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How To Update Old Blog Posts For SEO (Yes, You Need To)

Lizzie Midgley-Peters - April 16, 2024
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When it comes to optimising an old blog post for SEO, it’s not simply a one-time task. Rather, it requires regular revisions and updates, particularly for older posts that may be lagging in terms of current SEO practices and relevant, useful information.

Keeping your content fresh and relevant can significantly influence your blog’s visibility on search engine results, attracting more traffic and fostering reader engagement. 

This guide provides a deep-dive into our SEO agency’s expert SEO content refresh strategies, helping you effectively update your old blog posts for SEO purposes and reap the benefits of your efforts.

Blog SEO updates: the basics

A content update or refresh refers to the process of updating and enhancing your old blog posts with new information, formatting, keywords, and other SEO techniques. The goal is to improve the overall quality and relevance of your post in order to boost its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more organic traffic.

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SERP Layout Diagram

How do I know which old blog posts need updating?

There are various tools and techniques that can help you identify which old blog posts would benefit from an update. A thorough review of all your blog posts, otherwise known as a Content Audit, can reveal low performing blog articles and highlight a number of potential blogs to improve.

Tools that can help you audit your current content include:

  • Google Analytics: Use this tool to track the performance of your blog posts, including page views, time on page, conversions, bounce rates, and more. Posts with declining metrics may benefit from an update.
  • Screaming Frog SEO Crawler: Use this tool to crawl your website and identify any technical issues or broken links that may be impacting the performance of your older posts.
  • Google Search Console: With a Google Search Console account, you can identify which keywords and search queries are driving traffic to your posts and how they rank on SERPs. You can also use GSC to compare current clicks and impressions data with historic data. If there are any big drops, it may be time to update the original post.
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Screenshot of Google Search Console Click Gap Data

How often should I update my old blog post for best SEO results?

The frequency of updates can vary depending on your specific sector, blog performance and your business content strategy. However, a good practice is to revisit your old posts around once every year or when low performance necessitates. This ensures that your content remains current and relevant to both your readers and search engines.

At Dandy, we like to audit our client’s entire content bank at least once a year, with 3 or 6 month Content Impact Reports to follow up on how exactly the updates and refreshes have impacted SEO performance, and if all issues raised have been resolved.

How to improve old blog posts for SEO in 5 steps

Step 1: Check Queries, Search Engines & Topical Alignment

First things first when updating blog posts for SEO, you need to review your target keywords and any current queries your blog is ranking for. 

You can use keyword research tools to identify any new keywords you would like to target and check search volume, but when refreshing, we first need to get an idea of how the current blog is performing.

Queries & Keywords

To do this, you can use Google Search Console data for a Click Gap analysis. Compare the last 3 months GSC data with the previous 3 months and look for any dropped queries for the blog to target with your content optimisations. 

You can also use your top queries as a good starting point if there are no significant drops.

This step is best completed as part of your wider content audit, but if you’re just updating a single blog post, you can check the top queries to target for individual blogs also. 

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Search Intent & Search Results

Search intent is essentially the reason behind a search/query. It’s what users are looking for when they type in a certain keyword or phrase into the search engine.

Understanding search intent is crucial to getting your content seen by the right people and improving its ranking potential. There are four main types of search intent that should be considered when updating blog posts:

  • Informational: The user wants to find information or learn something.
  • Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or web page.
  • Transactional: The user is ready to make a purchase or complete a certain action.
  • Commercial investigation: The user is actively researching products or services with the intention of buying in the near future.

When updating old blog posts, it’s important to make sure that your content satisfies the search intent of the query you are targeting. For blog content, this will usually be informational or commercial investigation.

Once you have established that you have the right search intent, you can compare your content to competing content in SERPs. Are there any opportunities the content is currently missing out on? 

You can (and should) head to the target SERP directly and review the content, but you can also use an AHRefs SERP Analysis to get an overview of the SERP for your target keyword. 

How are other high ranking pieces covering the topic in order to beat the competition? If the focal keyword has rich SERP features you should make a note to try and capture these also.

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Types of ‘Rich SERP Features’– Google SERP

Topical Alignment

Next, a quick sense check is needed. SEO is no longer only about the keyword research and queries.

Does the topic of the current blog align with the topic of your top queries? Are they focused on the same thing, or is greater topical alignment needed?

