Consistently Updated Quality Content Is King
I've put together quite a few websites in my day. While none of them
have reached the massive popularity of a Google or Digg, a few of them
have been moderately successful. One way to measure website popularity
is through the site Alexa.com. Alexa ranks your site based on how many
visitors view your site that are using the Alexa toolbar. While this is
a flawed view of Internet traffic (it's only looking at Alexa toolbar
users), I feel it still gives you a general idea of where your site
stands amongst all the others out there. At their heiyday, a couple of
my sites have average in the top 100,000 websites in the world and have
on occasion dipped down below the 100,000 mark.
Sadly none of them rank that high anymore, and I blame content on my
sites for that, or more accurately a lack of new content on a constant
You can have the greatest site ever, but if there aren't consistent
updates to said greatest site ever, your viewers aren't going to keep
coming back. Why would they? If you've read everything at a site, do
you really want to return and read the same stuff again? If I went to
CNN.com and they had the same top story posted for several days,
chances are that I would read it once and then look elsewhere for
something more up to date.
And just like in the world of business or consumer goods or roadside
fireworks sales, it's a lot more cost effective to keep a current
customer (viewer) than to get a new one. Getting someone new requires
marketing your site (paid advertising, getting links out on other
sites, dropping leaflets of paper with your URL from a plane). Your
current viewers though, they know you and they want to come back
because they like you... but they'll only keep coming back so long as
there is a reason to come back. Give them that reason!
The best way to keep a viewers coming back is consistent updates. If
you're a news posting site, you need to make sure you get news up
quickly (don't overlook accuracy though). If you run on a site that
relies on posting articles/stories, keep a consistency in updates there
too. I like (when I have time) to try and keep a schedule of weekday
updates, or updates every other weekday. If people know that something
new will be on your site every Monday, there's a good chance they'll
stop by Monday or Tuesday to check it out.
User generated content is another great way to keep them coming back.
An active comments section for articles or active forum are great ways
to keep people interested between the updates you do to your site.
Don't overlook using a poll either, a good poll topic could draw
someone back who wants to see the results after a few more votes are
Now that I've told you to post often to your site, I want to tell you
not to post for the sake of posting. If you're going to post something
on your site, make sure it's something worthwhile to read. If your
viewers like your articles, they'll come back for more (and new viewers
will probably dig into your archives). If your viewers on the other
hand hate your articles and feels that they have wasted a couple
minutes of their lives that they can never get back, the chances of
those viewer ever coming back to your site, consistent updates or not,
are pretty slim.
So quality content updated often. Simple enough right?
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