An often forgotten part of a content marketing strategy is the need to update old content.

It’s a lot easier to update blog posts than other forms of content, like videos or podcasts, although there are ways to update any form of content if you want/need to.

Updating a blog post can help it rank better in search engines, get you more engagement, and even bring in more sales.

It isn’t always worth taking the time to update an old piece of content, though. If it’s something that’s focused on an old business goal, or is unaligned with your new mission, it may be better to ignore it and let it fade away, or even unpublish it and redirect the URL to another page.

To help you decide what to do, here are some signs to help you work out if your content is worth updating:

1. It doesn’t rank as high as it used to

If you’ve got an old blog post that used to rank really highly, but has been pushed down by a competitor, it’s time to consider an overhaul.

But before you do that, look at why you’ve been overtaken. What do the posts that have overtaken you in the rankings have that your post lacks?

Analysing those will give you more insight for when you update your post and help you regain that top spot.

2. Newer, better keywords have appeared for the topic

What was once a great keyword doesn’t always stay a great keyword. Keywords have trends overtime just like clothing, hairstyles, and interior design.

Tools like Keywords Everywhere show you a graph of how a keyword’s popularity has changed over time so that you can use that to inform your choice.

Sometimes changing just one or two words in a long-tail keyword, or changing a short-tail keyword to a long-tail word, can help you rank better not just for your target keyword, but related ones, too.

3. You aren’t using enough visuals

Content with more visuals performs better.

I’ll confess: I don’t always like to put loads of imagery in my posts because it’s not a part of content marketing that I enjoy. It takes up energy I’d rather spend writing.

But I do know that when I put more images into a post, it often ranks better. It also makes it easier for people to read because, along with shorter paragraphs and sentences, it breaks text up for the eye.

And also makes it look nicer on mobile devices.

You can also use video to break up your post, or offer a recording of your post for those who’d prefer to listen than read.

Video marketing has grown by 80% in the last 12 months, and is now the most popular form of content consumed, so if you haven’t factored it into your strategy yet, now is the time before you get left behind.

4. Your brand voice has changed

Brand voices can change over time. And they should as you get to know your target audience and their needs better.

You may find you have a super helpful and in-depth blog post that’s full of knowledge, but it doesn’t perform so well because it reads like a maths textbook.

It’s important that you write blog posts in an informal way that matches how your target audience speaks.

Not writes. Speaks.

People filter themselves far too much when they write compared to when they speak, unless they’re naturally very good (unlikely) or have actively worked on their writing style (more likely).

Writing how someone speaks will create a much faster, deeper connection than if your writing style mimics something they wouldn’t read unless forced to.

I’ve never known a blog post perform well when it’s hard to read, uses lots of big words or jargon, or sounds like it belongs in 1945. It’s unlikely your company is going to be the exception.

5. It doesn’t get the same engagement on social media that it used to

Did your content used to do great on social media, but now it gets crickets?

It could be that you’ve exhausted your audience and they’ve seen it all before.

Which is a sign your audience isn’t growing and is a topic for another day.

If your engagement is usually good, it could be because the post is no longer relevant to your audience and it’s time to look at ways you can change that.

6. The market has changed

While most of us aim to write evergreen content, sometimes, even that can become dated over time.

Top-performing content should reflect industry changes because they have a direct impact not just on you, but on your target audience, too.

When is it not worth updating your content?

Even if your content hits all the criteria above, sometimes it’s not worth updating. If you’ve been creating content of any kind for a while, it’s likely that your business goals or direction have changed.

So, if you find some content that needs an update but no longer aligns with those goals, it’s not worth your time to update it.

Nor is it worth outsourcing your content to get it updated. Your money will be better spent updating your top-performing posts instead.

It’s usually only a handful of posts that will lead to conversions. The rest will help to build your brand and bring your site up the SERPs.

The high-performing posts that benefit your business are the ones you want to keep updated.

Or, if they’re related to your changing direction, you’ll want to update those to reflect that change.


Updating content can be a quick win. However, sometimes it can take much longer than you think it will.

(Self-editing isn’t as easy as people think, after all.)

It’s really about taking into account how the post has performed in the past, the direction of your business, and where the industry is going. There’s no point updating a post that focuses on last year’s trends if nobody’s talking about it anymore.

Sometimes it’s better to look ahead, but there’s no harm in keeping your evergreen content updated, either.

Need some help with editing your old content? Email me at 😉