The research is clear: fresh, up-to-date content on your website can significantly help your business. Here’s how:
- It gives you a higher rank on Google and other search engines, making it easier for customers to find you.
- It drives traffic to your website.
- It helps convert traffic to sales.
- It shows your customers that your company is active.
But how often should you update your web content?
The short answer is that it depends. It depends on your business as well as on the type of content we’re talking about.
This post is a rough guide for keeping your website’s content fresh. It starts with a backgrounder for why content is important. Then it then examines different types of content and provides suggestions for how often to update each.
The Purpose of Web Content
Web content serves several purposes. Use this list to think about what you need your content to do and help you decide how often it needs to be updated for your needs.
Web content helps people find your website.
Search engines are an increasingly vital way through which customers are linked with service providers or products. You want your website to be at the top of a search result. Websites that are SEO optimized and that feature more frequently updated content get higher in the result list.
Web content drives traffic to websites.
Providing useful information for your customers helps bring them to your website. The more traffic gets to your website, the more potential customers are looking at your marketing materials. Updating content more often creates more website traffic.
Web content informs customers about your products and helps close sales.
Your website describes your products. Your website should be updated frequently enough that it accurately reflects your current availability pricing.
Web content shows your business is active.
Ever been to an organization's website that has that 90s feel and wonder if it still exists? Don’t let that be you.
Web content can position you as an expert in your field.
In some industries, you have to look like you know what you’re talking about. You need to make sure your content is up-to-date enough to reflect the major developments in your field.
Types of Content
How often web content needs to be updated depends on what it is. Here’s a list of our recommendations for updating frequency based on the type of content.
Company information: update as soon as possible.
This is obvious, but we still come across companies with out-dated email addresses, phone numbers, or locations. Make this a priority when information about your business changes and update it on your website.
Product information: update as soon as possible
Your product availability and prices are constantly changing. Make sure your website reflects the current prices. Update the website as soon as possible after a change.
Product descriptions: review every three months.
Also regularly review your product descriptions. Product descriptions don’t have to be updated often, but you should regularly look them over to make sure they still are consistent with your brand. We suggest a review at least every three months.
Web copy: review every year
This is the text on your website. It helps visitors understand who you are and what you do. It also helps convert site visits to sales. This is the most important text on your site, so you want to make sure it’s pitch-perfect.
Once you get text that works for you, you don’t need to change it regularly (“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”). Just make sure you review it occasionally to make sure it still fits.
Here are other opportunities to tweak your web copy:
- During or after a re-brand.
- After major changes to your company or industry.
- After receiving statistics about website engagement.
Blogs drive traffic to your website; they help your brand reach people. They can also help you show the value of your product and convert traffic to sales.
It is important to post regularly.
Research has found that websites that have 16 or more blog posts a month receive 3.5 times more traffic than websites that have less than four posts a month.
While more seems to be better, four posts a week is not realistic for many smaller organizations. Also, how often you should post depends on your industry, product or service, and your marketing strategy.
You should post blogs more often if: you’re a larger or international business, your web presence is important to your sales, you sell your product or service online, or your marketing strategy places a large emphasis on digital marketing.
You can get away with posting less often if: you’re a smaller, local or regional business, you sell your product in person, and your marketing strategy does not focus on digital marketing.
Remember that recency for blogs is as important as frequency. Never let your last blog post be more than 6 months ago. This signals to your visitors that your website isn’t active and that you may not be a serious business. If you cannot commit to posting on your blog regularly, consider getting help (hey, we do that!) or removing it.
Social media: update frequently.
Social media can be an important driver of traffic to your website and can be linked to your website through Twitter and Instagram feeds. How often you update social media depends again on your business, your marketing strategy, and also on the platform (Twitter should be updated much more frequently than Facebook and Instagram). You can find a more in-depth guide to social media posting here.
In general, you should update your social media accounts frequently, and this should be guided by a social media strategy. As with blogs, if you cannot commit to regular posting for social media, consider hiring help or pruning it out. More engagement on fewer platforms can be more effective than spreading your marketing budget too thinly.
White papers and e-books: post occasionally
Companies that need to establish themselves as experts in their field should consider publishing White Papers or E-books. These are longer pieces that typically have a research focus and that delve more deeply into a topic. If these are relevant to your industry, consider posting them occasionally on your website.
Too Long; Didn’t Read Summary
Some of your web content has longevity and only needs to be updated when there’s a big change. Others should be updated frequently. It does depend on your particular circumstances, but here are our rough recommendations:
- Company information: update after a change, as soon as possible.
- Product information: update after a change, as soon as possible.
- Product descriptions: review at least every three months.
- Web copy: review at least every year.
- Blogs: aim for 2 posts a week, depending.
- Social media: post frequently based on a social media strategy.
- White papers and E-books: post occasionally, depending on your industry.
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About the Author
Ramsay Lewis is a researcher, educator, and freelance writer. He’s learning Portuguese and to Samba. You can connect with him on Instagram.