Showing the dates on your blog posts. This is something I am adamant about. There might be a few exceptions, but they are few and far between.
So what am I talking about here?
When you do a post, typically it will show meta data either at the top or bottom. Often in archive pages it will show it as well. No matter where your customers are, they should see that date either as they are ready to click through to the full post, or while they are reading it.
Three Important Reasons to Show That Date
Now I’m sure there are other instances where the date plays an important role, but let’s look at three top ones.
Product Releases & Updates
When you are releasing a new product, or perhaps simply teasing your readers with what is around the corner, it’s critical that when they land on the post, they know if it was a new release or not. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing the word new in a post title and learning later that the product has been out for two years.
And updates to those products should follow the same rules.
This is a personal one for me because I write about so many products. For example, there is nothing worse than landing on a tech article for a product when you are having issues, only to find out halfway through the post or video that it was done on a much older version of the product. A good example is a plugin or theme in the WordPress space.
But it doesn’t end there. So many products have new features added. Or maybe how your interface with it has changed. You are reading a post and it tells you about this button on the right. You frantically search for it and discover it has moved, been removed, or even renamed. Nothing is more frustrating than this.
Often stores will take a review and turn it into a story by asking the customer to elaborate on their experiences. This is a gray area. Because in some cases this content is evergreen, or stands the test of time. But there might be something said in the post that could easily confuse the reader and take them away from the positive feelings you were hoping to convey through the story. As with most things, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Again, those dates are critical. There may be times that you want to repurpose that content, whether it’s small updates or a complete rewrite. In that case, there might be a time you want to list both the original and reposted date. Here is something you might want to read to learn more about that on our blog.
On Last Tip – Deleting Posts
There might come a time that you discontinue a product. You may prefer to remove some of the content completely from your blog. In most cases, you will want to redirect the page. Yoast SEO has a great option for that. The three scenarios will likely be:
- You have discontinued a product, but still have a similar new or old product. Then redirect it to that product.
- You discontinued a product completely. Find an appropriate page on your site to redirect it to. It may be your homepage or a category page it would relate to.
- On the other hand, you might want to create a custom 404 page. This may be your best bet so you can explain why they didn’t find the product and give them other ideas and options to continue shopping. Here is a post with some sample 404 pages from online retailers and if you click here, you will see what Amazon does.
In any case, it’s always best to keep your dates.