I'm sure we all have those friends who are constantly remodeling their houses and looking for that next project to work on, whether it's building a deck or re-doing their kitchen. Changing and updating things is a part of life, so why haven't you touched your shop's website since 2008?
A website with new content lives and grows on the Internet. Every update you make to your site enables your existing and potential customers, insurance partners and vendors to find you online more easily. On the other hand, a static website without updates is considered dead by every search engine out there, which means that it will eventually drop down the rankings and end up being buried behind your competitors' sites over time.
Search engines love fresh content and sources of new information for their search requests, so if you can create relevant high-quality content, you will be on page one before you can say "Google." Because in the end, one of the main reasons why any shop should have an online presence is so that customers can find them easily via any web search.
The more you consistently update your website with articles, downloads and new web pages, the more regularly a search engine will drop in to visit your website. When search engines look at your site recurrently, you have the opportunity to attain higher rankings based on the content you've provided.
Search engines use web crawlers, also known as "Googlebots,” that are basically high-tech programs that scan the Internet at lightning-speed for websites. The web crawler will index a site based on a wide range of algorithmic factors determined by the search engine company itself. Their rules change all the time, so that's why you need a web wizard to navigate through what Google is doing today.
For instance, there are several reasons why a site could be indexed, including incoming links, the number and type of subject keywords used and how frequently a site is updated. Every time you make a significant update to your website, the search engine notices it and rearranges your site’s ranking accordingly. So, if you want to increase the chances of your website moving up the ranks, updating your content often so that a search engine will reassess your position on its index is the best way to go.
But please keep in mind, a gaggle of new content is not the solution here---quality is. So, yes, it is a smart idea to update often, but make certain to keep your content standards high. Too many shops blast their websites with an avalanche of low-quality articles stuffed with too many keywords. When the web crawlers notice it, they penalize your website and in many cases, knock you down a few spots as a result.
By far, the most frequently used search engine is Google. As the king of all search engines, Google has tremendous influence on webmasters and how websites are constructed. Google expresses its love for websites that are updated frequently, so you should add fresh content to your website as often as you can. But also avoid making unnecessary changes to your site, because Google is a little smarter than that. Shops that have a strong online presence are usually updated at least two to three times a week, normally through a blog. The Googlebots that crawl the web are always watching and searching for web pages that are new or updated, and then add this fresh content to their Google index. If you update your content often with consistent and valuable information, you will have a better chance of Google ranking your site higher after each new update.
It's really not that difficult to add an article or a photo to your site to get noticed. The easiest and best way to stay fresh is to add a blog on your site and continue to add articles that will get noticed by your viewers. If they comment on those articles, it also counts as an update on your site. So, write something that will elicit some feedback from your customers and friends in order to gain some attention that will lead to frequent updates.
David Moore, the CEO of Collision Websites, normally recommends completely updating a website every 3--5 years depending on the initial quality of the site.
"The reasons for changing or updating a website are numerous, but the main one is that the site must have an overall look and feel that is contemporary," Moore said. "If it's not mobile-ready, you're running behind, so you need to change that immediately and if your site is using technology that isn't supported by all browsers (e.g. Flash), you should update it right away as well.
"If your site doesn't have a clear call-to-action, it should be updated. Make sure that the 'above the fold' section is uncluttered and contains a clear and simple headline with your phone number [and] address in large bold letters. You have three seconds to capture people's attention, so don't confuse them and make sure that your navigation is simple and that everything is easy to find."