The ‘holy grail’ of search – regularly updated content

When was the last time you added something new to your website, perhaps an article, a white paper, an updated product description or some latest news?

Regularly adding to and updating the existing content on your website is integral to your search engine marketing efforts for a number of reasons, the main being concerned with your target audience. Fresh, unique and relevant content encourages repeat visits to your site whilst also building trust within your community.

We always advise our SME clients that the ‘holy grail’ for their search marketing efforts is to be considered THE ‘authority’ in their field. By this we mean the most trusted resource for information within their market.

This is relevant to even those clients in a B2C environment where historically the main objective has been solely to sell their products online. One way in which you can build trust in your brand, your products and your website is by going the extra mile and adding good quality content, such as more detailed descriptions, product reviews and buying guides.

This leads to a richer user experience and therefore a more informed purchasing decision can be taken. The number of people purchasing products online is growing by the year but there remains a massive segment of society who are nervous about buying online for a whole myriad of reasons but nearly all of them stem from trust. By adding good quality content to your website you can help to bridge the gap and encourage those that may be visiting your site, especially for the first time, that your products are of good quality and that you can be trusted.

At the end of the day you can optimise your site all you like, build links, participate in social media and so on but if visitors coming to your website do not have trust in you, all of these efforts are wasted because quite simply they will not buy from you! In my view those sites that simply offer a product or service and nothing more will find themselves lagging behind in the coming months and years. The sites that are most successful will be those that look to offer something more; something of real value, over and above the normal ‘call of duty’.

Another benefit of regularly updated content is concerned with the search engines themselves. It is very difficult to quantify to what degree fresh content specifically aids search engine rankings. However, it is generally accepted that search engines favour sites where content is dynamic and fresh over those sites where content is ‘stale’ and added to very rarely.

Saying all of this, for many small businesses, finding the time to regularly add fresh content to your website can be difficult. However, there are tools and companies out there that can help.

We have recently begun partnering with SelectNews from PA Business (part of the The Press Association) to offer our clients a tailored newsfeed service. PA Business work with our clients in defining their specific requirements and in devising a tailored news brief. This in-depth brief is taken by a group of dedicated PA editors who write bespoke news articles which are then fed to a clients site at regular intervals throughout the day by ftp or email. By sharing our expertise in SEO, and in particular keyword research, PA can tag content by topic or keyword and incorporate links to internal or external site pages.

The vast majority of news content across the Internet is syndicated; in other words it is replicated across hundreds, perhaps thousands of other sites. The beauty of the service from SelectNews is that the content is unique to each clients site.

This dynamic service ensures sites remain fresh and unique, furthermore increasing the number of new visitors and encouraging repeat visits. In turn, the service aids online brand development as customers come to know and trust that the latest industry developments can be obtained by visiting the site.

This is just one way (and I would like to add a pretty cost-effective way) of regularly adding new content to your website. For most SME’s participating in these activities comes down to two factors; time and money. Either there is not enough internal resource to research and write content on a regular basis or budget means that only the most essential of online tactics can be adopted. However, regularly updated content, in its many forms, will only become more and more integral in differentiating the good sites from the ordinary ones.

Therefore, consider finding the time or resource to dedicate to the holy grail of search; content. It could be a key factor in you surviving growing online competition.

P.S. You can read more about our partnership with SelectNews in the recent press release.

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