How Often Should You Update Your Website?
There is no straight forward answer to the question, but a good benchmark on how often you update your website copy, or content, should be driven by two basic things:
1) Consumer expectations
2) Trends or statistics around your site
Google constantly reminds us that content is king and bearing in mind the recent algorithm updates, making sure we are producing quality content that is useful to anyone visiting our websites is vital to keeping ahead of competitors.
Very often when you are confronted with creating content for your website, you find it daunting. You could even feel somewhat apprehensive, as you face many decisions about what you want to put in front of your potential customers. Probably the biggest challenge you face is simply getting started.
Updating the content on your site may sound laborious and hard to do, but isn’t when you understand the value you are giving back to your business and only requires a small effort.
The easiest way to start would be to have your website built on a content management system (CMS) so you can control your content updates. And, by content updates we don’t only mean copy or pieces of text, but images and video are other examples of content too! Nobody enjoys landing on a website that hasn’t been update for months, even years, and the outcome is likely they will move on in seek of fresh and new alternatives – in other words your competitors.
More information on content managed websites can be found here: Questions to ask your content management system web designer.
On the flip side, too many updates to your website too frequently will make it difficult for you to gather the right information about the activities on your site, leaving you with less-educated decisions to make!
There is no need to rewrite your content every few weeks – that is a task no one would enjoy. But by regularly looking at your website stats in terms of visitor numbers, visits on internal pages, sales and comments you receive, you should be able to identify when is a good time to give your website a little boost by making a few amends, adding to existing copy or creating brand new copy for your site.
By following a few simple guidelines, we can help you create quality and relevant content about your product or service for your website.
Some easy things to consider when updating your content:
1. Provide useful content that is concise and tells the visitor or customer exactly what they want to know about the product or service they are looking for, before they make their purchase.
2. Write the content for your customer and not the search engine. This is a common mistake in SEO, recently addressed in the last algorithm updates by Google. Speak to your customer and give them the solution to their problem – that is why they landed on your page in the first place, so don’t miss the opportunity to convince them why your product or service will help them more than your competitors.
3. Do research. Research your customers, find out what it is they want and give it to them. Find out what your competitors are doing, and think of ways you can better their strategy. Remember, they are looking at your site too!
4. Keep your content relevant to that page. For instance, if your website page is about organic eggs and chickens, then make sure the content on that page delivers in relevancy! Don’t write about organic pigs and beef. Maybe a simplistic example, but the underlying message needs to hit home.
5. When using content or copy written by someone else, quote or reference it with a link. This can be worthwhile as it gives your reader, visitor or customer extra added value and a good user experience. It also safeguards you from plagiarism, which is not accepted by Google.
6. Keep your sentence structure short, that way you eliminate possible grammar issues. Create paragraphs and keep one idea to each paragraph – this will help you keep your message targeted.
7. Keep your writing style simple and scan-able. Very often readers on the web scan over information – by keeping your writing simple you can at least capture the scanners and get your message across.
8. Use lists – people like reading bullet points.
9. Create meaningful and catchy headlines to get the attention of your reader or customer, and entice them to read further.
10. Ever hear the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Images and video are really quick and simple to upload, and another way to update your content if you don’t have the time or inclination to write.
11. Still feeling less inclined? Hire a copywriter – this may be your best investment yet and their services are available at reasonable prices. A good copywriter will take the time to understand your customer, and market your website accordingly, with quality and original writing.
The aim of Google is to deliver relevant results to searchers, simple! By creating original content that is relevant and useful, delivers the punch and engages with your customers means your website popularity and reputation will grow quickly.
Article by Natalie Eastaughphoto credit: RLHyde via photopin cc