Blogging

An Easy Way to Increase Website Traffic From Old Posts

It’s hard, isn’t it?

You want to increase website traffic.

An Easy Way to get More Traffic From Old Posts

You block time when your little one is sleeping to write some awesome blog posts that you totally know will get you traffic. You write it, edit, look over it, create the best Pin graphic and hit publish.

Crickets…

Nothing.

What is going on? If you just started a blog and want to get more traffic to it, then this easy peasy tip will totally help you out. It did for me, and my blog isn’t even a year old.

Don’t be wrong, I’ve been trying to grow my traffic and used other things like this and this, but for a while my traffic has been slow and steady. Which is great! Every day I get more traffic, but it’s not that much.

So, the more and more tips I use totally helps me bump my traffic up each month. And this little trick  – I started just in the new year – and I can already tell it’s working.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about what Google likes.

Google Likes Fresh and New Content

Of course, you must know that right? But, what about all your old posts on your blog? Does Google like that? Well not really. It’s an old post with old screenshots and information so it may not get as much traffic to it anymore. And in Google’s eyes, it’s not relevant anymore.

Unless, of course, you have a popular blog or a popular blog post. For example, when I searched, “how to grow your social media following” in Google, the first result is a post from 2014…but it’s from Forbes.

Google believes this post from 2014 is the BEST answer to my question even though it’s outdated. This post probably has some great SEO juice and relevant tips that still holds water in 2017. And, it probably gets a lot of traffic every day.

On a smaller scale, when I used this traffic tip I’m going to share today, I noticed within a few days people were reading old posts and commenting on them!

For example, this post was published on April 26, 2016, and one of my last comments was in November. But, with this new tip, I got a few more comments, meaning that new people were visiting my old post!

So, how can we extend the life of old posts without spending hours and hours revamping them?

The One Easy Thing That Boosted My Traffic

Want to know what it is?

It’s using the last modified date on my blog posts. So, instead of it saying the original published date, it says, “Last Updated 1/3/2017” or whatever date you last updated your post.

And you know what that looks like in Google?

It looks like a new post because of the *new* date! And we all know Google likes fresh and new content. BOOM!

How to Show Your Last Updated Date on Your Posts

The tutorial I’m going to show you is for any Genesis WordPress theme. I’m sorry SqureSpace bloggers or WP bloggers on another theme. This trick can be done on those platforms, but for the sake of this tutorial and the fact that Genesis themes are totally popular nowadays, it just makes more sense to stick to one way.

One other thing, if you search this trick you might notice there are some WP plugins that will handle this thing. I’ll show you the OTHER easier way – but still give you a plugin at the end of this tutorial if you like using plugins.

1. Click on Appearance and then Editor

When you log in to your site, find and click on Appearance and then click on Editor.

2. Click on Theme functions on the sidebar

After you click on Editor, you see your CSS Stylesheet. On the right-hand side bar, click on Theme functions.

3. Time to Get Your Coding Skills On

After clicking on Theme functions, scroll down in the Editor window until the end. Then copy this code and paste it at the end of the Editor window.

NOTE: start copying from line 4 at “add_filter” OR click on “view raw” and copy from there.

Don’t copy the <?php. Copy the code below started on line 4

Once you copy the code, insert it at the bottom of your Editor window.

Tips:

  • Don’t mess up any of your code like erase a } or something similar!!
  • Don’t worry about spaces; just scroll to the bottom, and after that last } put your cursor under it and paste!!
  • You might have to add: “Last updated on [post_modified_date] ” in the Simple Edits sections to make this work!

4. Click on Update

Don’t forget to click on update file.

That’s it! You now have the modified date on each of your posts!

If you’re not comfortable adding code to your theme, then the Genesis Simple Edits plugin will let you accomplish the same thing.

Here’s a video tutorial to help you out even more!!

Some Points to Remember When Using this Traffic Tip

Now, I know this can be fun going to all your blog posts and changing a word or two just so your modified date is updated, but be careful.

Google doesn’t like to be hoodwinked. When you update your post, it has to be substantial. This means adding new content, fixing errors or updating certain parts and adding new screenshots.

For example, since I made a post about starting a blog, I started adding this link as well as a couple of sentences to explain about it on each relevant old blog post.

For me, I like to go into old posts and just review my text. I often notice grammar errors, and while I do want to fix them right away, I have to remember that when I do, it will update my post so I have to think about what else I can update on that post. If nothing else, it forces me to revisit my post and add something useful – there is always something new you’ve learned that you can offer to your readers.

