Experience has taught us to avoid overusing keywords. One SEO client recently saw a massive drop in keyword rankings because of keyword stuffing & repetition in headlines.
Updating Website Content - Why do I need to update my website?
There are two very good reasons why you should regularly update your website, and there are two kinds of updates.
Let’s cover the types of updates first. Content updates and technical or platform updates.
When a business owner says “I need to update my website” they are likely referring to the content on the website or the way it looks. It may have old information on the site, not have newer information that should be there, or it may have been more than 2 years since the look or design of the site, has been updated. When it comes to the look of a site, we would call that a website redesign rather than an update, but regardless of what you call it, yes, your website can go out of style just like fashion if you don't keep up with the latest trends. Last I knew bell bottom jeans were still out of style and so are flaming logos and blinking text. If you want your website to impress site visitors, your website needs to be “dressed” for success too.
The other type of update is “under the hood” referring to the underlying code for the site. Regular updates for .js frameworks or theme updates or plug-ins if you use WordPress are to be expected when you own a website. These types of updates may require help from a professional website designer to update the code being used. WordPress sites need frequent updates to the platform and plug-in updates, to keep the site secure. Changes of this nature can be very technical and one typo can destroy your entire site and keep it from loading properly.
Now as to the two reasons why a website needs updated for content reasons.
#1- You don’t want your site visitors who are either your customers or prospective clients, to view old outdated information. Perhaps you’ve moved and haven’t updated your address on the site, or maybe the hours you are open for business have changed. Either one of those could be a disaster for a customer.
Most businesses add products or services on a regular basis as well and you don’t want to lose a new potential customer because your website doesn’t list the product or service they are interested in.
#2 – The 2nd reason you want to keep the content on your website fresh is that search engines like Google expect you to and will lower your rankings if you don’t.
Why is updating a website important?A recent study, Five Reasons Fresh Content is Critical, did a great job of detailing the reasons so I'm not going get lengthy here, but instead jump into the types of updates we are talking about and a how we updated our own website recently.
What kind of website updates are we talking about?You’ve probably heard the expression “Content is King” when it comes to SEO. Fresh content is critical when it comes to SEO. Google wants to see new content added on a regular basis, and/or existing content refreshed. Here’s a few examples of what form those content updates might take…
- New product or service pages
- New blog posts discussing industry related topics
- Edits to existing pages which might include updates to your staff, or years in business
- Recent projects you’ve completed
- Case studies
- Client or customer profiles
These updates don’t need to be hard. If you simply took one job or client that you worked with in the past week and wrote about it. Include photos or videos whenever possible of the project. This makes a perfect blog post, project profile or case study. It should be fresh in your mind and easy to crank about 500 words or more which is the shortest word count you want on a page these days. For reference, this blog post is around 640 words to this point, so you can get a feel for length. You don’t have to write a book, but short isn’t necessarily sweet when we are talking about Google’s expectations. This entire blog post is over 1620 words which is more likely to be respected by Google.
Client or customer profiles are a great way to crank out fresh content and keep your customers happy. After all, who doesn’t like seeing themselves talked about and a link to their website is a win for them and their SEO too.
What does it mean to update a website?I know first hand how ignoring the content of your website and letting it sit and rot destroys rankings. Our own website ranked for multiple keyword phrases like Phoenix Website Designer a couple of years back. It was so successful at bringing us new clients we got busy building everyone else's websites and stopped working on our own. Those first page rankings turned into page two, then three, and kept dropping.
The first thing we did was conduct research into how our prospective clients were searching for our services. Some will consider this an old-school tactic but our client's ranking in the #1 position for their chosen keyword phrases don't care how we do it as as we can help their business grow through SEO. Our SEO 1st approach to website design is a perfect fit when it's time to update a website.
Next we updated the current website's design, again what we call a website redesign, to give it a newer, more modern style. The design or "look" of the site was tailor made for our target audience, business owners that want their business to grow and reach the top (if you haven't visited our home page yet, take a look, you'll then know what we are talking about).
Using responsive web design we made sure the mobile site version of the site made a great first impression and was an useful tool for business owners looking to have their website updated.
Major changes to the underlying code with up to-date frameworks used in the update process.
