How Often Should You Update a Website for SEO?
Being a good website owner means you need to maintain it. In fact, an unmaintained website could hinder its ability to rank.
But how often do you need to update a website? First, let’s get clear on the types of website updates – each of which has different guidelines when it comes to how often to do them:
- Website updates that impact the design and functionality of the site
- Website updates that impact the content on the site
- FAQ: How can I ensure my website stays optimized for search engines and offers an excellent user experience through regular updates?
Let’s look closer at those two types of website updates in more detail.
If you want to win the SEO game, you need to make sure your website is easily crawlable and creates a good user experience.
This is accomplished by the design and the performance of the website.
For example, is there code bloat that stops the search engines from crawling efficiently? Does the site run fast or slow? Are there annoying pop-ups? Is it easy to navigate? Are people getting error messages?
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website so it performs for both search engines and the people who visit it.
And when it comes to how often you should make updates here, the answer is: always.
At no point should you ever stop monitoring and fixing issues that hinder site performance? Any good SEO program will ensure technical SEO is just as important as on-page SEO.
The other thing to consider is how often to update the look and feel of a website – its design. Generally, you want to review your design every three to five years.
That is because things change in the world of design. There may be new trends in conversion optimization, new layouts (like mobile vs. desktop), and new HTML standards for developing websites. It’s important to make sure that the aesthetic is modern and the UX is user-friendly.
Relevant content is one of the most important factors when it comes to how search engines decide which webpage should rank for a query.
So you want to make sure you are updating the content on your website appropriately. But how often is that?
Two things influence how often you should update the content on your website:
- If you have YMYL topics on your website. Google describes “Your money or your life” (YMYL) topics in its Search Quality Rater Guidelines as “types of pages or topics that could potentially impact a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” In this case, you want to make sure that the information is well maintained on a regular basis to stay competitive in the search results. That is because Google states there is a high standard for accuracy among YMYL content.
- If you have content that would fall under the “query deserves freshness” category. When a search requires the most up-to-date information on that topic, only the web pages that have up-to-date content should be able to rank. Think: The value of a stock, the current score in a sporting event, or some social or political current event. You can get a better idea of how “query deserves freshness” applies in this Google blog article.
Remember: According to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, website maintenance is a quality indicator. But, maintenance is relative.
Freshness is generally less of a concern for Page Quality rating. “Stale” pages can have high Page Quality ratings. For example, some highly reputable news websites maintain “archival” content. However, unmaintained/abandoned “old” websites or unmaintained and inaccurate/misleading content is a reason for a low Page Quality rating.
-Search Quality Rater Guidelines
In other words, if you have a “stale” page that has not been updated for years on the American Civil War, it can still be considered a relevant and quality page because information about historical events rarely changes.
However, information on search engine optimization changes often, so you’d want to review the accuracy of it monthly, quarterly, and annually.
Related: See my article “Creating new content vs. optimizing old webpages: Which is better for SEO?” on Search Engine Land.
Set a Schedule for Website Updates
Set a schedule for how often you will update your website based on the best practices outlined in this article. Even though it can take time and resources, the payoff is worth it. Your website and brand remain relevant and often, you can see a boost in search visibility after.
Curious about how you can update your website with the latest SEO techniques and best practices to maximize its visibility and drive organic traffic? Join SEOTraining.com to gain access to exclusive training opportunities and improve your sales online.
FAQ: How can I ensure my website stays optimized for search engines and offers an excellent user experience through regular updates?
As part of your website optimization strategy, regular website updates are crucial in order to meet both SEO and user experience objectives. They help keep you ahead of the competition and engage your target audience — this whitepaper offers tips and insights that can assist with this goal.
To start, prioritize technical SEO. Regularly audit your website to identify and fix any crawlability or performance issues that might hinder search engines from indexing your content efficiently. Ensuring a fast-loading website, eliminating broken links, and improving mobile responsiveness are crucial factors that contribute to a positive user experience and higher search engine rankings.
Next, focus on content updates. Valuable and relevant content is the backbone of any successful website. To maintain SEO performance, review your content periodically, and refresh it when necessary. Updating evergreen content and staying abreast of the latest developments in your niche can demonstrate your expertise to both users and search engines.
Consider adopting a proactive approach to update your website’s design and functionality. Staying current with design trends and implementing user-friendly navigation enhances UX and keeps visitors coming back. Regularly reviewing your website’s aesthetics and usability every three to five years is a good practice to maintain a modern and engaging user interface.
Set a schedule for website updates that aligns with your business goals and content strategy. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, consistency is key to establishing trust with both users and search engines. Keep a record of your updates to monitor their impact on SEO performance and user engagement.
Lastly, leverage user feedback and analytics. User behavior and preferences evolve over time, so continuously gather feedback from your audience and analyze website analytics.
- Perform a technical SEO Audit to identify any potential problems which could impede the crawlability and performance of your site.
- Optimize your website’s loading speed by compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and utilizing a content delivery network (CDN).
- Ensure all internal and external links are functional and lead to relevant pages.
- Create an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines to aid in indexing your content.
- Regularly review and update your website’s meta tags, titles, and descriptions to align with your target keywords.
- Develop a content strategy that includes updating existing content and creating fresh, valuable material on a consistent basis.
- Monitor industry trends and incorporate relevant topics into your content to showcase your expertise.
- Use data from user behavior and search analytics to identify high-performing content and areas for improvement.
- Conduct keyword research to identify new opportunities and refine your content strategy.
- Implement user-friendly navigation and intuitive site architecture to enhance the user experience.
- Adopt a responsive design that ensures your website displays optimally on various devices.
- Regularly review the design of your website and update it to align with current trends and user preferences.
- Test your website’s functionality and user interface regularly to identify and address any issues promptly.
- Establish a content update schedule that aligns with your business goals and audience needs.
- Monitor the impact of your updates on SEO performance and user engagement through analytics.
- Encourage user feedback through surveys, reviews, and contact forms to understand their needs better.
- Utilize A/B testing to compare the effectiveness of different design and content elements.
- Stay informed about algorithm updates and search engine best practices to adapt your strategy accordingly.
- Engage with your audience through social media and other platforms to build trust and credibility.
- Continuously analyze the results of your website updates and make data-driven decisions to achieve sustained SEO success and exceptional user experiences.