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Importance of Regularly Updating Your Website

Written by James Tudge on .
person working on updating her website

In current times, having a website is an essential part of almost any business. However, you don’t just want an ok website - you want a great one! To achieve the very best from your website you need to be updating it regularly and with valuable, informative content that helps both the search engines and your users see the site as an authority in the industry.

So, what type of content should you create, how often should you update the site and what other aspects should you be considering?

The Role of a Website for Businesses

Websites are useful tools for businesses, both big and small, allowing users to discover your services from anywhere, at any time. Building a website for your company could be a worthy investment, even if you’re a small business, and this doesn’t need to be a costly investment, either; some websites cost as little as £100 a month and are even managed for you at that price, too.

However, before we look into the importance of updating your website, it is important to understand why you are building or have built a website in the first place. Are you looking to expand your client base, or display a portfolio of your latest work? Knowing what you want to achieve will help you find ways to open up a range of doors and opportunities, increase trade in your business and raise digital awareness of what you do. If you need advice on targeting your website goals through SEO, talk to digital marketing agencies, or read our handy guide on things digital agencies do for clients.

Benefitting SEO; Influencing Google

Person sitting outside with laptop

Updating your website regularly goes hand-in-hand with a successful SEO strategy. Search engines such as Google love new, quality content, and this content will be “crawled” by search engines to establish its existence on a site. The more you update your site, the more search engines will visit to check for new content, benefitting your SEO greatly. If Google is aware of your website’s pages and the relevance of the content within, the general public will be more likely to discover it, too. If Google hasn’t crawled and indexed a page, it’s virtually impossible for a user to find it! By making the search engines ‘aware’ of your content, you’re more likely to see an increase in clicks to your site, and ultimately, a greater chance of gaining a new customer or client.

Furthermore, the strongest websites feature a network of pages within their site. By adding to this network, a collective of information about your industry will be created, something which search engines will value highly. This gives you a greater chance of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to greater exposure to your target audience.

This ties in with the navigation of your website; when your site has regular new content, you want your users to be able to find it easily. Search engine crawlers will rank pages that have a “shallow crawl depth” higher - in essence; pages which are easier to find will be reviewed more by search engines, making them more likely to be found through a Google search. Think of this as a large spider web, where some pages link to the most relevant pages on a website (such as a service page) so that search engines (and your users) can find relevant information quickly. Your spiders, which in this case are Google crawlers, want to be able to pass across this spider web with ease, heading to somewhere beneficial.

Adding new relevant links when appropriate, is a good way of updating content. If we wrote an article about the benefits of bespoke web design, placing a link to our website design service, which directs you to a desirable page for our services, would be an appropriate use of a link in updated content. When the link is visible within the text, this clickable text is known as “anchor text”. By adding relevant links to other pages on your website, you can keep your users on your site, accessing new, relevant content. However, it is important to remember that too many links can be detrimental to your website. When updating your website, any new links need to be appropriately placed otherwise your internal navigation will end up a bit messy, ultimately confusing search engines on which page is meant to be the most important.

Benefitting User Experience and Gaining Authority

Lady sitting with her dog while working on laptop

Google has created a guideline that assesses the quality of content on websites, known as “E-E-A-T” (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). Updating new content should always keep this guideline in mind, which ensures that the quality is of a high standard for users.

The needs of your users are essential to consider when updating your website. Understanding user intent is critical when creating new content or optimising old content; tailoring it to the needs of your target audience to match their “search intent”. This essentially looks at how a search engine categorises results, based on the intention of a user and what they are hoping to find. This, in turn, improves their user experience because they are finding the answers they are looking for, making them more likely to return.

Updating your website by creating new content is a strong way of building trust with your users, due to the fact that you’re showing a deeper understanding of your business industry. Users will trust that you know your industry inside and out when you regularly post new happenings, top tips, latest products and so on. At Beyond Your Brand, our blog posts aim to do just that, covering a wide range of related topics to demonstrate expertise in the industry of web design and SEO. Consider what relevant news or events are going on that you could be discussing to inform your audience and build authority, for example.

Regular updates to your website can keep your users hungry to visit your site again and again. An analogy that fits this concept well comes in the form of a high-street shop; you wouldn’t want to visit the shop if they never brought in new stock, but if they regularly brought in high-quality, new items, you would feel much more inclined to come back and check it out. Your website should be no different, as your users should be willing to return to check for the latest updates you’ve provided, in areas that they’re interested in. Many website owners seem to neglect this - they create a website they’re proud of, and leave it at that. Remember, your website isn't a piece of art that gains value the older it gets; it should be a dynamic flow of information that adapts to the times and keeps users hooked.

