How to Tell if Your Website Needs a Content Update
Let’s take a long, hard look at your website. Go ahead. Pull it up. Now read it. If you’re wondering if it’s time to update your content, chances are, it probably is. Search engines love websites that have fresh content and reward those that are updated often with higher rankings. But if you’re really not sure if it’s worth putting in the time and money to update your site with high-quality content then let’s take a look at some of the indicators that your content is holding you back.
1. Poor Page Performance
High page rankings are the best way to get organic traffic that can easily be converted into revenue. As we mentioned above, your search engine ranking has a lot to do with how often your website is updated and what it’s updated with. In Google for example, web pages are given a “freshness” score from their inception date, which decays overtime. A better freshness score means higher rankings. If you have Google Analytics installed or another way to monitor your page views, take a look at the pages that perform the best, and those that perform the worst. Ask yourself:
- Is my content enjoyable to read? Is it useful?
- Do I need more content on a particular page? Less content?
- Has the content on the lower performing pages been updated recently?
2. High Bounce Rates
Another reason for poor page performance are high bounce rates. Look at your analytics. Does your homepage get the most traffic? Typically the answer here is yes, but look at how long they’re on your homepage. A few seconds at most? Look at your other pages. Are the views of your products pages – your menus, your pricing pages, your contact pages – significantly lower than your homepage? If yes, then you may have a bounce rate issue. What’s happening is that people get to your site, and are either put off by your home page or they have no idea what to do next, so they leave.
Your website’s first impression is everything, so if you’re having high bounce rates, it’s time to rethink your design and update your content. Consider revising, reorganizing and updating your content or products on the pages that are most likely to drive sales including the homepage and product listings. Make a clear path for your site visitors so they know what they should look at next. Pages such as “About Us” and “Contact Us” may not have a huge effect on your sales but they also need to have fresh content for search engine optimization and be easy on the eyes.
3. Outdated Information
Now go back to your website. Click around. If there are dead or broken links, your site needs work. Other things to update include outdated information like an old phone number, address, names of people who no longer work there, products or services no longer offered, menus that have changed, etc. Even if your site is completely correct with all the above and has no broken links, are you up-to-date with industry information? You should be conveying the latest in business trends for your industry so visitors know your site is a place to get the best information about your company and industry as a whole. If someone clicks around on your site and sees outdated information, you begin to lose their trust, thus losing them as a potential customer.
4. Mobile Unfriendly
These days, an astonishing number of Internet searches are happening on mobile devices and it continues to increase. The world has gone mobile, which is a big disadvantage if your site isn’t updated with a responsive design, at the very least. Responsive websites make your website more easily readable on a smaller screen which means visitors will be able to find the information they need better and faster. Designing a mobile site is perhaps an even better way to update your content specifically for mobile users. A mobile website is a completely different version of your website that has distilled the most important information your business wants to convey into a simple, streamlined site that loads fast and gives users what they want.
If you’re using outdated technologies such as Flash, which is not supported by Smartphones, iPads and iPhones in your website, this will also result in high mobile bounce rates – as well as if your website uses old script/code or an old version of content management system (CMS).
Developing a website is a process that consumes a lot of time, and it’s really never over. You must continually evaluate and update your website content to remain relevant to your visitors as well as to search engines. Keep the above four factors in mind as you check your site and you’ll know exactly when your website needs a content update.