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The importance of keeping your website content fresh

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Your website is the home of your business on the internet and all the content you publish is a reflection of your brand. Over time, of course, things change and some older content will become stale, out of date or inaccurate. This can be misleading for users and something search engines take a dim view of. Here we look at why you need to keep your content fresh and how you can do this.

Why fresh content is important

As a website owner, there’s a responsibility to ensure that what you tell your audience is accurate. Most businesses go out of their way to ensure this is the case when they publish new pages and posts. A few years down the line, however, the world will have changed while your content remained the same. If your website refers to Theresa May as Prime Minister and says the UK is part of the EU, then the content is obviously out of date. This is even more important if you are giving advice. A tax information page stating the UK National Insurance rate is 12% when it is now 13.25% could cause someone to make a wrong financial decision.

What’s more, people who recognise that your website content is out of date are unlikely to read your content or revisit your page. What they want is up to the minute information.

It’s not just updating your website to reflect changes in the wider world that’s important, so is making sure your site provides up to date details about your company. An old blog post that lists your ten most popular products won’t be so relevant if you no longer stock them – nor will any links to them be of any value to users who click on them.

Also important is the fact that search engines are keen to send their users to the websites where they can find the most up to date content. If you haven’t updated in a while, search engines will know this from recent site scans and will downgrade those pages which aren’t fresh so they rank less well and get fewer visitors.

Ways to keep your content up to date

Here are some suggestions to help you keep your site fresh without having to constantly be reworking what you say.

Prioritise important content

The pages that you need to keep completely up to date are those that are essential to your business, for example, your homepage, about us page, key landing pages and so forth. These will be the pages with the most visitors and the ones you rely on to grow your business. Whenever you decide to give your content an accuracy check, these should be at the top of the to-do list.

Check your most popular blog posts

Your most popular blog posts can account for a large percentage of your website traffic. These are also the posts that generate a lot of social media shares, regular followers and visits to other pages of your site. It is also likely that these posts rank well on search engines and bring you all those visitors. For this reason, these should be high priority pages too. You can find out which are the most popular posts by using tools like Google Analytics.

Get rid of very old posts

If your website has been around for quite a few years, some posts are likely so old, irrelevant and out of touch with how your brand works today, that bringing their content up to date would require a complete rewrite. If that is the case, then that is the best approach. However, you should publish these updated versions as a new post before deleting the old one and redirecting any visitor to the new URL.

Remember key business content

Apart from your main pages and blog posts, it’s important to ensure that content referring to your business practices stays up to date too. This includes things like shipping and delivery information, FAQs, terms and conditions, returns policy and privacy policy, all of which might need updating if you make changes to how you do things or if regulations require you to make changes.

Check links

All websites contain important internal links to help users navigate to different posts and pages. You may also provide your readers with external links to other websites. Over time, some of these links will no longer work as pages or external websites may have been removed. At the same time, other links will take people to pages that are no longer relevant, or there may be better pages or posts to link to.

It can take hours of work to trawl through a website checking each link manually, which is why few website owners get around to doing it. There is, however, an easy approach for broken links, and that is to use a broken link checker plugin. This will list all broken links on your site and let you delete or modify them from a single dashboard. You will even be notified if a broken link is discovered.

Conclusion

Website visitors expect the content they find to be up to date, relevant and fresh. When it’s not, they’ll abandon the site and search engines will downrank the offending posts and pages. To avoid this, it is important to check content on a regular basis, especially the important content. Hopefully, the suggestions we’ve provided on how to do this will make the process easier for you.

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