Issue #284

Sent to members on May 10, 2019

Quick SEO Improvement To Your Blog

There’s a lot of things we talk about to build up your blog, your traffic and more. And much of the time, they’re more big-picture strategies that are things you have to do over time.

But, every now and then, there’s a quickie you can do to help your business and it doesn’t take long. I like those. 🙂 They’re easy. Wam and bam!

You may have read my post already about what I call The Redwood Strategy. It goes like this…

Don’t constantly churn out new stuff. Instead, go back and update the old posts on a routine basis. Build them up into major marketing assets over time.

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But, this seems to run contrary to another important (and true) thing that you mighta heard. And that’s that content frequency also matters.

I mean, when all things are equal for two blogs except for frequency… the blog that posts more often is going to get more traffic from Google. Google respects (and rewards) current and updated content.

But, if you’re not posting new stuff, how’s that going to work? Plus, when you go back and modify a blog post, it seems as if the only way to make it seem current is to re-publish it with a newer start date. The thing is…

When you re-publish a new post with a current date, it bumps that post to the top of the archives again. It shows up as a new post. What if you don’t want it to do that?

The answer is to show the LAST UPDATED date instead of the PUBLISHED date.

Now, there’s a plug-in which makes this easy. It is called WP Last Modified Info.

Once that plug-in is turned on, go and enable it for posts. In my opinion, you only really need to do this for blog posts, not pages or other post types. So, on the “Post Options” tab, do this…

  • Enable for Posts on Frontend – ENABLE
  • Enable Inline Schema Markup – ENABLE
  • Last Modified Info Display Mode – MANUAL

You can leave the rest at default.

Now, you’ll want to modify your theme so that it shows the date last modified for your blog posts rather than the publish date. If you go to the HELP tab of the plug-in, it will give you the code you need to insert the date into your theme.

So, this will do 2 things for ya:

  • It will display the date of last update on every blog post.
  • It will feed that last updated date to Google so that it will use that as a ranking factor rather than your publish date.

What this will allow you to do is go back and make even minor edits to old blog content and then update the post.

In a lot of cases, this will give you a quick hit of new traffic from Google just because they see the post as fresher. The good thing, too, is that there’s no need to re-publish that post and kick it to the top of your blog again. You can just update it in the background and leave it back there in the archives.

Now, a word of warning…

This isn’t going to work one bit for you if you never update old blog posts. Displaying dates on the front-end can be a double-edged sword. If you never update anything, best to leave it out. But, if you do actually maintain your blog posts (as you should), then feeding that “last updated” data to Google can give you a nice improvement in your SEO rankings.

Only takes a few minutes. 🙂

Tech Talk

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