This is an important SEO question, and the answer is…. it depends. Updating your website and social media content is always a good thing. Updating for the sake of updating is not a good thing. How often and what you update depends on the type of site you are maintaining. For example, news, tech, or financial related sites will need daily or hourly updates. In those cases, your visitors will expect that your content be fresh and relevant to their needs. Sites about your products or services will not need to be on an hourly or daily content refresh cycle.
Using the guidelines above will help you plan your update schedule. Sites not in news, tech, or finance industries can use a weekly or monthly update schedule. I hear your groans, you may be asking why and what to update every week or month. Let’s start with the why. Why is it important to have fresh content on my website or social media page?
For starters, updated content is your sites heartbeat. It lets visitors know that you are still alive. We have all visited websites where the last blog post is about the 2014 staff Christmas party. A visitor may assume that the webmaster is lazy. They may think that nothing meaningful has happened in your organization for the last 4 years. Neither of these assumptions are going to motivate them to contact you.
The updating activity is also a heartbeat signal to search engines. Search engines want to deliver meaningful search results. Your content should answer searchers questions or meet their needs. Show the world that your site is up to date and active with regular and recent content updates. Sites that are up to date and active will have better search placement than those that do not. I have maintained many websites for many years. Some of them date back to 2000 and before. My firsthand experience shows the power and penalty of stale content.
Sometimes your content is of a type that does not “age”. Look at this Wikipedia article on baseball player Herb Worth. It is unlikely that we will learn more about Herb as he died in 1914. Yet, if there are two sites about him, the one with more update activity is likely to score higher search result placement. This is true even when the core information is similar. (We will look at how to make this happen below.) The best content updates for sites with product or service related content.
Let’s assume that the basic details of your product or services do not change very often. Of course, when they do, that is a clear signal for an update. Even when your product content does not change, it is still important to update your content. Here are some ideas that will help you focus your update energy.
- Answer questions. Each time you interact with your site visitors, whether it is via contact us forms, email, or phone calls you are addressing questions. These questions are a gold mine for fresh content ideas. In fact, this blog post is the result of a customer’s question. Listen to your customers questions with a couple goals in mind. First define the question. Write out the question out using words that your customers understand. Use the words or phrase they use when asking the question of a search engine. Then of course answer the question using easy to read text. Finally answer the question clearly and completely.
- Show a benefit of your product or service. As you talk to your customers learn about their needs. Write pages or posts about how your product or service has been used by a customer in the real world. It is great if you can cite a user in the fashion of a testimonial, but that is not required. Another helpful tip is to look at your user communities, or user types. Craft an article for each segment showing a successful product use. This content will not only help your SEO, it will bring them a comfort level. It will show those users as it shows you understand their needs.
- Highlight a product or service feature. Search engines value comprehensive subject content. Highlighting a product feature allows you to dig deep into your subject and show expertise. Your visitors will also appreciate this content as it may give them detailed information they are looking for. Each of your site visitors has a unique set of needs and experience. As time goes by you will be creating content that speaks to them and their needs.
Need help finding content ideas or help with SEO, please contact us, we are eager to help.