How To Double Your Traffic By Updating Old Posts

In the beginning, bloggers eagerly jump right in without giving too much thought about the whole process of blogging. And sometimes that is a really good thing. Posts turn out to be raw and honest. However, they also tend to be short on information and word count, not to mention, visually unappealing. If you are anything like me, some of those first articles make you cringe.

 

Your style of writing, your brand, maybe even your niche has changed since those early days. Your first instinct may be to delete those posts, but that would create 301’s unless you take the time to create redirects. If there is even a hint of value, you should try to update your posts instead. Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Especially if the post was received well when it was originally published.

 

I recommend going through your old posts, updating one a week, using the following 10 steps to really super charge your pageviews.

 

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission should you choose to sign up for a program I recommend or make a purchase using my link. It’s okay – I love all of these products anyways, and you will too! To read my full disclosure and more boring legal stuff, click here.

 

How To Double Your Traffic Overnight By Updating Old Posts

 

1. Update information.

Is your old post outdated or do you have additional information to share? Maybe you were brief and can now expand on the topic. Use this opportunity to do some research, add some personal experiences and increase your word count. Longer posts are better for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The ultimate goal is to help your old posts rank higher in searches and bring you more organic traffic.

 

2. Update keyword & meta descriptions

When I first started my blog, I had no idea about SEO. I was probably a year in before I heard about the Yoast plug in. If you don’t have it yet, I strongly recommend adding it to your WordPress blog.

  • Yoast helps you optimize your keywords thereby increasing your visitors from Google and Bing.
  • It connects your social media profiles to your blog which helps you attract more visitors from social media and
  • Yoast lets you know if your posts are visually nice to read which helps readers consume and engage with your posts more.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
INPUT FOCUS KEYWORD AND EDIT SNIPPET (META DESCRIPTION) IN THE YOAST PLUG IN.

 

If you have been using Yoast from the beginning, check if the keywords and meta description previously chosen, were the best choice for the post. If the keyword needs to be changed, make sure the post and meta description are changed as well. Not to mention the file names and alt tags for all the images too. (more on that later)

Updating your old posts gives you the opportunity to make sure all the fields in the Yoast plug in are completed and that you have the “green light”.

BONUS TIP: Break up large blocks of text with new paragraphs and images to improve readability.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
OPTIMIZE YOUR POSTS TO GET THE GREEN LIGHT FROM YOAST FOR SEO AND READABILITY.

 

3. Update your title.

If you are a year into blogging or have over 100 posts published, and you feel like you should be getting more pageviews by now, you need to check your titles. Titles can make or break your blog. It was the number one reason responsible for low traffic when I was doing blog audits. And I gotta tell ya, I shocked pretty much 90% of the bloggers I worked with when I said, “Your titles suck.” It seems that most bloggers have no instinct for judging their own post titles.

  • A good title makes someone click and read.
  • A good post delivers on the expectation given in the title.

So if you are not getting the click-throughs you expect, you need to do some A/B testing on your post titles.

You can do this several ways.

  • You could change the title on your actual post.
  • You could change the social media title through Yoast or Social Warfare.
  • You could create new pins with new titles.

BONUS TIP: The text on your image does not have to match the title of the post.

Whichever method you choose to test different titles for your post, I strongly suggest using the Co-schedule Headline Analyzer to craft your new titles.

Here you can see me testing titles for this post:

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips

 

4. Change your URL. (optional)

If you have updated your keywords and have crafted a new title that is generating traffic, you may decide to give your SEO a real boost by changing your URL. Changing the post URL will create 301’s for any old links floating around on the internet (for example: pins on Pinterest). Be sure to set up redirects from the old to the new URL. You can do that easily using the plug in, Redirection.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
CLICK EDIT TO CHANGE URL

 

5. Create new featured images/pins.

Nothing freshens up an old post faster than a nice, new, crisp image. Make sure all of your old posts have a featured image and a pin.

