The Importance of Fresh Content
Your target market is information hungry and wants more of it delivered faster. They are impatient, and if you don’t provide valuable, fresh content and intuitive navigation on your Web site, they’ll leave quickly. Fresh content is a key ingredient of Web site design and development best practices for a number of reasons, including, credibility and sales, enabling your brand to stand out, and search engine optimization. There are some serious business risks in not keeping your Web site’s content fresh.
Fresh content impacts credibility and sales. If your content is stale, you may become perceived as a business risk in the eyes of decision makers for your product or service, making them question “will this company be in business in 2 years?”. In a nutshell, people will ask – “why is this content so old?”, and worse “what’s going on with this company?”, two questions you never want your target market to ask.
If you were doing research on a product, and you looked at two Web sites; one with a home page that contains recent press releases, case studies about customer wins, a list of upcoming events, and a well defined positioning statement versus one with press releases from early 2008 and a notice for a trade show that occurred two months ago. Who would you call?
Fresh content is also a key ingredient in enabling you to stand out from the competition. Your target market is bombarded with messages. They see companies pitching products everywhere, including ads on the screen of gas station pumps, highway billboards, pop up ads on their favorite Web sites, the back of their supermarket receipt, etc. How do you get your brand and message to stand out in today’s extremely competitive environment?
One way to stand out is to provide valuable, compelling content on your Web site. Generally speaking, content that addresses your target market’s pain points and that answers the question “how can we help you?” is deemed to be more valuable than content that is focused on the features of your product or solution. This type of content will make it easier for your target market to view you as a trusted advisor and as an expert on the issues confronting their business. This content creates credibility and aids in the sales process.
Adding content to your Web site on a regular basis that establishes you as an expert or thought leader relative to your target market’s pain will turn your Web site into a destination.
Look at this issue from a sales perspective. If you were thinking about buying a product, and you looked at two Web sites; one that had a blog addressing trends in your marketplace, a resource center that contained interesting white papers and case studies, and whose content had a “here’s how we help you” spin versus a Web site who touted the features of its product without explaining how the product eased your pain. Who would you call?
Finally, fresh content is important from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint. In the search engine world, “content is king.” The search engines seek out well written, optimized content that is updated frequently. The more often you update the content on your site, the more often the search engines will visit your site, increasing your chances of having all your pages indexed, thereby improving your organic rankings.
Why is this important? According to a study by Cornell University (as reported at www.seoresearcher.com), if you’re not in the top 10 organic results, you’re not getting any traffic for a particular keyword.