Website Freshness: The New Key to Being Found Online

Posted on by Dana VanDen Heuvel
150x94 Website Freshness: The New Key to Being Found Online

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Freshness isn’t just for fruits and vegetables. When it comes to your customers or prospective customers, it’s a business necessity to keep your website content is fresh as well.

Think about it. When people want to learn something about a product or service, they talk to friends/family and look it up online. And they do the same thing when they become a customer who has an outstanding question, thanks to the beauty of 24/7 access. But here’s a reality check: How well does your website fare in serving these audiences?

If you’re like most small businesses, not well. In a recent study, 54 percent of small businesses admitted they update their websites less than once a month. The same study, conducted by SiteKreator of more than 100,000 small business websites, found that updating a website just five times a month will increase website traffic by 300 percent! Integrate your Facebook page (don’t have one? Time to get one.) into your site will increase traffic 400 percent more than if you spent money to do a paid search on Google.

Bottom line, your business’s website is not a static landing place that was “done” the day it went live. It needs to be a living, changing organism. The latest case in point: Google’s latest changes to the algorithms that add freshness criteria to search engine results. (These algorithms help match people searching keywords on Google with the appropriate websites featuring information on those topics.) A large number of people who visit websites start by clicking on a link from a search engine like Google. And Google looks at “freshness” of content in matching people doing keyword searches with relevant sites. How fresh is your content?

There are, of course, many reasons to update your website content, Google being a primary one. You want to keep your customers/visitors interested in your site; having static information won’t bring them back.  People judge a company by the content on their site – if information isn’t updated but you claim to be an industry leader, what message does that send? If your site isn’t dynamic and interesting, how can you claim to be?

Personality aside, fresh and relevant content is a business must. In addition to assigning relevant keywords to your website’s pages to ensure Google’s “crawlers” pick you up on searches, you need to change content regularly. Perhaps the most influential way is to host a blog. Anyone with a marketing bone in their body knows the value of a blog from an engagement perspective; they’re a great way to have a conversation with customers and prospective customers. But the influx of new content a blog introduces to a site is like a blinking light to Google’s crawlers. It is a fact that it searches websites with blogs more often than those without.

And as I mentioned earlier, your business’s Facebook page deserves a front-row seat on your website. By the nature of that, you can post news items and post photos (which are extremely popular) on your site. In addition, it’s a great forum for highligitng specials, updating staff profiles, listing new or seasonal services and more.  You can complement this with a “what’s new” section on your website to highlight news items, company successes and more.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Given that you’re already wearing multiple hats, even quick and easy updates may be best assigned to someone else. You can delegate the website to a staff member or even outsource it to a website design company.  It’s definitely worth your while when it comes to how your website content affects your company’s bottom line.

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