Did you know Google determines where your business lands on the list of search results? It’s true. And Google’s search algorithm favors sites that update frequently. To keep your website at the top of users’ search results and maintain customer interest, you need to keep your content fresh. Here are five simple ways to do just that.

1.    Refresh your homepage once a month

Your customers (and Google!) want to see new content. Advertise specials, change your photos to fit the season and lose that bio of the employee who hasn’t worked there for years. Small changes can make a big difference to your search results ranking.

Don’t stop at your website. It’s just as important (if not more) to keep your social media content relevant and fresh. Best practices suggest you should post a minimum of once or twice a week to remain top of mind. This can be as simple as an aesthetically pleasing photo of a product with a small caption. Nothing crazy is needed, just keep that digital face fresh!

2.    Avoid giving off outdated vibes

Check your website and other forms of business communications to ensure they’re free of outdated content. Promoting a past event on your site or inside your store can make you seem behind the times and may cause consumers to lose focus of what you're trying to promote. Be on the lookout for outdated lingo like “New product,” “Sale” and “Coming this Spring.” Have a bulletin board promoting other businesses? Make sure past events are taken down. It’s just another way to show your customers that you care about the upkeep of your store.

Be mindful of how you write moving forward. For example, say exact dates instead of “last year.” Writing yourself notes or setting alarms for when you need to remove specific dates can help. There’s also nothing worse than a consumer realizing you’re out of stock, so make sure you’re on top of those communications too!

When you are promoting a special, make sure it’s making it onto your website and social media. Some consumers only use one or the other, so it’s important any marketing you’re trying to push ends up on both.

3.    Ensure your Google Business profile is accurate

It’s never a good feeling when you go to open the door of a store and it ends up being closed when Google said it would be open. If you're changing your hours even for a temporary amount of time, make sure you make that change in your Google Business profile. Don’t have an account? Get on it ASAP. It's free, easy to do and 97% of consumers search for businesses online. And, of course, get those last-minute closings up on social too!


4.    Think like the shopper

Getting a bunch of questions about a certain product or service? Create a frequently asked questions page or a blurb right on your homepage that provides more details. This will give you more time back and help your rank on Google because you’re using the same words people are searching. Google will connect that and bring your website closer to the top of results (in a nutshell, this is called search engine optimization, or SEO for short, but that’s a blog for another time).

Don’t forget to harness social media too! Ensure your social handles are on your website and your website is in your social media bio. Cross-pollinate and dominate!


5.    Find fresh ways to plug your site

In addition to sites like Yelp, most cities have localized websites dedicated to where to eat, visit, shop, etc., like Step Out Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, or the Baltimore Magazine in Baltimore, MD. Getting your business on these sites is a great way to expand your reach. You can offer people a discount to leave a review to make your company more credible. Your site can even be featured on our virtual Spotlight Shop! #ShamelessPlug

It sure would be nice if you could just build your site and leave it to do its thing, but unfortunately, like all aspects of running a small business, it needs your time and attention to work the best. We hope these tips and tricks make it a little easier for you.

The content of this page is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.
Google is a trademark of Google LLC. M&T Bank is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored or otherwise authorized by Google LLC.