Why You Should Keep Updating Your Existing Content
Producing optimised content is great for marketing, but keeping it revised and updated can ensure it remains relevant for a long time to come.
Producing organic content for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes is a central part of most content strategies. By using the right keywords, producing relevant copy, adding attractive images, breaking up the text with header tags and including good backlinks, you can help raise your ranking.
Should this be done to a high standard, you will have every chance of getting your content to the first page of the search engine within a few months. This will occur through the production of consistent quality but also volume. Time will be a factor too: older URLs tend to dominate the rankings pages as they have had more time to establish good authority.
All this, of course, is a blueprint for good content writing and SEO, backed up – as it must be – by strong technical SEO like having a swift upload time on your website.
Why should you update content?
However, there is no way you can rest on your laurels. It’s not just that you need to go on producing good content to maintain your authority and ranking, but also because there is a genuine likelihood that your existing content can age rather badly if left on its own, harming your ranking.
This can be caused by a range of factors:
- Your article may be out-of-date, referring to an upcoming event or a situation that has passed by
- New facts and figures of relevance may have emerged since you wrote your blog
- Your firm might have made some changes to its services, meaning a blog on a particular topic may be obsolete or at least omit something important
- The keywords that helped you get a good ranking when you wrote the article might not be the ones that apply later
- Backlinks may turn bad; for example, if the linked article or video is taken down
All this means it is important to go back to your existing content and update it.
Why change means you should stay up to date
Dealing with an updating of events may be self-explanatory, but it is likely to be very relevant at certain times.
Political developments like Brexit or a general election are the kind of thing that have a distinct ‘before and after’ element about them. One article might talk about what could happen in a particular scenario, which means it will be obsolete once it is known whether that possible situation has come to pass.
Indeed, Brexit has proved a very good example of how situations might change in areas like law, commerce and finance:
- The question of what deal the UK might leave the EU with
- When Brexit may happen, with multiple extensions to the deadline
- The possibility of a ’no-deal’ scenario
- Speculation about Brexit being prevented outright through a second referendum
- Changes in policy or the occupancy of Downing Street
- A general election and the myriad of possibilities that presents
These are examples of how anything written on a subject at one time might swiftly become out of date, albeit perhaps one of the most volatile in recent history.
The production of new facts and figures may be a rather less dramatic development, but it is important for the relevance of an article. For example, an article that quotes some research data from a year ago will seem increasingly less relevant as time goes on. If new figures emerge it can be altered to reflect these. If the data shows a similar picture it will at least be a more contemporary one. If, on the other hand, the new information shows a much-changed picture, the article will need to be substantially revised.
Changing company policies and services may lead to many an article needing to be revised. This is at least a situation that content producers can be fully aware of as they set about working their way through your website; although doing these in bulk is a short-term pain, it is a one-off task.
Why you need to change to maintain SEO
Keywords, however, require a lot more research. There are various tools around like SEMRush and BuzzSumo that can help identify the keywords that have the greatest impact and are searched for most commonly.
Many of these will not change, particularly if they are standard terms. If you are a law firm, then “law” or “legal” will always be popular, every bit as much as “shoes” might be for an ecommerce footwear firm. But some others may change over time. That may be because some issues become topical, or there is a change in circumstances (something that would certainly apply in an area like law when new legislation is passed) or because a search engine has changed its algorithms.
Backlinks are another important area. If you have good backlinks with lots of authority – like an article or video from a source that regularly gets millions of hits – this is great for your SEO, so it’s not hard to work out how much can be lost if this is removed.
You can use a broken link checker or just check the links to see they are all in working order. The first may be quicker but the second method, while more painstaking, does mean you can also check the backlink for relevance and timeliness. Indeed, it is ideal if your backlink is less than a year old, so just as the general content and keywords can be improved by being brought up to date, so too can your backlinks.
To think about your written content in this way may seem a little strange. After all, so many online articles you may come across will date from years back. However, if you want it to be relevant to your customers today, telling them last year’s information will do little to generate leads and interest them in what you have to offer.