Believe it or not, there is an important SEO lesson to be learned from department store window dressing. Really. Now that the holiday shopping season in coming to a close, the example may be more relevant at this point than during any other time of the year.
If you’re lucky enough to have spent the holidays in a city with a luxury department store such as Barneys, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Harrods or Bergdorf Goodman, you’ve no doubt been treated to a wealth of eye-catching window displays that reflect the current signs, scenes and trinkets of the season. Press your nose to any glass front and see glittering new merchandise standing ready against a backdrop of striking color and design meant to whet your appetite for shopping.
In a town like New York, window dressing is big business. When the time is right, some folks actually travel great distances to see what entrancing new displays have been created by the window dressers who work for the big department stores in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. So, imagine the disappointment and frustration that travelling gawkers would experience if the window dressers at Neiman Marcus took the season off and left nothing new in their window displays but tired old merchandise leftover from the previous summer lines. It will never happen, by the way.
Keeping the Content King in Power
Professional window dressers, like seasoned web marketers, know that content is king – and that fresh content keeps the king in power. Take a season off and your customers will travel down the block to a department store with new merchandise on display and spend their time and their money there – with your competitor.
At this point, I think that everyone reading gets it. Your website or blog requires new, relevant content on a regular basis to affect a dynamic appearance that retains regular visitors and attracts new business from search traffic. It’s no secret that Google, and the other search engines, want to deliver traffic to websites that offer information seekers something new. Therefore, when it comes to marketing your business or services online, what you have to say is as important as how often you say it. But don’t sacrifice quality for persistence.
The good news about fresh content is this: there will never be an algorithm change that will penalize good information or fresh content on any given subject. The not-so-good news is that fresh content does take some research, planning and thought (and a little editing) so that what you post to your site or your blog is quality.
For example: you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is actively seeking a blog article about unboxing a first-gen Apple iPhone (c. June 2007) that included no particular wealth of product information. The freshness and quality score for such an article on the first-gen iPhone is zero. So, why bother writing content for a non-existent audience, when you can write another article that makes wild predictions about the hotly-rumored iPhone 5 and see traffic soar?
In other words: if you want to see ongoing SEO success, don’t litter up the information highway.