Why you should renew your website content – 6 reasons to update and upgrade

The Internet is a dynamic place. Your website is a dynamic tool. Your content needs to be dynamic, too. Here is why you should update and upgrade your content now.

Most content on the Internet falls into one of two categories. Either it’s timely or it’s evergreen.

What is timely content?

Timely content is ephemeral. It’s highly relevant for a short period of time. It can be great content to catch people’s attention, if you can publish and get the word out quickly enough. People are fascinated by anything new:

  • news
  • celebrity gossip
  • new tech reviews
  • the latest sports results

While timely content can make a big splash, it doesn’t last long. It quickly becomes archive information for researchers. It represents a moment in time, but a moment that’s gone.

This is generally not content you want to refresh. It was relevant at the time, and now it is history – frozen in time.

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen content is anything that lasts, anything that is not about a moment. Some examples of evergreen content are:

  • recipes
  • psychology
  • most how-to advice
  • motivational stories

Of course, nothing is ever truly evergreen. There are always some changes to be made, and that’s the reason for this article. There are several reasons to edit and update your content now.

Times have changed, update your content now

The main reason to update your content is that times have changed. A year is a long time in pretty much anything these days.

  • There might be new science available.
  • You might have to reference new technology.
  • There might be new context for some of your content.
  • There might be new forms to fill in or a new application process.
  • You might want to distance yourself from somebody mentioned in your content.

There are many ways in which the world is moving on, and your content needs to keep up.

replace old, run-down content with modern, new content.

Seasonal content is not quite evergreen

You might think seasonal content is ephemeral, but it’s not. In fact, the content becomes relevant year after year after year at a pace that is refreshingly predictable. It is evergreen…but with a twist.

For instance, I have an article on New Years resolutions for writers. These don’t generally change from year to year, so the updates would mostly be plugging in a new year.

But sometimes, there are big changes.

Imagine a post you might have written about writing equipment back in 1837. (Just humour me and pretend the Internet existed back then.) At one point, we moved from quills to fountain pens, then from fountain pens to ball points, then to typewriters, and finally to computers.

With each transition, the page would have to first add the emerging technology, then remove the old technology when it becomes outdated.

If you mention dates or prices, these have probably changed from last year, too.

If you mention places, they might not be accessible at the moment.

There might be new stories to tell

The old stories might still be valid, but there might be newer, better stories. These might be case studies, customer experiences or feats of employee awesomeness.

You might have new products, new services or new markets. It’s worth revisiting your content just to make sure you have recent stories and up-to-date information.

You might also have tweaked your messaging and your marketing. You will want your content to reflect the new direction.

How people search might have changed

People might be searching less for headhunters and more for recruiters. Or more for jackets and less for coats. It is important that your content reflects the most current consumer behavior, for two reasons.

First, search engines use the searcher’s words to find the most relevant pages. If people search for “table and chairs”, the engine will look for websites that mention table and chairs the most. If you refer to “kitchen furniture” or “kitchen set”, your website might not get search traffic.

It will recognize your website as relevant, due to semantics. But it will recognize other sites that explicitly mention “table and chairs” as more relevant.

So you’ll need to update your SEO on your pages to reflect changes in search language.

Second, you want to speak the language your visitors use. The more familiar your language feels to them, the more inclined they will be to trust you and buy from you.

Remember, the customer is always right, including about how you word your web pages.

Search engines like long form copy

There are many reasons why long text outperforms short text in search engine rankings.

Long text is more likely to be complete.

Long text is more likely to be authoritative.

Long text includes many more words and word combinations, making the page relevant for more long-tail searches.

People link more to long text (possibly believing it to be more complete and authoritative).

So any updates you do would ideally include more words and new information. It’s not just about updating content, it’s also about upgrading content.

Your old copy might not be multimedia

Here is a great way to upgrade your content. These days, people like images. And they like video. And, of course, they also like text.

Different strokes for different folks.

Since you want to sell to all folks, you might want to upgrade your content by adding images or adding video.

This is similar to how houses are being fitted with wall-mounted TVs and wireless routers, two things that people didn’t have a decade ago. And who knows what they’ll start adding over the next ten years.

Adding video or images is also a great excuse to start promoting those pages again in social media.

Up your game, upgrade your content

If you need to fix content that is no longer accurate, it’s time for an update. If you want to take your content to the next level, it’s time for an upgrade.

Update or upgrade, it’s always a good time for a fresh coat of paint on your website content.

* Bonus points if you can identify the Ontario village where the photo above, with the dilapidated house being replaced by a new construction, was taken.

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About David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is President of The Happy Guy Marketing, a published author, a "Distinguished Toastmaster", a former consumer advocate, a social media addict and experienced with media relations and government reports.

Read more about David Leonhardt



Comments

  1. Hi David,
    what a timely or let me put it this way an Evergreen pot is this!
    Yes an upgraded our updated post is very necessary, who wants to to read an outdated post? I am sure none. The need of the hour is the latest information, everyone wants to read the latest copy.
    The tips you shared in this regard is worth following, I am going to implement it soon,
    As thou mentioned, adding video or images is a great excuse to start promoting those pages again in social media. The time before us is the visual age, everyone likes to have visuals, of we lack this on our posts I am sure you lag behind.
    Thanks Dave for this shout-out.
    Hey Dave, this post is good but I still feel something is MISSING out here as per this post! LOL 🙂
    Yes you need to add few images as well as videos in this post!!!
    Best Regards
    Philip
    PS. I found this on Bizsugar and I upvoted and commented
    ~ Phil

  2. You mention a few reasons for updating content that I had not considered before, such as distancing yourself from an individual mentioned in your post. This post of yours has also got me thinking more about the content I put out, is it evergreen or just a flash in the pan? Thank you for posting, I enjoyed the read.

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