It's easy to think of a website as a brochure. Write the copy, design the message, and 'publish' it. Presto, all done until a major revamp in a few years.
Wrong. That's old school thinking. Your website needs ongoing attention, or what we like to call love. There are two audiences who demand your website needs love. Search engines and your customers. Here's why.
Look at it this way. Search engines like Google succeed because they give their users the right, more relevant results. If you searched for 'Asian Cup', and found the first page of Google full of links to the 1988 AFC Asian Cup, you'd be disappointed, and likely to try another search engine (gasp!).
So what Google does is uses their 'freshness index' as a way of determining if your website is still relevant. They compare your current website against their copy from a while ago, and if nothing has changed, you are found to be a little 'stale', and your ranking slowly slides down.
Lower ranking means fewer clicks on your website. Less clicks equals less leads, sales or brand awareness.
So how do you prevent your site being thrown deep into search results? Easy, follow these steps to ensure your website continues to tick over, with relevant, newsworthy and shareable content.
- Schedule News Updates - If you're in the mood for writing, you could potentially write 2-3 news articles that could serve your news section for several weeks. It's a great idea to schedule content updates, especially if you're fighting against the clock on most days to update your site.
- Recent Events - Stay relevant, with topical news or hot topics. Google wants to show the latest information immediately - so make it easier to find your content by keeping it related. There are plenty of cases where old content could be just as relevant; however providing a wrap-up of an event that occurred last year wouldn't necessarily be "hot off the press" information in regards to Google's search algorithm.
- Move First - Think of it this way; if you're a journalist who breaks a story, you generally receive recognition, and the exposure that comes with delivering a new story. In today's world, that generally means content is shared with a mass audience through social media. Be wary of keeping it relevant to your business, as it's more important that whatever you're featuring has a correlation to the industry you're operating in. That and you're more likely to hold an authoritative stance on issues affecting your industry.
That's search engines. So what about customers or website users?
If one of your primary revenue streams is your website, it's imperative that your content is up-to-date, and continues to stay that way to help attract potential customers. Too often businesses frantically update their new websites with products, but fail to update when stock becomes unavailable or no longer available.
A great way of fine tuning the experience of your website is to relate it to shopping at a brick and mortar retailer. If a retailer has the jeans you want advertised in the display window, with a competitive price that draws you into the store - you expect them to be available. And when they're not, we are happy to tell the whole world about our frustration (cue social media flame war).
Give your site more love, and you're likely to draw a larger audience. If you haven't yet taken these steps, or should you need a helping hand devising a strategy, you may want to get in touch.