It’s no secret that websites with fresh content generally outperform those with stale content in the search engine rankings. If you want to increase your website traffic, you have to start thinking like a publisher.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this to clients. Some of them take my advice and run with it. They put on their “publisher” hats and treat their websites and blogs like news channels. They publish new content several times a week. They try to stay ahead of their industries to be thought leaders. What’s the end result? Over time, they increase their website traffic beyond their own expectations.
So what does it mean to think like a publisher, and how does it help you increase your website traffic? Let’s explore this in more detail.
What Professional Internet Publishers Have in Common
An Internet publisher is someone who publishes information online for professional reasons. The primary differences between a publisher and a regular website is frequency. A regular website does not get updated very often. But a publisher’s website gets updated daily or weekly. News and gossip websites fall into this category, as do many professional journals.
Professional Internet publishers know that the best way to increase website traffic is to publish quality content on a frequent basis. The two keywords from that sentence are quality and frequent.
The content you produce must be interesting, useful, entertaining or enlightening (the adjective will vary depending on the audience). But it has to be quality information that achieves a certain goal. If you publish this kind of content on a regular basis, you’re certain to increase your website traffic over time.
Search Engines Love Fresh Content
For years, search engine optimization (SEO) consultants have understood the value of fresh content. Publishing information on a frequent basis will keep people coming back to your website. It also keeps the search engines coming back more often, which helps you increase your website traffic.
Content “freshness” has long been a ranking factor with the major search engines. Google recently highlighted the importance of fresh content by releasing information about one of their algorithm changes. (In this context, an algorithm is a computational formula used to rank websites within search results.) The recent changes to the Google algorithm essentially reward fresh content with higher rankings and better visibility.
This is what a Google representative told Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land:
We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale … Freshness is one component, but we also look at the content of the result, including topicality and quality.
The Caffeine web indexing system is a technical upgrade that allows Google to find and index fresh content more quickly.
Businesses can increase their website traffic simply by publishing quality content more frequently. This is what I mean when I say you need to think like a publisher.
In the early days of the Internet, you could put up a 5-page website with keyword-rich content and wait for your first-page rankings. But those days are over. If you want to increase your website traffic in the modern Internet landscape, you need to out-publish competing websites in your niche. You can do this by publishing better information on a more frequent basis.
Keeping Your Readers Coming Back
It’s always nice to have the search engines on your side. But you have to remember that they will never buy your product. They’re just computers. People are the most important factor in all of this. The search engine is just a tool that has the potential to increase your website traffic. At the end of the day, however, it’s your readers who need to be moved and impressed. They are the ones who will make or break your business.
This is another benefit of publishing content on a frequent basis. If I’m researching a certain topic, and I come across a small website that hasn’t been updated in a long time, I probably won’t visit it again. But if I visit a site that seems to be publishing new content on a daily basis, I will bookmark it for future reference. If they have an RSS feed, I will probably subscribe to it. If they have a Twitter or Facebook link, I will probably connect through those avenues as well. The website has earned my attention (and my repeat visits) by publishing information on a regular basis.
This is how you increase your website traffic over the long term. There are other ways to boost your traffic as well. But none of them are as effective as an active publishing strategy.
Need to Increase Your Website Traffic?
If you have questions about anything covered in this article, I’d be happy to answer them. We offer consulting services to businesses and organizations all across the United States. We can help you increase your website traffic by adopting a publishing model like the one described above. We can help with the strategy as well as the execution. You may find that our copywriting services are perfect fit for your publishing strategy. Just send us an email to get started.