Old Blog Post Refresh Checklist
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TaskResults
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Identify any keywords your old blog post is currently ranking for in positions 1-20, and write those keywords down—along with their volumes and current ranking positions—in the results column.Example:
update old blog post | 10/mo. | #5 on pg. 1
For more information on how to use this checklist, visit "How to Refresh Old Blog Posts for SEO [Guide + Checklist]"
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Select a target (main) keyword that you'll optimize for when refreshing your old blog post, and write that keyword down in the results column.Example:
update old blog post
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Conduct keyword research to identify any secondary (related) keywords you might want to cover when updating your blog post, and write those keywords down in the results column.Example:
how to refresh old blog posts
how to optimize old blog posts
what to do with old blog posts
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Look at the page-one results for your target keyword. Are there any special SERP results (e.g. video carousels)? Are the top results all formatted the same (e.g. list articles)? Are there topics in the top results you should make sure to cover? Is there a featured snippet? If so, what kind of featured snippet is it (i.e. list, paragraph, table)? Make note of your findings in the results column.Example:
- Competitor-owned list featured snippet
- 7 of 10 top results are lists
- The highest number of entries in a list is 15
- All posts include a definition section
- 3 of 10 top results include videos
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Search Google for your secondary keywords and see if a featured snippet displays for any of those keywords. Document the keyword with a featured snippet and what type of featured snippet displays.Example:
"how to refresh old blog posts" has competitor-owned list featured snippet
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Edit the existing post. Make sure all of the links still work. Make sure all of the content is still accurate and relevant. Update outdated screenshots. Add new screenshots/images/videos. Fix any grammar/spelling/formatting errors.
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Add additional content. Some of the additional content you’re adding might be things you identified in the steps above that should be included. Some of it might be filling gaps in the existing content. Some of it might be examples/anecdotes from your own knowledge/research.
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Optimize for your target keyword. If it’s possible to do without sounding like a robot, try to include your target keyword in three places: the blog post’s main title, once in the introduction, and once in one subheader.
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Format your content for featured snippets. If you’re targeting a list featured snippet, include a list in your content. If you’re targeting a paragraph featured snippet, write a couple of succinct sentences that describe the concept you’re explaining.
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Add internal links to other, related blog posts on your site.
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Make sure any images you’re using in the post—old or new—have relevant and descriptive alt text.
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Make sure your SEO title isn’t getting truncated in search results. If you’re not changing the title of the post you’re updating, make sure it displays fully in the search results. If you are changing the title, see how many characters display for the existing results and try to stay within that character count.
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Unless the post's existing URL absolutely must be changed, leave it as-is. If you absolutely must change it, make sure to 301 redirect the old URL to the new URL.
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If you haven't already documented where your old blog post currently ranks for the main and secondary keywords you're targeting, write those down in the results column along with their current ranking positions, or add those keywords to your preferred rank tracking tool before publishing your changes.Example:
update old blog post = #5 on pg. 1
how to update old blog posts = #3 and #0 on pg. 1
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Republish your revision and include a note stating when the post was originally published and a brief summary of the changes that were made in the update.
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Request that Google reindex the post in Google Search Console.
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Check the rankings of your updated post a week or two after republishing it. If the results aren't desirable, make any necessary changes. If the results are great, celebrate!
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