Updating your website can mean a number of different things.
You could update some highlights or images on some of your site’s pages. You could play around with new wording for your page titles and meta descriptions. Or, you could write a blog post like I am doing right now.
But, that’s not all you can update.
You could add more detailed information to pages on your website. You could add an entirely new page. Or, you could add schema markup.
And that’s not it either…some ‘updates to your website’ don’t even occur on your ‘website’ itself.
Your Website Is A Living Document
Think about it.
More people will find your website by searching for a related topic than by typing in your website’s URL.
Where are they searching? Websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. Those names are synonymous with the ‘internet.’
They are effectively the internet when you toss in a couple of other major sites like Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and some other giants.
Ironically you can search on all of these sites. Effectively they are all ‘search engines’ at the end of the day.
Search Engines Don’t Trust Stale Content
All of the major sites listed get paid one way or another by having users on their site. The longer they stay, the more money they make. Or, the more often they come, the more money they make.
Search engines are competing with each other. They are all trying to outdo the next. They simply want to provide the very best result for the person searching on their site. This should ensure a pleasant experience and the user will return the next time they are searching for something else.
The web is essentially infinite. There isn’t just 1 website ‘similar’ to yours, there are probably hundreds if not thousands.
Do you think the website that hasn’t been updated in 3 years or the website that has been updated monthly will have a better chance of being shown in a favorable position in their search results?
It’s obvious when you think about it.
Sure. There can be exceptions to this rule. But, in general, for your small businesses website to stay fresh to the search engines, you will need to refresh your site.
What Is Considered ‘Updating’ A Website?
Here is a list of potential updates you can make to a website:
- Change your headlines/headline structure
- Rename page slugs and set up redirects to nail keywords
- Review and adjust your internal linking strategy as needed
- Post new reviews (embedding reviews makes this automatic)
- Add a new page
- Write a new blog post
- Update a blog post
- Reword paragraph text on pages
- Add pictures or swap old pictures for new ones
- Change up your page titles or meta descriptions
- Write schema markup or add more schema
- Literally, update your site if on WordPress
Doing any or all of these things are great. The list of website updates above all, for the most part, take place on your website itself. The reviews you are embedding would be received on another website like Google, Facebook, or Yelp.
Website Updates That Occur Off Your Website
Reviews are a great example of a website update that can occur off of your website itself.
But, to be able to get a review on another platform, you would have first had to create and populate that profile. Creating these profiles for your business on social websites and citation or directory listing sites is also updating your website!
How do you ask?
Well, almost all of these platforms will at least display your business’s Name, Address, and Phone (NAP). And the majority will also display your website’s URL, your business hours, and some other pertinent information regarding your business.
Google and the other search engines are indexing all websites! They will notice your new profile on Facebook or your new Yelp listing. Even though these websites link to your website most of the time, these are not considered backlinks. The link still counts a little for your SEO but the verification of your business data is where the real value is in populating and fetching a handful of reviews on these other websites that are relevant to your area, industry, or demographic.
Use this tool to buildout directory and citation profiles faster and cheaper than you can by doing it manually! Build citations now.
New Backlink = Another Vote
I’ll leave you with a quick note on backlinks. The web is the ‘web’ because of links. The links create the web…
If another website is willing to put a clickable link in the text of their website and send their traffic to your website, this tells search engines your website contains something of value! It is much like a vote.
Never pay for backlinks! If you are serious about growing a business via internet leads at some point you will need to address backlinks and create a plan to get quality links from relevant websites back to your site.
For local businesses, backlinks are far less important than websites competing nationwide or worldwide. But, backlinks will also make a local business website stand out from the crowd to the search engines.
Updating Your Website: Conclusion
How often should you update your website?
At a bare minimum, I recommend updating your website quarterly. Monthly or weekly would be a much better frequency assuming you have the time or money to get it done.
Search engines on average crawl a website 1 time per month. Just make sure they don’t come back too many times in a row to find nothing has changed. If nothing changes on your website, I can guarantee your position in the search results will change. And, not in a good way!
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