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In the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization (SEO), there has always been one constant factor. Content, and how important it is. Among the factors that influence your position on the search results page, the role of fresh content cannot be overstated. In this blog post, I’ll dive into the importance of refreshing your content regularly and how to make this part of your routine.

Search engines favor fresh content

Search engines, such as Google, use complex algorithms to provide users with the most relevant and up-to-date information. To achieve this, they use crawlers that regularly visit websites to ensure their content is current and reflects the latest developments. And yes, these crawlers also visit your website.

Websites that consistently produce fresh and relevant content signal to search engines that they are active and provide information that’s up to date. This tells Google that this is a better result to show to their users than similar websites that haven’t updated their content in a while. Search algorithms often favor recently updated content, giving websites that regularly refresh their content a competitive edge in the search results.

User experience is key

Why do search engines favor fresh content over content that hasn’t changed in a while? If the content is great to start with, should you need to change it every once in a while just to do them a favor? Yes and no.

It’s good to know that search engines always have their users in mind. And users need to see that your website (and business) is active and on top of the latest in your field. Regular updates demonstrate your commitment to delivering current information to users and it encourages them to return to your site for the latest insights. Making them come back regularly and also strengthening your relationship with your target audience.

Of course, you don’t have to change perfectly fine content just for the sake of it. But it is good to review your existing content every once in a while, to see if it can do with an update. It needs to stay relevant and fresh for your site visitors. In addition, make sure to post new content consistently to show people that you are active and on top of the latest news. Become their expert friend that they call on any time they need to know something related to your product or services.

All of this makes you the go-to website for your audience, but it also helps you with your SEO. The more people return to your website, the higher your amount of site visitors become. And the more helpful your content is, the lower your bounce rates become. All of this shows search engines that you are a great result, which means that they will more often show you in the search results. Bringing you into contact with new people as well.

Establishing authority and expertise

A more recent development is Google’s focus on E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Nowadays, the algorithm looks at these factors to judge and evaluate the relevance of websites. Because search engines aim to deliver authoritative and trustworthy content to their users.

Consistently producing fresh, high-quality content helps establish your website as an authoritative source within your field. As it grows your knowledge base and with it your expertise. Plus, fresh content strengthens the trustworthiness of your website and business. Whether it’s updating existing content to reflect the latest changes or creating new content to cover a recent development in your field.

5 tips to create fresh content

1. Update your cornerstone articles

Every website has a few pages or articles that are most important for your business. If you’re not sure which ones they are, ask yourself this question: which pages are focused on the terms you want to be found for? These pages/articles should be the best ones on your website and need to be checked and refreshed regularly.

This means checking them every once in a while, seeing what you can add to them, what can be taken off, and how you can further optimize them to make sure they are relevant for your users. An expert tip is to do your own search for the keyword and see what pages show up, what others are writing about this topic, and what the latest news is in this regard. Make sure your page is good and informative enough to show up there as well.

2. Evaluate and refresh your other content

Depending on the size (and history) of your website, you might have some content or lots of it. In any case, it’s good to make an overview of your content and prioritize them. Dive into the numbers to figure out which pages are performing best and which ones are underperforming. This will help you make a list of which content you need to work on first and start from there.

This is not a task you can finish in one day (unless you do only have one or two pages, in which case I would recommend producing some new content). So look at one page per time and take your time to optimize it properly. Do some research on what developments could be interesting to mention on that page and what your audience wants to know about this topic. Also, make sure to check your website for similar pages and see if it makes sense to merge them. This can prevent keyword cannibalization and help you rank with the page you want high up in the search results.

Another thing I want to mention is outdated content. When your website has been around for a while, some of your content will become less relevant as time goes by. It’s always good to check whether anyone is still reading this content, but if that’s also not the case I would consider deleting it. This helps you keep your content current and manageable. Do make sure to check if it’s really redundant before deleting it though. And if you do decide to delete the page altogether, make sure to use a proper redirect.

3. Create a content calendar

A great way to keep your content fresh is to keep a content calendar. Essentially, this is a calendar in which you plan all the content that you’re going to be working on in the upcoming period (weeks, months or year). This helps you consistently post new content and plan in your existing content that needs to be refreshed. It’s also great to have when you’re working with multiple authors, as it gives everyone an overview of what’s going to be done and when.

It can be as easy as creating an Excel sheet, but I would recommend using a more professional platform that’s focused on content planning. They often come with a great calendar overview and help you keep an overview by using categorization and assigning tasks to people. A few examples you can look into are Trello, MeisterTask and Monday.

4. Research what to write about

When you’ve created an outline for your content calendar it’s time to figure out what you want to write about. Because you want your content to be fresh, but also relevant to your audience. To help you figure out what would be interesting topics, it’s best to invest some time into keyword research. This helps you find the keywords that your audience is using and get them to your website.

If you decide to write about a topic, it is always important to bring you unique point of view. Writing the same thing that’s already out there will not get you to the top of the search results. Your view and expertise are what make your content unique and ‘fresh’. Be original in your writing and use your own tone of voice. Do you want to come across as informal or humourous or maintain a professional tone? Be consistent throughout your content to make sure you sound trustworthy throughout your website.

5. Embrace AI, but do it properly

You might have noticed that there has been some commotion around AI lately. The past year came with loads of developments in AI and with that, loads of AI-powered tools. Which is both great and dangerous for us content creators out there. Tools like ChatGPT make it easy to create new content in a matter of seconds. Using the right prompts can help you utilize these tools to create great content, new content ideas or do research for you. The downside, however, is that it’s also quite tempting to copy-paste this content onto your website and call it a day. Which will not impress your audience (nor the search engines).

The trick is to use these tools mindfully. Use them to get a rough first draft of your blog post, use them to generate a list of topics to write about, or use them to collect interesting facts. But always do the final edit yourself. Check the facts that are mentioned, change the tone of voice to reflect yours, and tweak the text to have it match the goal you have in mind. Always be the final step when using AI-generated content to make sure it’s original and up to par.

To conclude

In the world of SEO, where algorithms are continuously refined and user behavior evolves, the importance of fresh content cannot be overstated. Regularly updating your website with relevant and valuable information not only pleases search engines but also ensures a positive experience for your audience. You can do so by refreshing existing content or creating new content based on new developments in your field. If you do create new content, make sure to research what your audience wants to read about and be mindful of how you use AI in your content creation. Lastly, create a content calendar to make working on content part of your routine.

By embracing the power of fresh content, you position your website and yourself as an expert and great online source. This will improve your rankings and long-term success in the competitive online landscape.

  • Camille Cunningham

    Camille works as a content specialist at Yoast, the company behind the well-known Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. She writes content that helps you work on your site and master SEO!

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