You want to keep your website fresh, but how much is enough? When you should update a website.
This post discusses what you should do to update a website regularly and what you need to be careful in doing.
Updates range from minor to major:
- Establish a blog and add content to your site by creating blog posts.
- If you have blog posts now you could periodically update certain posts when new information becomes available or the blog simply becomes long in the tooth.
- You could freshen your look by simply changing images and reorganizing the page layout but leaving the page URL’s and navigation the same.
- You could make major changes to the site organization and navigation.
In creating a website, you want to become a trusted adviser to your customers and new prospects. Trust builds over time. Familiarity breeds trust.
No major changes should be done in the first three months while your viewers become familiar with your site. The exception to this rule would be if there was a major omission in the website design or the business has had a major change in direction.
Update a website with a blog
A blog is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. Done right, a blog becomes a regular event that your customer looks forward to.
Blog postings range in frequency from many times per day to once per month. Most small businesses aim for one every week or one every two weeks.
Consistency and quality are more important than posting every week. Readers know that if today is Tuesday then your blog should be available and look forward to it. By the way, Tuesday seems to be a good day to post and mid-morning is a good time of day to post. Catch your readers after they have opened their email.
500 words seem to be a minimal size for weekly posting; slightly more for posting every other week. Larger, well-written posts rank better with readers. They feel that reading your blog has more value if it has more content.
Update a website by updating earlier blog posts
Not everyone who is reading your blog now was reading your blog months or even years ago. And even if they were they may have missed one. Updating your older, well-performing posts extends their life and may attract even more readers now that it did before.
It’s often easier and quicker to update an old post than create a new one. When you just can’t come up with a topic for this week’s post, try refurbishing an old one.
Update a website by changing images and reorganizing pages
Familiarity breeds trust; sometimes also contempt. Have you ever visited a website that you use all the time and feel bored? You love the information it provides but are tired of the same old images and page layout. Believe it or not, it is very easy to move paragraphs from one side to another or find a new photo from your company’s files that works.
This suddenly will make your readers say “Wow! This looks like a new website. If they care enough to change the layout I can’t wait to read the content”.
The important thing to remember is to retain the same URL for the page. You can change the page title, images and content without affecting your Google ranking. But, if you change the URL you will lose all of the authority your page has built with Google.
Update a website by redesigning site organization and navigation
If a website uses technology more than two years old, the technology may force a major redesign. Mobile usage has increased substantially over the last two years. A website design for a desktop is not likely to look right on a phone or tablet. Your visitors won’t scroll sideways to read your content. This warrants a redesign.
Many older websites were written with technology that was difficult to use in creating the website and even more difficult to change. Today’s technologies use a Content Management System (CMS) that make it easy to create blogs or change out photos. Taking advantage of this technology will also force a redesign.
I recommend updating once a week to my clients. This frequency lets you think about the topics you want to explore, have time to research them and create a quality post.