Get Ready to Increase Website Traffic!

After you updated your blog posts and scheduled them in Pinterest with Tailwind, you’ll notice hopefully more Google traffic to older posts. Not necessarily because your ranking has changed, but because your SERP clickthroughs should increase due to the fresh content date.

I’m getting a ton of more comments on old posts (that I’ve added new content to). So, what are you waiting for, get your nerd glasses on and try some coding on your WP blog and have fun 🙂

Tell me in the comments how using this simple trick is growing your blog mamas!

UPDATE: If you don’t have a Genesis them and still want to use this trick, just post in the comments what you’re using for your site and I’ll see what I can do to help!

 

Need More Help Growing Your Blog Traffic? Check Out Ready Set Blog For Traffic

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109 Comments

Hey Elna, Okay so I have the Genesis theme but the code didn’t change anything for me, so I browsed through the comments on this post and found out that someone said to add ” Last updated on [post_modified_date] ” in the Simple Edits sections (which I have) and that worked! So I’m not sure if this Simple Edits option is with newer themes or what, but I thought I’d pass that to anyone else struggling on the Genesis theme. I do have a question though, it gives me the option to put “Last Updated” or really anything I want it to say there. Do you think I should say “last updated” before the updated date, or would it be more beneficial to not even say “last updated” and have the new updated date to show? I don’t want to mess anything up with Google thinking I’m faking new posts or anything. Thanks for all your help mama! -CherelleReply to Cherelle
Hi Cherelle! Thanks for that extra bit of info – I’ll add it to the post. As for your question, hmm, that’s interesting. I don’t know if people are more attracted to a post that says updated date vs. just the date. If the date is updated, there’s no need to put updated date…so try not adding that text then and just the updated date!Reply to Elna
Do you think there are advantages to using this strategy over updating a post and then changing the published date?Reply to Donnie
Hi Donnie! I like to do it this way to keep the post metadata intact and still reflect the post is updated to visitors. Best of both worlds I can sort on publish date, keep the blog index and archive pages in chronological order, and I can see when I actually wrote the post. 🙂 And if it matters it keeps search engines happy because the post is technically updated not republished. Either way works though!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thanks for this awesome blog post! Unfortunately my theme is OceanWP… Could you please let me know which would be the right code for Ocean WP users?? Thanks so much!!!! Angie xxReply to Angie
Hi Angie! Thanks so much! I don’t know the OceanWP theme! You might have to try it out or ask another person using the same theme!Reply to Elna
Sigh. I’m using Weebly! Any thoughts? I’d love to be able to do this, especially with the cornerstone content I plan to create.Reply to Jeanine
Hey Jeanine, I have no idea if Weebly can enable that feature. I just know WordPress! I’m so sorry!Reply to Elna
This was so helpful! I’ve noticed this feature on some blogs but wasn’t sure how to replicate it on my website. I have the Genesis framework, so thank you for the easy-to-follow tutorial. Now I have “Lasted updated on…” on my posts–yay! xo, LaceyReply to Lacey
Hey Lacey, Wow! That’s awesome. So glad you followed the tutorial and it worked! Having the updated date on your posts is a great tactic to look like you have fresh content! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much, Elna. I will need to give this a try. I’ve been trying to update 1 article per week. So glad someone wrote the instructions for Divi theme. All that aside, I’ve got to believe that google knows when we update things. Also, often when I update an article, I will write another one offsite and link back to it, to increase speed for reindexing. Thanks again.Reply to Debbie
Worked perfectly! Thanks so much!Reply to Connie
Thanks for the great tip! I was able to update my site easily. This article came up in my Pinterest feed. Saved and shared!Reply to Ruth
Hi Ruth! That’s great! Doing this will definitely revive your old posts!Reply to Elna
Elna, I just found this post on Pinterest and has an awesome idea. I can’t wait to apply it to updating old posts. The thing about good content upgrades is that the information is still relevant and evergreen. I’ve been blogging almost 2 years and I’m slowly but consistently revamping old content because I keeping learning new ways to make it better. Thanks for another great idea.Reply to Carol
