How to Update Your Website Content with SEO in Mind
If your website is ranking in online search, you may be wondering if adding or updating your website content could potentially affect your SEO. Depending on how you do it, modifying the content on your website can either hurt or benefit your SEO. In this episode, Jesse, Bob, and Sue discuss SEO strategies to update your website content the right way and what content should be off-limits.
If you’ve got questions about SEO or digital marketing, reach out to us today and let us know! Whether you’re sending us an email or giving us a call, we’d love to hear your questions and hopefully provide insights for you and other listeners.
Thanks for checking us out, and enjoy the show!
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What you'll learn
- When adding website content can negatively affect your SEO
- Why having an SEO strategy for new website content is valuable
- What types of new content you should be updating on your website
Jesse Dolan: Changing your content won't negatively impact your SEO if you do it the right way, right? There's a big asterisk there. It sure as heck can screw up a lot of things. But broadly, no it shouldn't, as long as you're doing it the right way.
Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I'm your host, Jesse Dolan. Joining today we got Bob Brennan, Sue Ginsburg.
Sue Ginsburg: Hi.
Jesse Dolan: As usual when the three of us are together, we're here to tackle a question and shed some light on some SEO topics. Sue, what do you have in store for us on this one?
Sue Ginsburg: Okay. Today listener question and a client question that I've heard more than from this one person. And that is, does making changes to your website negatively affect SEO? This question was asked by Dawn Berkowitz of Rock the Treatment, a new client for us, and a terrific business who makes and sends gift boxes for cancer patients going through chemo, radiation, or other extreme treatments. And what's great about their business is that the gift boxes are customized for those side effects for exactly these things. Really, really nice thoughtful gift for somebody to send to somebody going through that.
Jesse Dolan: Hey Sue, I got to interject because I was on some of those meetings. Legitimately, if anybody's in this space like free plug for her of wanting to do something nice for somebody that's in treatment and whatnot, she's curated these things. Every item is like a heartfelt selection for a very specific purpose where they at in their treatment, what treatment? No joke, rockthetreatment.com hopefully will help get her more visibility to improve it. But as of right now, yeah, from a human being standpoint, she's amazing. What she does to get these basket baskets together, or fulfill special requests. She's a superhero. So check it out. Anybody that's in that space, can't say enough things about her.
Bob Brennan: That is cool.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah.
Sue Ginsburg: It's very, very, very true. Very true. And I agree with you on that. So quote of the day today, marketing's job is never done. It's about perpetual motion. This is a quote from Beth Comstock, a former high level exec for GE and other organizations in business innovations and other areas. Really sharp lady. And I like that. Marketing's job is never done.
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely.
Sue Ginsburg: It's about perpetual motion.
Jesse Dolan: True story.
Sue Ginsburg: So today's marketing story to set this up and speaking with a lot of businesses, I'm sometimes asked if changing content will hurt your SEO, taking a page from Jesse's book, my answer to this is always, it depends. SEO definitely includes, or I'll say often includes at least the way we do it, definitely includes, optimizing the content on your website, both revising and adding content to optimize it for your keywords, which is what SEO is. A good SEO firm knows how to add and change content to strengthen your online presence and have a positive impact on the website. So when could changing the content on your website hurt your online presence and your SEO?
We've seen situations where there are multiple parties from a client working on your website in different capacities could be us and SEO, paid ads, website maintenance, some development or other reasons. And sometimes the changes that other parties working on the website may make, does reduce the impact of SEO. When we're working with the client who has other resources who have their hands in the website, the legitimate reasons, we have a kickoff call for everyone to get to know what each party will be doing on the website. And then the boundaries of what not to do when to ask us first, when to tell us, et cetera, et cetera. So that everybody's work can be done without negatively affecting what the other people are doing.
This works really well and allows everybody to do their work, have the website, be up, running, optimized for SEO and without, without disrupting any other work on the website. Without this communication, changes to the website may hurt SEO. That's my experience with whether changing content hurts your SEO or not. And now I would love to hear what the experts have to say from your experience and knowledge, Jesse and Bob.
Jesse Dolan: I'll kick it off. Bob. I think Sue, that was an interesting angle. I had some more direct SEO stuff, but you're absolutely right on that, right? Yeah, for sure. It depends, but that angle is definitely worth knowing for everybody, I think broadly. Yeah. So no, changing your content won't negatively impact your SEO if you do it the right way, right? There's a big asterisks there. It sure as heck can screw up a lot of things, but broadly know it shouldn't as long as you're, you're doing it the right way. So diving into some of that, your point about communication and that part of it, I guess overrides all this or goes into association with it. A few things I want to point out and both of you, Bob, interject from business owner standpoint, maybe where some of these might be real world use case or to open up on them.
