When to update your web content

Andy Durst

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Why it’s important to maintain your website with fresh, updated news, information, photos, and more

Here’s a simple question: How often do you clean your bathroom? When do you know it’s time to freshen it up, make it more appealing and usable for you, your family, and guests? Well, if you’re like most of us, your bathroom and all of its fixtures, floors, nooks and crannies gets cleaned quite regularly. You probably have a set routine of when to clean it each week, as well as daily maintenance to keep it presentable, and usable. You have to add new “content,” like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, and so on, all for the benefit of its users. You need to update your towels, rugs, and furnishings to make it aesthetically pleasing for the best user experience.

The bottom (no pun intended) line: no one likes an untidy toilet.

It might seem like a stretch, but think of your website as your bathroom – in the sense that it requires regular upkeep, maintenance, and cleanup. You wouldn’t dream of neglecting your bathroom for long periods of time without proper upkeep. That being said, we highly suggest not doing the same to your website, and here’s why.

Regularly updating your website, which is your always-open, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year business, with quality, relevant content is vital to your success. Your business constantly changes and evolves to meet customers’ needs. When customers visit your site, they should see what you are today; not last year. Your audience wants current news, events, how to’s and more; not dated, stale information. The internet is in real time with companies communicating with customers at any time of day or night.

Websites are no longer static brochures that simply tell your customers about your business. They are living, changing, engaging entities that tell your company’s compelling story to an audience that’s interested. To keep this audience engaged and coming back for more, you have to make updating and improving your website a top priority. We don’t clean our bathrooms biannually; and we definitely shouldn’t operate in that type of time frame for web maintenance.

Build trust and loyalty with your audience

When you have fresh, updated information and art on your website, your users will have a reason to return and become loyal customers. An active and engaging business that presents new, relevant content shows a deep commitment to customers by providing them with quality, useful information and services.

When you share your important knowledge via blogs, how-to videos, quick tips, infographics and more, your advice becomes extremely valuable to your customers who are willing to share your stories to a wider audience. You can enhance customers’ perception of you when you become the authority within your field. And by constantly updating your website with new information and topics, an authority you will become.

Tell your brand’s current story

You can immediately tell when a website is outdated. The latest news item is from three or more months ago. The newest blogs are out of season or about topics far from hot. It simply gives a bad impression of a company that is not current and doesn’t make genuine communication with customers a high priority.

But by updating your content and staying current, you are telling your customers that you want to engage with them. You want to share what’s new, what you know, and why you want to build a relationship with them. You want to give them valid reasons to partner with your company.

Click here for more tips for telling your company’s story.

Give customers a reason to come back

Let’s go back to the bathroom. If yours isn’t clean, would people in your household likely skip it and go to a secondary bathroom? Could a filthy bathroom be a consideration for guests coming to your house? Probably so. So again, don’t do that and instead give your customers a great reason to come to your site and keep coming back for fresh content.

178789260Think about it: which sites do you return to daily to check in and see what’s new? How often is their content updated? It sounds silly, but would you still get your news from Yahoo! News or Google News if they only updated content weekly? Not a chance. Who out there still considers printed newspapers, which are updated daily, as their main news source? Not too many, as continually declining subscriptions indicate. There’s a reason Facebook is the No. 2 visited site in the world, and it has to do with constantly updated information.

When you fill your website with new and useful information, you are showing that things are really happening with your business. Visitors want to come back and see what’s new, innovated, changing. New product lines, styles, sales, product reviews, tips, employee hires and promotions, and company growth are all important updates that your customers want to know about.

You can build your website’s traffic of repeat visitors by providing new content, web copy, stories, graphics and images. It takes a commitment of time and resources, but it will be worth it when those repeat visitors become loyal, paying customers.

When you are regularly checking your site, you will also likely find mistakes to be fixed, which is another factor in ensuring repeat visitors. If a user sees your typos, bad links, non-displaying images and so on, which they will, and then they see them still incorrect a day or week later, you are going to lose them as a potential customer. But stay on top of your site and you will be constantly tuned into any potential issues.

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Good for SEO and search rankings

We all want to improve our search rankings, and search engines such as Google and Bing love fresh, relevant content. Google algorithms can tell if your website contains updated, engaging information and will reward you because of it. Search engines consider frequency as a determinant in how often your website is updated with new information. Score high in that field and more traffic will come to your website.

In addition, when you are hands-on with your site’s content, you will also be able to update key features like meta tags and HTML code, which help the way search engines rank and display sites.

Learn what works in attracting customers

When you analyze your website statistics through analytics, you can see spikes in user visits that can be directly attributed to new content you have posted. It’s a valuable way to see in real time what’s working and what’s not. For example, if you post a new blog on a specific topic relevant to your audience, then see a big jump in unique visits to your site, now you know: your audience is finding and enjoying that kind of topic. On the other hand, if you aren’t seeing any increase in visits after updating your site, take a deeper look at what you’re posting to make sure it’s useful, engaging, and something your customers are interested in. Study your data and make changes and improvements based on it.

And finally…

Now that you get a sense of how essential it is to your company’s success to keep your website current with fresh, useful information, it’s time to get to updating. Create a list of upcoming blogs you can create, brainstorm on news and events about your company or industry you can share, take new relevant photos of your employees, management team, products, or store, and research similar companies to see what they are doing to update their websites.

And lastly, remember that no one likes, or visits, a messy bathroom.