When reading articles on the Internet, we always want to receive up-to-date information on a given topic. Taking care of new content on your website often becomes more important than keeping the content you used to be up-to-date. How do I make minor updates to articles? How can we make our content more attractive? Why is it worth doing? I will answer these and other questions in the article below.
Why is blog content important?
Content marketing is also content marketing – everything we publish on our website. Thanks to it, we can reach more recipients and provide users with interesting information.
We can write them in the form of blog posts, reports, guides, product descriptions or interviews. Here, we can only be limited by creativity (and the scope of our activity), because there may be many ideas for showing uniqueness and the way of presenting content.
Articles on the site are usually created by copywriters, but not only. Articles can also be written by owners or people working in other departments of the company. Thanks to this, we can write more specialized articles on a given topic and save money.
Why does content matter in SEO?
Uniqueness, timeliness and high quality are of great importance for a good ranking of our website. Before the implementation of the algorithms: Penguin, Panda or Koliber, it was possible to “spam” the text with key phrases – this was often enough to achieve high positions in Google. Fortunately, we have long since passed away.
New algorithms evaluate the quality of our content, so we must ensure that it is of the highest level. The article not only has to meet the user’s requirements, but also has to be optimized for search engines such as Google or Bing.
SEO + Content are inextricably linked. Without content, we will not do internal linking well, we will not saturate the page with key phrases and we will not present the user with information about our company, product or values that we want to convey to him.
Content update – why is it important?
We already know that the content affects the position of our website and we should take care of it. So why are there articles that used to be 1st in Google, and then dropped? After all, we put a lot of time and work into them. There can be many factors that influence it. One of them may be that our content has become outdated.
Of course, this is not the only ranking factor we should consider. Great content without any other SEO efforts may yield zero or very low results.
Over time, the information we post on the website loses its value.
Content that was created in 2017 may not be up to date this year. Especially if in the article we referred to the legal provisions in force at that time (which were amended at that time), the prices that were in force at that time (during these 3 years the costs of products could change) or statistical data from that period.
Google tries to provide users with not only the highest quality content, but also tries to provide up-to-date information.
Content update – how to choose the ones that need to be changed?
A. Content that is no longer relevant
Over time, our content may become obsolete, and the things we wrote about no longer apply. We can then redirect them 301 to a similar entry or try to bite the topic differently if users are still looking for information on this topic.
A few years ago, we wrote an article about loans for own contribution. Currently, banks do not allow financing of own contribution from such a source.
However, they allow loans from developers for own contribution and some users are looking for information on this subject. We can rewrite the article from scratch in this regard to provide the user with the necessary and current news.
B. Articles with specific time periods
If we can – avoid giving dates in articles. If this is not possible, let’s make a spreadsheet in which we write down the content that has it and when we should update it. There are content that we can update annually, and there may be content that we should change every month.
C. Comments below the article that may expand it
Users often pay attention to things that the writer may not notice. The comments may contain interesting information or questions about which we can update our content. Not every user reads the comments posted under the articles (especially if there are many of them). Thanks to the expansion of the main content of the post, we can provide all readers with interesting information.
D. “Walls of text” without highlighter
We can try to make our content more attractive to the user to make it easier and more pleasant to read. Here we can use various types of sections, for example:
– highlighted examples,
– lists of bullets,
– graphical linking to other related articles,
– expert advice,
Thanks to such measures, our content can be clearer for the reader.
E. General Content
It happens that we write an article that is very general or touches on many topics a little. We can expand it with new information or write new related articles, where we will explain all the issues to the user in detail.
We have a summary article about the most important Google algorithms. Each of them is briefly described to provide the most important information about them.
We can do 2 things with it:
– expand the article and describe each algorithm in detail. Thanks to this, we will have an article that is very extensive and comprehensive topic. When new algorithms are entered, we can add them to this article in an equally exhaustive way,
– we can write separate articles, where we will describe each algorithm in detail. From the base article about the most important algorithms, we can refer the user to separate articles on the topic that interested him by internal linking.
F. Duplication of content
It may happen that we have several hundred articles on the website and we forget that we have already written such an article. It turns out that our content cannibalize ourselves with keywords. Let’s check which article appears with a larger number of phrases and which users visit more often and combine it into one. Remember to redirect the article from which we resign to the content left on the website.
