No matter what season it is, it’s a good idea to regularly spring clean your website. Just as it’s important to clean and de-clutter your home, the same is true for your website. If you never clean up your website, it can become congested with items that slow it down or cause even bigger problems. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should spring clean your website, as well as some tips on how to do this.
Why spring clean your website?
If you want your website to be popular and well ranked by the search engines, it’s necessary to update it regularly. You need plenty of fresh content to keep your visitors interested. At the same time, you should revisit some of your older content.
Some things might be outdated or obsolete. When it comes to files, programs or plugins, these items might be slowing down your site.
Some of the things you should look for include:
- Ease of page navigation
- Broken links
- Clutter caused by ads, banners or pop-ups
- Posts or pages that are no longer relevant
- Typos and incorrect or outdated information
- Irrelevant or low quality content
Some of these issues are mainly for the benefit of your visitors. Yet they can also affect your search engine ranking. Google and other search engines consider things like page loading speed, content quality, relevance and the amount of advertising when they rank your site.
How to look at your site
Visit your site as if you were a newcomer and were seeking information on the topic. How fast do the pages load? Is the layout appealing or does it put you off with too many ads and distractions?
You should go through your old posts, as well as the new ones. If you’ve had the site for a while, you may have made some changes. You might have links to products you are no longer promoting, or that no longer even exist!
Broken links are an issue that can frustrate your visitors and cause the search engines to penalize you. Check all links you find on your site. If they don’t work, fix them or remove them.
Many new website owners who are trying to monetize their site make the mistake of using too many ads. This is a distraction and annoys most visitors, who are more likely to click away from your site than to click on one of your ads. Whether they are banners, AdSense or pop-ups, it’s best to keep these to a minimum. A few ads will be more profitable than a large number.
Other elements that can clutter up a website are graphics, videos and even long blocks of text. It’s good to have a good amount of white space on every page. No one wants to be bombarded by too much content of any kind.
You should even look at the fonts and colors you are using. Too many colors can be hard on the eyes. The same is true for small font sizes or unconventional fonts that are difficult to read.
Revisit Your Content
What should you look for when going over old content? A good place to start is with the basics. If you have an About You page, make sure everything is up to date. If you offer certain services through your website, check to see that you are promoting everything correctly. If you haven’t checked your site lately, you may see that you’re advertising a service you no longer offer, or not mentioning one that you do.
You may also be able to add your latest accomplishments to your page. This is similar to updating a resume, which grows as you gain more experience. If you have a photograph of yourself, it should be relatively up to date. This may not matter if you never meet people in person. However, with social media and so many other ways for people to look you up, it can be embarrassing if you’re showing off a college-era photo when you graduated 15 years ago!
Some content you may just want to get rid of because it doesn’t add to your site. If your site is even a couple of years old or older you may be surprised at some of your early posts. If these posts don’t reflect your current standards or beliefs, just delete them.
Do You Need to Add Anything?
Spring cleaning a website can also mean adding some new elements to bring the site up to date.
If you don’t have social media links, for example, now would be a good time to add them. If you’re not involved with social media, this is also a good time to start creating things like a Facebook page and a Twitter account!
Visitors should be able to share your content on social media sites. It’s simple to add buttons for any sites where you’re active. This may include social bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon in addition to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Do your online spring cleaning regularly
Spring cleaning your website is important for maintaining quality control. Many website owners add content to their site without going back and looking at what they’ve done before. You should take inventory and find out what should be deleted, replaced or updated.
Spring cleaning gives you the chance to look at your website with fresh eyes, which is how your visitors will see it. This helps you make your site more appealing to the people who count most!