Many of you have probably heard terms like ‘content is king’ or ‘fresh content is best’. These aren’t just sayings. Google (and other search engines) use ‘content freshness’ as one of their ranking factors when it comes to indexing search results. This means that content, and in particular, fresh content, is critical for SEO success.
In most cases (there are instances where older content might be preferred by search engines), content becomes less successful in search queries over time. If you want to find out more about content and what types of content can be beneficial to your business, read this first.
This basically means that when new content is first published to your site, it is more likely to be seen as ‘fresh content’ and will therefore have a higher chance at being indexed at higher rankings in search results. As time goes by, the content loses its freshness ranking and therefore becomes less likely to be indexed by search engines when using the same search terms.
Still looking at the way search engines index their search results, we can also see that fresh content assists in improving SEO via keywords. When fresh content is created on your website, you have the opportunity to optimise that new content for trending keywords. This means that the search engines will now pick up your new content with the trending keywords in search results.
It’s important to keep content new with trending keywords. Why? Because the way people search, and the terms they use to search may change over time. Keeping up to date with the latest keywords people are using to search for products or services like yours, and using these keywords in your fresh website content, will really assist in improving the rank of your website in search results.
In no particular order, these are just some of the ways you can look at increasing the amount of fresh content on your website.
- Make the content changes BIG
Generally speaking, big changes to website content are much better for your freshness score than small changes. In fact, sometimes small changes won’t be seen as fresh content at all – basically ignored – by search engines! For example, small changes like making changes to the navigation, side bar or time and date tags might not be seen as fresh content to the site. Even just adding a line or 2 of text before a main paragraph could be ignored by search engines.
On the flipside, look into making BIG changes! This might include:
- Updating all of the copy on the main body text of one or multiple pages
- Adding new pages (blogs or news pages are a great way to do this)
- Track and Optimise Engagement and Time on Site
Google (and other search engines) are service providers. It is their mission to serve content (in the way of search results) which are relevant to their client (the person entering the search term). This means that they do look at how engaged users are that click your link from the search result. If users tend to have high engagement and high time on site, your website will gain points when it comes to pushing you up search results. Of course, the opposite will happen too. If users who click to your website have low engagement and a high bounce rate, Google is likely to flag your link as irrelevant and push you down the search rankings.
Fresh content can help improve engagement and time on site. Why? Because if a user has visited your site 5 times before, and then happens to click from a search result back to your site, it is more likely that they will stay, read and engage if some of the content is new to them. If it’s all same-old, same-old, they’ll probably exit a lot faster – making your site seem irrelevant in the eyes of Google.
You need to be tracking your engagement using tools like Analytics, Heat Mapping and Tag Manager. By seeing the effect of new content on the engagement of your site and how long visitors stay, you’ll be able to begin understanding the optimal length of time between uploads of fresh content to your website.’
- External Links
Here’s a spanner to throw into the works. Backlinks or external sites that link back to your site actually help improve your freshness ranking. Specially for the ‘fresh ranking’, Google will look at new sites that have just started linking to you. These new links will be passed through as fresh content again, helping improve your SEO ranking!
Fresh content or your ‘content freshness ranking’ is just one of the many signals that search engines like Google use when indexing your website. If you’re not sure how to get started, or what content you should be freshening up on your website, speak to Arcadian today. In addition to blog and content writing, we can also assist in keyword research to understand trending terms, as well as social and backlink building to help build those new links.
Still need some help understanding content? Check out our last blog on different types of content.