G. Is the article we wrote easy for the user or is it incomprehensible?
Remember that we do not write content only for Google – they are created primarily with the user in mind. It is he who will read the article and should understand everything from it. If it seems to us that the article we wrote is very specialized and we use heavy terms in it – let us read it to a person who is unfamiliar with this topic. If the reader does not understand a part – it is worth simplifying it, because another person may also have a problem with it.
One of our editors is a lawyer who uses many specialized terms or quotes from statutes. They may be incomprehensible to some users. By using examples where we realistically present a given situation, it may turn out that it will be a sufficient simplification of the content + we gain valuable content.
H. Short, low-quality content
If we have an article on the website on a topic that has a large number of searches – it is worth expanding it. Thanks to this, we can provide valuable information to the user and appear in the search engine for more searches. It is worth the article to be exhaustive and to convey everything possible.
Content update – minor changes
Let’s start with the content that is, for example, from this year and requires only minor updates. We don’t have to rewrite the whole article then (although it may turn out that a minor update will change the meaning of the whole article – then it is worth rewriting it) – we can only change a few small things in the article.
If we only make minor changes – it is worth adding the update date section in the article (we then show the user that the article is already on the website for a while, but is constantly updated).
Examples of what we can pay attention to with minor updates:
A. The prices given in the articles are no longer valid
If we are a comparison engine or we run an online store – the prices of our services or products may change dynamically. It is worth that the price offer that we present in the articles should coincide with the prices that we place in the product categories. This saves the user the trouble of figuring out which price is correct.
This is especially important when we raise the price of a product. If we do this, and in the article the price we gave was lower and we did not mention the promotion there – the user may start looking for a product at this price on other websites and not come back to us.
B. The products we wrote about are no longer available for sale
If a product has been permanently withdrawn from sale, will the user want to read about it? What if the product has only been recalled with us? We can then expect 2 things:
– if the user is interested in this product – he can leave our store again and go to the competition, where he will get the product
– the user may waste time reading about a product that they will not get anyway. Here, too, negative emotions may arise because he will be disappointed with the inability to buy.
It is then worth updating the article and replacing this unavailable article with a product with similar parameters to the withdrawn one. Thanks to this, we will present the user with information about the products that he will surely get from us in the store.
If the product has been temporarily withdrawn – it is worth mentioning with the product that it is a temporary shortage and we will give the user the opportunity to set a reminder when the product is available for sale again.
If the product has been permanently withdrawn – we can compare different versions of this product (if of course they are and we can compare them) or make a comparison with similar products. Then we can encourage the user to buy a new and improved model.
C. The links to which we referred the user have changed
Both external and internal links are important here. After all, we do not want to send the user to page 404, where he will not find the information he is interested in.
When updating your content, it’s also worth taking a look at because we may have missed some deleted link and not redirected it to the correct URL.
D. Title and meta description
If we change the content of the article – it is also worth updating the metadata. Thanks to this, we will show the user in the search engine that our content is up-to-date. If we change the whole and leave “2019 ranking” in Title -> the user can skip our entry and move to another, thinking that ours is not up to date enough.
If we rely on infographics in our article, we must also remember about them. If we change the prices in the content and leave the old user in the infographic, he may get lost and not be sure which ones are up to date.
F. Legal regulations / sources we rely on
If we rely on legal provisions / statistical sources in our articles – remember that they may also change. When updating the content, let’s also take this into account so as not to unnecessarily mislead the user.
G. Structured data
More and more websites use the FAQ schema. It is worth checking whether the change of content on the website also causes a change in the structural data. It may turn out that the website is coded in such a way that IT sets this data. We must then remember this, because the schema should contain exactly the same information that appears on the website.
If we update an article – remember to check the entire content. The update date indicates that it is up-to-date at the moment. If we update only part of it, the user will be misled by us because some of the information will be up-to-date and some not.
These are just a few examples that we can pay attention to – it is worth reviewing what we write about on our website and finding out for yourself which information, in our opinion, may be outdated for the user.
Examples of tools to help us update content
We can check which content has a high bounce rate and a small number of hits. It may be the fault of the articles we published. Let’s find out what’s wrong with them and try to update them.
Let’s check TOP10 search results – thanks to this we will find out what is missing in our article. It is also worth using similar searches and Google hints.
We have an article on business activity. Thanks to Google’s hints, we can check what information users are looking for.
Ahrefs provides a “Content GAP” feature, so we can compare our article with articles on the same competition. Here, we will also receive information on which phrases our article does not appear in the search engine.