The top websites in the world are constantly being updated. Don’t believe me? Consider this: Huffington Post, the largest blog in the world, published about 2,000 articles per day in 2013. That’s about a blog per second, which, no matter how much I think about it, I can’t seem to wrap my head around. Other top publications, such as Forbes and TechCrunch, publish close to 1,800 articles per month, which comes down to around 60 per day. While that’s nowhere near Huffington Posts’ 60-blogs-a-minute pace, it’s still quite a lot of blogs. These businesses have long known what others fail to recognize: frequency and consistency are essential to staying relevant online.
Of course, Forbes and Huffington Post are basically online newspapers, so of course they have an extreme publishing schedule. A newspaper that’s out of date isn’t good for much, after all.
But even if you’re just a business who hopes to utilize content marketing and social media to attract customers to their business—and you should, since they’re remarkably effective—your efforts depend on consistency and frequency. Here’s why.
1: Because Your Readers Expect Consistency
Have you ever followed a blog? If you have, I’m sure you’re familiar with the disappointment that comes from eagerly clicking onto the site’s blog page only to find that there’s nothing new for you to read.
Even if you don’t post an official blog release schedule, you almost certainly have one. And if you have readers, they’ll come to expect that you publish a blog at a certain time or on a certain day. If you break that schedule without notifying your readers, you’ll disappoint them. And the last thing you want your blog to do is disappoint the people who take time out of their days to read what you write.
Remember, the whole point of spending time and money on a blog is to attract leads and customers to your site. People become leads and customers through engaging with your blog, so you’ll have to take care not to put off the people who are essential to your blog’s success. Otherwise, your content marketing efforts will fail.
2: Because Google Prefers Frequently Updated sites
Whenever someone types a question into Google, it has a decision to make. It must decide which website of all the websites in the world best answers that question. If Google is right, the searcher is happy and they continue to use Google. If Google is wrong, the user gets frustrated and leaves. For this reason, Google really wants to be right all the time.
Because people will only use a search engine if it works, Google has spent countless resources making sure that it can answer all questions its users throw at it. Along the way, Google realized something: people get satisfactory answers from frequently updated sites more often than infrequently updated ones. It makes sense—the online world changes so quickly that the website that’s stayed with the times is probably the one with the best answer.
And if you’re a business with a website, you want Google to show your site to visitors as frequently as possible. That’s the whole point of SEO, after all. So if you care about your rankings, make sure you blog (and blog a lot).
3: Because an Outdated Site Will Make Your Business Seem Outdated too
We talked above about how regular readers of your site will be put off if you depart from your typical publishing schedule. But what about someone who isn’t a loyal reader?
If someone stumbles onto your site and finds that you updated your blog just last week, it signals to them that your business is alive, well, and possibly even thriving.
If, on the other hand, someone stumbles onto your site and sees that you haven’t updated your blog in two years (which happens more often than you’d think), all sorts of negative associations will start to flow in. Best case, your company will look out of touch with today’s world. Worst case, people will think your business is defunct and move onto a more recently updated competitor. It really happens.
4: Because a Frequently Updated Site Will Let You Better Leverage Social Media
If your business utilizes social media marketing—and it should, since social media accounts for 31% of all referral traffic—a frequently updated site will give your social media manager plenty of promotional material to work with. Blogs give your social media team something to post about. Since the whole point of social media (and blogging, for that matter) is to provide value to the people you’re advertising to, a fresh batch of blogs gives your business something exciting to share with users.
Once the blogs dry up, though, it can be easy to start posting purely self-promotional things, which is perhaps worse than not posting anything at all.
5: Because Google Has a Special “Freshness” Ranking Factor
Finally, if you publish content regularly, Google could reward you for it (depending on your topic). Google has a special ranking factor called “Query Deserves Freshness” (QDF), which translates to “search requests that deserve up-to-date results.” For example, if you search “Ford Taurus reviews,” Google will automatically serve you results about the 2018 model of the car because they’ve determined that’s most likely what you’re looking for.
If you publish frequently, it’s possible that you’ll hit on a QDF topic and will receive temporarily skyrocketed rankings for a bit.
Update Frequently (Or Let Us Do It for You)
Obviously you should make it a priority to update your website frequently. But we know that developing a consistent website schedule is difficult, especially when you spend so much time working on other areas of your business.
That’s why we’re proud to offer blogging services. If you sign up with us for blogging, we can write blogs (like this one) for you up to 4 times a month. That way, your site will always be fresh and your online presence won’t suffer. If you’re interested, give us a call today.