Hi Carol, That’s a good plan! I’ll have to do that next year! Thanks for the reminder.Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, Long time no talk, you’ve blown up girl! You are on top of the world, keep it up 🙂 I have a quick question, do you use a plugin to show “last updated on (this current) date” at the top of your post? I’ve always wanted to do that when I go back and update content, add an affiliate link, etc, but I can’t change the date without changing the URL (of course). Please tell me that’s a Plugin’s fancy work and if so, which one? Thanks, Jessica @alegriasmuseReply to Jessica
I have advada theme cant figure this out. I have fusion functions php and functions php. Cant seem to figure it out my website keeps crashing where I have to do a backup. I suck at coding took me forever to know how to add pagination to my website if you can help it be great please email me.Reply to Brittany
Hi Brittany, Maybe it’s not a Child genesis theme then?Reply to Elna
I figured it out. I had to use a different code. I dont have a genisis theme. Its actually simplier than I thought I added the code where the child theme is in the footer. I didnt even have to put the code in the parent theme. Thanks so much for this post as it gave me the idea to implent this on my own blog. The code I used however says last modified and it updates to the current date when changes are made. It shows on pages as well as post. It doesn’t do this on comments however does the code you use do this? I have seen better traffic by implenting your traffic trick. Your right people are more likely to read something wrote yesterday than 2 weeks ago. It really takes the pressure off. I love how on every post and page it says last modified to a current date so cool.Reply to Brittany
I love your blog! The posts are so helpful! I’ve had my blog for almost a year and I haven’t been able to make a profit off of it yet. I’ve had a hard time getting traffic to my page. I’ll boost posts now and then which gets me some decent traffic, but most of my traffic stays on Facebook or Pinterest, they hardly ever go to my site and I don’t have any comments on my blog. I’m trying your tips and tricks to see if that helps. Thanks again for your great posts!Reply to Cassie
Hey Cassie! Thanks so much for stopping by! Getting traffic takes some trials for sure! You have to find the strategy for your blog. I see you are finding this out! I hope this tip helps you out!Reply to Elna
Wow this blew my mind very very useful and great information. You explained very well on how to code this. I’m so nerdy I actually like coding this looked simple. After I code this I will come back and comment letting everyone know how it goes. Adding pagination the 123 now that was some hard coding that took me weeks to figure out.Reply to Brittany
Hey Brittany, That’s good you know code. I feel bad when people try and mess up their blog!! It’s only for Genesis themes now!! Good luck!Reply to Elna
This is an awesome tip! Thanks for the easy to understand walk-through! My blog is almost 9 years old and I’ve started revamping posts so this is great!Reply to Andi
Hi Andi! You’re welcome! So glad you found it helpful.Reply to Elna
Elna – Your instructions were so precise, I felt brave enough to add this code and I don’t know squat about HTML or CSS. It worked in the sense that it will advise visitors of the last update so I greatly appreciate your posting this. Previously, I was manually inserting an update note at the bottom of the article. I did notice this didn’t update the permalink date so I don’t see how Google will know it’s an update. I made substantial updates to a particular post over the last 5 days so I don’t feel guilty about “hoodwinking” Google.Reply to Linda
Google is smart enough to know articles get updated and uses more than the permalinks to determine the freshness of an article. ☺Reply to Barbara
That’s so true and I’d never advise using this to create “fake” freshness. It’s more about increasing your SERP clickthroughs.Reply to Elna
Thanks so much Linda! I tried to make my instructions explicit and put a lot of notices on if you don’t have a Genesis theme don’t do this tutorial! 🙂Reply to Elna
This is great! Thanks so much for alerting me to this! I tried to edit the code but it wouldn’t work for me. I do have Simple Edits so I just pasted this in there: Last updated on [post_modified_date]Reply to Julie
Hey Julie, If you don’t have a Genesis theme this trick won’t work. Maybe your Simple Edits will?Reply to Elna
Elna, another fabulous post! My theme is Boss Lady by A prettier Web – it’s not a super popular theme yet so I wonder if I can do this with mine? AleeReply to Alee
Hey Alee, Love your blog design and Mel is a fabulous theme designer for sure! Not sure if hers are Genesis so not sure if it will work for your theme?Reply to Elna
No, they are not Genesis. That’s why I’m wondering if it’s possible to do it with mine. It’s not such a popular theme that there would be a plug in or anything either. Boo!Reply to Alee
