!
    Thank for the tip! Now I know how to maintain my guest post or articles. Keeping it fresh and updated is really important. it can generate lots of traffic. Also, google can identify if you update your content right? Thanks again..

  2. Derek
    Derek  • 2 years ago

    It maybe generic but if you poll all of your social media followers and ask them if they think it’s worth the time to maintain old content, how many would agree that updating out-dated information is important?

    If I land on a blog and read a blog post about a SEO method and I do it then get a penalty by Google. I will be pissed off where I got that advice because I was new blogger with no SEO knowledge and trusted what I read.

    It’s good to remind people every now and then to remember to pay attention to old content and even check weekly for broken links, broken images on your blog.

  3. Derek
    Derek  • 2 years ago

    I have always tweaked old blog posts on my latest blog the past 2 years. Whether I picked a random blog post to do a manual broken link check or redo 1 screenshot. Perhaps change the anchor text links. I believe in keeping old content worth it to read. Plus I show published date in the serps.

    I actually shared this blog post with my editor as it talks about what I am trying to do always.

    I have the paid version of revive pro plugin that shares old blog posts to my social networks. This motivates me to make sure old content is up to date as I am trying to get traffic to old pages when new followers start following me.

  4. Jeff
    Jeff  • 2 years ago

    This may be a dumb question but can adding more content to an existing post improve ranking within search results?

  5. Ava
    Ava  • 2 years ago

    Will take advice into consideration. Yoast has provided so much help, very few plugin companies are this helpful! You know what would be extra cool, if yoast created an anti-copyright plugin!

  6. Nicola Boschetti
    Nicola Boschetti  • 2 years ago

    Hello Marieke, do you keep the original date of the post?

    • Marieke van de Rakt

      depends on the extent of the changes you make. Little changes –> no change of date. Large changes –> change of date.

  7. James Bryant
    James Bryant  • 2 years ago

    Hey, great advice thank you. I must admit, I’m a bit scared updating content that’s already ranking well though….. Hope that doesn’t piss off Mr. Google?

    • Marieke van de Rakt

      I understand your hesitance, but I wouldn’t worry to much though. Especially adding a paragraph will not change much. You should not change the entire topic of your post. Make sure your content remains well optimized for the same keywords and I think you will be safe!

  8. Shiv
    Shiv  • 2 years ago

    Yoast is the best premium free plugin for wordpress. Thanks seo yoast team for making such a beautiful plugin.

  9. LCS Services
    LCS Services  • 2 years ago

    Hey Marieke you make some great points my favorite “3. Delete those really outdated posts” yes sometimes we are all a little guilty of not keeping our house clean.. Great point.

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