If you’ve been writing a blog for a few years, then you’ll no doubt have hundreds of old posts. I had 927 the last time I checked! It’s time to Spring Clean Your Blog!
When I look back at some of my old posts I cringe at the dreadful food photography, clumsy lay-out of my recipes and absolutely no regard for SEO. I really didn’t have a clue.
BUT it also shows me how far I’ve come and all of the skills and expertise I’ve picked up along the way.
To make the very most of old content, because it’s super valuable, it’s definitely worth going back and brushing it up. Your traffic can really benefit. If all those old posts start attracting page views, it’ll really have a great impact on the growth of your site.
Where do I start?
Which of your old posts are the most popular? Identify those that already drive traffic:
- Take a look at your Google Analytics – which pages receive most views?
- Take a look in your Google Search Console to see what posts receive the most hits
Here’s my checklist of things to do to update and optimise old blog posts as a food blogger, but a lot of these translate to other genres too:
Re-shoot poor quality photos
You may have really changed your approach to food styling and photography so make sure this is reflected to create a consistent look and feel for people coming to your site.
Put recipes into plugins
Get a consistent look across your blog by putting all of your old recipes into the same recipe plugin.
Sharpen up the SEO
Make sure you’ve researched the best keyword for your blog post and then that keyword is mentioned throughout your content. You need to do this in a way that is natural and not forced. This will help your content to rank highly in search engines and therefore increase blog traffic.
Make sure the blog titles also get a re-working to include those keywords. I used to write fun post titles like “Rainy day cooking” or “Kitchen adventures with a toddler” but these are not explicit enough in the Google search results. You have two choices – you can either update the title or keep the fun title and instead change the Meta Title and Description in the Yoast settings. You can even change the title for Twitter and Facebook using the Yoast social media settings.
Update with more content
Longer blog posts packed with useful content are favoured by Google, so do a spot of research and pad out those neglected posts with more info and add even more value!
With your fresh eyes you are bound to spot the odd typo so proof read those older articles too!
Were there any useful comments that could now be incorporated into the post main content?
Remember most people are reading your content on a mobile so keep those paragraphs short. Break big chunks of text down into shorter paragraphs of around 5 lines rather than a barrage of text all bunched up.
Use lists and headings to break up large chunks of text.
Add links to relevant content both on your site and on other good quality sites. You might find that you wrote a later article which you can now link to in this older post.
Use a broken link checker plugin to see if you have any links that now go to a “page not found” page. Remove or fix those links, but remember to deactivate that broken link checker plugin as they are rather resource-hungry.
Just remember – don’t change your post slug – at least not without setting up a redirect.
Most Popular posts
This will often throw up old posts that need love but also gives them a good airing in strategic places
It’s good to take stock of what you’ve written about too. You could create round-up posts on something you’ve written about loads and it might throw up a gap of what you’ve NOT yet gotten around to
Check those images all have their alt text! But just adding the alt text in the media library isn’t enough. When you added the image to your post it took the alt text as it was at that time. If you update it in the media library it doesn’t go through your posts and date it there too. So either you need to delete the image and re-insert it or go to text tab and add your text between the quotes of the alt attribute eg alt=”a better alt text” and link to our post about alt text.