But I think a few points for everybody is, let me contradict myself and start where it will hurt you or can hurt you outside of bad communication or people being unaware. Is if you're messing with a page that is a high ranking page. So if you have a page that's dominant for whatever term you're going for, you'd always want to treat that page and the content on that page with kid gloves. There's certain areas on every page for SEO that have good value, your H1s, your headlines, bullet pointed lists, titles, descriptions. There's certain key areas for SEO that we use to manipulate, hopefully the rankings and the focus of the page. If you are ranking on a certain page for a certain keyword, and if that keyword or related phrases are in those key areas, I would try to avoid that because updating content or updating a page, it's very broad term.
What does that mean? Does that mean rewriting the whole page? Does that mean adding a new photo? Does that mean as a business we're changing our hours, we're open until 6:00 PM instead of 5:00 PM. So these can be small little changes, but without getting into the nuance of what that change is broadly speaking, a well ranking page for a targeted keyword should have certain parts of it that are off limits. Those key SEO areas. Don't screw that up, because you don't want to mess up your ranking, but modifying more the supplemental areas of the page, business information. Maybe there's a certain date for a certain promotion. You're okay. You're okay.
And it's something that I wouldn't even say is you shouldn't shy away from it, generally speaking. Go ahead. You want fresh, good, accurate up to date content. And as a business, you're going to change the content on your website. For SEO. It's understanding what made that page rank and don't screw with that, right?
So that's talking about on a per page basis where that actual page ranks, but also people need to think broadly that when we talk about updating the website or updating pages, what we're talking about here. There's certain parts on your webpage. Maybe it's like your organizational schema or your site wide schema, there's certain parts that are going to be relevant to all pages. Maybe the footer on your website or the logo on the top left corner. These areas are not going to be as specific to a certain page ranking in a certain way. But also you're going to want to think about that, right? If your homepage was ranking very good and you change your logo, maybe you didn't include the name of your business as your logo file name, there's little things like that that can make a difference when it's not on a particular page and it impacts all pages. But generally speaking, those things are going to be fairly safe, again, as long as you're not doing something that was a key SEO tactic.
An example here I have on that is on a lot of sites, we like to put a link to the Google business profile in the footer. Maybe interactive map, or an image that links to that map. You wouldn't want to break that right? Or unlink that connection to the GBP, for example, which it might be on every page. So understand the things that you're doing broadly. If it's something that you think is maybe for this one page, but it's on every page, be aware of the implications there. And then when you're modifying that page, that is ranking already in Google, well, treat it very, very carefully.
Now, if you have a page that's not ranking, go crazy. What are you scared of? You know what I mean? Reinvent the entire page, rearrange it. You're really not going to break anything from a ranking and an SEO standpoint. So gloves are off on that. If you have a page that is ranking okay, but not dominant, then you're in the middle of that. If there's certain things like your H1s, where you're nailing a keyword or whatever, I wouldn't reinvent the whole page, but now you're going to be looking at what are your competitors doing that you're not. Some of that stuff, or what is Google favoring? What do they want? You may rewrite the actual paragraph content on those pages and be fine too. Just pay attention if your rankings drop afterwards. Hey, that was an area that was critical and try to regain that, but you should be okay in those areas as well.
Two other chunks here to comment on. This is mainly about expected changes, I guess is the way to phrase it on your website. Easy example, here is things that are seasonal. You may have a promotion that runs every season, maybe you're, I don't know, sporting goods store, right? Then you have different sports are in season, things like that. And there is a right and a wrong way, for our opinion on how to do this for SEO. One way, people will update their content for seasonal is, let's say it's your homepage and you're adding or deleting maybe the bulk of your homepage every season. I want football to be featured. So we change the homepage. Now it's all football. In the winter it's ice hockey up here in Minnesota. So now it's all about ice hockey. That would be something that we would say would be a negative for SEO.
Instead, what we're going to want to have is are those existing pages for each season pages about football pages about fall sports. However you want to classify these things. Those pages will be out there and remain static and constant, able to be served up by Google. And with respect to your homepage, you'll have an area, maybe it's the above, the fold hero image or something close to the top of the page. You'll have a section that you switch out and then link back or push people to that page that's always there.
