“Everything old is new again.”
Well…not really. If we’re talking about fashion, yes, it is cyclical. But as far as your marketing (in particular, your website) is concerned, vintage is not the way to go. If you want your website to function as the hub of your marketing efforts, it’s not enough to launch it and be done and expect the leads to come in. Just like a car or a garden, your website must be tended and maintained to give you the best results. One of the best ways to take care of your website is to keep its content up-to-date.
Why do I need to keep my website content current?
The most important reason to stay on top of your website content is that search engines show favor to websites that are current and relevant, so maintaining fresh content can help your organic search engine rankings. Sites with current content typically have lower bounce rates, too. (A visitor is more likely to “bounce” (leave a site) that looks like it hasn’t been touched in three years.)
Your website should be continually updated to function at its best and get you the qualified leads and conversions you’re looking for. Consistently adding new, targeted, persona-driven content is one of the best ways to keep your website relevant, which leads us to the gold standard in web design, Growth-Driven Design.
With Growth-Driven Design (GDD), a smaller foundation site (or “launch pad” site) launches quickly with only the most critical, high-value content, features, and functions. The launch pad site is then strategically built upon based on user activity. By nature, a GDD website stays fresh, current and relevant due to ongoing updates and a continuous improvement cycle directly linked to what engages and meets the needs of your visitors every time they visit your site.
A website with up-to-date content positions your business as an industry leader. This is a great way to build an online following, which is good!
How often should I update?
You should be updating your website as often as possible, still ensuring that you are offering information that is relevant and valuable. (In other words, don’t just try and fill space!) If you are blogging, you should be posting at a minimum once a week, with 2-3 times a week being even better, depending on the size of your business. Here is a great article breaking down the science of an effective blog schedule.
What happens if I ignore your advice and don’t update my content?
There are a few ramifications to neglecting your website. For one thing, out-of-date content makes your business look out of date. People may even think you have gone out of business. Not good. Depending on your industry, (financial or real estate, for example) outdated content could also equate to a website that is out of compliance if it doesn’t reflect current regulations, which is really not good.
Okay, so how do I update my content?
- Develop and implement a content strategy.
- Enlist others to help! Other members of your team, guest bloggers, or a professional content development team.
- Blog! Every time you add a blog post to your website, the search engines count it as a new page on your website. Again, search engines like fresh content, so this should help your organic search rankings. People often share blog posts via social media, so that is another great way to expand your network and customer base.
- Make sure your portfolio is showcasing your most recent work. Every time you launch a new brag-worthy project, it should be added to your portfolio. If your website includes testimonials, keep those as current as possible, too. Include obtaining testimonials as part of your project closing process, so you have a continuous stream of happy feedback to pull from!
- If your organization holds events, an Events page is another great opportunity to update your website. Announce upcoming happenings and provide recaps of recent successful occasions. Don’t forget to include images!
- Keep your Products page current with new offerings, updated descriptions, and fresh images.
- It is helpful to have the portions of your website with changing content built on an easy-to-manage platform, such as WordPress. This allows you to update content on your own, whenever you need to, instead of waiting for a website developer to fit you into a production schedule.
When you take care of your website, you are really taking care of your audience, too, because you are offering the most relevant information possible to address the questions and problems that they have.
Do you have other strategies you use to keep your website in tip-top shape? Share your ideas in the comments!