In order to keep your visitors coming back for more, it is generally a good idea to be constantly making changes to your web site. For example, on this site there are anywhere from half a dozen to two dozen articles added each week, as well as dozens or even hundreds of changes here and there.
You should, of course, be keeping your visitors informed of these changes by sending them a newsletter (if they sign up for it). To make things even easier for them, you should also include a “What’s New” page on your site. And finally, to make it even simpler, you’d be well advised to list new sections or changes on your home page (and perhaps in each major section).
Isn’t this all a bit of work? Is it all really necessary?
The answer to both questions is “yes”. It can be a lot of work to not only keep track of changed pages, but to filter out minor changes so as to only include those things of interest to your visitors.
Is it necessary? By all means. You see, even if you have the best navigation system in the world, your visitors still need to be lead to those articles and pages which will be of interest. And presumably, if you’ve written something new it will be of interest.
This is especially true if:
- Your web site (like Search Engine Optimization) is constantly changing
- You have a large site
- You have a desire to lead your visitors to specific pages
Okay, so if you list new articles on your home page, why would you want to duplicate that material on it’s own page?
Well, our site has between one and two dozen new or changed articles written each week. These are listed in a What’s New section on the home page. A full month’s worth of the changes are also listed on a changes page all of their own, with previous months changes pages linked together.
One thing we do is submit the monthly changes page to the major search engines each month. This hand-feeds a list of modified articles so that they quickly and efficiently get spidered and added to the search engine indexes.
Another good reason for this work is it creates the impression (hopefully true) that you are constantly changing and adding material. This makes your site much more valuable to people, so they are more likely to come back more often, just to see what’s changed.
If your site does not change very often, then you’d be well advise to name the section and/or page something other than “what’s new”. This is because your visitors will quickly determine that this is not new material and will come to the conclusion that they do not need to come back at all. In this case, name your section “important articles” or “featured selections” or something like that.
So yeah, I know it’s a lot of work. But you’ve worked hard to get each and every person to your site. You want them to come back and you want them to have an easy time getting around when they do.