Why you should update stale content (and how to do it)

happy and sad bread slices
happy and sad bread slices

Why you should update stale content (and how to do it)

Your content — even your best pieces — will lose their freshness after some time. This increases your bounce rate, impacts your rankings, and can make your content marketing strategy stumble. There is hope — by updating your content, you can breathe new life and interest into your old pages. Here’s why you should focus on reviving your content and how to do it with a handy checklist.

Benefits of updating your content

Your content team may be charging ahead with new web pages, news articles, and area profiles. However, starting a content refresh initiative can definitely work to your advantage.

Catch every error: Updating your content is an opportunity to fix missed grammar and spelling errors. You may not even realise it but these could be potentially off-putting for readers and lead to tarnishing your reputation.

Boost your organic traffic: Google is a fan of fresh content. Content which is posted recently has a better chance of ranking higher and gaining more search traffic. When Google crawls your site, it will recognise a fresh piece and help the content page rank better in searches related to that page.

Impress your reader: An update can make your content more useful and accurate. This ensures your reader has a pleasant experience and provides the answers they need. They’ll stay on your website longer and will be affirmed by your status as a real estate expert.

Make a necessary change: Refreshing your content can also be vital. The real estate industry is always changing. By including new trends, requirements, and rules within your piece, you can stay on the right side of the law. Plus, you’ll uphold your reputation.

Give yourself a break: Coming up with content ideas on a weekly or monthly basis can be a challenge. By concentrating on your older posts, you can produce “new” pieces without minimal effort. You may also spark fresh ideas after rereading your older pieces.

Which content to update

Optimising all your posts will take a lot of time. Realistically, it’s better to put in a plan in place and focus on content that will make a greater impact.

Using Google Search Console, search for blog posts that were once popular in the last 12 months but have declined in popularity (clicks and impressions). You can also focus on posts receiving high impressions but few clicks. These are potentially posts that could bring you more traffic but need some revisions to attract clicks.

You can also target pages that are getting good impressions but aren’t ranking on the first page of Google. Reworking this content can help improve their position in searches.

If the content you’ve worked hard on has low impressions and click-throughs, scan them to check if they have been written according to best practices.

Content which has received a lot of backlinks but isn’t ranking well for your keywords could also be looked at. You can use the free version of Ahrefs's Backlink Checker to find out your most popular pages getting backlinks.

Content update checklist

After careful consideration, pick the blog post to update. Remember, you don’t have to create a new URL but simply update the content on the current URL. The existing URL has already made an impact (however big or small) online. It makes more sense to build on that ranking rather than starting from scratch. You will also avoid having a competing URL.

There are many changes you can make to improve the performance of your content. Here are some of the updates to consider with each piece.

  1. Validity: The ideas behind your content may have an expiration date. If you’ve written about trends, statistics, and areas, these can change over time. Your update should focus on renewing the accuracy of your post.

  2. Errors: It’s easy to let grammatical and spelling mistakes slip through the first time posting. Use this opportunity to fix any mistakes you might pick up.

  3. Readability: With a critical eye, consider how easy it is to read and understand your content. Creating more white space, using bullet points, and bolding text can help make your piece easier to digest.

  4. Links: Take time to remove broken links that are no longer available as these can impact your ranking and user experience. You can use free tools like Google Analytics and Broken Link Check to quickly scan your site and identify dead links to fix. You can take your link efforts even further by linking to breaking news, statistics, events, or internal links to fresh content, web pages, or new landing pages.

  5. Embeds: Like links, embedding resources can make your content even more useful. These can include social media posts, webinars, property walkthrough videos, brochures, infographics, and podcasts.

  6. Images: Your images can have an impact on the bounce rate of your blog post. Change images that are outdated or no longer match your brand identity.

  7. Meta tags: Where applicable, you should aim to tweak your meta tags as these influence click-through rates. Adding in action words and making your meta tags more descriptive could compel a click.

  8. Headlines/CTAs: Your headlines play a crucial role in attracting a reader’s attention. The CTA encourages them to take action after they’ve read your post. If your blog post is underperforming, replacing these with alternatives could make it more appealing.

Next steps after updating

Before you hit “edit article”, you should make a note of the updated date. This is your way of telling the world your content is as fresh it can be. You should start promoting the blog post on all your usual channels like your email newsletter and social media platforms. As your blog post gets new traffic, you can track its progress on Google Search Console to ensure you’re getting the results you’re after. 

Whip your old content into shape

Your older content has so much potential. By applying our tips, you can offer your audience new value and increase your traffic. The process does take time; if you need help, Prop Data’s team of content writers can optimise your web pages, news articles, and area profiles. This month, get 25% off when you order four or more area profiles. It’s the perfect way to rewrite your existing area profiles according to best practices.