One more comment… for those using the Divi theme, here are directions for doing this on your posts! https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/divi-resources/how-to-add-the-last-updated-date-to-divis-blog-post-meta-dataReply to Julie
Hi Julie! Awesome and thanks so much!Reply to Elna
What a cool trick! I didn’t even know an option like this existed! 🙂 This will be especially helpful because I’m constantly going back through to link to related posts, change images, or add extra resources!Reply to Julie
Hi Julie! You’re welcome. Happy to help you boost your traffic with your old posts!Reply to Elna
Thanks for the reminder. I have updating to do! XoxoReply to Natasha
Hi Natasha, Good luck with updating your blog!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thank you for sharing this for showing us how to add the code. Looks like I’ll be going through older posts this weekend and get busy updating. 🙂 You know I’m sharing this one mama. Hope you’re having a great week! CoriReply to Cori
Hey Cori! Thanks so much for sharing this post. Yeah, I’m learning as I’m going.Reply to Elna
Definitely going to be doing this on some of my older posts. I update posts regularly anyway, so this is not only a great way to increase search traffic, but also to let readers know how time-relevant the information is. Thanks, Elna!Reply to Ashli
Hey Ashli! Love your blog so much and thanks again for coming over and commenting. I’m so happy that this little trick will help you grow your blog. Let me know how it goes!Reply to Elna
Really cool tip, I’ve been wondering what some methods were to jumpstart some older posts, and this looks like a great way to do that. Thanks so much!Reply to Bruce
Hi Bruce! You’re welcome! Enjoy the new tip!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Very clever. Fab point about hoodwinking too. Give your posts a shiny new look before you update them. Add an image, or switch ’em up, or toss in a paragraph or 2. Make posts timely, or evergreen, and Google will likely give your “new” post more juice and more love. Thanks for sharing. RyanReply to Ryan
Hey Ryan! Thanks for coming around and commenting! You’re an awesome blogger! Love your points!Reply to Elna
Another brilliant idea! Thanks!Reply to Liz
Thanks so much Liz! So happy to help you. I just love helping other mom bosses or lady bosses for sure! Thanks again!Reply to Elna
Great tip! Time for me to revive some old posts!Reply to Christy
Get to it mama! Good luck and make sure to tell me all about your new traffic!Reply to Elna
This tip totally rocks, Elna! I have more than enough to change/improve in my older posts so I will be certain to use this genius tip. Thank you!Reply to Rebecca
Rebecca! That’s awesome. So happy I can help you with growing your blog 🙂Reply to Elna
HI Elna, Nice tip. I use it on my blog but my theme has default setting to show last updated post. However the method you explained is also awesome for genesis users. Having the last updated date displayed doesn’t make our site look dated and Google also thinks our article is freshened with new topics. One thing I suggest to all users is to hide dates in comments section also because seeing a comment of 2014 on a post written in 2017 makes the readers feel a bit irritated. One alternative is to display new comments first this way the chronology will be reverted. 🙂 It can be done by going to dashboard>> settings>>discussion 🙂 Thanks for bringing this into notice Elna. 🙂 -SwadhinReply to Swadhin
Hi Swadhin, Thanks for the tips about the comment date! I’ll look into that! I know what you mean. I see a post with the current date and then when I see the comments I’m a bit duped…b/c the post is like two years old! So I get that. For now, my content isn’t THAT old, but I can see that happening soon!Reply to Elna
LOL I am one step ahead of you… as I already have the Last Modified plugin working on Wording Well! 🙂Reply to Lorraine
Oh yay, I’m going to try that plug-in! I’ve been looking over all your comments Elna and realized that I’m not even close to the only one with that question! Someone on here has the exact same theme that I do and asked the same question, so I will try this plug-in. I’ve been thinking about changing my theme again since my site is already down while I prep for my biz re-lauch and full re-brand ??Reply to Jessica
Hey chica! Ha, thanks! That’s awesome and good luck. You are awesome with growing your traffic. I love your tips 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This is want I want to know from the couple of weeks, I have done almost 100+ post and seen that there are many blogger who have just 40 to 60 posts and ranked higher now got that point why they are ranked higher from the long time because they updates there post frequently, now I started to implement this tip from today to make my most updated 🙂Reply to Junaid
That’s great Junaid! Good luck on growing your blog!Reply to Elna
Great tip Elna! Thanks for another super helpful post.Reply to Nicole
Hi Nicole! You’re welcome! I hope you found it helpful to your site 🙂Reply to Elna
