Ok, I’m not the best at this either but, it’s best to update your web site’s content…often!  I don’t mean the look of your site, I mean the content contained within your site.  Just like you, I’m sure, visitors to your site want to see something fresh every time they visit.  We all know this and yet, it just doesn’t happen, or not very often.  Why?

This is one crucial thing to consider BEFORE you get a new website.  Who’s going to be updating it once it’s complete?  How often will it be updated?  Are you going to update with pictures in every post or is just text ok?  We’ve seen numerous clients get the website they’ve always wanted and it looks the same 6-months to a year later when we re-visit them.

The fact is that search engines love content, just like people do, and the only thing search engines love more than content is new content.  They actually reward sites that regularly update their content with higher rankings.  Users love sites that regularly update their content and respond by visiting more often.  There is only upside to keeping yor content fresh.  So, let’s give them (people and web robots) what they want.

A common statement is, “But, I don’t know what to write about.”  Here are ten great tips and ideas about ways to make regular updates to your site as painless as possible.

  • News Articles – These can include: new product/service announcements, new contracts secured, new concert dates, internal promotions, notice of new web site content, announcement of awards or certifications received, and notice of newsletter posted or sent.  Best of all, these updates can be very fast as they can be just a few words/lines of text that link into the relevant page of your site.
  • Portfolio – Each time you complete a major project, you can showcase the work with an online portfolio page.  This will also help in subsequent marketing as you can lead your potential customers and fans through the site and talk about the work you have done with a great visual aid.
  • Blog – A blog can be a great way to stay in close contact with your site users.  It’s funny how some people don’t mind updating their Facebook page, but can’t find the time to update their website.  The key is to update your website and make a Facebook blog leading people back to your site.  The more people that visit your site, the better your search engine results become.
  • FAQs – You are likely asked the same types of questions by customers and potential customers over and over again. Write out your answers to those questions and update the list regularly as new issues arise.
  • How-Tos – People are online looking for information and solutions to the issues they face.  By writing how-tos related to your business, you are providing the valuable information users seek and establishing yourself as the expert in the field.  (See this article as an example.)
  • Before & After Stories – What is better than a before and after story?  People love them.  They can be a very effective and interesting way of demonstrating in concrete terms the benefits of your product or service.
  • Case Studies – Case studies are the perfect way to feature your business’ successes.  You can state the challenge you faced and detail the solution you provided.
  • Monthly Newsletter – Many businesses write some type of regular newsletter to their customers already.  Make sure that the newsletter gets added to the site regularly and that an archive of past issues is maintained. If you do not already write a monthly newsletter – this would be a great time to start! You can communicate important information while maintaining regular contact with your customer/client base.
  • Statistics Related to Your Business – Statistics are interesting and people like them.  They can make your business or industry more real to your customers and highlight the importance of your products or services.
  • Customer Stories – These can add a concrete and personal touch to the site’s information about its services /products.  You simply feature a customer, interviewing them about their use of your service or product and its impact on them.  This idea has the added benefit of contributing to great customer relations.

Making it Happen

Plain and simple: Updating your site needs to be an essential part of your overall marketing plan.  The best way to ensure that these content-building ideas get past the idea stage and assign someone to do it.  Make it a line item in someone’s job description about which they must regularly report.  You’ll want to choose a good writer, someone that enjoys doing it so that there is plenty of enthusiasm for the project, and someone that is in the thick of what is going on with the organization to help stimulate ideas and ensure that the important issues are covered. Set concrete goals for content delivery, such as one new article or blog item every week.  And ensure that the posts always keep in line with your business or creative goals.

And often is “often” when updating your website?  Well, that depends on your business.  Some should update daily while others weekly or monthly.  If you cannot update your site at least once a month, it will very quickly become like last week’s newspaper – never to be visited again.   Ideally, you should update your site content once or twice a week.  Once or twice a month is “ok.”  Longer than that, then you’re in jeopardy of looking “outdated.

Final Hint: Take this article as an example. It serves the same purpose for my site that the above ideas would for yours.  It helps my clients and other web users by providing useful and relevant information and it keeps my site fresh with new content.

If there is an Internet-related thing you have always wondered how to do, we’d be delighted to help you.  We are always looking for new ideas.