We’ve preached in a number of posts about the need to keep website content fresh. It’s important from an end user perspective to provide quality and value. And fresh content is also important from an SEO standpoint – keeping it fresh allows search engines to re-evaluate and re-rank your site more often. Blogs, both written and video, are usually touted as the most common ways to improve SEO, but there are some alternative ways as well. Here are 3 lesser-known ways to keep website content fresh:

Images

Adding new and relevant images to your site is great not only for your site visitors, but for web crawlers as well. This includes memes, gifs, videos – anything that is related to your business or industry in any multimedia form. Display your social media on your site through a widget or plugin. The big message is to make sure your images are optimized using good “behind-the-scenes” information, including alt text, title, and descriptions. Be sure to have smart and usable captions under images as well. Not only do new images make end users happy, but web crawlers have recent information to analyze and rank.

Testimonials

We often think of testimonials are being important for our marketing to potential customers. And that is true, but adding new and or updated testimonials to your website is – say it with us – fresh content! If you’re utilizing a third party review site like Yelp or Google Reviews, consider putting some of the reviews on your website as well. If you aren’t using a third party, reach out to your business partners / customers and ask for reviews. Ask questions like, “What do you enjoy most about doing business with our company? How has our product worked for you?”. The more personal the relationship with the people you’re contacting, the more in depth the questions can be. For a blanket email to customers, keep it high level. Be sure to ask permission to post responses – and link to their business or website. This is important for validating the testimonials with customers as well as good SEO!

Revive an Older Post

OK, we know we said these would be alternative ideas to blogging, but this one is a little outside the box. If you’re stumped for new material or in a time crunch, opt to update an older blog and then re-post. Do not simply cut and paste into a new post. Instead, create a new introduction that talks about why you are choosing to re-post the information. Also be sure to update any information that may now be out of date.

The beauty of a great CDN is that you never see it, hear it, or worry about it. But what exactly is it? CDN stands for content delivery network. It’s a group of servers geographically distributed and linked together via the Internet. The servers’ purpose is to improve content delivery performance by using a server closest to the the end user. In short, a CDN helps your website load more quickly, which may keep visitors around longer.

For example, say your site is hosted in Arizona. A user in the UK visits your site and now the full site must load all the way from Arizona, which could take several seconds. But when using a CDN, the end user loads your site from a proxy server closer to them, allowing the full site to load faster.

Why Is That Important?

Fast loading time for your website is crucial because, well, people are impatient. If your site takes too long to load, there’s a good chance that visitors will bounce rather than stick around to see what finally appears on their screen. This is especially important for businesses that use a lot of graphics, videos, or software downloads that can slow down load times. Not to mention that site speed became part of Google Ranking Factors in 2010. Good speed = good SEO.

CDN’s also reduce bandwidth costs, increase content availability and improve redundancy. They provide security for your site through authentication, encryption and data integrity. In particular, they protect against attacks that attempt to overwhelm the network, in addition to those that aim to steal information.

Where Do You Get a CDN?

Many companies offer a CDN service à la carte, but many will bundle a CDN with everything else you need to run your website. Hammersmith Support exclusively works with WP Engine, as it provides not only a fast CDN but also reliable hosting. While you can host a website without a CDN, you cannot have a CDN without a host. The combination of the two creates an efficient hosting environment for even the busiest website.

Want to read more about website hosting? Click on over to the Hammersmith Support blog “Website Hosting 101.”

At Hammersmith Support, we work with many different client needs when it comes to their websites. Some need a refresh of their current site, some need a full rebuild. We also do ground up builds for clients who don’t currently have a website. Each type of client and their needs are unique and making the right recommendation for what exactly a client’s website needs is crucial. So how do you know what your site needs?

What is a Website Refresh?

A website refresh is similar to refreshing a home; it’s mostly cosmetic. In your home you might paint the walls, buy a new rug, bring in new furniture. Refreshing your site is similar in that colors, layout, content, and logos are reworked to create an updated look. Refreshing a site is perfect for businesses that are rebranding and/or updating product offerings – or just need a fresh look for their site. The new look alerts visitors that something has changed with the company and will get attention.

Who Qualifies for a Site Rebuild?

