Confluent Forms LLC, located in Easthampton MA, is a boutique branding, graphic design, web design, web development, Blogger development, and PHP/MySQL application development firm providing services to customers from the Fortune 100 to local non-profit organizations and academic institutions. Serving Western Massachusetts and beyond.

Timeliness matters for website visitors and search engines

by on April 2, 2013
Last updated on
Have you ever gone to a website and questioned if someone was still in business because nothing on their website looks like it has been updated lately? Have you checked out their blog and the last post was from two years ago... or worse yet, didn't have a date stamp?

As a website owner you probably have never looked at your website and wondered this, but we can assure you, potential customers have likely thought this. And what's worse is that search engines wonder the same thing!

Let me explain.

Don't make people think you're closed... permanently.

You've had a busy year, so busy that you haven't made time for your website. Without realizing it, you stopped blogging, stopped posting "news releases" to your site, and while it's spring, pictures on your site might be from the middle of a snow storm or are from years ago and feature an employee that's moved away. Your website is dated... and it's still mentioning a special event that you showcased a long, long time ago.

There are three takeaways that visitors to your site can come away with:
  • you're too busy to update your website
  • you have nothing going on and nothing worth mentioning on your site, so they won't bother checking back (ever)
  • you're no longer in business and your site is here like a sad tombstone to a departed company
Ok, so maybe you're thinking of taking the easy way out: remove all date information from my site to it's "timeless" as opposed to dated. Sure, that might work, or the visitor might just ask themselves "how long ago was this written?" Wondering is even worse!

Search engines think the same way

You might not realize this, but search engines think similarly. If you haven't posted fresh content recently the search engines don't have a reason to check your site. If you're not updating it frequently, those engines might not quickly find the content you've added recently because they're not in the habit of seeing fresh content from you.

Additionally search engines use "last-updated" as one of their factors in determining search engine results placement and ranking. You wouldn't want to lose out in positioning to one of your competitors simply because you haven't updated your website lately, would you?

Blog often

We talk about it all the time: your business should be actively blogging and you need a content strategy. And for some people, an editorial calendar helps (as well as ignoring it periodically).

Don't be scared: these blog posts don't need to be whitepaper editorials or mini term papers. Updates, happenings, photographs, small bits of good news... they all work well and contribute to your timeliness and relevance while engaging your fans/followers and giving search engines a reason to keep coming back.

So what are you waiting for?!

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