Having an online presence is a necessity these days, and it goes hand in hand that updating your site with fresh content on a regular basis is essential.
Websites are never meant to be a “set it and forget it” marketing tool. An untouched site becomes a stagnant graveyard from a customer’s perspective as well as by search engines indexing the site. But the reasons for regularly publishing fresh website content goes beyond those two basic premises. Let’s explore the key reasons for keeping your website up-to-date.
1. Keep Your Audience Coming Back
Give your site visitors ongoing value, and they have a reason to keep coming back to you and your site. When you update website content consistently with useful and relevant information, you will establish yourself as a consistent and reliable resource for your product and service niche. Which means you’ll keep your site visitors coming back, landing you a better chance of curating those site visitors into new customers and repeat clients.
2. Kill the Competition
Consistent, timely, and quality website updates send a clear message that the business is a valuable resource, and the site should be visited time and again. This strategy invites repeat visitors to the website, and lends credibility to the company, its brand, and its products/services.
Take a look at your main competitors’ websites. Do you see fresh website content reflecting quality, timely and new information? Or do you see a cyber dead-zone that may not have been updated for six months, nine months, or even a year or longer?
If a competitor’s website shows fresh, consistent, timely, and quality content updates with new information, that competitor is sending a clear message to its target audience that it represents a valuable resource, and the site should be visited time and again. This strategy invites repeat visits to the website for new and updated information and lends credibility to the company, its brand, and its products/services.
Conversely, if a competitor’s site is lagging in updates – how about a prominent notice from a landscape/snow removal firm they are available to plow local driveways during a predicted “upcoming” snowstorm, but it’s currently mid-summer; or an announcement about a wine tasting event at a restaurant that occurred well in the past – you’ll intuit that this company is ignoring its online presence, and, by extension, don’t care as much as it should about the target audience.
3. Show That You’re a Thriving Business
Returning to the examples above, if you were to visit websites of two companies that sell the exact same product, and one company’s website is displaying fresh, current content, whereas the other is showing outdated information, which one would you trust? The company that has fresh and timely website content reassures you that the business is active, thriving, and cares about its customers.
4. Humanize Your Brand
Your online presence is one of the many ways to show your or your firm’s personality and humanize your brand. Your website and its content is available to clients, potential clients, and colleagues 24/7/365, so leverage that and turn it into your strategic advantage! Utilize your website to consistently “speak” to the site visitor about your knowledge, expertise, new technology, products, services, and approach.
5. Increase Your Site’s Google Rankings and SEO Traffic
Let Google (and other search engines) show some SEO love by giving it what it’s looking for by consistently generating new and quality content.
Increasing Google rankings and SEO traffic is perhaps the most critical of all reasons to keep your website content fresh and regularly updated.
Search engines are constantly scanning your website to index its content and display it in search results. The more quality site content that can be indexed, the more likely a potential client will be able to find your site.
However, in addition to the quantity of searchable content, search engines take notice when you regularly update that content on your site.
If you are consistently generating new and quality content, smart search engines are more likely to recognize your website as a valuable resource to display it in a search result.
But What About…
You may be thinking:
Does that mean I have to redesign my website every six months or every year?
No, not at all (although, full disclosure – I do recommend a website overhaul every few years, depending upon your business and industry). Updating your website content simply involves creating a consistent plan for regular revisions, and rolling them out on a regularly scheduled basis.
Help! I don’t know what to post for updates or new content!
No worries at all. The first step is to visit your website and examine it from a potential customer’s viewpoint.
This suggestion may sound oversimplified, but you’d be surprised how many business owners don’t visit their own website after it’s launched, and when they do, they don’t consider it from the target audience perspective.
Is there information or content that is old or outdated? Is there information missing that could or should be there? Is there content that needs to be edited to include new technologies, services, or products?
Here are some examples of site updates to consider:
- Product and Service Updates: The simplest way to change up website content is to edit your product or service descriptions. Could you revise your product/service verbiage to better describe your current offerings? Is there something you offer that is not currently listed on your website?
- Revising Your Company’s Identity Page: Do you have an About page describing you, your firm, your approach, and/or the greatest benefit from the work you perform? Like an elevator speech, unique value proposition, or talking logo, this is never a “finished product,” and should be updated frequently.
- Change Up Images, Project Images and Project Pages: Do you have banner images or hero images on your site’s pages? Change them out seasonally to reflect current products and services. Are you in an industry where you can show off your completed projects? Post them on your website. If you don’t already have a gallery or portfolio, consider adding one, or just augment your existing content with the new project images in an organized and relevant fashion.
I don’t know how to update my website
Ugh! If I had a nickel for every time I heard “My previous web designer/developer/best friend/nephew/dog created my website, but I have no idea how to update it.”
Some – in fact, most – business owners don’t know how to access their own website files, let alone update them. In fact, many have no interest in doing so, which is okay, too. If you were never given the details about your site’s infrastructure, how to access it, or how to update it, get in touch with Fat Cat Design so we can help. Together we can figure things out. My approach is that there is always a solution!
First, as noted above, take an inventory of your website and its content.
Next, make a list of what can and should be updated, changed, or augmented.
Then, create and gather the materials needed to accomplish this task, such as:
- compile a list of simple changes that need to be made (for example, update tagline, update address or contact information, change home page header image, add or update social media links)
- create separate documents reflecting your edits to existing copy/verbiage
- create separate documents for any new pages or sections you’d like to add
- collect images and/or video that can be changed
Finally, set a plan for when you will be able to implement these website changes, implement them, and show them off to the world!
Dos and Don’ts
DON’T get overwhelmed. Break everything down step by step.
DO ask for help, if you need it – most businesses do!
DO repeat the process of publishing fresh website content on a regular basis. At a bare minimum, you should be doing this seasonally. Ideally, you should be repeating this exercise at least every six weeks. Better yet, if you are incorporating a blog, aim to write and publish new blog post entries at least twice a month.
Reap the Benefits
Once you’ve gotten into the routine of updating and maintaining fresh website content on a routine basis, you’ll find that you are enticing and engaging new site visitors, enjoying an increase in search engine rankings, and making a solid connection with your clients and potential customers.
with Fat Cat Design so we can assist you with site updates and fresh website content.