And so that might seem maybe not as important, but there's some nuance there that you're keeping a page that's static the football page and not changing it. You're promoting that page on your homepage and the amount of changes you would make to the homepage, they are very minimal. Maybe it's a banner ad. Maybe it's an image with a call to action, maybe a little bit of text, because you're still going to want that frequent change. If you're a business that maybe there's a weekly special, weekly promo, you're prone to constant changing. Then you have to set up a format that allows you to still do that and give people the information that they need to see on a changing basis. But some of your things that are very important for SEO and your static pages to keep ranking, no matter what season it is, you don't want to touch those though.
So if that makes sense, that's the strategy that we deploy to be able to do both of those things change and have frequent updates on primary pages that people are navigating to, but yet have it stay static and ranking those niche pages with an SEO, cause you still want your football jerseys page or your football gear page to rank in the spring, the summer, the fall, the winter. You want it to be number one all the time. It's when are you calling attention to it within your store, in that case?
And then the other area for changing would be something that I'm going to put in a slightly different bucket, which is adding new content. People will think sometimes I shouldn't even add new pages to my website. Am I going to mess up my SEO? Am I going to mess up my website? And I want to remind everybody here that Google serves us up individual pages in results. So if you add a new product or service page to your website to feature it, that should, if you're doing a right only enhance your chances and your possible rankings for those keywords, as long as you're not being crazy spammy, having 75 pages about the exact same thing.
We're talking about, you didn't have a piece of content on your website that talked about this product or service, adding that, changing that, your website is only going to be a good thing as long as you're making that page the spot where this information is. You don't want your homepage to be ranking for that thing as well. Almost getting into duplicate content on your website, if you will, to use that term.
So that's totally okay to do so. You can do seasonal stuff, keep static pages and switch out your promotions to those pages on your primary pages. Add new pages for every product or service. You can go ahead and do that. Don't mess up any pages that are your high ranking and identified like primary traffic generating and ranking pages. Use a lot of caution on those. And then broadly, if you're doing things that are impactful on all pages on your website, make sure you know what you're doing first before you start pushing buttons.
So like I said, in the beginning a lot a short answer is no, it shouldn't be a problem changing and updating content on your pages with respect to SEO, but there definitely is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Without question.
Hey everyone, a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localSEOtactics.com. And we'll get right back to the show. If you haven't taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localSEOtactics.com/freeSEOaudit, or look for the yellow button up on the top, right corner, click that. And it's going to take a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you want to optimize, what you're looking for the audit to score against, enter in that page, enter in the keyword. You're looking to get optimized for and enter in your email address, click the button. It's going to take you a few seconds and then it's going to send you off a PDF report via email. It's a great report. It's going to give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large, even though it's auditing this page, that's going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to shore up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page, for that keyword that you're auditing.
Now, you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors. If you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they're scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good, that you're not. And some things to improve there. So lots of different ways to use it completely free. Again, go on at the localSEOtactics.com/freeSEOaudit. Or I look for the yellow button in the top, right corner of the website.
What do you guys think. Does that make sense?
Bob Brennan: So, your client, I'm still thinking about your client, that's great service. Just thinking about the possibilities that they have, because we're all affected by cancer. As we speak, I have a cousin who's struggling with cancer that I would use their product. And to that end, as far as content goes and broadly again, the question was making changes. Was that right?
Jesse Dolan: Yep.
Bob Brennan: Sue, general making changes. I mean, though, you shouldn't be intimidated by making changes on your website. Now that being said, you shouldn't haphazardly do it. Obviously you need somebody, a guide to help you with that or execute it for you. But my mindset as a business owner in terms of our website, wow, it's like a great sales person or even a sales manager in that you need to give the tools to it. You need to put the effort to it.
And in this day and age, at least with small business, you continually need to be adding content. And with the service that these folks are providing Rock Treatment in terms of, it's a wonderful, beautiful product that it's right for them to have another platform to talk about the journey and the struggle of cancer and to share all their tips and challenges. And for those of us that are probably going to be going through it at some point sooner than later. And so again, it goes back to even a podcast or YouTube video or YouTube channel literally on this topic. And it's going to seem strange putting a lot of time energy into it for the first, let's say six months, but then it's going to come back to them and in multiple waves in terms of people utilizing their service. So being an advocate for even the caregivers and everything else in the cancer journey, they have to continually change their website in my opinion, in terms of all the great things and knowledge that they can add to things.
