How stale content could be affecting your website and search rankings

Creating a website takes careful planning and mapping of your content, including what you will showcase to your customers or clients. Once you create your website and add all of the necessary information, the work doesn’t stop there. Keeping your website up-to-date is vital for staying in front of Google’s algorithm for best SEO (search engine optimization) practices, as well as attracting new visitors to your site.

So, how do you keep customers coming back if they’ve already been to your website? It’s important to update your site content on a regular basis. This isn’t true just for blog content. Any website, even with static content, needs to be updated regularly to maintain a good standing online and retain its presence. Having the same content continuously sit on your site tells Google that A) your content isn’t relevant, and B) you aren’t a thought leader or an industry-expert and the value of your content will decrease.

No one knows the exact algorithm that Google uses except for Google. But there are indicators to let you know that its time for change. Let’s say, your copy hasn’t changed in nine months. You haven’t changed it because the content is still portraying accurate information and all of the data you need is displayed, right? The warning signs below explain how your stale content can hinder your website’s performance and overall SEO:

  1. Google will drop your search rankings in organic search results—but it’s only been nine months since I’ve updated my content.
  2. Site traffic to your website will decrease—but my site has all of the information my audience needs.
  3. Bounce rate will increase (no, this is not a good thing)—but my site architecture is set up and all information is easy to find.
  4. Average session duration will decrease (the time spent on your landing pages)—but I have calls-to-actions on all of my pages.

Any of these indicators should be a red flag that you need to update your content. That doesn’t mean you only update two sentences and hope that Google notices your changes. You should update at least one third of the content (or more) on each of your landing pages—keeping your pages fresh. A good rule of thumb for updating your website is every three to four months or once every quarter. This also includes updating images on your site, as well as your keywords, meta description, image tags, etc. Knowing the signs and updating your content on a regular basis will keep your audience engaged, attract new visitors and ensure that your site is in good standing with the online powers that be.

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