Have you gone to a website to find out some information, only to find the information was out of date? Stale content can waste a customer’s time, turn them away and lose potential sales. Keeping a website up-to-date with fresh content keeps readers interested and can generate into sales.
I had an appointment with a specialist. On my way to the appointment from work, I recalled the receptionist telling me the practice was moving. As I was driving, I used the hands free function of my iPhone to call their phone number, only to discover it was disconnected. So, I pulled over and looked up their website to obtain their new address.
Sure enough, on the front of their website, they had changed their welcome message to advise of the (up and coming) move. I began to have a horrible feeling in my stomach. This feeling grew, as I noticed the page was date stamped two months prior. Despite the message advising of their move, there was no new address or phone number. It was not updated. The website only contained their old address and phone number.
Fresh content reduces stress
Fresh content not only keeps your website looking good, it makes your visitors less stressed. Your website users, especially prospects and customers are enticed to come back when the content is regularly updated. You can help reduce the stress of your visitors by keeping your content up to date.
7 ways to keep your website fresh
Fresh content can be in the form of:
- Business information
- Blog articles
- Polls & Surveys
- Customer Referrals
1. Business Information to Keep Fresh
Keeping your business details fresh on your website is extremely important. Wrong or outdated information deter a prospect and repeat customer.
Here is a list of business content for you to check regularly:
- Contact details
- Products and Services
- Vacancies and placements
- Terms and conditions for the website
- Policies that affect customers and suppliers
- Website forms
2. Blog Articles
Your business Blog should be updated with new articles a few times a week, if not daily. If you don’t have your business blog on the front page, you should have summaries to recent articles. A reliable Content Management System as your website’s engine, should be able to automatically manage this for you. The benefits for having a consistent, regularly updated blog will
- inspire visitors to keep coming back
- increase your permanent readership
- generate more sales with targeted content
- help with search engine optimisation
Hire a content article writer and invite guests to blog from other related sites, including your suppliers. Revise old articles from time to time. Links and any non-owned multimedia may change without you being aware.
- sound bytes
You should regularly check your links and inserted media for errors. If you are not using your own personal videos, there is a chance that videos could be removed, or made private. Here is a short list of things to check with multimedia:
- embedded links remain active and relevant
- uploaded files have not been moved or deleted
- SEO features such as ALT tags for multimedia are effective
4. Polls, Surveys and Specials
Be sure to close your polls, surveys and specials on the date and time specified.
- publish data from polls and surveys
- include graphs with the results
- always thank your participants
5. Downloads & Links
Links, especially external links can become the bane of a website. If you change a page’s name be sure to add a 301 redirect from the old page title, to the new. You can use your website search engine to find links to old pages on your website. Don’t forget to check and update links in marketing and auto generated emails. These may be connected to webforms and subscriptions. Be motivated to stay on top of your links on a weekly basis.
External links include:
- knowledge and resources
- embedded links, such as videos on YouTube
- community resources
Internal links include:
- other pages including you blog
- multimedia uploaded to your own server
6. Customer References
Customer references are a wonderful inclusion to prove your business does what it says. Often a business will ask customers for a written reference, to be published on their website. Giving your customer a free link with their reference, is fabulous way to say thank you. Be sure to check customer links regularly.
- adds to the pages word count, and fresh content
- interact with your website users by responding to comments
- solve negative comments, don’t delete
- delete unwanted spam and pingbacks
- use a good commenting plugin with your CMS to help you to manage comments
The Fresh Checklist
To keep your website looking and feeling fresh, create five calendar based checklists.
- daily x2 (see below)
- fortnightly (every 2 weeks)
Allocate the tasks discussed in Fresh Content to one or more of the above intervals.
Daily Task lists
Create two task lists for your daily tasks and dedicate one of the daily task lists solely to article ideas for your blog. By using a Blog Article Ideas Checklist you can reduce the time you spend writing your blog articles, and keep track of the article’s progress.
Improve your users’ experience and reduce their stress
Your visitors’ experience on your website is important. Put yourself in their shoes and browse through your pages. Will they want to return? By keeping your website fresh, you are not just improving your website or blogs experience for your customers, but you’ll also be improving your search engine optimisation.