What’s the best way to refresh our Web site content to draw search-engine traffic? How often should we post new white papers, new blog entries, new uploads, and the like? Is it true frequent updates attract the engines and increase our rankings?
Jay’s Answer: The first step is having the search engines find your new content. If you have a traditional website, then you’ll have to wait (passively) until the next time the search engines crawl your site. The higher the page rank of your site, the more frequently your site gets crawled. Google’s Webmaster Tools for example, lets you see your crawler statistics. If you have a blog, when you update your content it generally pings the search engines (using a tool such as: http://pingomatic.com/ ) to tell them proactively that there’s new content. By pinging the search engines you increase the speed for people to find your new content. You can also post a message/link on other’s blogs telling them about your new content (creating a ping to the search engines), Twitter about it, use Social Bookmarks (such as: http://delicious.com/), etc. (all to increase the visibility of your information). If you have something truly notable, distribute a press release touting it (the press release itself can be SEO-optimized).
The content that you post should be well-crafted to achieve two goals: improve your search ranking (for the keywords you’re targeting) and achieve your business goals (get more clients, get more inquiries, get more traffic, etc.). Make sure that you don’t focus too much on the keywords and miss out on the human element: compelling copy that will cause prospects to take action NOW.
As for how often you should post content: it depends on newsworthiness of your content. If you have something that answers a problem that’s a “current problem of the day”, then by all means get your content into the discussion. Otherwise, release information that’s “quality” as you create it. You want your content all to be well-focused on your target audience without any distractions. You want to teach your prospects that you value their time.