The importance of tending to your website
A website is an organization’s, or an individual’s, public face. Many organizations view their website as a big one-time project. They build it, upload it and then let it exist as a static entity.
But this is a mistake and it doesn’t utilize your website’s powers to their fullest. Keeping your website updated and new has two major benefits; it lets clients know a company is out there, and it boosts your SEO ranking.
Letting Clients Know a Company Exists
When you find a business’ website, how does a user know they’re still around? Many businesses fold quickly, leaving behind a dusty old website.
If a potential client sees a business website that hasn’t been updated in a while, the client may instead choose a more online-active competitor. Clients will look for subtle indicators like recent photos and current names of staff and locations. Sometimes, clients will even look for a modern web design aesthetic. Keeping these current lets clients know an organization is active and makes it look professional.
SEO and Website Maintenance
Google and other search engines have algorithms that determine how relevant a webpage is. These algorithms are proprietary. But by careful experimentation people have determined several of the factors that make a page more likely to rank highly in search engine results.
One of the biggest factors—and a very easy one to control—is how recently a page was updated. This makes sense: if a page has new information, it’s probably going to be more relevant to an individual’s interests.
When Google and other search engines examine your webpage, they compare the previous version they have stored to the new one. If it’s different (and large differences seem to be better, compared to smaller ones) your page will rank higher.
How to Best Keep a Site Updated
It’s one thing to know a website should be updated, but how, and how often, is thornier. After all, most companies’ websites are built so they say everything they should from the get-go.
How often to update a company’s website will vary on its resources. But a substantial rewrite every three to six months will usually be enough to rank the site reasonably high in Google and other search engine rankings (when combined with other SEO techniques). Of course, as significant information changes, it’s important to update the website to reflect this. Significant information may be things like company officers, locations, hours, contact information, products, and services.
One of the best ways to keep a website updated for SEO purposes, and interesting to customers, is to add a blog. With regular blogging (say, one to three times a week) and careful use of tags and titles, a company’s website becomes a relevant, updated resource customers will want to return to—which further improves its SEO ranking.
Of course, this kind of meticulous website tending takes time and money. A company may employ a copywriter to work on updating their blog and web pages. But more likely, they’ll choose to contract the project out to a digital marketing agency or other company. This is usually less expensive than hiring a full-time writer. Plus, many marketing companies will assign one or a few writers to work with a company to build familiarity with its brand and voice.
Websites shouldn’t be static. Keeping them updated, both with new information and regular rewrite is one of the best ways to both optimize a site’s search engine ranking and convey a professional appearance to customers. Creating a blog and hiring a digital marketing agency to maintain the site are some of the best ways of accomplishing this.