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Keeping Your Blog Up To Date

26th July 2012
I’ve just had to give myself a quick slap on the wrist for the length of time it has taken me to get round to producing another blog update. In creating sites for others, it can be easy to forget the importance of making sure that your own is as relevant, topical and interesting as possible for your own visitors. But that’s no excuse!

Positive PR is one of the best tools your company can employ, because it portrays success, which in turn creates a sense of trust to those trying to find out more about who you are and what you do. This may seem an obvious statement, but you have to be constantly reminding people of those factors in order to maintain that outward sense of belief.

It’s all too easy to put your site together, fill it full of the basic informative content, and then put the cherry on top of the icing by adding a top story within your news or blog section to tell the readership about the fantastic new contract you’ve just secured or the prestigious award you’ve just won. You sit back, relax, and think “that’s a great thing for our visitors to see when they come to the site, we’ll leave it there”.

That’s fine for a couple of days, but what’s there when the same visitors come back in a week’s time, a month’s time, or even a year’s time, and find that the same static story is appearing on your homepage. Will they wonder whether the success has stopped?

Two days after you won that contract or award, something interesting but not quite as significant might have occurred within your organisation, say, for example, one of your staff might have landed a new qualification. It might not be as high profile as the story you’re potentially displacing, but it provides something new to keep your visitors interested for another few minutes, and keeps the positive output flowing for a little while longer.
Blog exampleKeep that blog fresh and relevant!
The easy way to look at it is to imagine how bored you’d be if you logged into a site like Sky News, MSN or your Facebook news feed and saw exactly the same stories every time you logged in for five days in a row? I doubt you’d be back in a hurry. What if you were a potential customer of your business, and were faced with the same lack of variety on your website?

OK, so you don’t have to be churning out news updates every day, or even every week based on the volume of traffic you expect to receive, or the rate at which your product develops, but little and often is an excellent way of ensuring a good return in many senses.

SEO experts always scream ‘content is king’ and they’d be right. Backing up the solid structure of your site, with all the ‘About Us’ and ‘What We Do’ sections, having a continual stream of relevant content really does help to ensure that your site stands out to the robots that magically compile the search rankings. The robots sniff out fresh content and will give greater prominence to sites that continually evolve with something new to stimulate visitors.

So what makes a good story? Well, you probably won’t find many people wanting to read about the fact that you’ve just installed a new water cooler in the office kitchen, but if you’re a supplier of water coolers and you’ve just agreed a deal to supply them to the canteens of every major supermarket in the UK, that’s going to get other potential clients interested.

Other good topics might include staff changes – i.e. recruitments, departures (assuming it’s a positive spin, like a retirement of a long-serving employee) or promotions – launches of new product ranges, your connection to a topical news item (see how many companies are trying to claim an Olympics link this summer for an example), a column from the company’s CEO (or equivalent) or the opening of new premises. The choice is yours, but sometimes you need someone else to chirp “Oh, I didn’t realise that” for it to twig that what you’re doing is of interest to third parties.

Keep them interested by offering them the chance to comment on articles, a feature that is becoming more and more prevalent on so many sites. It may mean that you’ll have to undertake an element of housekeeping to remove the odd inappropriate comment, but these are few and far between, and it’s far easier to keep your site up to date with external comments than having to compose your own piece from scratch. Allowing comments to be posted will give visitors a reason to keep returning, even when you’ve not got anything new to talk about, because they may wish to continue a thread of conversation with other site users.

What’s more, comments are again popular when it comes to search ranking because it proves the popularity of your site and allows it to evolve even when you’ve not got time or content to help the process along yourself. The feedback also proves very useful to you in terms of gauging customer reaction to what you’re doing, giving a lead as to whether you should be doing more (or less) of it.

If you’re stuck for ideas on how to keep your site up to date, why not ask us for some tips and pointers? We’re making these updates on a daily basis to a wide portfolio of websites, so we’ve got a good idea of what’s newsworthy (and have cautiously advised what isn’t on a few occasions!). In just a few minutes, we can easily reel off a fairly well populated list of ideas to keep your site vibrant, and hopefully keep the news or blog section of your site up to date.

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