Regular website maintenance - Part 1: The right content
All gardeners know: A lot of work goes into every flowering garden on your doorstep. If you want to enjoy healthy, flowering plants, you need to maintain your garden regularly. You need to rake leaves, tidy up, move plants, etc. It's very similar with website maintenance - that's why we call ourselves the website gardeners! For your homepage to blossom as a valuable marketing tool, it needs regular care.
But what is the best way to go about website maintenance? What factors should be taken into account?
In our current series, we show you in which areas regular maintenance is necessary, how you can transform your website into a flourishing garden again in small steps. We start in our series "Website Maintenance" with the area "Content".
Timeliness is rewarded - by your readers (and then also by Google)
Regular website maintenance ensures that the first impression of your homepage inspires website visitors. This is the only way to ensure that visitors become loyal customers.
And at the same time you influence your Google ranking. Because search engines notice immediately if customers bounce quickly when they click on your page. And a high bounce rate is bad for your Google ranking. A negative spiral!
To avoid this, one thing above all is important - firstly: up-to-date and secondly: interesting content!
Why is up-to-date content important for website maintenance?
Why you should provide up-to-date content is almost self-explanatory: unless you are maintaining an archive, no one wants to end up on a website where the pictures from the 2016 company party appear in the "News from our company" section.
I have often heard the argument here: "Yes, but that only means that we have a lot of work and can't take care of our website. Our product XY speaks for us". To this I can only say: your website exists first and foremost for your visitors. How do you feel when you come to a restaurant where no one greets you and the tables are dusty? Do you then also think "Oh, they must go to a lot of trouble in the kitchen, the food must be fantastic!"? Doesn't that make you feel disrespected? You should avoid this negative feeling for your website visitors at all costs.
Internet visitors today have so much choice of websites that meet their expectations. They will simply go elsewhere - to competitors who invest in regular website maintenance. But the negative image that your website has stolen your time remains.
Tip: If you find yourself in the above paragraph, why not take the first step and turn "News" into a timeless category, e.g. "Blog" or "Internal"? Then you won't be so stressed about keeping up with content.
I just want to be ranked number 1 on Google so that people see me. Why should my content be interesting?
A typical mistake many corporate websites make is that they "over-optimise" their pages. We call this "inhuman SEO". Why?
Try it out for yourself. Enter a somewhat more complex term or a question on a topic that interests you and for which you need more information into Google.
Now, first of all, at least ten pages appear that do deal with this topic, but completely superficially, with zero information content for you and obviously they have all copied from each other. You notice immediately that these pages have been perfectly optimised by agencies, but they have become completely irrelevant for the interested website visitor.
Tip: Read your latest blog articles and pages aloud and put yourself in the shoes of an impatient website visitor. Are you satisfied with your content?
If not, write about a topic that really interests you. Forget about factors such as keyword research or search engine optimisation for the time being. Instead, keep the following guiding principle in mind when maintaining your website:
The internet is for people, not machines!
What good is a website that is ranked number one but bores your visitors really? Of course, "marketeers" will tell you something about the importance of visibility, but you may well ask yourself: what is more successful for you? If you show up a few places further down but reach your target group or if you are at the top but so superficial that nobody stays on your pages for long?
If your site captivates visitors because you deliver interesting, well-researched and prepared topics, then you will rank number one for your target group.
Without any manipulation, because Google also wants people to use Google in the end. After all, they pay for the ads. The same applies, of course, to Microsoft's Bing.
But how do I find new, interesting topics?
Tips for interesting content:
- Only write about topics that interest you personally. Only then will you be motivated and go into detail. Everything else is wasted time, both for you and for your visitors.
- Stay curious and question everything, especially when you hear from third parties: "But that's the way it's done." These phrases are the perfect start for a new blog article.
- Subscribe to newsletters that interest you and are related to your website. What topics are covered? Do you miss anything about them? Or are there topics there that you could expand on as a template for another topic?
- Many say: "What should I write about us, we are boring". For you, everyday life in your business may no longer be anything special. For your website visitors, it looks quite different. Take a look at the YouTube platform and see how many subscribers some channels have that tell stories about supposedly "dry" topics like law or tax returns and how excitingly they are told. Study how these stories are told and let yourself be inspired.
- First speak a story into your dictation machine or tell it to a colleague or acquaintance and record it. With automatic transcription tools you already have a wonderful text template. (And that would be another interesting blog article of its own 😉 )
- Divide big topics into several blog posts and you'll have fodder for at least a month. The article on website maintenance you are reading right now is divided as a mini-series into the blog posts "Content", "Security", "Technology" and "Tidying up".
- Ask ChatGPT about topics related to website maintenance. But be careful: Use ChatGPT only as a template provider, question the answers and never simply copy them 1:1.
Authors: Michael Mai & Nana Nkrumah
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