Companies that have an established website that has outdated infrastructure and/or can no longer support the business’ demands would qualify for a full site rebuild. This may include some refreshing visually, but typically will keep the same color scheme and logos to stay on brand. The majority of changes are behind the scenes, updating the site framework to support new business channels such as e-commerce, site security, speed and optimization capabilities.

How Do You Know Which You Need?

Take a look at your business goals and what is limiting those goals when it comes to your website. Are you ready to start selling your products online? Do you need to be able to retain visitor contact information and aren’t able to do so on your current site? Is your site speed fast enough? Does your site look outdated but serve your business well? Knowing the answers to these questions can help point you in which direction to go. And Hammesmith Support is always here to help you work through the best options for you and your business.

As the Hammersmith team has created new and exciting websites for our clients, we began to see the growing need for those websites to be maintained and supported. Our clients were thrilled with the site build results, but didn’t have the time or the know how to keep their sites in tip-top shape on their own. And so Hammersmith Support was born to fill a new need for our clients.

What Is Website Maintenance / Support?

Have you ever researched when exactly the internet was started? It’s a mess of answers, depending on what one would consider the actual “internet” (the conception v modern day usage). Some date it back to 1983, some 1990 when it was more widely used. Either way, that is a substantial amount of time. And think of how far the internet has come; from dial up to now being able to DIY your own websites, to social media… the list goes on and on.

Given that timeline, it’s interesting that website support and maintenance is still in a toddler stage of growth. For all the material available on the internet, it’s amazing that many consumers are just now looking to other companies to maintain and support their websites. Many companies have overlooked security updates and patches, ignored malware attempts to corrupt data, and leave site content stale and not updated – all important aspects of website maintenance.

Why Is Maintenance Important?

As the internet continues to evolve, so do the hazards for users. Security breaches and malware being two of the most urgent risks. Each of these can bring down your site, or worse, can steal data and or identifiable information about your customers. This is an increasingly high risk for sites using ecommerce. Even sites that only generate leads are at risk of customer contact information being stolen. The risk of malware corrupting your site and taking it offline is a huge risk, especially those businesses dependent on their site for sales.

On the less scary side, website maintenance and support is crucial for businesses that can’t or don’t want to do the work themselves. Imagine needing to update your product information, pricing, run an update – all while handling the other time sensitive issues of your business. It’s hard to prioritize when everything feels like a top priority.

How Hammersmith Support Solves this Issue

Our goal at Hammersmith Support is to provide comprehensive service through preventative maintenance and client driven content updates. Our preventative maintenance includes site security updates, site backups, optimization and premium site hosting.

This two prong approach ensures that your website not only run efficiently and safely, it’s also up to date with your content changes – a winning combination. Click here to see the Hammersmith Support service packages.

What is website hosting? If you’ve ever built a website, or even needed support for your site, you’ve probably had to answer the question “where is your site hosted?”. To break it down, a website host is a service provider that administers the technologies and services needed for a website to be viewed on the internet. It’s kind of like a rental space for a business – except it’s the virtual space for your website.

Why Does the Site Host Matter?

Where your site is hosted matters for several reasons. First, not all hosts offer the same kind of services. It’s kind of like shopping at a grocery store verses a convenience store. They both sell food, but the quality, variety, and selection vary widely. Each website host is different, offering varying levels of security, plug in applications, reporting, support and more.

And those differences? Can be a deal breaker. Take for example the content delivery network; if a potential client clicks on your URL….and waits….and waits…and the site loads oh-so-slowly, the chances of them sticking around until the site loads are slim to nil. A great CDN will ensure that no matter from where a person visits your site, it will always load quickly and completely. Another potential deal breaker? Security. That all important “s” in “https” is a Secure Socket Layer. It’s the security guard for your site ensuring that your visitor’s information stay safe. Even if you don’t take credit card information, your site is still vulnerable to hackers stealing contact information. Or even general malware that takes your site down. Which is why good security is important for all websites.

Why Hammersmith Uses WP Engine Host

At Hammersmith Support, we exclusively use the WP Engine Hosting. It is the best value for the price by including sturdy basics like Global Edge security, a managed content delivery network and award winning support. For us, WP Engine Hosting is the perfect partnership for us to support our client’s websites because we know we are managing our client’s sites with a top of the line product.

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