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Why on earth do you have Latest News on your website?

Why on earth do you have Latest News on your website?

By Jim Thompson

Answer me this question – when was the last time you visited another professional service firm’s website to see if there was any new news of interest to you there?

Yes, I thought so – never.

I probably don’t need to write anymore but for the sake of the exercise let’s have a look at some of the reasons it might be a good idea.

Who is your website for?

Before I do, it’s important to consider who is visiting your website.

  • With the absence of yellow pages and phone books your highest traffic is probably people who already know you and are just looking for your phone number.
  • People you have met or have heard of you and are checking to see that you exist, or if what you or someone else told them about you corresponds to your website.
  • People searching for what you do and are lucky enough to have stumbled across your website.
  • People looking for a job or to sell you something.
  • You or your staff.
  • People who landed there but were looking for something or someone else.

In a nutshell that’s about it, I can tell you none of them are visiting to read your latest news articles.

And what is “latest news” anyway?

  • You won an award or a new client.
  • You are moving or opening new offices.
  • You have launched some new product or campaign.
  • You have launched a new website!
  • You have a new staff member.
  • There is a change in the law or the government has just released in the new budget.

Who is the “News” for?

It seems to me, most of the “news” is about yourself and therefore far more interesting to you than your website visitors. I’m a potential client for most of you and I can tell you I have zero interest in any of the above and it would have zero bearing on my buying decision.

And if I was your client, the only reason I can think of to re-visit your website without a prompt would be to find your phone number. I’m not alone here, you’re most likely the same.

Why have the latest news on your website?

if your website visitors aren’t coming to read your news why make the effort and why chew up valuable space on your website with it? Here are few reasons you might think.

It makes you look like you are keeping your website up to date.

 “there is nothing worse than having a news article that is 2 years old on the home page, it’s not a good look”.

I’ve heard many times, and to some extent it’s true. But if you don’t have anything there in the first place then that’s not a problem and that’s a hell of a lot of time and effort just to “look” up to date.

Google likes it

Yes, Google likes up to date relevant content which you should produce. But it cares even less about your awards, clients and new staff than your website visitors do.

It makes you look ‘alive’ and ‘active’

Maybe but that’s purely subjective.

It makes you look like you know your stuff

Again maybe, but it depends what the “news” is, who is looking at it. and its relevance to them when or if they happen to see it.

If most of what you’re saying is about yourself then that says to me that you don’t have much to say or worse, you haven’t thought too hard.

What to do instead of latest news?

My advice is to ditch the whole concept of “Latest News” as it’s seriously outdated thinking. In most cases, it’s just you chest beating. And at the end of the day, you’re not a newspaper.

Instead, undertake real content marketing that is delivered to people who want to read it because they are interested in it and it’s useful to them and it’s not all about you.

Case in point, 1000’s of people read our content every week – we have a content-rich website that Google loves and there is NO LATEST NEWS!

In fact, we have had the same 4 articles on the home page for the last 12 months (see you didn’t even notice or care). These articles are there for first-time visitors to position ourselves as thought leaders in our space – we are not a newspaper and never will be.

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