Updating Your Website is Essential

How To Update A Website [And Why It Is Essential]

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Every now and again as your website matures, you likely have a plethora of content that’s served its purpose, but now you see that the once highly ranking content is beginning to slip. Now is the time to Update Your Website
By revamping and re optimising older content you can revive the fortunes of your work, without having sit down and write more compelling content.
If you are ranking for these older articles, then you already have the search engines attention, so why not update it and then re-publish it?
By using this method you are going to kill two birds with one stone.
You are going to give your site a new lease of life(search engines love new up to date content) and you will be giving yourself the chance of reaching a new audience and possible growing the followers you already have. 

What We Will Cover:

  • The Purpose of  Optimising and Republishing Older Content.
  • Establishing Which Content to Prioritise  for Optimisation.
  • Best Ways to Optimise Aged Articles and Content for SEO

The Purpose of Optimising and Republishing Older content.

There are lots of reasons why your website needs updating, no more so than dates that are being used to show your readers the current statistics that you are showing.
If you wrote the article 2 years ago and a graph or infographic you are showing are the numbers for that particular year, then your readers will want to know what the stats are for the current year.
Maybe the link to a product you are promoting is outdated or not even available anymore, more-so does the company that you are Affiliated to still exist?
It could be that technicalities of your post have been updated in the last year or so, and the information you have given is outdated.
With any topic/niche things evolve very quickly and information given regarding your niche could very well have been updated since you wrote your article.

It can be so easy to forget about content that you published over two years ago, and by having this old, outdated content will have a definite negative effect on your website, as readers who do find this old content will lose trust in your site, and will more than likely not return.
For the most part surfers are looking for the most up to date information about the query they searched for, so making your content as up to date as possible is going to get you readers and you will start to see your rankings on an upward curve again.

Establishing Which Content to Prioritise  for Optimisation.

Here we look at the top 5 priorities in updating your website.
Although Optimizing older content is a lot quicker than writing a new article, it can still be time consuming.
So placing your time and energy on content that is worth the effort will bring greater satisfaction and better results.

 1. Content That Is Lurking

With the help of Google Search Console, you can establish where your content is ranking in the search results.
Open up your search Console and in the left hand menu click on Performance
Then just highlight Average Position.
You will see a graph of your average position of all your pages/posts over the last 3 months

Google search console Performance

Scroll down and click on Pages.
A list of all your pages/posts appear and over to the right click on position.

Google search Console Pages position

You may have to click Position twice to get your lowest ranking posts showing first.
Now you can see where all your work is ranking, but for the time being just concentrate on the positions from 11-20.
These are posts that are only showing on page 2 and the purpose of the exercise is to try and get thoses posts ranking higher on to page 1.

 2. Relevant Content

As you scan through your older posts, you will no doubt come across articles that are evergreen, and you are going to find posts that were written that had a topical feeling at the time of writing.
Obviously those topical posts had a huge amount of traffic, but have now declined almost to extinction.
That's because people are no longer interested in that particular topic, and revamping would have no impact.
Place your concentration on posts that are relevant to your niche and that have a timeless life span.

 3. Monetized Content

Pay particular attention to older monetized content.
Your readers should expect and get the latest and most up to date information that they are seeking.
That includes the latest products to buy.
Check your Affiliate links to :
a) make sure they are still working and,
b) they are the latest product the company you are promoting has to offer. It could be that your particular promotion is no longer available.

 4. Content in Demand

Google Analytics is your friend, use it wisely to establish how your content is being perceived by your visitors.
This powerful freebie from Google will tell you:

  • Visitors to Your Site. will indicate how much traffic you are receiving on a daily basis.
  • The Content They Are Viewing, is this new content or older content.
  • How Long are they staying on your page, if it is older content why did they leave so quickly.
  • How many pages are they visiting before they leave, have you engaged with your audience so that they stay on your site to view other articles, linking to other pages/posts within your website.
  • Where are they coming from, from which media did they get to your site, was it social media, organic search or direct from another source.
  • Bounce Rate, this is a vital stat that you should take notice of. If you have a high bounce rate, that is an indication that your visitors weren't happy with the content you were giving them, because it was outdated, not enough information or just down right boring.  

