This is the first of a 2-part blog post series.
If your website is an important marketing tool for your business, you’ve probably heard — and maybe from us — that you need to update your content regularly, to “keep it fresh”. But why? And, really? With everything else on your plate, this type of web maintenance sounds like a task to be done when you’ve got absolutely nothing better to do. Which is never.
Well, it’s true. If you depend on your website to drive new business, you need people to be able to find it easily — ideally on the first page of a search engine results page. And fresh new content is one way you can get there, and stay there.
Crawling and indexing
Search engines like Google are continuously scanning, or “crawling”, the Internet for websites. Using sophisticated algorithms, they index each site based on about 200 factors, such as domain history, keyword usage, tags, links, how the site is built, and even its geographic location.
Google wants to serve up the most relevant sites to its users. When a user makes a query, Google searches its massive index and returns the results it believes are the most relevant to the user. A site that is updated frequently with rich content is generally considered current and ranked higher than a site that isn’t, which it deems to be potentially out-of-date and thus less relevant.
Content is king
Even though there are hundreds of factors that go into your site’s search ranking, your content plays a starring role in that ranking process. Three of the most important content-related factors include:
- The number and type of keywords used
- The locations of those keywords on the page
- How often the site is updated
Every time you make a content update to your website, search engines take notice and adjust their rankings. If you include high-quality keywords and phrases in these updates, you’re improving your chances of higher rankings each time.
The competition is fierce
The deathblow to any website is to be treated like a sales brochure, something that is created and forgotten. Your best competitors are likely updating their sites regularly, and striving to improve their rankings just as you are. Like a race, if you slow down, others might bypass you. So to stay one step ahead, you’ve got to think of website development as a continuous process and make updates as frequently as you can.
Fresh content establishes authority
The more top-quality writing you do on a particular topic, the more you demonstrate your knowledge to your target audience. This helps you become a stronger authority in your industry and creates trust in what you say. People are more willing to do business with those whom they trust, so a series of blog articles, news posts, or recent case studies can establish credibility and eventually bring those people to your door.
So now what?
Now that you know why it’s important to keep your website content fresh, you might be wondering how to do it… without going nuts. We’ll cover that in the next blog post: Stay Fresh! Part 2: How to update your site easily and efficiently. We promise, you won’t be sour on staying fresh.