Wow I’m pinning this! I have been getting some views on my old stuff lately too! If I change the featured image and share it in different ways it helps.Reply to Mihaela
Hi Michaela You’re welcome! Enjoy putting the updated date on your post!Reply to Elna
This is such a great tip! I’m definitely going to try this out in the next few weeks! -Natalie pinkbowstwinkletoes.comReply to Natalie
Hi Natalie! Awesome. Just remember this if for Genesis theme blogs! I don’t want you to ruin your blog!Reply to Elna
OMG love this! What a super simple trick! Going to do this now, thanks so much! Would’ve never known to do this 🙂Reply to Ali
Hi Ali! You’re welcome. If you end up using this trick, just remember it’s for Genesis theme blogs!Reply to Elna
I literally just shared an older post, but never thought to do some of these. Great tips, thanks so much!Reply to Christina
Hi Christina, You’re welcome! Now, I know BoardBooster’s looping function is awesome for promoting older pins, but for Google, once it’s old content, it’s forgettable! Just remember that if you’re going to use this tip, you have a Genesis Theme!Reply to Elna
Awesome tip! Things you don’t think about.Reply to Maroon
Hi Maroon! I know, right! It’s such an easy trick to grow your traffic. I already noticed a 1% increase in organic search from implementing this strategy.Reply to Elna
Great tip! Never would’ve thought of updating the date.Reply to Angelica
Hey Angelica, You’re welcome. Make sure you are using a Genesis theme and that you don’t ruin your blog!! Ha..I’m going to go a video once my twins are quiet enough or when they are sleeping!Reply to Elna
I had some trouble trying to add the code. I think it must have something to do with the child theme I am using and the fact there was no } at the end of the code. However, I used the plugin and it worked perfectly. Thank you! P.S. I have twins, too!Reply to Charlie
Hi Charlie! That’s great to know. Yeah, from what I know, the code works for any Genesis theme, but there maybe be some caveats. Have fun!Reply to Elna
Elna, you’ve done it again! I can always count on you for new tips I’ve never heard before. I love the genius of this tip. Thanks for sharing with all of us!Reply to Lisa
Thanks Lisa, Just remember, it only works for Genesis themes (well, my tutorial). So don’t mess up your theme!! 🙂Reply to Elna
Awesome discovery and brilliant tip Elna! Any chance we can do that on WP.org? I’ve been updating some very old posts, adding a Pinterest image, adding keywords, rewritten alt text description, pin more daily and my page views have gone up! Yay! Also, I’ve added hashtags to posts which Google has picked up & displayed in search results. Pretty good progress! Keep up the great work and thank you for all your help 🙂Reply to Karla
Hi Karla, That’s great your old posts are getting traffic. For .org that’s fine as long as you have a Genesis theme. It won’t work otherwise.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna: I went right in and added the code and it is working great! I only had to make one tweak and remove “by” as it was showing up double in my theme. Thanks for this great tip! I have just started to go back and update a few of my older posts.Reply to Bernadette
Awesome! I just saw it and it looks great 🙂 Good luck and let me know how it goes.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I want to do this, but I’m kind of afraid. I have a Bluchic theme, and when I went into the editor is said “WARNING! Do not edit this file. You have been warned.” ? I think I’m going to have to email them to ask if it’s safe.Reply to Deanna
Oh and Deanna, that’s not a Genesis theme so my tip doesn’t help you 🙁 I’m sorry.Reply to Elna
Get the plugin and be safe Deanna! 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I just tried this and it crashed my site. 🙁 Do I need to make sure that there is a closed } before I add the new code? There is some additional code that I had a developer add in that didn’t come with the standard Genesis template at the bottom of my Theme Functions.Reply to Sarah
Hi Sarah, After the last } press ENTER and paste the code under that! Then click on Update and it should be great! Your site is still up, but I don’t see the last updated note.Reply to Elna
What a brilliant idea for breathing new life into old blog posts!! Thanks for sharing!!Reply to Emily
Hi Emily! Thanks so much. I know what you mean! It’s awesome that Pinterest gives life to old posts, but not in Google. So this tip just helps more getting your old awesome posts in front of new people!Reply to Elna
I completely agree with this! I have blogspot so I have to work around that by republishing at an updated date. I did that with a bunch of old post that were popular but I wanted to revise it and add more useful tips and pictures. Great tips!!!! Jasmine:)Reply to Jasmine
Hi Jasmine! That’s good to know! Thanks so much and good luck with growing your traffic!Reply to Elna