How to Update a Website for Better Rankings: SEO Tips + Strategies

Person holding a sticky note that says "SEO" in front of a laptop (how to update a website)

As a website owner, you know the importance of updating your website- or at least we hope so.

The sad truth is that even though there are 1.13 billion websites in the world, only a fraction of them are regularly updated. In fact, a whopping 82% of these websites are inactive. That means only 200,121,724 of the 1.13 billion websites in the world are actively maintained and visited. This is a staggering statistic and one that should not be taken lightly. Think of all the missed opportunities!

In this article, we’ll discuss how to update your site, why it is important, and give you some real-world tips for boosting your website’s SEO through an update. Whether you’re a business owner or a blogger, these tips will help you optimize your website for better rankings.

Why are Website Updates Important?

Website updates are important for several reasons. First and foremost, they ensure that your website is functioning properly and providing a positive user experience. This includes fixing any bugs or glitches, as well as optimizing the site’s speed and accessibility.

Additionally, regular updates help to keep your website secure. As new security threats emerge, it is crucial to have updated software and plugins to protect your website from potential hacks or breaches.

Website updates also allow you to improve and enhance your website’s design and functionality. This can include adding new features, updating outdated content, and incorporating modern design trends. By keeping your website up to date, you can better engage with your audience and stay ahead of competitors.

How to Update a Website

The first thing you need to understand in this process is how to do an update on your website. There are several steps involved, and each one is crucial in ensuring your website remains fresh and relevant. Here’s our own process that has been tried and tested by SEO experts:

Start With an Audit

The first step in our website update process involves a thorough evaluation of our existing content. Using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, we assess our website’s performance, paying close attention to speed and overall usability on both desktop and mobile devices. This stage is crucial, as it directly impacts our website’s search engine rankings. By examining specific metrics like bounce rate, organic traffic, and sessions, we identify areas that need improvement.

Update Your Existing Content

Once we’ve pinpointed low-traffic pages that could benefit from SEO optimization, we dive into updating the content to better align with our revised strategy. This could mean refining the use of relevant keywords, enhancing the meta descriptions, and ensuring our content matches the search intent of our target audience. It’s a meticulous process, but one that’s vital for improving our visibility in search results. Our blog on creating a website content plan can guide you through organizing your content updates effectively, ensuring consistency and relevance across your site.

Person typing on a laptop
How to Update a Website for Better Rankings: SEO Tips + Strategies 6

Prune Bad Content

Not all content is salvageable, and recognizing this has been a key learning for us. Content that doesn’t align with search intent or competes internally for the same keywords is often better off removed. This step is about quality over quantity, focusing our efforts on content that can be optimized and repurposed effectively. You can do this by conducting a content audit, identifying underperforming pages, and deciding whether to update or remove them.

In addition, you can focus on enhancing content that can be optimized, and consider conducting a content gap analysis to identify and fill missing content opportunities.

Update Your Design

Keeping our website visually appealing and in line with current design trends has been instrumental in reducing bounce rates and enhancing user engagement. This involves not just aesthetic updates but also improving mobile responsiveness and loading times, which are critical SEO factors. Regularly updating our website design also gives us the opportunity to incorporate new SEO strategies, such as implementing schema markup or optimizing for voice search.

Fix Broken Links

Sure, broken links are a nuisance, but they also represent a missed opportunity for user engagement and can negatively impact SEO. Regularly checking for and fixing broken links has become a routine part of our website maintenance. This not only improves the user experience and helps with SEO, but it also shows that we are actively managing our website and keeping it up to date for our users.

Update Plugins and Themes

Functionality updates, such as plugins and themes, are necessary for keeping your website secure and efficient. We’ve learned the hard way that neglecting this aspect can lead to vulnerabilities and a poor user experience. We like to run weekly checks for updates and make sure everything is running smoothly.

Optimize Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are often overlooked as an important element of on-page SEO. However, these snippets of text displayed in search engine results can greatly influence click-through rates. That’s why we make sure to optimize our meta descriptions by including relevant keywords, a clear call-to-action, and a compelling description of our content. By doing so, we not only improve our chances of ranking higher in search results, but also entice users to click through to our website.

Tips For Keeping a Website Up-to-Date

Three marketers with monitors discussing updating their website
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As mentioned earlier, regularly updating your website is crucial for maintaining its security and performance. Here are some tips for keeping your website up-to-date:

Continuously Audit Your Website’s Content and Design

Regular audits are the backbone of maintaining a high-performing website. In our experience, setting a schedule for these audits—whether quarterly or bi-annually—helps keep this task top of mind. During audits, we not only assess content performance through metrics such as page views, time on page, and conversion rates but also evaluate the design’s visual appeal and functionality on various devices. A practical tip is to use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track performance and identify pages that might need a refresh or optimization. Don’t overlook the importance of user feedback during these audits; sometimes, the most insightful observations about usability and design come directly from your users.

