Is Your Content Fresh?

We have all experienced it, after an epic quest for information about a particular topic we click on the link, and there we find…. Outdated information and stale posts that quip about something that was interesting last year. As a user, you find this frustrating and disappointing, so why would you perpetuate the cycle as a webmaster?  The answer is that you shouldn’t. In this article we will take a look at why it is important to update your website content frequently.

Google and other search engines are designed to help put the most relevant and up to date information at the top of your results.  One of the factors that search engines consider in page rankings is how often the content on your website is updated.  What this means, is that you haven’t updated your content 6 months, then the search engines aren’t looking at you as a valid and up to date source any more.  As a result, your page falls in the page rankings.  Since most users never make it past the first page of their search results, it is imperative that you obtain and maintain a high page ranking in the search engines.

The other issue is customer satisfaction and preventing high bounce rates.  If a visitor comes to your site, and you have a news link to something that happened last year, or an advertisement for an event that has passed, they are more likely to walk away without ever looking back.  The reason that people look at the website first is that it is supposed to have the most up to date information available.  As consumers we have been conditioned by the web to expect information that is up to the minute current.  Your website is your first and often only impression on potential customers.  Just like you want interactive and interesting content, you also want it to be fresh, timely and relevant.

An additional problem with out of date content is that it can be a huge liability.  Have you ever been to store where you picked up an item that was marked as on sale, but when you got to the register it rang up as the original price because someone forgot to take down the sale sign?  If you have you know that it a causes hard feelings, like you were misled, and that it ends up costing the vendor money because they have to honor the displayed price.  Now multiply that issue by potentially thousands of customers on your website getting sale information that is out of date.  The potential for hard feelings and money lost is HUGE.  Especially when you factor in the fact that since people are already online, they can go directly from their disappointing experience with your online store to their social media account to tell all of their friends not to trust the information on your site.

Now that you know WHY it is necessary to keep your website up to date, let’s talk about how to do that.  I want to make one thing clear from the outset, you don’t have to completely re-design your website on a regular basis, what we are talking about here is updating the text, pictures, and video that you display.  Unless you have an old website that someone built for you from scratch, you should have some sort of content management system or CMS, such as Word Press, Drupal, or Joomla.   The CMS is designed so that you can quickly and easily make changes to your website even if you aren’t tech savvy.  If you don’t have a website with a CMS, it might be time for that re-design otherwise keeping your content current is going to be a constant struggle for you.

The first thing you need to do to keep your website current is to go in and make updates to all time sensitive information as it expires, that makes sure that your information is current and means that the search engines have something new to look at, everyone is happier.  Once you have made sure that your time sensitive content is up to date go and look at your existing pages.  Is that joke you made when you first wrote the content relevant?  Are there new features that you can add to one of your product pages?  Or maybe you have thought of a new reason why what you’re selling is the best thing since sliced bread.  Whatever that new thought is, don’t hesitate to use it to update the content on your website.  You should never view your website as a flat and static thing; it should be as dynamic and ever changing as the web itself.

Another way to ensure that you have plenty of fresh content on your website is to have a blog that is linked to your site.  Every time you add a new blog, it counts as adding something new to your site.  In addition, blogs give you an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase the number of links to your website, and increase the number of keywords in use on your website without keyword stuffing.  Blogs can be as easy as talking about trends in your industry, new products you have to offer, observations and customer stories, and any number of topics.  If you aren’t much of a writer you can get help from one of your employees or you can hire someone to produce blog content for you.

Updating your content frequently is easy, and it is important for your business.  If you don’t know how to do it, aren’t sure what to write, don’t have the time or just need some advice, there are plenty of companies out there, like Nourtek Solutions, who can help you maintain your website.  Whether you do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you, getting and keeping your website current is a critical element for staying relevant in today’s market.

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