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Why Should I Bother Updating Old Website Content?

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So, you’ve been blogging for quite a while. You’re an old hand at this. Looking back through your blog, you’ve got pages and pages of dynamite material lurking in the archives. Like the clothes that are still sitting in the wardrobe at your parent’s house, these posts can start to look a little tired and out-of-date after a few years. The facts might be a little stale, or there may be heavy references to Nintendo 64s and wrap-around sunglasses.

Whatever the case, you know that the core message of the blog is still as relevant as ever. So, is it worth updating this old content?

While it may feel like you’re reheating last night’s spaghetti bolognese for your mother-in-law, there are a many reasons why updating and republishing old content is a brilliant marketing strategy. Here are just a few.

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It May Be Old but It’s as Accessible as Ever

When looking at the popular posts of your past, you can find yourself going dozens of pages deep in the archives. If you have to go back that far, who is actually looking at this stuff? You know that you create some compelling stuff, but page 38 of your archives? Really?

FUN FACT: Our old friend Google doesn’t care how far back in the archives your content is sitting. If it deems it to be a valuable source of information, it’s going to put it among its organic results. The very fact that you have a blog on your site increases the likelihood of it coming up in search engine rankings. So yes, people are looking at your popular old content.

If a searcher doesn’t bother to check the date/ time stamp on a search result, they could find themselves getting fed inaccurate, outdated information, from your blog. You need to fix that.

New Readers Are Jumping Aboard

If you’re blogging well, you’ll be constantly bringing new readers on board. They haven’t been with you from the outset, when you were dropping some of your finest knowledge bombs. Even for those subscribers that you’ve had from the start, there’s no guarantee that they’ve read every single one of your articles.

For many people, the fear of looking lazy or out of ideas is a major factor in not reposting old material. But if you recycle some of your old content, updating it and republishing it on your site, the majority of your subscribers will have never seen your original post anyway. And even if they did, they may have forgotten chunks of it, and will be pleased that they get the opportunity to re-digest your pearls of wisdom.

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It’s Efficient

What’s more efficient and cost-effective – cleaning up your current car or making a new one? What a relatable example.

Updating your old content is an efficient way to provide content to your readership. You’ve already got the framework of a solid article sitting right there in front of you, now it’s just a matter of scanning through it to see how it reads, and updating any facts and figures that may have become inaccurate or redundant since you first posted it. Be sure to check the validity of any hyperlinks as well.

It should be noted that this updating/republishing system should be used as the exception rather than the rule. Rotating slightly updated versions of the same ten articles will help no one. It’s important that you mainly produce fresh content, and while it’s prudent to develop a system to update all of your archived articles, you ideally only want to republish the most popular and insightful of your old material.

Updating your old content can be a boon for your site’s traffic. You’ve already written some terrific stuff – why let it simply waste away in the basement of your website? Fetch the scrubbing brush, put in a little bit of elbow grease, and give it that old gold a new lease on life.

And unless the post is about how to be the coolest kid at the turn of the millennium, take out those Nintendo 64 and wrap-around sunglasses references.

Michael Catford

Michael has a love of travel that quickly developed into a love of writing while he was trying to document his adventures. A bearded Australian with a taste for sport and beer, often simultaneously, the web content knowledge gained from running his own travel site has allowed Michael to expand his fields of expertise. We look forward to him sharing his thoughts as part of The Social Savior content team!

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