The Internet is a constantly and rapidly changing place. Thanks to social media, mobile devices and our growing need for speed, even content and news that was posted a few days ago can be considered outdated. For those viewing your website and for Google rankings, it is critical to keep you website content fresh.
Your website isn’t a bulletin board that you can throw some information on and forget about it for years or for some people, forever. It is a living entity that needs to be maintained and updated on a frequent basis. Otherwise, your content will go stale quickly, and that could negatively impact your business. Here’s why:
Trust and Credibility
Would you buy a product from a company that hasn’t posted anything to their site since 2012? What if you visit a site in June, and they still have a banner advertising last year’s Christmas promotion?
You’ll make a bad impression on potential customers if your last post was 5, 3, or even 1 year ago. After a few months of inactivity, people start to wonder if you are still open. Even worse, if your content is obviously dated (as in the case of the Christmas banner ad) then they will question your credibility and ability to deliver on promises. They will hesitate to trust you, and likely abandon your site within the first few seconds and won’t bother looking back.
If you haven't updated your content in several years, chances are you haven’t updated the design either. If you're working with an outdated website design, it is not only painfully obvious to visitors, but it can cause a number of huge issues from security to performance.
A study by Stanford University found that 75% of people will judge the credibility of your business based on your website design. Another study from ResearchGate, found that 94% of people will view a business with a solid, up-to-date design as trustworthy. When updating your website content, remember to think of the design as well. Adding content to a site that looks like it’s from the ‘90s won’t help you.
SEO and Indexing
Perhaps the most important ranking factor for your site after high-quality content is up-to-date content. Google prioritizes sites that make fresh, quality content a priority. When search engines crawl through your site, they “index” or process that information and use it to produce the most relevant search results.
If you haven’t updated your site content, then they aren’t indexing. On the other hand, Google loves fresh content. The more you update your content, the more rapidly Google indexes it, which boosts your search engine ranking. Plus, the more that you add to and update your site, the more opportunities you have to include links and keywords that will also improve your SEO.
Many people see content that is more recent as being the more relevant or valuable. If you want to be seen as an industry authority or thought leader, then you must be constantly offering fresh content. In fact, according to a report by eMarketer more than 60% of marketers generate at least one piece of content every day.
Sites that have well-crafted and relevant content can entice visitors to check back for updates. They also could earn the attention of or even be known as an authority website. These are sites that have Google’s, Bing’s and every other search engine’s seal of approval and are known as trusted. Although this most commonly refers to news and publication sites like The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and others, niche sites can develop a high level of authority.
Freshening up your site is critical to your business success, but there are some changes that will have a greater impact than others. Here are some tips to keep your content from going stale:
● The breadth of change matters. Changing just one sentence on your site won’t have as much impact as changing a whole page. Minor adjustments tend to have smaller impact on SEO than bigger changes. (We recommend doing a major rehaul of your site every couple months.)
● Fresh doesn’t mean trendy. Well-written evergreen content can get high shares and engagement for several months or years after it was first posted. Don’t feel pressured to constantly update content based on the latest fad.
● Add location based pages. Make sure that your pages are optimized for local search. Location is one of the top three ranking considerations for Google.
● Update service and product pages. You should always update your product and service information when you roll out new features or make changes. Even if you don’t have updates, it is important to iterate your content to figure out which layout, wording and other elements perform best.
● Blog frequently and consistently. Blogs are incredible for your website and business. It is important to post on a regular basis. This can be everyday, once a week or at least a couple times a month. However, studies have shown that companies that post 16 or more blogs a month get 4.5 times as many leads than those that post 4 or less a month.
If you don’t have the budget to update your site and blog that frequently, there are still easy, low-cost changes that you can make to keep your content as fresh as possible. Here are a few ideas:
● Update promotions and deals. Include any discounts or specials on your website. This is an easy way to engage customers and can be quickly updated.
● Include a news section. This can cover industry or company news. It gives you the opportunity to highlight new features, testimonials or research.
● Incorporate user-generated content (UGC). The majority of people trust word-of-mouth more than branded advertisements. User-generated content is 20% more influential than any other content type. Including it on your site not only increases consumer trust, but it gives you information to share without the need to invest in content creation.
● Add a gallery of photos or videos. You can either showcase user-generated content or post your own photos and videos that highlight your product or company.
● Include a FAQ section. Take note of the customer questions that you see and add them to the FAQ section of your website. It only takes a few minutes to post them to your site.
● Ask for guest blogs. Although blogging can be a huge advantage to boost your SEO and bring in customers, it can be hard to maintain on a regular basis.
Guest blogs take some of the time and pressure off of you to create content. It also increases your visibility and credibility when you work with other companies, bloggers, influencers, and customers.
Fresh content is essential to build customer trust and improve your SEO. If you let your site content go stale, you’ll fall in search engine rankings and miss potential business opportunities. However, running a business is hectic and finding the time to create and add content can seem impossible, but it is critical to your bottom line. Once you make regularly updating your site a priority, you’ll start to see the difference that it makes. Learn how 10twelve can help you keep your website content fresh and up-to-date.