Have you ever heard the expression "Content is King?" If you've been trying to achieve top ranking with your website then you've probably come across that expression a few times. Google Search Engine likes to find original content on websites and use that in the search results.
Depending on who you talk to, you will hear some people tell you that you need to update your website often, while even Google says that you can have a really good website with quality content that never needs updating.
Update, or not to update? That is the question.
The answer is... both... but it depends on what industry you are in.
Writing a scientific paper about insect survival rates after a big snow storm and deep cold would definitely be one of those topics that you can write once about, publish it, and never think about it again. Surly Google will return your paper as the number 1 result when someone searches that topic.
On the other hand, if 100 scientists were researching insects and cold weather your paper might not be in the number 1 spot any more. Only 10 results appear on a Google SERP, which means that you only have a 10 in 100, or 10%, chance at having your insect paper appear on page 1 of Google SERPs.
The more highly competitive your industry, the less of a chance you have at appearing on page 1 of Google SERPs. In highly competitive industries the Google SERPs will usually return the most recent results before older content.
I'm always telling website owners that they need to update their website on a regular basis. My typical suggestion is to write a new blog post or to add more products to the product catalog, but I've noticed something else recently...
You can help your website ranking when you regularly update the popular landing pages of your website.
You probably wouldn't think of your home page as a landing page, but it's probably your most popular one. Other popular pages might be your main product catalog page, your store hours page, contact page, and of course your main blog page. Your main blog page will update with every new blog post, but the rest of those pages, including the home page, are often times forgotten about.
I recently ran a test to see what would happen if I updated the home page of a website every time a new blog post was added to that site's blog. I set up the home page so a brief description of each new blog post would appear automatically instead of managing the updates by hand. It took a little bit of programming to make the process easier but it was well worth it.
I also set up other popular landing pages so the latest products would appear as "Newly Added" items. In an attempt to create top of mind awareness, those Newly Added items were set up on the store hours page. The idea there was that a salesperson in the store could ask if a customer had seen their latest items.
I admit that this was a limited test, but it was only a test of changed content. No other SEO factors were altered on the website. I did my best to filter out any other seasonal related influencing factors as well.
Looking at the test results in Google Webmaster Tools I see a 17% increase in the number of people clicking through to the home page since this test began.
I can't say that the results here are overwhelming, but they certainly do help to understand how you can make your website more interesting for your visitors.
Here's a recap:
1. Update your home page often. Change images, text, or your current specials.
2. Update key pages around your site often. Look at your Landing Pages report in Google Analytics to see what your current popular landing pages are.
3. Have your programmer set up an automated script so your latest inventory and blog posts can appear around your website without much additional effort.
I can't guarantee that you'll see a 17% increase in clicks, but every little bit helps to build your overall business.