When meeting with potential clients and working with current clients, we always stress the importance of having a plan to publish website content updates on a regular schedule. Those updates can be adding new pages, or adding updates and additional content to existing pages, or taking advantage of a News/Blog section of your website where you publish items such as recent news about your business, press releases, project galleries, etc.

We’re going to take a few minutes here to go over some of the reasons why this is important and provide some idea of what this entails.

Why Is Updated Content Important?

To understand why it’s important to constantly update and add to the content on your business website, you’ll want to know a little about the basics of how Google (and Bing for that matter) work. Search engines use different algorithms to determine where your website shows up in SERPs (Search engine result pages). Obviously you want to show up ahead of your competition so it’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to help nudge your site and it’s pages higher in the index.

In addition to using keywords and meta tags ‘behind the scenes’ and other SEO methods, fresh content is automatically submitted to the search engines via something called a sitemap that we have installed on all websites. The sitemap basically tells Google and co. to come see what’s new and updated on the website and update their index of those pages and posts. Google rewards fresh content because you’re signalling to them that you are an active business (i.e., not closed) and therefore the search engine recognizes the value your content will provide to people doing web searches.

And frankly speaking, it’s important that your site’s visitors see updated content for the same reasons! You want to make it obvious to them that you are open for business!

What Content Should be Included in Updates?

A lot of this will depend on what type of business you have…

For a contractor, one thing we recommend doing is “Project gallery” style posts. For example, a fence contractor post would include:

  • A set of photos showing the “before” construction/installation, “During”, and “After”. Doesn’t need to be more than 8-15 photos. Make sure that includes a few very HQ pictures of the completed work as you’ll want those stand out!
  • At least 2-4 paragraphs explaining the work involved. Making sure to include any specifics such as type/brand of materials. Imagine what you would tell someone who saw you doing the work and is interested in having the same thing done. Include the location (City/State) as most local business searches are basically “I need *this* in *this* area” so if they are wanting to find fence installers in Charlotte, you want your post to actually say that.
  • A testimonial from the customer if possible. Even just a small quote attributed to first name and last initial does wonders.

For a retail site, an update post might include:

  • Information on new products in stock or coming soon. Think of it as similar to what you’d post on signage inside a physical retail location.
  • Upcoming sales and special events.
  • Special events adjacent to your brick & mortar location. If something is happening close by, take advantage of the chance to help promote it knowing you’ll see additional traffic/sales from it!
  • Photos. For specific items or of displays of merchandise you are referencing in the post. Or flyers for events you are advertising for.
  • Links for online purchases in applicable.

Similarly structured methods apply across the board. If you’re a service provider/consultant; it may be where you use more of a blog style to provide tips/tricks in your industry. (That is what this article is acting as). Google will use this type of content to increase your website visibility by treating it as a source of expertise in your industry.

We encourage you to contact us anytime for more information and to create a content plan to meet your needs!

“But we already post updates on social media…”

Excellent! Social media is a fantastic way to keep *your current customers* updated! Your website remains the best means however to gain new customers/clients! The reason being that when working properly; your website becomes the hub that magnifies your visibility everywhere else.

For example, Facebook. When you post on your facebook business page, you get that initial boost from the percentage of your page followers that see it. But within a couple hours that post basically disappears from everyone’s screens as their news feed scrolls. At that point your only real option is to spend money to boost it as a paid ad.

What we recommend is treating your website as the source for your social media content. Take what you were going to post on Facebook and expand it somewhat, post it to your website and then share it to your social media! You’ll be getting the SEO benefits, your social media followers will have a perfect way to “Read More” by clicking through from the social networks onto your website. You’ll also get valuable “linkbacks” from any other shares of your post both from the website and from the social network pages.

This also makes it easier to share your content to a full compliment of business social media pages, allowing you to utilize twitter, instagram, Linkedin, and Google’s post options with your Google Maps and Directory pages as well!

“How Often Should These Updates Be Posted?”

The amount will vary depending on your industry, local/regional reach needs, and amount of competition. As a rule of thumb you need to at least be publishing a new post or page monthly. A bi-weekly target typically is ideal for most. What you’ll want to do is put together a plan around what types of updates you want and need to publish, how often each type can realistically be made, and then work from that schedule.

It may be where you’ll post project galleries as those projects complete, so there won’t be an actual schedule for them. But then you may want to come up with an additional update type that you can use to fill the time between those project postings.

Being involved in content creation and publication on your business website includes time and dedication to a plan. We know the last thing most people need is something else to take more of their time, but we’re confident you’ll see positive results quickly from being involved in this manner with your online presence.

As always, we are available to advise, consult and assist you with website updates! Regular updates are included with our regular site design services for our clients and additional services are available if you’re ready to take things to the next level.