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Show signs of life! Update your content regularly

Luke Wakefield - Monday, April 08, 2013

Looking at the importance of adding regular, relevant content to your website.

Have you ever visited a site that is covered in e-dust? A site with old content that's obviously been neglected over time can do significant damage to the reputation of a business.

Web design has moved on considerably since the days of basic, catalogue websites. In order to show your audience that you're alive and kicking, you need to be paying regular attention to your site.

Blogs and news

Having a blog or a news area is probably the most popular and easiest way to add fresh content to your website. But beware: if you launch such a feature, you need to be prepared to pay it regular attention. Nothing screams 'neglect' like your latest post being 6 months old.

The best way to avoid sputtering out after a few weeks is to have a content plan in place. Write down a list of topics that your customers will be interested in and there's your first 5 or so blog posts. Or find a website that publishes newsworthy stories about your industry and take their lead on a fresh topic each week. 

Quality is king

There's no point adding bad content. It'd be better to leave it completely empty. People are easily put off by spelling errors or badly written, hard-selling copy.You don't have to be a budding Flaubert, you just need to know what reads well.

When adding fresh copy to your site, you need to make sure that your content ticks all the boxes. It should be:

  • Interesting
  • Relevant
  • Well-written
  • Consistent
  • Thoroughly spell-checked and proofed

You may feel totally comfortable writing the content yourself - and that's great! It can save you time and money so it's the preferable option. But if your schedule is quite hectic enough, it can be worth farming out your content creation to people who are trained in the art. 

Another word of warning though: try not to use 'content mills'. These are staffed by hundreds of writers, some of whom are really rather good and some who are utterly rubbish. You might receive a great post one week but a shoddy one the next. And your readers will quickly be able to tell that your content is being grabbed from all over the place rather than 'in house'.

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