BONUS TIP: Before uploading an image to your WordPress media files, rename them on your hard drive. The name of the image should contain your keyword. (chosen in #2) Not only does that help your SEO, it also helps optimize your pins on Pinterest.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
WRONG- FILE NAME NOT CHANGED BEING BEFORE UPLOADED TO WORDPRESS MEDIA FILES

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
CORRECT- FILE NAME CHANGED BEFORE BEING UPLOADED TO WORDPRESS MEDIA FILES

 

6. Make sure alt tags are filled in.

My number one source for traffic is Pinterest. Pinterest scrapes the alt tag information from your image when someone pins directly from your blog. You don’t want your image shared on Pinterest with a blank description or whatever  text the reader decided to fill in. Especially now when hashtags are allowed on Pinterest. You want to make sure that your pin will get the best start possible with the appropriate keywords and hashtags.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
FILL IN ALT TEXT FIELD WITH KEYWORDS AND HASHTAGS TO OPTIMIZE SEO AND PINTEREST.

 

7. Add internal links.

Chances are you have covered either the same topic or something very similar in a new post since publishing your old post. To keep readers on your blog longer, you need to add links to those new posts in your old posts. And vice versa.

BONUS TIP: Be sure to use the keywords of the new post when linking to it in the old post for better SEO optimization. Do not use “click here”.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
DO NOT LINK TO INTERNAL POSTS USING THE TEXT “CLICK HERE”.

 

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips
INTERNAL LINKS USING KEYWORDS ARE GOOD FOR SEO.

 

8. Add external links.

A great way to boost your domain authority is to link to a reputable site in your post, like WebMD and Huffington Post. If you link to a post with similar keywords on a higher ranked site than yours close to where you share your own internal links with similar keywords, you boost your own SEO and DA.

 

9. Add an opt-in or upgrade.

Enhance your new information on your old post by adding an upgrade or an opt-in, like a checklist.

You can click on the image below to receive your FREE pdf checklist for this post delivered to your inbox.

Updating old posts can literally double your traffic overnight if you take the time to do it right. Click through for the 10 step process. #bloggingtips

 

 

10. Add the post to your sharing schedule.

Now that your old post is new and improved, you need to get new eyes on it. One way to do that is add it to your automated social sharing tools, like Buffer.

 

It can be long and tedious work to update your old posts but it is so worth it. The next time you are suffering from writer’s block, use your time wisely. The potential to double your traffic is attainable if all the above steps are followed.


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41 thoughts on “How To Double Your Traffic By Updating Old Posts

  1. Great tips, Elena. This is something I’ve done a few times and had great results with. I’m now doing the same by updating and sharing older posts again when Twitter runs its Throwback Thursday hashtag. That way, I get more traffic from Twitter, too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just updated and shared an older blogging tips post via ‘Press This’ and used Twitter’s hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. The post was first published in July 2016 and has now had an extra 28 views since I republished it. So, I’m already getting great results from your tips, Elena.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I never update the post date because for me it changes the URL, so be careful it doesn’t do that for you too or make sure you set up redirects. I do make a point of putting, “This post was updated on…” if it is a post where the date is important to the information. If you wish it to go back to your front page, you can write a new post instead of updating the old. Don’t worry about duplication, that’s a myth.

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      1. May I also suggest sharing the post again by using ‘Press This’ (if on WordPress) or by reblogging. I’ve just started doing this again using Twitter’s #throwbackthursday hashtag. Not only does it get me to update the post, but it also gets me more traffic from Twitter by using the hashtag. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these tips. I think this post has given me the motivation to finally get working on updating my old posts. Also love your other posts- super helpful for us newbie bloggers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The plan structure on dot com makes no sense as the highest level is quadruple what a plan on self-hosted would cost. I am not sure about their reasoning.

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    1. I love that plugin. It will notify you of broken links too and helps you fix them. Broken links can affect ranking so it is good strategy to tackle them. I am glad you found some useful information in my post.

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  3. Hi Elena. This is very helpful, thank you and very timely. I only recently installed Yoast, so I’m periodically updating old posts with red and orange lights. However, I’ve been avoiding changing titles, because it automatically changes the permalink. I didn’t know about the magic of a Redirection Plugin! I shall have to research further and get that installed. Thanks so much! Sue x

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    1. You can change titles without changing the URL but I’m assuming you were taking about going all the way and changing both. I use the Redirection all the time. It’s great for notifying you about broken links too.

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    1. Updating a post does not automatically change the date. If you do manually change it, and your date is in the permalink (URL), you will need to do redirects. I don’t change the date but I may add directly in the post, “This post was updated on …”, if I think it is important and relevant to the reader. For example, I do that on my posts about algorithm changes.

      Liked by 1 person

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