So that's my two cents. I mean, when they can, they need to ramp up in this area because their business will, once they do that, their business will either, will easily double and triple. And it's getting the word out in a contemporary way, which is YouTube, podcast, where if you're been diagnosed with breast cancer and you're looking for support, you're going to go to podcast and say breast cancer survivors or breast cancer journey or whatever the case is, create that podcast in the name of that keyword search. And that's another platform that you're now exposing everybody to what it is you can do to help them. And so I'm huge, obviously this is the business we're in, but I'm a huge advocate of you need to consistently be adding and changing your website and somebody that says you shouldn't, well, I don't know what to tell you. They don't have their head on right. This is a deal where you got to get your head in the game on this. And I think once you do, it's going to easily double your business.
Jesse Dolan: And you talk about changing content web, I'm sorry, Sue, blog posting, all that stuff, right?
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: That's a great example of you're going to be forcing new content, new changes you're upset out there and that's fine.
Bob Brennan: Google wants to see that they want to see that you have a library content and that you're an expert in what it is you're doing.
Sue Ginsburg: What I was going to say, and also to your point, Bob, is why would somebody be saying that changing your website would be hurting your SEO? I can't even think of why somebody would say that.
Bob Brennan: No, I mean, the only thing is not like Jesse mentioned not doing it right. Or messing with sites or I'm sorry, pages that are actually ranking real well, I get that to some degree, but I would rather see somebody err in putting too much and dial it back than nothing at all. And it's crickets. And particularly for them, they have a nationwide or international service essentially that they can be providing. They need to get out at that level. And once they're out at that level, it's nuts. And in fact not to go too far sideways is they could actually be a very good candidate for advertising on other podcast that are somehow germane to let's say the medical industry or health industry, other people that have Peter Itia and other podcasters that I think they would do very well in that venue as well.
Sue Ginsburg: Well, and I think it's not for Google's standpoint and their algorithms and feeding the Google machine so you show up in searches, but it's also for visitors to go back to the website and see something new keeps you coming back.
Bob Brennan: Right. No. And you may find yourself ranking for, yes, you did something on content, but then all of a sudden you didn't realize that this cancer, for instance, is unfortunately a growing cancer. And then all of a sudden you're people that come to your website and for her, I mean what's nice about what she's doing is she could link and back link to many other sites that would help in that effort. Anything from local hospitals that have a cancer treatment center, you know what I mean? There's so many things that the topic is unfortunately not short on searches and popularity and everything else.
Jesse Dolan: For sure.
Sue Ginsburg: Well, I'm glad to hear that from both of you, because it goes against everything that I've ever known or learned about what you need to do to rank high in searches.
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Sue Ginsburg: Doesn't make sense.
Bob Brennan: Yeah. This is a business that's not, this isn't a paper route or a construction business. This is a business that I you're either passionate about helping people. And if you're not, you're going to be short lived. And so this person, I would guess lives, breathes and eats this. Yeah. This is a mission. It's a ministry. You can't be a business where it's not going to work out.
Sue Ginsburg: Great. Anything else to add Jesse?
Jesse Dolan: Nope. As a broad statement saying you can't modify your content, because it hurts SEO is blatantly wrong. But as you said on the front side, it depends. You can do it the wrong way and that's what we're all reinforcing. So yeah. When in doubt, reach out to Sue, reach out to us and we can give you some advice.
Sue Ginsburg: That's great. Okay. Thank you for that great insight from both of you. If you remember one thing and one thing only, remember this. An experienced SEO resource will likely be adding and changing content strategically and in the right way to your website, as part of their SEO process. If someone tells you that changing your content will hurt your SEO, it's worth probing on what they mean by that, to make sure that they truly understand how to optimize your website, to attract more leads online. It's the only thing I can think of. And tying back to the quote of the day. Marketing's job is never done. It's about perpetual motion. Thank you, Beth Comstock, former exec for GE and other organizations.
Jesse Dolan: Never done. You're going to update your content, right?
Sue Ginsburg: That's right.
Jesse Dolan: Good question. Like you said, definitely came directly from that client, but something that we hear in other ways very often when talking about the prospects. So good topic. Hopefully it helps some people out. If you're listening or watching, if you have a question on this topic or something tangential or even completely different, whatever it is, if it's about a local SEO, we'd like to hear it. We'd like to help you answer it, help you out directly and everybody else that's listening. And that probably has the same question going out to localSEOtactics.com. Scroll down to the bottom, click in the button for questions. You can call in a question. You can submit a question, we'd love to hear from you. Now, if you haven't done that yet, something's in your craw, jump down there and sit on and over and we'll tackle it on one of the future episodes. Bob, thanks for hanging out. Sue, thanks for hanging out. Good episode.