Why you need to keep your website content fresh, and what might happen if you don’t…
You’ve put together content and published your website for the world to see. You shouldn’t need to update it for another 15-20 years, unless something changes to your business, right?
If you are serious about business growth then regularly adding to the content in your website is important, whether it’s updating existing pages or adding new content such as blog post articles that address certain questions or issues that your customers have.
In this article, we discuss how it can impact two parties - your customers and Google - and the benefits of making certain changes.
Let’s start with the most important… customers.
Customers demand a modern site
Ever looked at a website that looks so out of date and wondered if the business is still in operation? If there is any doubt whatsoever about how up to date a business is, or if they are in fact still in business, then a customer is likely to go elsewhere.
VHS recorders and static HTML websites with, dare I say it… Flash animation intros or even worse, full Flash websites were great when they first launched, but we wouldn’t recommend either nowadays (unless you are a die-hard fan of collecting old technology including Sony Walkmans).
Today, customers require websites that are dynamic, have fast loading images and videos and are easy to use on a mobile phone (called mobile responsive websites). Anything less than this could be costing you lost sales.
Google loves fresh content too!
Why fresh content is important (and how to do it right)
The good news is that you can be found in Google by providing fresh content on your website (and by hiring a web designer that has expertise in getting businesses found in Google).
This is turn shows how serious you are about being found in Google and that you have something new for them to find each time the Google bots pass through your website pages.
Here are some tips for generating fresh content, and how it will impact your search results:
Update individual web pages, regularly
As well as providing up-to-date information for your customers, fresh content on individual pages helps your website to be found in Google.
Fresh content can be text, images, videos, PDFs, etc. Please note however, that although PDFs can be read by search engines, it's best to put the information directly on your website, rather than in a file as PDFs are not great for mobile users or those on low broadband speeds (I know - slow internet connections are still alive and well, so be kind to those users) as they can be very large file sizes so make sure you use a PDF compressor before uploading the PDF to your website and you MUST make sure they open in a new window/tab otherwise your user will get buried inside the PDF and they have left your website - Arrrgghhh!
When it comes to appearing high up in SERPS (search engine results pages), many businesses don’t realise that Google ranks each page individually. A product page might come top of search for ‘widgets’ that you sell while services that you sell in a town or city will be ranked differently for anyone in that town or city searching for those services. Remember - Your website is your best virtual salesperson!
Each page needs to have high quality, unique and informative content - and they shouldn’t have what’s classed as ‘thin content’.
What is thin content on websites (and how do you fix it?)
As well as not helping your customers answer the question or subject matter they had ‘Googled’, thin content also refers to pages that have been badly written, pages with duplicate content (and this means copying someone else’s web page content which is a forbidden act!) and stuffing a page with as many keywords as possible which makes the page difficult to read.
Don’t do ANY of these!
But what exactly is thin content? Is there a specific word count you need to hit, or a set of guidelines you need to reach? Well, unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. But fear not, we can help with analysing and diagnosing any problems with your current content and how to fix web pages and blog posts with thin content and give you an action plan for a future of thin-free content.
4 Ways to get better website content
There are a number of ways to remedy your website ranking and content so you get better search engine results in Google. Here are the first 4 ways to improve your page content:
- Diagnose the pages with thin content and rewrite them:
This could be a big job, so start with the pages that produce the highest ROI, then work your way down from ones that should produce higher ROI to less important pages (although to be honest, no pages should be irrelevant on any website!). Remember to create CTAs (Call To Actions) in each page so users know what you want them to do next.
- Address any duplicate content issues:
Copyscape is a pretty good tool to use for this. Copyscape is free plagiarism checking software that allows you to see duplicate content and detect if your text is original or to see if someone else has copied you!
- Read your page content:
Take time to read through your 'entire' website and re-write it if it's waffly, unclear or doesn't actually say what you do! There are lots of website owners who don't know what text is on their website or whether it's out of date or not, so make sure you know what your website text sounds like to a user by putting yourself in their shoes, if possible (although I realise this can be tricky to think in this way - so if you need help, let us know and we can be there for you). Focus on the quality and relevance of your text rather than the number of words, although having a few sentences about your best service or product won't get you to number 1 in Google.
- Create buyer personas
When you create new content, do you know who you are writing for and what motivates them? Creating content for a specific reader will improve the quality of your content and improve how it performs. The best way to create content for a specific reader is to develop buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional profile of who you are targeting, including what motivates them, the challenges they are facing, and more. If you don't have a documented persona to guide your team, it's time to change that!
If you already know to do it and have all the data at hand, it's time to consolidate all of that information and re-work your website user journeys.
If you'd like to book our SEO copywriting training we'll show you how to create buyer personas and much more!
How does Google see your website?
Google sees all the titles on all your pages and wants each one to be unique. Don't give every page on your site the same title. Google sees the keywords in the title but doesn't want to see keyword stuffing. In other words, your title tag should contain more than just keywords. Not only this but your content should match your meta information - this includes alt tags and image filenames too! Website copywriters who are SEO-focused can create you the right kind of content - everywhere in your website!
Write regular blog posts
Because web pages (which include blog posts) are ranked individually by Google, blog posts are a great way to appear in search engine results for questions or issues that your customers might have. You probably do this yourself, but users will 'Google' a question, a request for a service or a problem they are having and expect an answer to solve that query. For instance, you might search for ‘website copywriters in Swindon’ or 'tips for writing website content' both of which is very specific I know, but you will hopefully land on a site that will show you the trust and proven experience from what that website states in order for you to proceed with their services.
If you know that your customers regularly search for the answer to a specific question, then having a blog post with that question in the title and that answers that question with high quality content, detailed and helpful text then this can result in more potential customers finding you in Google and visiting your website.
Websites need to be fed your best 'word food'.
Don’t just waffle up your word count!
Wafflers beware! There are many aspects to being found in Google for a specific key phrase which we can’t cover in this blog post. Using the right amount of the right keywords and phrases is important, and so is providing consistently high-quality website content that adds value.
Pages need to have enough content to add value for Google to think about ranking it highly, but that doesn’t mean you should go on a verbal marathon and cram your site with as many words as possible!
To find out more about having fresh content on your website, and how you can find more customers, get in touch with our website copywriters in Swindon today.
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