Take the ‘creative direction’ blog above as an example. If your current blog was mainly focused on creativity as a whole, but ranking for creative direction queries due to a small section on creative direction, the overall topical alignment of this blog probably isn’t very strong. 

Consider how you could reframe the blog to focus on the core topic related to the query, in this case ‘creative direction’, instead of just improving the word-by-word optimisation within the content. 

Start by reading through the current content with the new keyword in mind. 

  • Do the perspectives, language and sections throughout need changing/updating/rewriting to fit the new focal keyword and topic? 
  • Does the current blog content cover all the key touchpoints the reader will want to know? 
  • Is there anything missing? 

You may need to delete entire sections here if the content is simply not relevant. This should be the first thing you do before building out the content any further. 

You can also use entity-based SEO tools like the InLinks Content Optimisation Tool to check for related topics that might currently be missing. Then you can start to consider how you could add some supporting content into the piece to make sure it covers the topic on a wider scale. 

Note: If your blog is ranking well currently, then you’ll need to make sure any changes don’t negatively impact your current rankings or traffic. 

Step 2: Review Grammar, Relevance & Overall Quality of Content

Before making any additions, especially if the blog content was written by someone else, it will need to be checked for grammar, spelling, punctuation and all the basics of written content. 

Trust us, it’s easier to fix this before you start building out the content further.

If some time has passed since the original content was written, the narrative may need significant updates in order to recapture relevance. Date references, old research, out-of-date perspectives and ideas all may need to be refreshed at this stage, or simply deleted in preparation to be replaced.

For example, if you wrote a blog last year entitled ‘The 10 Best SEO Agencies in 2023’, this year the title will need updating to ‘The 10 Best SEO Agencies in 2024’ and the blog content will need to be updated in line with this throughout.

Step 3: Review Blog Title, Metadata & Headings

As we highlighted above, you may need to make changes to your blog title and other on page metadata in order to format the blog with SEO in mind. 

Start by assessing whether the SEO title tag, meta description, and blog post URL need to be replaced in line with the new updated blog, although it is recommended not to change the blog URL significantly if your blog is already ranking and performing well.

  • Does the content currently have any headings? If not, you’ll need to structure the content from scratch. 
  • If headings are already included, are they optimised with key phrases and questions?
  • Do any key topics or structural points seem to be missing from your old post? Can you add some that make sense and add value? 
  • Is the content organised in an order that makes sense and engages the reader? 

You may need to tweak structure or individual headings here to ensure quality, keywords and comprehension.

You can also use tools like Thruu to get an overview of the top content structure and headings for your topic. 

Step 4: Supporting Content & Query Optimisation

Next, it’s time to make sure your content is optimised with great quality written content, which means that you have used all the right key phrases and queries throughout. These core phrasing optimisations are a key part of the content refresh process.

Tools like the SurferSEO Content Editor give you a complete rundown of the key phrases, headings, and word count requirements in order to improve your content search engine rankings. You can also add new supporting content at this stage, including any new assets, sections, and target keywords that are going to improve the blog post.

Take another look at the SERPs, looking out for any schema, video content, tables, quotes, graphics, or specific topics covered. Do you have any additional assets that could add value to the piece? Do you need to create images to support the fresh content, or maybe a video version of the content to support the piece?


If you answer no to the following questions, you should consider adding an FAQ section to improve the SEO potential of the blog post. You can find great opportunities for this in the PAA section on the SERP of your chosen query. 

  • Does the blog have FAQs? 
  • Are they relevant to the current PAAs in the focal keyword SERP? 
  • Are they formatted correctly in short, direct sentences and at the end of the blog?
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Step 5: Optimise Links

Internal links

Does your updated blog post link to all the right internal service pages, landing pages and blogs, using the right target queries as anchor text? Aim to use at least three to five links to relevant blogs with relevant anchor text.

External links

  • Does the piece link out to high-authority, relevant publications to support the facts in the content? 
  • Does it have up-to-date statistics, quotes from industry experts, and evidence-based research linked to back up points/opinions/angles? 
  • Can you add recent research, recent quotes from authority figures in the industry, or recent insights from your business to bring the content up-to-date?