These statistics can tell you so much about the content on your website and where it needs improving.

 5. Content That Is Less Popular

The other side of the coin is content that is not quite so popular and doesn't get as much traffic as you would expect.
Dig out these articles and check that the content is still relevant, check the keywords that you have used to write the article and find out if they are still as popular as when you first used them, by using a good keyword research program.
Keywords do lose their usage popularity, maybe your keyword hasn't quite got the numbers backing it up as it did when you wrote the article.

Best Ways to Optimise Aged Content for SEO

Now you have decided which content needs updating due to its age, significance and popularity, it is time to take steps to revamp those articles.
This is going to be a long and drawn out process depending on how many posts/pages you have going back over the age of your website.
To make it easier, make a note of the URL's or Title of the article in Google Docs or whatever notepad you use, in date order, older first.
Then as you finish the optimization delete that article from your notepad and move on to the next one.
This will help you when you take a break and come back, to know which articles have been completed and which haven't.

Let's check out what you should be looking for as you read through your article.

 1. Adding to and updating published content

As you read through the post, try to see it through the eyes of your reader.
Maybe this is one of the first posts you ever wrote, does it sound primitive as you read it.
Writing styles change over the years as you gain more experience. 
Are the sentences you originally wrote too long can they be condensed and make better sense.
Most importantly Spelling and Grammar, this can be an immediate turn off for some people, so if you are not to sure about spelling and grammar incorporate Grammarly into your set of working tools and you will be covered. 
The Readability and structure of your post is so important for attracting and keeping surfers engaged in your content.
Is there room to add relevant media, which you haven't used before, to break up a page full of text?
Keep in mind that your are trying to give your readers the best user experience possible, that is what makes them come back for more.

 2. Check Your Links both Internal and External 

Check the internal and external links within your article.
When you wrote this article you probably had a lot less posts on your website than you have at present.
As you read through the post try to remember if certain phrases you have used now correspond with an article you have since written.
If so link back to that post, this will give your readers a much better user experience and keep them engaged on your website.
The same with external links.
Check to see if :
a) they are still linking out to the article/product that you first linked to, and
b) are they still relevant. Is there a newer product that you can offer you reader, or is the article you linked to still as relevant to your content as your first thought.
Maybe there is a more up to date article that could take its place.

 3. Re-Check Meta Title & Meta Description

Does your Meta Title and Meta Description contain your keyword.
Your keyword for the article should be as near to the beginning of your title as possible.
 Search engines allow around 60/70 characters including spaces for you to get a descriptive title across to your readers. Anything over these numbers will be cut off and replaced with ellipsis (....)
So use them wisely, if your keyword is less than the optimum characters allowed then add an extra piece of enticing phrase.
The Mets title for this post is "How To Update A Website [And Why It Is Essential]" The keyword plus useful information.
The Meta description should not only include your keyword but should be an invitation as to why a surfer should click on your site rather than all the others that are ranking for the same topic.
Search engines allow around 150/160 characters for the Description so tell your readers what they can expect within your article using the keyword and an enticing comment.

 4. Readabilty (Your experience should tell you)

The Readability and structure of your post is so important for attracting and keeping surfers engaged in your content.
Is there room to add relevant media, which you haven't used before, to break up a page full of text?
Sub headings also make for good structure.
For long posts it is common knowledge that readers skim articles to see if there is something that interests them.
Sub headings helps them find those interests.
Keep in mind that your are trying to give your readers the best user experience possible, that is what makes them come back for more.

 5. Updating or Adding New Media

I've already mentioned about adding new images to your post, but what about a video?
Maybe back in the day you weren't aware of the impact videos now have within pages/posts.
Try to seek out a video, that pertains to the post you are working on, from Youtube.
Place your keyword into the search bar of Youtube and see what pops up.
Google loves video(plus the fact they own Youtube) so this is always going to be a positive move on your behalf.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, revamping and republishing old content can only have a positive effect on your quest to reach your goal of appearing on page 1 of the search engines.
The initial task of sorting through your older content may take a while to complete, but once it is done you can then keep up to date with it on a quarterly basis.
I check for older posts probably once every 3/4 months, and as a post becomes more than a year old I go through it just to double check everything is still in order.

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