“Ask an Expert” is an occasional feature wherein we pose questions to ecommerce authorities. For this installment, we address the best way to optimize content, such as blog posts and gift guides, for search engines.
Ecommerce merchants often rely on helpful content to attract visitors. New blog posts and gift guides, as examples, can keep prospects engaged with a site and, also, provide fresh content in a search engine’s index. But, conversely, older posts and guides can have many inbound links, which help the posts achieve high organic search rankings.
As such, to attract prospects from search engines, are merchants better served by updating an existing, highly-ranked post with fresh content or by publishing a new, separate post?
We asked that question to Stephan Spencer, a longtime SEO consultant and host of two popular podcasts, “The Optimized Geek” and “Marketing Speak.”
Practical Ecommerce: For SEO, is it better to update an existing, highly-ranked blog post with fresh content or publish an entirely new, separate post?
Stephan Spencer: It’s definitely better to update the existing blog post.
Consider this real world example. Say your ecommerce company publishes a holiday gift guide every year at a new URL. When you do that, you are starting over each year in terms of optimizing for search engines.
But if you update last year’s gift guide with new content, you get to ride on the coattails of all the link equity that has accumulated over time at that URL. You can still archive last year’s gift guide at another URL. Just make sure you maintain a stable URL over time for the freshest gift guide, as in the following.
Stable URL of gift guide over time: https://somedomain.com/holiday-gift-guide
Archived URL of the now obsolete gift guide: https://somedomain.com/holiday-gift-guide-2016