Why You Should Keep Your Business Website Updated

A Stagnant Business Website Reeks of Dust and Decay

If you’ve made the effort to ensure your small business or sole trader website has a window to the world with its own website, good for you! You’ve created the best marketing tool you could wish for, and an unbeatable way to communicate and interact with your existing customers while drawing in new ones.

It’s like opening a new eye-catching store in the high street that grabs everyone’s attention with its fresh and fascinating window display, which initially entices people in to discover the great products and services on offer inside.

If that store then sits there, month after month (or even year after year) without ever changing its window display which becomes increasingly murky, and the shelves become faded and jaded, gathering dust, it will eventually be ignored and even scorned – passed by and unnoticed by the local footfall.

Similarly a stale, stagnant and outdated website sends out the message that your business is at best static, lifeless and disinterested and, at worst, dormant and inactive.

Online this message isn’t just conveyed to those who stumble across your stale website by chance, it is more importantly perceived by the search engines. The likes of Google won’t be bothered to rank an inert, neglected website no matter how stylish it is and how great the products or services it is showcasing and purveying.

The way to keep your business website in the limelight is to keep it vibrant and alive with ever-changing fresh, relevant and good quality content.

All the Reasons Why Business Websites Should be Kept Updated

First Impressions – trust, credibility and user appeal

A modern, well-maintained website conveys the message that as a business you care and pay attention to detail. It says you’re engaged and invested in providing a positive experience for site visitors, positioning your business as a reliable source of up to date information – you’re professional, an authority in your field, and forward-thinking. Things like regular blogs/vlogs, product launches, case studies and Q&A forums on your website all add to your status and reputation in your industry or niche, engendering loyalty and respect from your customers for your expertise.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engines prioritise fresh and relevant content. When your website content becomes outdated it may lose visibility in search engine results, meaning potential customers won’t find you when searching online for the products or services you have on offer in their area. When content is not updated you’ll lose the chance to leverage SEO keywords in a natural way and meet search engine algorithm criteria. Rankings and organic traffic will slip, and it’s usually very difficult to recover once your website is on the downward slope.

Staying Relevant in a Competitive Market

Outdated and static content may send any repeat site visitors clicking away elsewhere with a yawn, and could also contain inaccurate or obsolete information that has been overtaken by new. All this adds up to a frustrating user experience for your audience, and you’ll quickly lose credibility and credence with loyal users, who will no longer perceive you as being competitive or relevant in your niche. The bottom line is, outdated content leads to high bounce rates and lower conversions as site visitors click away to explore the sites of your more lively, smart competitors.

Gathering Analytics Data for Improving Performance

To work effectively for your business your website should be a constantly evolving entity. By keeping it updated you gain valuable insights into how visitors are interacting with your website content.

How? Well, regular new content can be synthesised using analytics tools to show you, for example, which pages are performing well, where visitors are dropping off, and what kind of content resonates with your audience.

Analytics data is collected to identify areas for improvement and understand user behaviour – all valuable tools for fine-tuning your website and tailoring any new content in future for generating sales leads.

Optimum Frequency of Website Content Updates

So far we’ve mentioned “regular” content updates as being important for your small business website, for all the reasons stated above. But how “regular” is “regular”?

There are no hard and fast rules for how often you need to update your website content. This depends largely on the business. Some have daily offerings that need changing, others may only need to add or tweak some content once a month. Experts recommend though that once a month is the bare minimum for introducing some new, fresh content, and suggest six-monthly website updates of “evergreen” content if you want to maintain its relevance and effectiveness.

The key to it all is consistency and predictability – if you decide to add a blog once a month, make sure the frequency is maintained and never compromise on quality.

Leverage analytics tools to track user engagement and monitor your content performance over time and refresh and renew as necessary. Consider lengthening and strengthening, or re-purposing, existing content for SEO best practice.

Take care that all fresh content is original, and avoid duplication, or it may do more harm than good, especially on the SEO front. Also make sure you don’t delete any old content that is rich in keywords that is drawing traffic to your site – look before you leap!

Content is still king – and that includes all sorts of content besides text, such as videos, images and infographics.

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