Sometimes company’s create websites with every intention of keeping them fresh, relevant and updated, but life gets in the way and updating the website ends up being the last thing on the mind of busy professionals.
Other times companies simply build a website and make the mistake of thinking it’s up there, it serves a purpose, and they don’t need to revisit it again. Unfortunately, you are really doing your business a disservice by not keeping fresh, updated website content on your site.
Fresh and timely content will help your SEO (search engine optimization) and keep you in front of Google’s web crawlers for search placement. Google is not too fond of stagnant websites and likes to see that websites are updated frequently. A site that is not will eventually take on a less relevant position in their search algorithms.
Google Looks For Fresh Content
Google filed a patent in 2003 for “Document Scoring Based on Document Content Update,” which basically means they hold a patent on a search algorithm that scores content based on how fresh it is. In doing this, Google showed that they are interested in giving more importance to websites that update their content regularly, to provide fresh material to their visitors.
Recent information is likely to be more relevant to your readers than something that was written years ago. Even if the article was crazy good when you wrote it, Google starts ranking it’s importance as less relevant over time. Google will prioritize fresh content over old content. That being said, if the article is still relevant to your customers or clients, I would not recommend removing it. After all, you want your websites to be useful to your clientele, not search engines, right? But, you still have to appease the “search engine god” by making sure it doesn’t see your website as old and dated. Just be sure to keep some fresh content flowing into your site to supplement things.
While making big changes, such as a complete website refresh or redesign, will refresh your site content, simply going in and changing a word or two on existing articles or sections won’t largely impact the freshness of that page. Sure, strategically placed keywords might give you a boost in your rankings for that keyword, so I wouldn’t discourage that practice, however it won’t necessarily boost your ranking for “freshness.”
Blogging Helps Create Fresh Content
One excellent way to keep your site updated on a regular basis, and keep it in Google’s good graces, is to create a blog or company news section on your website. Use this section for press releases related to your company, sales and marketing info that you want to get out to customers, and events you will be participating in or have recently participated in.
Of course, you can also do traditional blogging, where you keep your customer’s informed of changes in your industry, or other information that they would find useful.
If you simply don’t feel like you have time to handle updating your website all by yourself, you might want to consider asking an employee, someone else in your industry, or even a trusted client to help write some articles for the blog or website. Many of the larger blogs on the internet have “guest bloggers” that do just that, so you would be in good company.
You can even post a link to someone else’s website, if you run across an article on a blog or website that you think your visitors might find interesting. Simply write a short intro paragraph, letting your website visitors know why you thought they might like the article, and then provide a link to it for them to visit. This is a great way to at least show some activity on your site. Word of caution here – whatever you do, please don’t copy someone else’s article and post it on your site. There are copyright laws and you don’t want to be breaking them!
I recommend to my clients to try to write at least one good and informational article a week on their blog, or some other informational section of their website. More if they have time. Of course, you don’t want to be pumping out content that is thin or weak either, because you are marketing to a real live audience, not just to a web crawler. So, if you can’t produce or share good quality information on a weekly basis, then move your timeline down a bit. Maybe you can come up with some good quality fresh website content once a month?
What’s important is to show the search engines that your site is still an active website, that is reviewed and updated periodically, and it’s not just sitting out there in cyberspace being stagnant.