Updating your website with fresh content is important for building authority too. After all, this is an essential part of the E-E-A-T guidelines for content. Authority can come through creating “clusters” of content which demonstrate expertise in your website’s business field, making you a one-stop shop for information. Backlinks are also important for authority - creating new, informative content could lead to credible websites referencing your content through links from their site, which can help to build trust in your site, especially if that site’s authority is passed on to you (also known as link equity). If multiple trusted websites are referencing and linking to you, some level of their authority can be shared with you which can also impact PageRank; a confirmed ranking factor for Google.

Top Things to Do to Update Your Website

Desk with computer monitor

Now that you've read why you should update your website, you’re probably wondering how you can do so in an effective way. There are several answers to this, including:

  • New, relevant blog posts, articles and news pages
  • Improving service pages
  • Adding new testimonials and case studies
  • Reviewing the design and navigation (for mobile and desktop)
  • Linking pages together appropriately
  • Optimising pre-existing content

New, Quality and Relevant Blog Posts, Articles and News Pages

Perhaps the most regularly used method of updating your website, creating content such as blog posts, articles, guides, top tips and news pages is an effective way to update your website and keep users engaged. As mentioned earlier, search engines enjoy fresh content as well as your users, so consider adding regular new posts to the blog areas of your website, for example. However, it is important to create quality content, not just writing for the sake of writing. This content should be keyword-inclusive; using an appropriate number of keywords to enhance your SEO strategy, leading your target audience to your landing page and positively impacting the visibility of your website.

Optimising Pre-Existing Content

When updating your website, it is not always about creating new content from scratch; sometimes, your existing content can just be adjusted and improved. Let’s bring back the shop analogy; supermarkets will often rearrange shelves containing the same items to freshen up the layout and bring existing items to a user’s attention by adjusting the way in which they are displayed. Websites can be updated in a similar fashion, as existing content can be rearranged and improved to become more desirable to your target audience. Aim for a blend of fresh content and improved content, optimising current pages to cater for the new pages you add too.

Improving Service Pages

Service pages tend to be your key “money makers”. This is ultimately where your target audience will engage with what you do and what you offer, so this is the ideal place for a target destination, or “end goal”, for your users. Therefore, ensuring your service pages are regularly updated is essential to ensure that your users are seeing the very latest version of what you’re trying to achieve or promote. Your service pages may well be in competition with others offering the same or similar services, so be sure to update them often to stay relevant and ahead of your competitors. Consider your on-page elements - such as headings, image optimisation, title tags and meta descriptions - that the search engines pay particular attention to when they’re crawling the pages. It is this information that generally helps the search engines determine the content and relevance of the material and helps match it to user intent.

Adding New Testimonials and Case Studies

By adding the latest testimonials and reviews for your services, you can help your audience see that others have worked with you previously to achieve the service you provide, presenting their positive feedback in a way which promotes how good you are at what you do, how you satisfy client or customer needs, and how you are respected in your industry and the wider community. People are much more likely to try your service if they see that they’re not the first to do so. Alongside testimonials, adding new case studies is another strong way of updating your website to show your audience your business activities and ways you’ve helped clients reach their targets. These could be presented in a “Success Stories” format; where we’ve displayed ways in which we’ve helped clients achieve their goals to show the successes of our services. If you’re doing well, don’t be afraid to shout about it.

Reviewing the Design and Navigation for Mobile and Desktop

As the years progress, so does technology, so it is important to keep up with the times to ensure your website doesn’t become outdated. Many users nowadays surf the web using mobile devices, with over 55% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, so it is also important to review how your site operates on both desktop and mobile platforms. Frequently assessing your site structure is an important but effective way of keeping your website up to date. If you see ways in which your navigation can be improved, there is every chance your users will also notice, so updating your navigational features is a must. Remember, Google finds pages easier to crawl when they are more accessible within your site network. Consider what your most important pages are and make sure you can navigate to them easily from the homepage of the site.

Understand what your users want; highlight the actions you want them to take and ensure there is a logical flow through the site.

Linking Pages Together Using Anchor Text

This relates closely to what we’ve just discussed, as using links is a strong way of expanding and relating pages in your website’s structure, but only when placed appropriately, as overusing links can be detrimental. Strong anchor text can take users to related or desirable pages, so over time, review the effectiveness of anchor text and optimise them where suitable. Updating your links is important - if you feel it is necessary to remove any, then do so, as broken links or overused links do not add value to your site.

Do You Need Your Website Managed for You?

Regularly updating your website may seem daunting if you’re pressed for time. Our 100 Club service could be perfect for your business needs - we provide up to 6 updates a month as part of your monthly fee, uploading fresh content to update your website for you. Get in touch with us to find out more today.

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