Why regular content is so important for websites from both an SEO and consumer engagement perspective

By Andreas Pouros | 06 May 2011

Regular content production is key to achieving broad and high search engine rankings. There are three main reasons why:

1. The alignment of content to user search behaviour

If you produce new content regularly, you are highly likely to be focusing on things that are quite timely and therefore aligned to people's search queries at that time, which then leads directly to more traffic to your site. This is particularly the case if you operate in a space that is heavy on transient subject matter or in a generally fast-paced sector, e.g. music, news, politics, technology, etc.

2. The correlation between content regularity and search engine visit frequency

The more regularly you update or add content to your site, the greater will be the regularity with which the search engines visit your site and take your content back to their indexes. This means that any changes you make to your site will materialise in a search engine's index a lot faster as you've 'trained' the search engine spiders to visit more often in anticipation of new content. For many sectors this is incredibly beneficial particularly if you're responding to something that has just happened, like breaking news, as your content will make it into the search results before anyone else's manages to and you'll therefore secure much of the initial traffic associated to that story or theme until such time as the other content providers have their new content indexed and join you in the results.

3. It increases the number and quality of inbound links

Regular content increases the likelihood of your content, and therefore your site, being linked to by other websites. People tend to link to content that is important right now - again, like breaking news or themes that are currently trending in social media. The more links you secure from third party sites the higher your rankings will be, which in turn results in more visibility for your site and more traffic.

The three SEO benefits of regular content production summarised above suggest that some types of content will perform better than others for you, at least from an SEO perspective. For maximum SEO benefit your regular content should be:

 - Unique to avoid duplication penalties imposed by the search engines

- Linked to from your homepage, or at the very least from your sitemaps, to facilitate fast and effective indexation by the search engines

- Focussed on topics and themes that people are interested in right now

- Published as regularly as you can manage - Google visits the BBC website hourly because it has always found new content when it visits and so has reduced the visit interval

Regular content production is one of the great areas where what is good for search engines is also good for your readers so new, regular content really does provide a more substantial benefit than you might initially think!