How to Optimise Old Blog Posts: Historical Optimisation

Lauren Hetherington

Although blogging can be rather time consuming, we all know that it’s well worth doing so that we can improve our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is all about making your business more visible online, as well as helping users to find what they are looking for more easily.

There are a variety of factors that determine your Google ranking from on-page SEO, link building and local SEO, to user experience, page speed and content. Content creation is hard enough, but getting it to rank for keywords and phrases is even trickier. One method to help your website appear higher in the search engine results is historical optimisation.

Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!

In this article, we will help you to understand what historical optimisation is and how it can improve your website visibility.


 What is historical optimisation?

Historical optimisation is the process of updating old blog posts to make them more relevant to the current climate. For example, if you wrote a blog about micro needling six months ago, the information may be out of date or inapplicable today; bringing these old posts up to date can help to keep the information fresh and relevant for your users.

Why is it worth doing?

At this point, some of you may be thinking “why would I bother rewriting a blog that took me 3 hrs to do the first time round?!”; Using this SEO tactic can revitalise your blogs, increase levels of traffic & engagement and improve your search engine ranking.

Trust & Traffic

Keeping your blogs fresh and current can also help to instil loyalty in your readers; if you are churning out blog content every week, that’s great, but you need to think about how that content will age. In the aesthetics industry, there are constant changes in legislation and trends, meaning that you have to stay alert at all times. Getting clued up on industry news shows your readers that you are an expert who they can trust. If the government announces a new law regarding aesthetics practitioners, you can’t have a 3 month old blog post that contradicts that new information.

Updating your old blog content will help build brand loyalty by demonstrating that your business is in-the-know when it comes to all things aesthetic. This will also help to boost your online traffic and engagement because it gives your customers fresh content without having to write an entirely new article. Hubspot did some research into the efficacy of historical optimisation and found that they could double their monthly leads through updating old blog posts, as well as increasing their monthly organic views.


Link Building

Link building is also a crucial part of SEO; this practice can be better implemented when your articles are up-to-date. The basic practice of link building involves asking other reputable bloggers and thought leaders within your niche to link to your content from their own website or blog. Ultimately, you have a better chance of building links when your blogs showcase the latest news and information. No one wants to link to a old blog where the content has become outdated and irrelevant.  

Search Rankings

Another reason for using this SEO method is that Google (as one example) rewards websites that update their subject matter by keeping up with new industry trends. At the end of the day, if you are reaching for that top spot on the search engines, you will need to incorporate historical optimisation into your SEO strategy.

Pro-Tip: Repurposing Content

Lastly, this tactic goes hand in hand with repurposing content; if you really want to push the boat out, you could optimise your old blog and then repurpose it into a new video tutorial with the same, but updated, information that is present in the article. Extra brownie points for anyone who repurposes the blog into more than two formats (i.e. podcast, video or e-book).


How can you optimise old blog posts?

Now you know why historical optimisation is important, let’s discuss how you can effectively update old blog posts.

Find your top performing content from 4-6 months ago

Firstly, you need to identify your mid-top performing content; these are blogs that have the potential to rank higher in the search engines; for example, if your blog on chemical peels generated more traffic than usual, but it’s on page 2 of Google search, this may be a good choice for your update. It is also important to choose content that is outdated, there is no point in vamping up an article you wrote 2 weeks ago because, chances are, it won’t be out of date yet.

Build Inbound links to recently published articles

To show that your fresh re-published blog is new and improved, try building links to recently published articles within your niche. It goes without saying that these links need to be relevant and deliberate; don’t add links for the sake of adding links as these will not help your search ranking. Find a few aesthetics articles that touch on the topic you have discussed in your content and reach out to them to ask for a link.

Change images & photos; add a new infographic

To give your audience the look and feel of novelty, go ahead and throw in some new images and photographs. If you really want to impress your readers, create a new infographic to better explain the written information. These visual aids will break down your content to make it more digestible and user friendly; it also highlights the idea that this article is better than it was before.

Research current industry news and add in the related info

As mentioned before, it is important to prove your knowledge of the industry; keep an eye out for interesting articles and, where appropriate, weave it into your blog. This will ensure that the fact & info you are providing is reliable and current, building trust among your audience.


Do some keyword research

Although you probably did your keyword research when you initially wrote the blog, it’s a good idea to find out if the ones you used are still high ranking. Use a tool like Moz Keyword Explorer or Ahrefs to find out what keywords are popular right now.

Add the current year to your meta title and description

This is simple, but effective. Adding the current year to your meta title and description will show Google that your content is brand new. Sometimes, when people are searching, they filter out content that is more than a month old; by having the year in your title, your article will be more discoverable.

Make sure all the information is still correct

Double check all your facts and figures; if you wrote the piece a while ago, there will probably be some changes to make. Go through the article with a fine-tooth comb and assure all your stats & info are correct.

Add internal links to your most recent content

If you have chosen a blog from 4 months ago, you will probably have released other pieces of content since then. If you have new content related to the blog topic, add some internal links to these recent podcasts, videos, blogs or e-books. This has 2 key benefits; firstly, it will improve user experience as they will be able to find out relevant information more easily; secondly, it will improve your over SEO and site ranking.

Republish your blog by changing date

Once you have made all the necessary changes, you are ready to re-publish your blog as if it were a brand new article! All you have to do is change the date in the backend of your website builder and click update.

Promote article across marketing channels

Once your blog has been re-uploaded; it’s time to promote your vamped up content across all your marketing channels; use social media, email campaigns and website banners to push this modified content. If part of your audience already read the blog post when it was first released, explain why your content is different and better than the original.

How often do you need to carry out this process?

Generally, in the first 7-10 days after a blog post’s release, it receives 50% of its impressions. However, there is also the ‘echo phase’ which is the following 30 days after the blog publish date; in this period, the post performs best, receiving 72% of its impressions. As a rule of thumb, you should update your old blogs every quarter as this gives your articles enough time to generate traffic and go out of date.

If you have seen a decrease in traffic and engagement on your blog posts, don’t let all that hard work go to waste; give your old articles a little TLC and they will be good as new, if not better. It can be extremely time consuming running your own business, so if you need a little extra help regarding blog writing and SEO, book a free consultation with us today.