Is Your Content in Need of a Refresh?

This is a guest post by Steve Lazuka of Interact Media.

Anyone who is in blogging and business will know only too well that the world never stands still. There is always a new product, an exciting development or an emerging trend. Keeping up-to-date is what keeps a website healthy and competitive. It can therefore be surprising that many professionals have online sites where the website content is stale and in desperate need of a refresh.

Consider your website is a shop window. Just as a department store changes its window displays on a regular basis so as to keep their customers’ interest engaged, so should an online site regularly update its look and content. There are a few different ways you can start to integrate some refreshing changes into your onsite content, but first you must look at the following.

Onsite Components

URL Structure
Do you have your major keywords integrated into the URLs of the landing pages you want those keywords to rank for? Are your URLs short, and less than three categorical levels? They should be.

Meta Tags
Do you have completely unique meta titles and descriptions throughout your site? Duplications are a no-no.

  • Sign up for Google Webmaster tools and easily you can see if you have any duplication.
  • Download SEO for Firefox and use its SEO XRay to examine each and every one of your pages (by right clicking when on the page you wish to examine).
  • Check to make sure your keywords are in your meta title and description, the length of meta title is less than 65 characters, and the length of meta description is less than 155 characters. This tool will also help you look at keyword density.

Heading Tags
Are you properly utilizing heading tags on each page of your site? H1 tags should always be near the top of the page, and should contain your primary keyword for the page. Utilizing H2-5 tags is also a good idea, and integrating keywords into those as well. The Web Developer Firefox plugin will help you easily find heading tags with a right click of the mouse. Using this tool you will see any hiding heading tags, which is always a no-no.

Internal Links
In past experience it seems that many site owners either go crazy with internal links or don’t utilize them enough. Having a proper balance is important. With the SEO for Firefox plugin (and the SEO XRay) you can see the total number of internal links to an individual page on your site quickly and easily.

It’s important to keep this number in moderation, and to also optimize the anchor text of the internal links with your keywords. This important key factor is forgotten by many site owners. And for WordPress blogs, you can use a plugin called SEO Smart Links to create a list of keywords that should be automatically linked to specific pages or posts on your blog.

Alt Tags
Using images? Check out the alt tags. With the Web Developer plugin you can quickly and easily see image alt tags. Google can’t “see” pictures, but they can see what you name pictures. Integration of your keywords (when appropriate) into image alt tags can give your page some extra oomph.

Content

Now it’s time to look at the content component of your web copy. There is a balance you’ll have to find between optimizing content in a way that is best suited for search engines, and writing copy that is suitable to your site audience. Key things to remember:

  • Your keyword(s) should be used in the first paragraph of your content.
  • Keyword(s) should be used throughout the body of your content.
  • Keywords should be used at the end of your content as well.
  • Don’t overdo the density of your keyword(s).

Additional Tips

Here area a few more tips when it comes to refreshing your content.

  • Research the enemy – To be less dramatic, have a look at what your competitors are doing. This can be a really instructive process, as it will help highlight where your rivals have the edge while also learning from their mistakes. It’s also a superb way to keep a handle on current trends in your sector so you can ensure you respond to your readers’ and customers’ expectations.
  • Use a site that is doing particularly well as a case study – It can be really instructive as you can see where you need to adapt and even improve on their methods to add value to your own business.
  • Use Google Analytics constantly – Find out how long visitors are on a page on your site, what is the bounce rate, are they leaving your page and going to another page on your site, or is there a page better suited for traffic? These are all things one must consider.
  • Consider A/B testing – This is where only a select number of visitors to your site will view a completely different web page. Over time you’ll receive data for the original page, and data for the alternative page. You can analyze the data and figure out whether you have better conversion on the new page or the old page.

Revamping your website is a relatively painless experience, but it needs to be done well and to a highly professional standard. If you don’t tackle this simple task, you run the risk of falling behind your competitors as your blog or business flounders. However, by keeping up-to-date and refreshing your website content, you can help your site flourish.

