It is often said that a year in real time equals anywhere from 4 to 12 years in “web time”, meaning that time moves much faster on-line than off. It is true that the content of your web site can become outdated before you’re done writing it. It is always surprising to me how many businesses are satisfied to put their web site online and then just forget about it, as if the web site could take care of itself from there on out. Keeping a web site current does not need to be a daily or even a weekly activity necessarily, but it is very importance to update the content periodically if you want to continue to increase web traffic.
The truth is that the simple task of adding to and updating the content of your website may be the easiest, least expensive and yet most neglected way to increase traffic.
Here are my top 4 disadvantages of not keeping your web content fresh.
- New visitors can recognize old content: If visitors to your web site perceive that your content is not fresh, they may look at it once, but it is unlikely they will bookmark it and even more unlikely they will return. It’s like the difference between a brochure and a newspaper, a customer may pick up a brochure and read through it once, she may even save the brochure, but believe me, she will not be pulling it out once a month to read through it again, and after a period of time will probably forget she even has it. A newspaper, no matter how small, always has fresh content so that if someone picks it up and likes what he has read, he will likely pick it up again later to see what it says now. Your web site is similar, visitors perceive whether your web site is a brochure or a newspaper and treat it as such.
- Returning visitors will not come back again: When a persons visits your site and likes your content, they may bookmark it and return another time to see what’s new. After a period of time when there are no updates, people assume it is not going to change and will stop coming back. It is these returning visitors who are most likely to become your customers, not only do they like what you have to say, but they are interested enough to keep in touch. If you are updating your content frequently you will increase web traffic as your web site becomes in essence a networking tool to business contacts you may never actually have talked to. This allows you to keep in touch with thousands of valuable contacts with very little work on your part.
- Others sites may not link to you: You probably know that getting links from other web sites is a great way of getting visitors to your site, but you may not know that this can also drastically improve your search engine ranking. Getting quality sites to link to you can be a very difficult task, a good webmaster does not link to every site that comes along and asks for a link, only those that will offer some valuable information. If you have a rather static, brochure web site, you will no doubt be able to get some links, but you can get more and better quality links if your site is fresh and ever changing.
- Google likes fresh content: Google will give an advantage to fresher content, so you can increase web traffic through Google considerably just by adding new content every so often. As your old content ages it may begin to slip in ranking so mix it up, add new pages, blog posts or just update your content in those old pages, it will make a difference.
Your web site will get more visitors and more return visits if you keep it updated regularly. This is really not hard, just determine to sit down once a month and write a little bit about what your business has been doing and some suggestions on how your customers can use your products or services. By updating your web content at least once a month you will be helping to keep your site moving forward in web time and will be helping to increase web traffic.