We spent a lot of time optimizing performance optimizing loading time so that the site scored extremely well on Google's Core Vitals tests, or in simpler words, it loads quickly. Slow loading speed harms your rankings, but worse yet those visitors that do click on your results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) won't wait for the page to load and hit their back button before you can make a strong impression with them.
The results? A fresh new look we are proud of again, and steadily improving search rankings. It's not an overnight fix for rankings, but typically we see major improvements in several weeks time.
So now it's up to you. You obviously have interest in updating your website and if you begin now by the start of the new year you could have a powerful marketing tool working for and bringing you new business. If you would like to talk to BANG! about help in updating your website, click here to schedule a free Zoom consult to discuss how we can help.
FAQ’s about Website Content Updates
How long does it take to update a website?Typical redesign projects take about 3 months start to finish. Sites with complex programming or eCommerce components typically take longer.
If you are just talking about content updates an hour or two per week can make a big impact
Does your website need updating?If you've read this far in this blog post you already know it does, and for multiple reasons.
Why is it important to update your website?
- To create a positive first impression on your site visitors
- To provide current and up to date information about your company for those visiting your site
- To convince Google and other search engines your website is worthy of first page rankings
How often should you update content on your website?If you had absolutely nothing else to do in your life I'd say daily. As business owners, weekly is a more realistic target. Monthly should be considered a bare minimum and even then you'll likely see your rankings decline over time.
Do I need Call to Actions?Yes! Always provide your site visitors with a link or instructions on what to do next. You'll see above we are inviting site visitors to schedule a free website consult with us.
Why update your website at all?I like to answer this with a question of my own... how many times have you reread last weeks newspaper? Of course everyone answers with they haven't. So why would you expect your potential customers to read your old website content?
Is updating my websites pages a good way to increase search engine optimization?Yes it is. Failure to do so is a surefire way to fail at SEO.
What are the ongoing costs of maintaining and updating a website?If you have the time, content updates are generally free. If your website has been built with a CMS (Content Management System), and most are, you can update the site yourself without incurring fees besides your annual website hosting costs.
If you don't have the time, you'll want to have a content update service done by either your website designer or an SEO agency, or in BANG!'s case we handle both web design, and SEO. We have monthly SEO Campaigns starting at $1,000 that will provide a steady stream of fresh content, backlink building, and monthly reporting of your website ranking. While that may seem like a large amount to some, stop and think about how many new clients it would take to recoup that investment? Generally it's not very many, and keep in mind the life time value of a customer. Most businesses aren't "one and done" and have customers for years or decades making an investment in SEO very worthwhile.
Every couple of years spend a couple of grand to do a website redesign and update the underlying code and framework to keep your site secure and running quickly.
Do you have a blog? or, Why is regular updating of blogs important for a website?Blogging is probably one of the easiest ways to create and provide fresh content on your website. Especially if you can discipline yourself to write a blog post on a regular basis, daily, weekly or at least monthly.
About the Author
Brian Rideout, Chief Pixel Pusher of BANG! Web Site Design is an industry veteran (sounds better than old guy right?) who started building websites in 1996 when dial-up, modems, Netscape and 640 x 480 resolution monitors with 256 colors were state of the art. We very quickly adopted ColdFusion as our application server and developed CMS (Content Management Systems) powered sites for our clients so they could update their own websites easily without having to pay a web designer to do so.
We stumbled into SEO by "accident" when we got a client ranked #2 on Yahoo (remember this was the 90's) for an extremely competitive keyword phrase and they sold out of all the product they had. With a little reverse engineering we learned what Yahoo was looking for and applied our new found SEO experience to other clients and then to Google... which was a tougher nut to crack by the way.
Times changed, Google became the dominant search engine, Adobe bought ColdFusion and we switched to Lucee for our application server which is an open source CFML language server, and we continued to build websites for small business's in the Phoenix market. Brian's approach of SEO 1st Design has resulted in many businesses, particularly in the building trades such as contractors and plumbers, as well as law firms, to rank at the top of Google's results which keeps our customers happy, healthy, and profitable (you thought I was going to say wise didn't you?).
We continue to provide website design, website development, hosting, SEO services and digital marketing for Phoenix companies. More information about the company can be found on our About Us page. Click the following link for examples of our award winning website design work.