Your Thoughts

Is your content in need of a refresh? What steps do you plan on taking to making your content for your blog or business more interesting for visitors and more appealing to search engines?





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Comments

  1. says

    I actually do need a refresh, from an SEO standpoint anyway. I’ve been putting it off because it’s a pain, but it’s something everybody should go ahead and do every little bit.

    • Steve Lazuka says

      It can definitely be a pain, but well worth it in the end. And unfortunately, it’s not something you can just do once and be set. Thanks for the comment Matt!

  2. says

    Alt texts for image is great. I get a huge number of visits from Google images on my other blogs just because i have alt texts in each image. Everyone should add at least one image to a post and give it an appropriate alt text. It’s really worth it.

    • Steve Lazuka says

      Agreed Aminul, alt tags on images can bring a large amount of traffic to your site. Optimizing for images is an under utilized area of SEO that bloggers and businesses can both benefit from. Thanks for the comment!

  3. says

    Hi Steve
    I was about to say that my posts are OK and my content is not in need of refresh.
    Truth is I’ve learnt as I’ve gone along and some of my early posts are pretty weak and do need a refresh.

    Didn’t notice All in One SEO in your post, do you recommend using it?
    .-= New from Keith Davis@public speaking Flying in formation =-.

    • Steve Lazuka says

      I whole heatedly recommend the SEO All In One WordPress plugin. It’s an easy to use plugin that is EXTREMELY user friendly. No more excuses on not changing your title tags or descriptions when you can easily do so with this plugin. Thanks for the comment!

  4. says

    I have the perfect “refresh” it’s called Zemanta and it works like a charm. Related articles, images and links to YOUR posts content. I compare it to a naked man standing next to George Hamilton dressed for a night on the town, it’s that good at sprucing up a post with.
    .-= New from Dick Four Cool Ways to use Twitter Groups =-.

    • Steve Lazuka says

      Haha nice analogy. I’ve used Zemanta in the past and it is a great way to easily find applicable images to your post and insert relevant links in your posts too. Good suggestion!

  5. says

    Good blog, Steve. I agree with the URLs needing to be short. Also, internal linking is an art that few have mastered it seems, as at some sites, there’s an overabundance of them and in the wrong places too and on some others, I fail to notice any at all.

    Till then,

    Jean

    • Steve Lazuka says

      100% agree, internal linking and the organization of them is often something that website owners forget to really evaluate and keep track of as they add new pages to their site. Thanks for the comment!

  6. says

    I agree with keeping your content fresh if you want your readers to stay and not go someplace else. I’ve also read somewhere that your keyword should be placed at least after every 100 words inside your article to achieve the best effect.

  7. says

    You are right about too many bloggers and owners of websites neglecting the importance of updating the appearance and structure of their site. You made a perfect comparison with a department store window because hey, if you want to make money with your site, you better treat it like the entrance to a store or a window that will welcome and entice customers to come on in and browse.
    Thank you for offering some valuable tips on how to do this!
    .-= New from Chuck Edwards@Weight Loss Tips How to Lose Weight at Home =-.

  8. says

    I agree with all of the above. Plus its always worth refreshing your content just to keep it fresh for yourself. It’s all to easy to get sick of the sight of your own website.
    .-= New from rob@satachi trade Whale Boy =-.

  9. says

    As I read this list I immediately thought: “Yes, it’s time for a spring cleaning!” I also putting validating HTML and CSS on my list along with using a broken links checker. Thanks for the prompting. :)

  10. says

    I like the shopping window analogy. I agree and have seen amazing results in constantly updating and tweaking content especially sales pages.

    On my main blog I had huge issues with the bounce rates. After some tests I discovered that a simple sidebar widget with a nice overview over the most important information was all the users needed.

    A SEO plugin I can recommend is SEO Ultimate. It has the same features as the well known All in One SEO Plugin + tons of other features.
    .-= New from Alex@Zahnaufheller Braun Oral-B Sonic Complete DLX – Testbericht =-.



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