Perform Competitor Research

Keeping an eye on your competitors can unlock strategies that might be beneficial for your own site. We’ve adopted several approaches for effective competitor research. First, we regularly review top competitors’ websites and note any new features, content formats, or design elements they’re using. We also use SEO tools to analyze their keyword strategy and backlink profiles, which can reveal gaps in our own strategy. Remember, the goal isn’t to copy your competitors but to identify trends and opportunities they are capitalizing on that you might have missed.

A/B Testing

A/B testing has been instrumental in optimizing our website’s user experience and conversion rates. For instance, by testing two versions of a landing page, each with different call-to-action (CTA) placements, we can conclusively determine which layout performs better. It’s key to change one element at a time to accurately measure its impact. Tools like Hotjar make setting up and running these tests relatively straightforward. A/B testing is a continuous process that helps us refine not just our marketing strategies but also small details that enhance user experience.

Implement Customer Surveys

Integrating customer feedback into your website update strategy can significantly enhance the relevance and effectiveness of your content. We’ve found that short, targeted surveys yield the highest response rates. Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can be easily integrated into your website or emailed to your subscribers. Ask specific questions about what users want to see more (or less) of and what improvements they think could enhance their experience. This direct line of communication has helped us tailor our content and design to meet our audience’s needs better.

Abstract representation of a customer survey - a person tapping a floating checkbox with five stars underneath it, indication satisfaction with a purchase/experience
How to Update a Website for Better Rankings: SEO Tips + Strategies 8

Keep Keyword Strategy Up-to-Date

SEO is an ever-evolving field, and keyword strategies that worked last year may not be as effective today. Regular keyword research is essential to understand how search trends are changing and how your content can adapt. We use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google’s Keyword Planner for this purpose. Besides identifying new keywords, it’s also important to review the performance of your current keywords and adjust your content accordingly. Remember, relevance is key; always align your content with the intent behind the search queries.

Use Multimedia Elements

Incorporating multimedia elements into our content has not only made it more engaging but also improved our SEO performance. Whether it’s creating videos, infographics, or interactive quizzes, these elements encourage users to spend more time on our site and engage more deeply with our content. Hosting video content on platforms like YouTube before embedding it on your site can also drive additional traffic from a different channel. When adding multimedia elements, always ensure they are optimized for fast loading times and are accessible to users on all devices.

Ensure Written Content Isn’t Inaccurate or Outdated

One of our key strategies has been to regularly review and update our existing content. This not only involves updating facts and figures but also ensuring that the content continues to meet our audience’s needs and search intent. An “updated on” date can be incredibly reassuring to readers, signaling that the content is current and reliable. This practice not only boosts user trust but can also rejuvenate older content, giving it a new lease on life in search engine results.

Keep Creating Content

Content creation is a dynamic and ongoing process. To keep our website fresh and engaging, we aim for a mix of evergreen content that retains its relevance over time and timely posts that tap into current trends and news. This strategy ensures that our website remains a valuable resource for both new and returning visitors. Additionally, consistently publishing high-quality content signals to search engines that your website is active and relevant, which can positively impact your search engine rankings. Remember, diversity in content formats can cater to different preferences, whether it’s detailed articles, quick tips, or multimedia stories.

6 Ways to Find New Topics for Your Website

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How to Update a Website for Better Rankings: SEO Tips + Strategies 9

Finding new topics to write about on your website can sometimes feel like a daunting task. With so much content already out there, it may seem like every idea has been covered. However, with some creativity and strategic thinking, you can find fresh and engaging topics that will keep your audience coming back for more. Here are six ways to find new topics for your website:

1. Keyword Research

One of the most straightforward methods for finding new content topics is through keyword research. We use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google’s Keyword Planner to discover what our target audience is searching for online. This research not only helps us identify high-volume search terms but also uncovers long-tail keywords that signify specific queries. By targeting these keywords, we can create content that directly answers our audience’s questions, improving our SEO and providing valuable information.

2. Analyze Popular Blog Posts

Both within our own site and across the web, we pay close attention to what content performs well. Tools like BuzzSumo allow us to see which articles are most shared and engaged with across social media platforms. By understanding the elements that make these posts successful—whether it’s the topic, the format, or the style of writing—we can glean insights into what our audience prefers and craft our content strategy accordingly.

3. Stay Abreast of Industry Trends

Keeping up with industry trends is crucial for producing relevant and timely content. We subscribe to industry newsletters, follow thought leaders on social media, and attend webinars and conferences to stay informed. This not only helps us remain knowledgeable about our field but also inspires new content ideas that address the latest developments and challenges our industry faces.

