Search engines rank recently updated websites higher than websites where the content is old.
In order to provide the best and most relevant results to search engine users, search engines like Google give websites with fresh content higher positions than websites where the content is old, and could potentially be out of date.
By adding fresh, new content to your website on a regular basis, you will increase your chances of reaching the top ten results, and staying there, thus increasing your chances of winning visitors.
Your customers and prospects will appreciate a regularly updated site.
Adding new content to your website regularly is a good way to communicate with your customers, and keep them interested in you, and your products and services.
By regularly adding new content that is relevant and timely (think about what your customers and prospects would be interested in and when) you can encourage your visitors to engage with your website, establish a relationship with them, and ultimately, persuade them to buy from you or use your services.
How often you update your website depends on a number of factors relating to your business, your products or services, your customers and your target market, etc.
For example, if you are in an industry where you are regularly developing new products, you should be updating your website weekly or even daily to keep pace with the dynamic marketplace. If you are a small business supplying business-to-business services that rarely change, you should consider adding a 'news and articles' or 'resources' page to your website and updating it something like once a month.
That being said, you should update your website as often as you are realistically able, but as a bare minimum, try to schedule an update once every three months. This is the normal frequency of a Google crawl, so to ensure that Google keeps coming back to your website every three months or fewer, you should make at least one reasonably substantial update within this timeframe.
By a reasonably substantial update, we mean something like a new page of keyword-rich, quality content, a new product page, a new blog post, etc., and not just a new hyperlink, a few spelling corrections, or a new line of text on an existing page!
Ideas for new website content...
It’s natural to feel like your new website is so comprehensive that there couldn’t possibly be anything else you could add to it, but there’s always a reason to add new content! Have a look at some of the ideas below:
- New products
Obviously you’ll add a new product page when the product launches, but what about a regularly updated page to tell your customers about the new products you have in the pipeline?
- New services
These needn’t just be your core services. Add information pages about new or even existing added-value services, such as gift wrapping, after-sales service and warranties, environmentally friendly ways to purchase your products such as reduced packaging options, etc.
- Information pages
What sort of information might your customers be interested in? If you sell DIY equipment, share some ‘tricks of the trade’ with them. If you offer financial services, tell them how to find the best deal on their mortgage. Remember to keep it relevant to your product or service offering – too much unrelated content will confuse your two markets: your customers, and the search engines!
Frequently Asked Questions pages are a fantastic opportunity to add valuable content, whilst also dealing with the problem of an overloaded customer service team! By answering some of your customers’ frequently asked questions on the web, you can kill two birds with one stone. If you are repeatedly asked the same question over and over, you know that is a definite starter for your FAQ page!
An articles page is a great way to show you expertise in your area. Again, keep the articles relevant to your industry, and make sure they’re original and interesting, and your customers will keep coming back for more. You can also use these same articles to submit to other websites, and increasing your inbound links and exposure - always good.
It’s a good idea to request testimonials from customers as a standard procedure. As well as being a great motivator for you and your staff, a regularly updated testimonials page on your website will add credibility to your website, and will help persuade visitors that you are trustworthy and they should buy from you. You should also show selected testimonials on other pages like the homepage and checkout pages to help build trust throughout your website. Adding photos of your happy customers to their testimonial adds extra credibility. I am not a great fan of testimonial pages as I don't believe people read them - but dot your testimonials throughout your website, have them on every page, and update them too.
Blogging is great if you want to quickly and easily publish regular news, articles or updates, but it’s not for everyone, and you should only start a blog if you are sure that:
a) Your customers and/or prospects will want to read it, and;
b) You can give it the required level of commitment to keep it up-to-date. There is nothing more forlorn, or off-putting to the potential customer, than a neglected, out-of-date blog!
- Company profile pages
You probably already have an ‘About Us’ page, but you could add some individual staff profiles too. Adding pictures of your staff will really complement a page like this – it makes your company look more approachable, more trustworthy, and can really help to add personality to your brand. Remember: people like to do business with other people, not other businesses.
Who should make your website updates?
If you or someone on your staff has the time to regularly produce new, informative content for your website, then congratulations! However, for most businesses, this is just another one of those regular chores that gets passed around, and often ends up being neglected as more pressing tasks take priority.
But there is a serious danger if you neglect your website and don’t update it regularly. Your results will suffer. Your position on the search engine pages will start to drop, because search engines rank out-of-date pages lower than new pages, and index them less frequently. That means less visitors will be coming to your website, which means fewer sales and lower profits.
Your customers and prospects will also become quickly bored of seeing the same content on your website. If your company is reliant upon repeat business to survive, you need to update your website frequently to show customers that you’re a professional, committed and up-to-date company that they’ll want to engage with regularly.
If you think you’re going to find it hard to produce content for your website on a regular basis (at least once every three months) that is unique, informative, and well-written, then it might be worth scheduling in some more professional copywriting on a regular basis.
Remember: Webtrix can help you with regular updates to your website – just ask us for a consultation to discuss the types of content that would benefit your website, delivering you more visits, more sales, and higher profits.
Quick wins in website updates
There are a few small things you can do to keep your website up-to-date too. These won’t really do anything to increase your search engine rankings, but they will show visitors that your website is up to date, and that you take a regular interest in it. And that’s very important if you want to present a professional image and develop credibility that will lead to more sales.
- Update your Copyright information
All websites should display a copyright symbol or the word ‘copyright’, along with the current year, at the foot of every page. Just make sure the year is kept up-to-date! Better still, add a range of dates, as this shows readers that your business has been online (and trading) for a while, and adds extra credibility.
- Keep your homepage offers current
A dated offer on your homepage will show your customers that your website is up-to-date, and it’s also a great way to get visitors to engage with your website. The sense of urgency generated by an offer with a deadline has been proven to work time and time again.