Your Blog SEO Updates 2024 Checklist

  • Queries & Keywords:
  • untickedConduct an SEO Audit, Content Audit or Click Gap analysis using Google Search Console data to identify dropped queries.
  • untickedUtilise top queries as a starting point for content optimization.
  • Search Intent & Search Results
    • untickedUnderstand and satisfy the search intent for targeted queries (usually informational or commercial investigation).
    • untickedReview SERPs for opportunities and ensure your content covers all relevant aspects.
  • Topical Alignment
    • untickedConfirm that the blog’s topic aligns with top queries.
    • untickedReframe content to focus on the core topic related to the query.
    • untickedEnsure the perspectives, language, and sections align with the new keyword and topic.
  • Grammar and Relevance
    • untickedCheck for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
    • untickedUpdate outdated references, research, and perspectives.
    • untickedEliminate irrelevant content and refresh dated information.
  • SEO Formatting
    • untickedAssess and update the SEO title tag, meta description, and potentially the blog post URL if required.
    • untickedEvaluate the presence and optimization of headings.
    • untickedReorganise or optimise headings for improved structure and reader engagement.
  • Content Optimisation
    • untickedUtilise tools like SurferSEO to optimise key phrases, headings, and word count.
    • untickedAdd new supporting content, assets, and target keywords.
    • untickedAssess SERPs for additional elements (schema, videos, tables) to enhance your content.
  • FAQs
    • untickedInclude a relevant FAQ section based on PAA (People Also Ask) queries.
    • untickedEnsure proper formatting and placement at the end of the blog post.
  • Optimise Internal Links
    • untickedEnsure your updated blog post links to relevant internal service pages and blogs.
    • untickedUse the right target queries as anchor text.
  • Optimise External Links
    • untickedLink to high-authority, relevant publications to support facts.
    • untickedUpdate statistics, quotes, and research with recent, credible sources.

By following these comprehensive steps, you can effectively update your old blog posts for SEO in 2024, improving their visibility and relevance on search engine results pages. Regularly revisiting and optimising your content ensures that your blog maintains a high-quality standard and aligns with evolving SEO practices.

Do I need to update old blog posts for SEO?

In short: yes. As a rule of thumb, regularly updating your blog posts can benefit your SEO efforts in several ways. New blog posts are great for SEO, but if your blogs aren’t relevant, optimised, aligned with search engine results pages (SERPs) and up-to-date, your SEO blogging efforts may go to waste.

Benefits of regular content refreshes include:

  • It helps to maintain a high-quality standard to any readers of your published content.
  • By incorporating new keywords and optimising for current SEO practices, you can improve the visibility of your posts on SERPs.
  • It enables you to keep pace with changing user preferences and search engine algorithms, which can boost organic traffic and reader engagement.
  • It signals to search engines that the content on your website is constantly refreshed and relevant, helping future content to rank well.
  • Improving potentially low-performing content can also help cut any ‘dead weight’ that may currently be holding your site back from an SEO perspective.

The best way to update old blog posts for SEO? Let the experts do it for you!

SEO professionals like the team here at Dandy know exactly what to review and update when it comes to SEO blog content. Our expert-led SEO packages are the perfect way to ensure that your old blogs are updated for both quality and search performance — without you having to lift a finger.

Our team has access to a suite of paid tools you’ll need for best results, like SurferSEO, Thruu, AHRefs and InLinks, making sure every box is ticked when it comes to refreshing your old blog content for search engine success.

Don’t let your old blog posts gather dust in the archives – give them a new lease of life and boost your SEO performance with Dandy today. 

Let us help you to stay ahead of the competition and make sure your blog content is always relevant, fresh and optimised. Grab your free SEO audit today to get started.

SEO Blog Refresh FAQs

Does updating a blog post affect SEO?

Yes, updating a blog post can have a significant impact on its SEO performance. By regularly revisiting and refreshing your old blog posts, you are able to improve their relevance, quality, and alignment with current SEO practices. This can lead to improved visibility and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

How do I refresh my blog posts for SEO?

Some key steps to refresh your blog posts for SEO include conducting a content audit or click gap analysis, understanding and satisfying search intent, aligning with relevant queries and topics, checking for grammar and relevance errors, optimising SEO formatting and internal/external links, including a relevant FAQ section based on PAA queries, and utilising tools like SurferSEO to optimise key phrases and word count.
Consider seeking help from SEO professionals to ensure a comprehensive, effective and hassle-free update to your website blog content.

Should you update old blog posts?

Yes, updating old blog posts is important for maintaining a high-quality standard and staying relevant in search engine rankings. Outdated or irrelevant content can negatively impact your SEO performance, so regularly refreshing and optimising old blog posts is crucial for success.