When a website is created, a few drafts of each page are written the final draft is checked and approved, and then it’s uploaded to the website. There the writing sits, unchanging, as if it were carved in stone.
But that's not right and it’s certainly not good search engine optimization (SEO). The dynamics around each page will always be changing:
- New pages will be linked to existing pages.
- Information may have become dated or there is better information to offer in its place.
- You may think of better ways to express the topical ideas.
- The addition of new pages to the site may shift the purpose or role of other pages.
If you're writing sites for yourself …
If you're writing your own websites, review your pages from time to time and consider the shifting relationships between connected pages, old and new. You'll almost always find a way to make improvements. A shift in emphasis. The addition or deletion of links. A change in the text used for links.
Also, keep an eye on what is happening outside of your website. Has there been a shift in the number and kind of sites linking to your pages? Should that lead to some changes in what you first wrote?
And how about keywords? Are the phrases that worked well for you when you first wrote the page now a little out of date? Are there new buzzwords being used? Are new or better phrases becoming more popular? As the language shifts and changes in the universe of sites that link to your site, you may want to edit some of the titles, headings, and text you first wrote.
If you're writing for an employer or as a freelancer …
If you work for an employer, you should raise your hand and let your managers know when web pages need to be updated. You'll need to put a review system in place. You need to allocate time to do this and someone needs to be tasked with keeping his or her finger on the pulse of your most important pages. Are they working as hard as they can? Are they still relevant? Is the information current or can it be updated?
If you work as a freelancer, here is an opportunity to expand on every new project. Grow the scope of your relationship with your client by pointing out the need to have someone watch over the site and suggest updates and revisions as they become necessary or even just desirable. And, sometimes one page can turn into a several page assignment by keeping search engine optimization techniques in mind.
Concluding thoughts …
Websites can become dated quite quickly. Relationships between pages can lose their purpose and their relevance. Some pages need to be replaced, others need to be updated or simply improved, sometimes in minor but important ways.
A website is dynamic, always, meaning there never is a final draft, not for any page.