All information should be considered as a living document. After all if it isn’t, nothing would change and we could still be living in the dark ages! Basically, as with life, if a website isn’t live it is dead.
With websites, you really need to keep your content fresh so your website will grow. This includes updating old content. This needs to be done systematically as over time you will have loads of articles to juggle with when updating. The more frequently you look at refreshing articles the easier it will become to keep up with the latest information.
A Love Love Relationship.
Fresh and quality content is a nectar to Google. Google has little spies out keeping tabs on website activities including but not limited to their quality, content and how current they are. Because of this snooping, your site is noted as ever-changing with updates and quality content, freshness and the consistency of quality content.
The faster you can post a stream of valuable content, the faster your site will be deemed an authority. Beyond SEO and online authority as viewed by Google, you’ll also become the authority to your readers. Visitors will realise you have expertise, will trust what you have to say.
Your site visitors will come back often and some will inevitably purchase your goods or services while telling their networks (both real life and online) all about you. The more you keep things fresh, interesting an informative the more purchases will be made and you greatly benefit.
You’ll keep an audience engaged and updated with relevant and up-to-date information. I know for a fact I won’t read articles that are stale. Or ones with no date information. I don’t trust their information.
Updating articles, writing new ones, gives the google spies, affectionately known as spiderbots (or Google bots), something to delight in. Constantly crawling, the more you write the better they get to know you and they visit more frequently. This will improve your indexing and rank over time. Give this indexing a boost and go to Webmaster Tools (now part of the Google Search Console) and Fetch as Google for more punch to your indexing. Every little bit helps. (Note you will put your own website address in here!)
How are Websites and Articles Indexed and Ranked?
When you update articles, or add new ones, search engines take note. They send their little spiderbots out to take a sniff around. If you get lots of ticks your site is re-indexed and your rank might increase. The more often you write the more these little critters come and visit.
What the spiderbots come up with is a combination of things: (Technically known as algorithms).
- the number of incoming links to the site
- the number and type of subject keywords
- good SEO
- how often a site is updated with new naturally written quality content including images.
- quality comments given about your articles are content
Don’t forget more content means loads of auxiliary keywords just to feed those little critter spiderbots searches, So there is a great deal of keyword fodder, not just the target keyword!
By loads of keywords I am NOT referring to keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is pretty noticeable even to us mere humans. Most likely this will be your target repeated verbatim or in very similar words.
By adding new quality information in a natural manner these actions are often initiated.
Write content that answers questions, explains how to do something for the reader or provides quality information that they want. Do not write content around a keyword; write it around what the reader wants.
All the above will get your brand out in the open for those searching for the similar products or services you have to offer. This increases your Brand Awareness. Another terrifically good benefit.
What Does Keeping Your Site Current Do For You?
A bit of reiteration here. By writing often and with consistently confident quality words you establish your authority and expertise on your niche and continue to improve it.
- Your brand becomes more familiar with the more content you update or create.
- Your authority and expertise is illustrated and grows.
- You gain trust and loyalty.
- Keeps followers updated and attracts new visitors.
- Shape and construct your content to ensure your visitor is ‘listening’ to your provided information.
- Adding new and updating old articles is content marketing. As long as it is appropriate and quality written your target audience will get benefit, keep your visitors informed with information that will help them make decisions.
- In the end visitors will start making decisions on your content. And making sure it is current certainly helps this along.
- Current, interesting content will be shared on your Social Media. I am well aware of how much sharing occurs as I always share good information. This really widens your audience. All for the better.
A Fresh Website is a Good First Impression
Never forget that your website presents the first impression of you and your niche to visitors and hence potential customers. If you want to present a professional face then keep your content updated or new.
Let’s take an in depth look at the maintenance that keeps your website fresh and growing.
Once people note that your site is right up to date and completely relevant to them there is an extremely good chance they will come back again to visit and read your articles.
Your site will grow at the rate you dictate. To have a completely fresh website you need to keep good control of what is in it. So tart-up (that is be provocative with them) your articles in a methodical manner by recording your articles, date created, revisions and refreshers so you can quickly see what articles need working on. Spreadsheets are a great invention, especially those done on computers. These spreadsheets can also contain lots of other parameters you use such as keywords and updating deadlines.
A good way to help refresh articles is to read your comments and incorporate answers to them within your article. Do acknowledge who suggested or asked questions that allowed your additional content. This will give each reader confidence that you do listen to your them.
Talking About New Website Growth
I have given you some food for thought and new and revived growth for your website. Never let your articles stagnate. And yes I now that some articles are about things that don’t change. These are know as evergreen information.
Even these can be trimmed and redecorated a bit to bring your old articles back to the online world’s attention. You are building a website to attract people so move with times. Make your site fashionable. Draw people in and keep them coming back.
Finally, the best outcome here is that you too will be continually drawn back into your site with a refreshing of your interest in it.
To help me continue to provide quality content please get back to me with comments on what you think and suggest about keeping your content fresh and vital.
If you would like to read about the method of building your website you might like my Stairway to Freedom article.
This is an amazing article and proves what I’ve been doing for years actually works. I thought it was all about backlinks when in fact that is far from the truth. I’m CONSTANTLY adding fresh content to my websites and they continue to grow in traffic and ranks each and every year. I don’t do any social media or backlinking, just creating quality content for my audience and they’re ranking with the snowball effect. Thanks for this great article Helen.
Brandon, don’t mention snowballs. It’s pretty cold here at the moment!
I have always though of articles as being living documents, needeng constant updating as appropriate. Nothing in life is really static. Even our so called static pages can do with updating. For example here at Wealthy Affiliate, the training is always being updated and this affects our static review pages. So there you go.
I am not fond of social media but I am working with it.
Thanks for your comment.
Hi Helen, great article. It helps me realise that even when I update my own content from previous posts it could be reindexed, and helps build on my site ranking. Very informative and a good reminder for me, thanks for that. I’ve never felt like I’m organised, but the spreadsheet you’ve shared will help me in keeping myself up to date with how I’m managing my site, especially as it grows. Thanks for such helpful information :).
Kat, another benefit of updating articles is that you will probably find a lot more internal links. Ones to articles you have done later on. Internal links make Google happy and a happy Google can really help you out. I am just updating one I did earlier this year and have done a lot of rewriting as well as updating. Hopefully this will be fine for a good while.
I have created many spreadsheets in my time. My only problem is remembering to update them!
Thanks for your comment.
Hi Helen, I had no idea about revising content helps get re-indexed so this has been a very valuable read. How you have personified google really gets me thinking about my google relationship 🙂 and how I can change it to a love-love situation. Thanks for the inspiration!
Alix, well said. The ‘boys’ often mention this and our webinar trainer has a few sessions on this. Google is definitely a ‘living’ entity and no-one likes out of date and stale info.
Don’t forget to keep Social Media in sight too. When you do refresh articles do your Fetch as Google but also repost on Social Media.
Thanks for your comment.