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Keeping Your Website Content Fresh

February 7, 2017

When you visit your own website day after day, it’s easy to go on auto-pilot as you navigate your site. When thinking about keeping website content fresh, it’s important to realize that you aren’t the only one who continuously looks at your website.

Outdated content is a surefire way to send your audience somewhere else. Visitors want to see how you are evolving and what’s new within your organization; static content can make your website, or even your organization, look stale. If your site always appears the same as their last visit, visitors may lose interest and become disengaged. Posting more frequently conveys that you care about your visitors’ experience on your website.

Updating your content frequently is not only good for engagement and credibility, it also improves search engine optimization (SEO). A few years ago, Google announced a commitment to showing the most recent and relevant search results, so the more frequently you publish quality content on your site, the higher your SEO ranking will be.

In this post, I’ll share five ways to keep your website engaging for your visitors. Let’s dig a little deeper into the most common ways to keep up with your website. 

Blog Post Icon 01. Blog Posts

A blog is a great way to produce a continuous stream of content. If you’re having trouble thinking of topics to write about, have a brainstorming session with other members of your team to generate ideas. Once you’ve established topics, create a schedule to ensure blogging remains a priority. You can even write the posts in advance and schedule them for the future so you aren’t rushing to hit your deadline the night before.

Blogs often thrive when there are multiple content authors. You want to be sure that you’re still sticking within your brand standards and tone of voice when you have an assortment of contributors, but it’s great to get multiple people generating content for your website. Not only will it help you compile topics to write about, but it will also bring in a different perspective from within your organization.

Events Icon 02. Event Calendars

If your organization frequently holds events, you have likely incorporated an event calendar on your website. If not, there’s never a bad time to start highlighting events. The key to a successful event calendar is keeping it up to date and making sure events are displayed in relevant areas of your site. The homepage should always highlight upcoming events. That’s not to say you can’t feature an event in the future as well, especially if it is a large, more prominent event. The homepage should give an overview of all that your organization has to offer, so give website visitors both types of information.

Another way to utilize your event calendar is to feed events into other areas of your website, other than your homepage and your events landing page. For example, the student life section of a college website should include all upcoming events for students. If you host a variety of events, for example, filter events by category and spread them out throughout the site in related content areas. 

Social Media Feed Icon 03. Social Media Feeds

If your organization is active on social media, you can use that to your advantage by combining your marketing efforts on social media with the maintenance efforts of your web content team.  It can be as simple as embedding your Instagram feed on your homepage, or incorporating your latest tweet in the footer of your website. The type of content should guide your placement of it on your site; images will do well on the homepage for scannability, while longer, text-heavy content might be more engaging deeper in the site. You should make strategic decisions about where it makes sense for your organization to stream social media, and how prominently you want it to be displayed.

Resources Icon 04. Free Tools and Resources

Publishing content that entices your audience to come back for more is a great way to increase engagement and highlight new ideas. Creating a section of your site for free assets gives you a space to highlight your expertise and provide educational takeaways for your audience. Resources typically include items such as infographics, downloadable how-to guides, fact sheets, checklists and white papers. These types of resources provide a valuable tool for your end-users while increasing awareness for your brand.

Homepage Icon 05. Your Homepage

Don’t forget to update your homepage! While blog posts and social media content are helpful in keeping content fresh, they supplement homepage content. The homepage should contain the key messaging you want your audience to receive; but since you aren’t going to want to rewrite your brand message every time you update your homepage, consider making frequent, subtle changes.

Feature areas of your homepage that contain key brand messages are great places to update content. Updates like swapping an image for a newer one, changing an image area to highlight a video, adding icons or adding a new way for content to appear on the page are examples of simple, yet effective updates. Remember that users look for visual cues to guide them through content, so making subtle adjustments is a way to affirm your brand in the user experience.

In closing...

Making the effort to maintain your content can go a long way, and it doesn’t require a significant amount of time. For colleges, it could be as simple as adding new student spotlights or faculty highlights. For business to business marketing, it could mean finding a new selling point and ramping it up with new language or visuals. Whatever the case may be, when you continuously add new content to your website, you are enticing people to come back and look around. They may not have a particular goal when they return to your site, but the idea is to make sure you are always giving the best impression when they come back.

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