How to keep your content fresh

What does “Fresh” even mean?

When you ask experts how to get more organic traffic, one of the things that always makes the list is keeping your site fresh. Fresh is a pretty vague term. Fresh like lettuce, or fresh like potatoes? It turns out that there are different measures of fresh and they are measured differently.

The most basic measure is fresh content like new blog posts, articles, and videos. No real news flashes there. If you are a Shopify site that doesn’t add lots of new products then adding a blog and posting often will help, we’ll get to how often later.

Social media is another thing that search engines look at. Your instagram posts, TikTok videos, and Facebook updates all count. Google, which owns YouTube, not surprisingly favors video and YouTube channels. You can see where it starts to look like a racket.

So what tools do Search Engines use to determine what’s new?

Search engines use web crawlers to visit websites and index their content. When a web crawler visits a website, it looks for new content that has been added since the last time the website was crawled. Google’s web crawler, Googlebot, typically crawls popular websites several times a day, while it may only crawl less popular websites once a week or even less often.

There are things that admins and website owners can do to encourage web crawlers to crawl their websites more frequently. One is to make sure that their websites are well-indexed and that they use the right keywords and phrases throughout their content. If you are not sure how to do that there are apps that will streamline the process. Shopify has over 500 in their app store. 

Don’t get mad at Google, outsmart it! Having trouble getting your site to rank well? Wondering how to get to the top positions without paying for placement? Google is just an algorithm, once you understand how it works, you can learn how to outsmart it. Download your copy today!

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Crawler-friendly web design

Your website’s design can make a big difference in how often it is crawled by web crawlers. Make sure your website is designed in a way that is easy for web crawlers to navigate. Important safety tip: none of that has anything to do with what you can see or even if it looks good. You can have a visually stunning website that is simply awful for web crawlers. Remember, web crawlers are machines, they don’t have taste, they aren’t cool, hip or even alive. They only understand what you tell them with words. So what does a website that’s beautiful to web crawlers  look like? It looks the same as one that is ugly to web crawlers until you get into nitty gritty. Web crawlers want images that are named for what they show with alt tags and meta descriptions. They like URLs that are all short, concise and help describe where they lead. Don’t use URL shortening services like Bitly unless necessary. Web crawlers may have difficulty crawling and indexing shortened links, because shortened links often contain no information about the destination page, making it difficult for web crawlers to understand what the page is about.

Avoid using Javascript and Flash, and be sure to provide alt text for all images and videos. Using an SEO app that scores your content is a good idea. It’s easy to miss things and having a machine point out what the machines are looking for just makes sense. It is literally the blind showing you how to lead the blind.

Submit your website to search engines

If you are a new site, or if you don’t think your site is being crawled, you should submit your website to search engines through Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Submitting to these two will tell all the search engines that your website exists and that you want it to be indexed. You only have to do this once. If you want to see if your site has already been indexed you can check in any browser by using the site: operator. Simply type site: followed by the URL of your website into the Google and Bing search bars. If your website appears, you are being indexed.

So what is the right amount of freshness?

The sweet spot for most sites is posting two to three times per week. This gives you enough time to produce high-quality content while still keeping your audience engaged. If you can’t afford a content creator, and you have other time pressures, do your best. Freshness is important, but not the only thing that search engines look at. It’s better to have high quality content on a regular basis than crap every day. If you are a Shopify store and want an easy way to boost your engagement stats check out Stylaquin.

If you’d like to see this content in video form click here or visit our Hump Day Bar Hopping page where you’ll find all the fun and informative Hump Day Bar Hopping with Stylaquin videos.