How to Update Your Content for More SEO Benefits with Joe Hall @joehall #VCBuzz

How to Update Your Content for More SEO Benefits with Joe Hall @joehall #VCBuzzWhenever you publish more and more content to your blog, you keep thinking about all those articles that you published months and years ago.

All content, even evergreen content, needs updates at some point. The world is changing and it’s natural that you want to give your readers up-to-date information.

But what’s the best way to publish those updates? How to get more SEO benefits from those edits. Is there a way to increase your traffic by updating your old content.

Let’s discuss!

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About Joe

Joe Hall is a web developer, writer, marketer, and artist that has worked on both the national and local levels around a variety of diverse topics and technologies.

Joe Hall is a Senior Organic Search Strategist at Perficient Digital @PRFTDigital, where he advises enterprise brands on how best to gain more organic traffic from the search engines.

Follow Joe at his personal blog at hallanalysis.com and connect to him on Linkedin

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I started building web sites in the 90s, and then in college for many nonprofits. Then started my own company and many of my clients wanted marketing/SEO as well. So eventually SEO became the only thing we did. Now I am a Senior SEO at perficientdigital.com

Q2 Last year you published an important update on how changing dates on your old content can actually annoy Google. Could you please elaborate on that? Should publishers always avoid changing the publication date? How to best reflect that your content has been updated and when?

Google has always made providing the most relevant information for each query their #1 priority. So if you are simply changing the date on content with out changing any time sensitive info on the page, that’s not a good idea. If you want update the date on the page create a new piece of content with fresh info. If there is no fresh info, then explore other ways to optimize the page.

Sure, so it could be technical optimizations, increased internal linking to it, it could be updates to the meta tags, you might want to even add new images etc.

I guess what ever makes sense for your site. Follow what you would normally do for new content.

That’s a pretty broad question. I think that would large depend on the context of what you are trying to achieve. Do you have an example?

That is still pretty broad! LOL every brand will use and collect data differently. At the end of the day, take risk, and be creative with your data, put the user first, and build content that empowers them and you at the same time.

 

Q3 Overall, should publishers ever care to update old content or should they rather publish new articles with updated data? What are the PROs and CONs of both the approached?

It depends on the goal. At PRFT we provide something called a “striking distance” report. Some others call it a low hanging fruit report, this is content that ranks at the top of page 2 for terms. In that instance, updating the content might be a great idea.

However if a page is already ranking really well and you don’t want to ruin existing rankings, you should consider new content with fresh info. And link internally to it.

I am saying that it depends on where it is ranking, and what your goals are.

Q4 What are other (good and bad) ways to keep your old content up-to-date? What are PROs and CONs of each? Is there a perfect way to do that?

Internal linking is huge, and I know that isn’t “content” per say, but it will help that old content get some fresh eyes. Maybe on a regular basis review any recent news about the content topic and seek ways to add it. I always say its better to add to content then edit.

Also consider doing some fresh link building to old content as well… if it got links in the past, why can’t it get them now?

Adding things like Structured Data can also help old content take advantage of new SERP features. Updating content for Mobile First Indexing and speed is also crucial.

Start with your base terms, and then think of all of the supporting terms. These aren’t terms that you are trying to rank for, but rather they are words that are related to your target in some way. Use them all and you will have well rounded content.

Q5 What are your favorite content management tools?

Of course I am going to say WordPress. LOL But also have been using and several others. Even Google docs has been good lately for collaboration.

Another VERY important thing to remember when updating content is knowing WHEN TO STOP. Over optimization is a thing, and can make rankings and traffic worse. Please always remember that!!!

Yes we do a very similar analysis here that also includes ranking data from SEMRush. I think thats a really smart way to approach deleting content. And honestly that level of analysis is the only way I feel comfortable do it.

Our previous SEO chats:

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