4. Listen to Your Audience

Our audience is a rich source of inspiration. We closely monitor comments on our blog posts, social media interactions, and feedback received through customer surveys. Often, the questions and concerns raised by our audience highlight areas where additional information is needed, guiding us toward topics that will be valuable to them. Implementing a “questions and answers” section or hosting Q&A sessions on platforms like Instagram can also be a great way to gather content ideas directly from your audience.

5. Competitor Content Analysis

Reviewing the content that competitors produce can offer insights into topics that we might have overlooked. By analyzing their most engaging and popular content, we can identify gaps in our own content strategy or find new angles on similar topics. It’s important to approach this with the aim of differentiation, ensuring that any content we produce offers unique value and perspectives.

6. Use Content Ideation Tools

There are several online tools designed to help generate content ideas. Tools like Answer the Public provide insights into the questions people are asking around specific keywords, while others like Portent’s Content Idea Generator can spark creativity with unique and sometimes quirky titles. These tools can be particularly helpful when you’re feeling stuck or looking to branch out into new content formats. If you want to see professional help with this or other updating services, we have a blog on how to pick the right content strategy service provider that will help you every step of the way!

The key is to remain curious, responsive to your audience, and open to exploring new avenues for content creation. By using these tools, you can tap into the interests and needs of your target audience and create content that truly resonates with them.

Conclusion

A person with coffee and an open laptop
How to Update a Website for Better Rankings: SEO Tips + Strategies 10

We hope that this guide has provided valuable insights into how to effectively generate content ideas for your digital marketing strategy. Remember, the key is to understand your target audience and their needs, stay informed about current trends and topics, and utilize tools and resources to constantly update your website. With these strategies in place, you can consistently produce high-quality content that engages and connects with your audience. So go ahead and start brainstorming, researching, and creating – the possibilities are endless!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I update my website?

The frequency of website updates can vary depending on your industry, the type of content you produce, and your resources. However, a good rule of thumb is to review and potentially update your website content at least every 6 months to ensure accuracy, relevance, and freshness. For more dynamic sections of your site, like blog posts or news sections, aiming for weekly or bi-weekly updates can help keep your content engaging and up-to-date. Regularly updating your website not only helps engage your audience but also signals to search engines that your site is active, which can positively impact your search engine rankings.

Why is updated content so important for SEO?

Updated content is crucial for SEO for several reasons. First, it signals to search engines that your website is relevant and actively maintained, which can contribute to higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Secondly, updating content to include current information, relevant keywords, and addressing user search intent improves the overall user experience, increasing the likelihood of higher engagement rates and shareability. Lastly, refreshed content can attract backlinks from other websites, a critical factor in SEO performance. Overall, regularly updated content helps maintain and improve your website’s visibility and attractiveness to both users and search engines.

How do I change information on my website?

To change information on your website, you’ll typically need to access the content management system (CMS) that your site operates on, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Start by logging into the CMS dashboard using your administrator credentials. From there, you should navigate to the page, post, or area where the content requires updating. Most CMS platforms offer an intuitive editor for modifying text, updating images, or changing links.

Before finalizing any changes, it’s a good practice to use the preview feature to check how the updates will appear on both desktop and mobile devices, ensuring the layout and content are displayed correctly. Once you’re satisfied with the adjustments, you can publish the changes, making them live on your website. It’s always wise to back up your website before undertaking substantial updates, particularly if they involve changes to the website’s structure or design elements.

How do I update my website after hosting?

Updating your website after it has been hosted is an ongoing task that encompasses a variety of actions beyond just adding new content. Initially, you should access your website’s dashboard through the CMS or website builder platform. This is where you can regularly update or add new content, ensuring your website remains engaging and relevant. Keeping your website’s software up to date is also crucial; this includes the CMS itself, along with any themes or plugins you’re using, as these updates often contain important security enhancements, new functionalities, and improvements in performance.

Regularly optimizing your website for search engine optimization (SEO) is essential too, utilizing tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your site’s performance and make necessary adjustments. Another key aspect is enhancing the user experience based on feedback and analytics, which may involve making design or functionality updates. Lastly, it’s important to monitor your website’s performance metrics, such as loading speed and mobile responsiveness, and to fix any broken links promptly. 

Picture of Noelle Thuillier

Noelle Thuillier

Noelle is a Content Specialist for WGM. She writes and edits all business content, including blogs, press releases, social media posts, and technical writing pieces. With over ten years of experience writing, Noelle has been published on many reputable sites during her career, including TheScriptLab.com and HelloGiggles.com. Before coming to WGM, she worked as a News Director at KWHI in Brenham, Texas. Noelle oversaw the newsroom writing stories, producing content, and being an on-air personality. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Noelle holds a Master in Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Greenwich in London, England. Noelle’s other passion in life is her family. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, daughter, Frankie, and English Bulldog, Alvin. She also loves to travel, with her favorite destinations so far being Ireland and the Czech Republic.

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