How to Republish a WordPress Post for SEO & Traffic

So you’ve heard the news?

Publishing content isn’t the only way to boost your search traffic.

These days serious bloggers are republishing articles too.

I’ve republished over 100 articles and while the results vary, some posts get a huge boost in search traffic.

Republishing Analytics Arrow

It’s hard to predict which articles will get a massive leap in rankings, but this outcome isn’t that uncommon. Most posts see at least a small increase in traffic after they get republished.

Given the potential rewards and the fact that republishing is easier than creating new content, it’s a great SEO tactic for getting more traffic.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn the one trick to boost your rankings with republishing and how to schedule your republished posts just like normal blog posts.

But first, let’s get something straight…

What exactly does “republish” mean?

Before we talk about how to republish a post, it’s important that we’re on the same page about exactly what republishing means.

There is a difference between updating a post and republishing a post.

When you update a post, you publish your changes to the post without modifying the date.

When you republish a post, you change the date so that the post jumps to the front page of your blog.

The steps in this tutorial will work for both, but I will be including special instructions near the end for how you can schedule republished posts.

Speaking of which, I have a special recommendation about how to handle dates for republished posts.

The date conundrum

A lot of bloggers like adding a “Last Updated” date to the top of their posts.

Last Updated

This works well if you update your posts, but it doesn’t help when you republish them to your blog’s front page.

The problem with republishing a post is that you lose the original publication date. This may not bother you, but if it does, there is a simple solution.

All you have to do is add a sentence to the beginning of your post that says, “Originally published on X/X/XXX.” This way, readers will know when it was first published, and the article can still appear at the top of your blog.

Before we get to the how-to stuff, I have just one more thing to tell you.

A quick word about Google rankings

In my experience, updating a post without changing the publication date does very little for search traffic. However, if you change the original publication date, Google will boost your rankings right away.

For this reason, I highly recommend republishing your posts rather than updating them in place.

Since you’re changing the post’s date in WordPress, both Yoast SEO and RankMath will update the post’s Schema data to use the new publish date, which Google then uses to understand the recency of your content. This gives your post a higher freshness score, leading to a quick boost in rankings.

Date Schema
You can find the datePublished Schema property by viewing a post’s source code

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the steps to republish a WordPress post.

How to republish your blog posts

To republish a post, you need to create a new draft you can work on privately.

WordPress doesn’t include a native feature for turning published posts into drafts. However, I have an excellent solution for this exact functionality.

In this tutorial, I’ll be using a plugin I developed called Strive Content Calendar. You might like the visual calendar for planning posts, but we’ll be looking at how to use it for post revisions, in particular.

Strive Content Calendar

To create a revision from a post, locate the post in the Posts menu. Then hover your cursor over the post and click on the Create Revision link.

Revision Small
Strive adds this option to all published posts

This is going to create a replica of the published post saved as a private draft. Everything is copied, including the content and the “post meta,” which includes things like the SEO title added by RankMath and other data saved by plugins.

A bright blue label is displayed in the admin toolbar while you edit your revision, so you don’t mistakenly edit the live version.

Revision Label

With the revision created, you can take your time editing the post and saving your changes as you work. Also, unlike editing a published post, you won’t have to worry about anyone seeing your edits until you’re ready to go live.

Once you’re ready, you can either update the original post or republish it.

How to update a post with a revision

If you want to update the original post, all you have to do is click the Publish button.

Publish Button

This will immediately replace the old post with the revision. The date remained the same, so the article will stay in the same place on your blog. It’s also worth noting that revisions never edit the permalink, so the URL will stay the same.

How to republish a post with a revision

If you’d like to republish a post, you just have to change the date. For example, you could change the revision’s date to today and click Publish to republish the post to the front of your blog immediately.

Alternatively, you can give the revision a future date and schedule it just like a normal post.

 

Thanks to Strive’s revision feature, you won’t have to publish revisions manually, so you can take full advantage of WordPress’s scheduling system.

Strive also includes revisions in the content calendar like normal posts and labels them separately.

Revisions Calendar Label

This makes it easy to plan your content calendar to include both new and republished posts.

There’s no limit to how many revisions you can create or how often you republish, so experiment and find what works best for your blog.

Give your rankings a boost

As I mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, republishing outdated articles is an excellent way to boost your search traffic.

The key is to change the actual publication date since this is what SEO plugins put into the Schema data that Google reads.

Using a plugin like Strive, you can work privately on your revisions and schedule them like regular posts.

If you’d like to try Strive on your website, you can download the free trial here:

Download the Strive free trial

The free trial includes all of the plugin’s functionality, so you can really test it out and see what you think.

Thanks for reading this guide on how to republish WordPress posts for SEO and traffic. If it helped you out, use one of the buttons below to share with someone else you think would enjoy it too.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing a product through one of these links generates a commission for us at no additional expense to you.