“Everything old is new again.”
Well…most of the time. If we’re talking about fashion, yes, that is cyclical. (Flared jeans, anyone?) But when it comes to your website, vintage is not the way to go. For a website to function as the value-driven anchor of your marketing efforts, it must evolve and continuously offer new content that is beneficial to your end users: problem-solving tools such as how-to videos or tutorials, industry analysis, behavioral insights, etc. This type of content is called evergreen content, because when well-executed, it withstands time and trends, and stays fresh and relevant for end users.
It’s not enough to launch and just expect the website conversions to come rolling in. Much like your car or a garden, your website should be maintained with care for it to function at its best and give you the results you want - qualified leads and conversions. Adding a steady stream of targeted, persona-driven content is one of the best ways to keep your website relevant, which leads us to the new gold standard in web design, Growth-Driven Design (aka a kick-ass web development strategy that gets results).
With Growth-Driven Design (GDD), a smaller foundation site (the “launch pad” site) is launched quickly with only the most critical, high-value content, features, and functions. The launch pad site is then strategically built upon and enhanced based on user activity. By nature, a GDD website stays fresh, current and relevant due to ongoing additions, updates, and a continuous improvement cycle directly linked to what engages and meets the needs of your visitors each and every time they visit your site.
Why is fresh website content important?
Do you want your website to look pretty, or do you want to design a strategic marketing tool with excellent search engine rank? If it’s the latter, you’re going to have to create current content. Search engines have sophisticated algorithms that improve the rank of websites with current, relevant and original content. Maintaining fresh content helps your organic search engine rankings, and sites with current content often have lower bounce rates. Today’s savvy consumer is more likely to “bounce” (leave a site) that looks like it hasn’t been touched in three years. A website with up-to-date content positions also your business as a leader in your industry. That’s how the best sites build an organic online following, which is exactly what you want your site to do!
How often do I need to update my website?
Update your website as often as possible, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. (In other words, don’t just try and fill space!) If you are blogging, post a minimum of once a week, with two-three times a week being even better, depending on the size and nature of your business. Here is a great article breaking down the science of an effective blog schedule. If you’re following the GDD model, your marketing partners should be tracking and analyzing your website’s activity and planning for the next enhancements to the site based on that activity.
What happens if I let my website content get stale?
You’ll rank lower in organic search and likely lose customers to your competition. Outdated content makes your entire business look out of date. If your website is stagnant, visitors may think you have gone out of business. Not good. Depending on your industry, (financial or real estate, for example) outdated content could also mean your website is out of compliance with current regulations. That’s really not good.
What’s the easiest way to update my content?
By embracing Growth-Driven Design. Ongoing site enhancements and continuous improvement are integral parts of the GDD methodology. Why? Because that’s how GDD rolls - evolving with the times. Based on the user activity revealed by tracking and analytics, any combination of the following may be included in the content strategy for your website.
- Blogging. Every time you add a well-written blog post to your website, search engines recognize it as new content. Again, search engines like fresh content, so the frequent addition of quality blog posts helps your organic search rankings. A well-rounded blog should also include several perspectives, so enlist others on your team, guest bloggers, and/or a professional content development team to contribute. Push your posts out via the social media platforms your company uses and encourage sharing. It can be a great way to expand your network and customer base.
- If your website includes a portfolio, make sure it showcases your most recent work. Every time a new brag-worthy project is completed, add it to your portfolio. If your website includes testimonials, keep those as current as possible, too. Make obtaining new testimonials a part of your project closing or customer wrap-up process, and you’ll have a continuous stream of happy feedback to pull from.
- If your organization holds events, an events listing is a great opportunity for adding fresh material to update your site. Announce upcoming happenings and provide recaps of recent successful occasions. Don’t forget to include images!
- Keep your products page current with new offerings, updated descriptions and professionally photographed images.
It helps if the portions of your website with regularly changing content are built on an easy-to-manage platform. This allows you to update content on your own, whenever you need to, instead of waiting for a website developer to fit you into a production schedule.
Growth-Driven Design is an excellent strategy for a leading-edge website that sets the pace for your industry and engages your audience by offering the most relevant information to address their most pressing questions and problems.
Do you use other strategies to keep your website at the forefront of your industry? Share your ideas in the comments!