Refreshing Website Content: The Benefits and Process [Template]

Like everything else out there, website content ages. Sometimes it ages well, but oftentimes it becomes outdated or, even worse, no longer helpful. By reviewing and refreshing website content on a regular basis, you can keep your website interesting and useful for your nonprofit’s community.

A content refresh can include everything from updating for clarity, to making adjustments based on new things you’ve discovered about your target audience, to weaving in new resources.

Let’s walk through the benefits of refreshing website content before digging into which pages to focus on and potential content updates to consider.

The Benefits of Refreshing Website Content

The content on your website performs a variety of different duties for your nonprofit, telling your stories, sharing important details on programs and services, convincing visitors to act, and more.

A refresh helps you to:

  • Ensure the content on your site is accurate and up to date
  • Improve conversions for the website goals that matter most
  • Cater to your audience’s current needs
  • Increase visits to your website

Aside from better assisting website visitors, improving your website content can have the added benefit of improving your ranking in search engine results. Who wouldn’t want more website visitors?!

How Do I Determine What to Refresh?

While it would be great to give your whole website a once-over, we know that time is of the essence for nonprofit marketers. Instead, focus on those pages that have the potential to bring the most benefit or cause the most damage in their current states.

Look to the data

If your website is set up with a measurement tool like Google Analytics, use data to determine which pages could be causing issues.

Think about what’s changed

It’s likely that things have changed since you last revisited your website content. These could be small adjustments, like an additional eligibility requirement for a specific program and a new guide or resource that can be linked throughout the site. Or there could be more far-reaching changes, like a new target audience persona to incorporate.

Think about recent changes in your organization, resources, programs and audience. What pages on your site are affected?

What about blog posts?

I’m so glad you asked. Because of the timely nature of blog posts, there’s no reason to include them in these regular updates. However, if there are posts you regularly link to and use throughout your communications, it’s a good idea to revisit those key posts when refreshing website content. You wouldn’t want to send visitors to an outdated post.

When you make updates to blog posts, consider adding a note at the top of the post to let visitors know that it’s been refreshed. For example, we recently updated this popular blog post from 2014 with fresh examples and tips.

And, for more significant updates to posts, you could even re-publish the post with a new published date.

Check-in annually

While there’s not necessarily a hard and fast timeline, it’s a good idea to consider refreshing your website content once a year. Add it to your checklist of annual website maintenance tasks. You may not make changes to every page every year, but going through the process of reading through the site and looking for improvements is a great way to keep your site helpful and interesting while preventing confusion.

What Updates Should I Make?

Now that you know what pages you’ll be refreshing, work through this list of questions to add or replace information, improve clarity and work toward your goals.

  • What could be better or more helpful for the page’s audience?
  • Is there any outdated information (or images) that should be replaced?
  • Are there new details that would be helpful for visitors to know?
  • Does the tone of the page speak to its target audience?
  • What distractions can you remove?
  • What new resources can you include?
  • Is there a call to action on the page? Can it be clarified or strengthened?
  • Are there other improvements that could give website goals a boost?
  • Does it follow best practices for accessibility?
  • Is the page optimized for search engines?
  • Does it include relevant internal links for visitors to explore other pages of your site?

If you don’t have time to work through edits to all of the pages now, make notes on the updates needed for each page on your list. When you do have time to make the updates, a list of needed updates can make the task much less daunting.

Keep Track of Pages and Updates

Grab our template to keep track of the website content updates you’ve made and those that you still need to work through. There’s no need to wonder what has or had not already been refreshed a year from now.

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To help contextualize your website data, you can keep track of completed updates directly in Google Analytics with annotations as well.

As you work toward updating and improving your website incrementally, a master spreadsheet to keep track of it all will be a lifesaver. Add all of the pages on your site to the list, note what needs to be changed and the date that it’s been updated. You’ll thank yourself when the next annual refresh comes along!

What questions do you have about refreshing website content? Have you worked through the process at your organization? Any tips that you’d add? Let us know in the comments below.