Your website is one of the most important—if not the most important—tools to keep your business visible in the market. You want to establish a sense of trust with your audience, and there’s no faster way to lose someone than to have outdated or irrelevant information on your website. Especially in today’s climate, you want to ensure your website is always kept fresh with updated content. Let’s dive right in with these tips to clean up content on your site.
- Before You Get Started…Back it Up!
What could be worse than losing your entire website with one accidental click? You’re here to clean it up, do a bit of spring cleaning, not throw it away and start from scratch! Depending on what platform you use to host your website, some plugins can back your site up for you with the click of a button. Or, if you’re a bit more tech-savvy, you can do this manually to an external hard drive or trustworthy cloud storage.
Of course, this is a step we recommend you do often (more than once a year!) because threats such as hackers, server failures, or unintentionally deleted files can happen more often than anyone would like. We recommend setting a reminder on your calendar to stay in the habit of performing website backups.
- Do a “Big Picture” Content Audit
Pretend you’re a client or customer visiting your website for the first time. Does the homepage tell you everything you need to know and does it offer easy-to-use navigation? Is the information still current? It sounds simple, but first impressions are important to not only satisfy your readers, but also the Google algorithm gods. We’ve discussed reasons why your site may not be ranking high on SERPs, so if you haven’t already gotten a jump on cleaning up and sprinkling keywords strategically through your website, now is the time. Remember: Google Keyword Planner is a great resource for this task, though if you’d like a pro to take the wheel, you can always give our SEO wizards a call.
Take a good look at your pages and subpages. Are they still relevant to what your business does day-to-day? Are all the pages necessary or do some of them include information that could be condensed or moved to another page? Check your analytics. Do a few of your pages barely get any views at all? If so, perhaps it’s time to condense or consider deleting them altogether.
- The Devil is in the Details
Depending on what kind of business you have, your site may be full of outdated blog posts, dead links, or products that you no longer sell. If you find that these pages were popular or had backlinks from other sites pointing to them—consider a 301 redirect, which is a seamless way to tell site visitors and Google that there’s a new page, without sacrificing the valuable link. For example, say you have a page on your site that talks about a seasonal line of clothing that has since sold out—and you have no intention of restocking. Redirect that link to a page that features similar clothing. This will not only keep the page content fresh but will also help drum up interest in the new products and will keep your link functional if it is backlinked on other sites.
A redirect is one solution for ridding your site of outdated content, but sometimes there’s no other way to avoid it: a page simply must go. Did you know there are proper ways to delete pages from your website? If you can’t redirect to maximize the link’s value, the next best way is to set up a 410 response code on the backend of your website. This tells the Google Crawlers that the page is intentionally gone and likely will not return. The less ideal way is simply to delete the page altogether, which will trigger a 404 response—essentially showing that the page has no history or known whereabouts. The 404 error takes some time to prove to the algorithms that the page is not there. If this sounds like Greek to you, you can always turn to an SEO expert for help. SeoTuners provide custom link-building services to earn you high page authority links to your site and can assist with cleaning up any errors that may be damaging your SEO ranking.
- Revise, Revise, Revise!
Of course, pages are only as good as the content they contain. While you’re cleaning up, be sure to check that your contact information, about us page, and even employee bio pages are up to date with the most current information and that users can easily get in touch with you.
If you have pages or blog posts that contain information that is always changing, be sure to set up a revolving schedule that will allow time to do this as much as needed. How up to date are your cornerstone pages—do they reflect the most accurate information? For instance, say you have a high-ranking blog post that talks about new social media policies and tips for using Facebook Business. Since these tend to change frequently, it’s important to go back through these types of posts and update them with current information—or even consider combining the posts into one (if relevant to other content). Staying consistent with revisions will not only keep traffic flowing to your website, but it will also make your audience aware that you are on top of the latest trends and a subject matter expert that they can turn to.
Does your website have an events page? These pages can easily get lost in the shuffle of cleaning up your website and updating blog posts. If your business rarely has events or is inconsistently updated—consider taking this off your website or set up a schedule to keep it fresh.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Keeping up with your website can feel like a full-time job! It can be overwhelming, especially if you are strapped for time, or do not have the tech-savvy to know how to optimize your website for SEO best practices. Fear not. SEOTuners can help you save time, money, and sanity when it comes to cleaning up your website. Give us a call at (877) 736-1112 or fill out our contact form. We’re here to help get your site where it needs to be!