Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Improve Your Online Presence Podcast.
Today we’re actually going to go through a question that was sent directly to me from one of my customers.
Since then I’ve not only answered their question, but helped them implement a solution to solve the problem and because it was actually such a good and easy idea to implement, I wanted to come back here and share it with everyone.
Here’s the question that they asked:
On blog posts, is there a way to show the date the blog was published and then additionally, if the blog was updated, also display the date it was updated.
Essentially what they are wanting to do is display not only the published date, but also the date the article was last updated.
I want to discuss 3 reasons why I think this is a really great question for us to look at.
First, updating posts instead of writing new posts is really a good thing for Google.
Second, It’s a good thing for your visitors.
Lastly it’s actually a good thing for you.
Best of all, it’s a really easy solution to implement on your website that can save you time, it can improve your rankings, and it can also improve your reputation.
Let’s dive into each of these 3 reasons a little bit deeper.
Why is fresh content a good thing for Google?
Google’s algorithm works in many ways— in fact, there are hundreds of factors Google considers when they’re deciding where they’re going to rank your piece of content in their search results. Within those factors there are several reasons why updating content is actually more beneficial sometimes than writing new content.
First of all, over time pages or posts or content on your website starts to gain authority. What I mean by this is that over time Google sees people visiting this page, reading this page, people linking to that page and each time these things happen Google has more trust in your article. The longer something has been published online the more time it has to build authority.
Now, your content still has to be good… but generally speaking, an article that’s been around longer will have more authority than a new one— all things else being equal.
Additionally, Google is also looking at when a page has been updated. Through some specific markup language called “schema”, which is just something that search engines read, you can actually tell Google when information was updated.
When Google sees that you’re going back through old posts and updating them and making them fresh, they are going to have more trust that your article is relevant because it sees that you’re actively working on that post and improving it over time.
Why is fresh content good for your visitors?
Don’t you hate when you go online and you find the wrong information on somebody’s website?
You might show up to a store and something’s a completely different price than they said online, and it was just because they hadn’t updated it on the website.
Or you get to the store and they’re not even open because their business hours have changed and they didn’t tell anybody.
Or this one happens to me all the time… I go to a brand new restaurant and I’ve looked at their menu online and I get there and the menu is different. You know, the prices have changed and what they have served has changed.
If customers are getting outdated content on your website, they will become frustrated by it. So by showing that you’ve updated your blog post or your content on your website by displaying a date of when it was last updated, you’re really showing visitors that you’re still engaged and on top of things on your website— that they can trust the information on your website.
The “last updated” date is really a trust factor in this case.
Why refreshing content is easier for you.
It’s a whole lot easier to comb through an old article and just update the pieces that are out of date rather than to go through and write an entirely new article.
Of course, some blog posts might take you more time than others…. There might be more things that are out of date or just going back through it you might find some ways that you could improve that post by adding some more things. But generally speaking, editing a blog post is a whole lot easier and quicker than writing a brand new one.
How to display the “updated” date in posts
So now that you can kind of see why I think this is such a good question and why this is something you should definitely be thinking about on your website, let’s talk about how easy this is to actually implement. It’s actually really easy. In fact, like everything in WordPress, there’s a plugin for that.
There’s actually a plugin called Last Modified Info. It’s really easy to use.
After you install and activate it anytime you update a post it’s going to go ahead and automatically set a last updated date through that specific markup language we talked about called “Schema”.
You don’t really have to know a whole lot about schema other than it’s the metadata that Google is reading about your website so it can easily categorize information (like the author, topic, published date— and last modified date).
Once you install that plugin and turn it on, there are a couple of different ways you can actually display this on your blog posts so it’s visible to customers. The plugin documentation is helpful when it comes to actually displaying the last modified date on your website.
Of course, if you need any help, you can always email me [email protected] and I’ll be glad to help walk you through that. But it’s really simple to set up.
Once that’s up and running, anytime you update a post, it’s automatically going to update the last modified date, which is going to show Google and your visitors that you’re on top of things.
Your Call to Action
Okay, we’re just about to wrap up this topic, but I want to give you a call to action to finish off this podcast episode.
With the information we covered today, can do to easily improve your online presence by combing through any old blog posts or content on your website that might be out of date.
Set aside an hour on your schedule this week to go through some of those old blog posts you wrote last year or two years ago or three years ago, and just read through them real quickly. It honestly won’t take you as long as you think— you’re already familiar with the content and you’ll likely know by the title alone what things to look out for… Information that might be dated, or things within your business that have changed since you published it originally.
What I would really encourage you to do is to go ahead and set up a schedule for yourself to routinely go back through old content and check it for any updates that might need to be done.
Once a month or at least quarterly, to go back through all your content and find ways that you might be able to update that because it’s good for Google because it’s good for your visitors and because it will make keeping content fresh on your website a whole lot easier on you. I think this is a win win scenario and a great way to improve your presence online.
Thank you for listening to today’s episode. Hopefully you found lots of value in that and if there’s any way I can help you out with any of this, don’t hesitate to send me an email, [email protected] and I’ll be glad to go through any of this in further detail with you or help you get it all set up on your website.
If you have any questions you’d like to have answered here on the podcast, you can shoot me an email at the same email address as well. And I’ll be glad to turn your question into an answer on a future podcast episode.
We’ll catch you guys in the next one.