Six easy ways to clean up your website
Think about your website at as a house. You have the bricks and mortar that stay the same and don’t need changing very often. Then you have the fixtures, fittings and furnishings that need regular maintenance to keep them in good working order.
Your website is no different and a healthy site takes regular monitoring to keep it performing as it should. Neglect your website and it’ll start to develop dusty corners, squeaky floorboards and flaky paint just like a house. And left untouched, this wear and tear will lose you potential customers.
You might not be the most technically minded person, but there are some simple things you can do to keep your website in good health. Try these 6 as a starting point:
1. Make sure your meta descriptions are complete
Meta descriptions are the short snippets of text google uses to describe your pages in search results and link previews. Leaving them empty can cause automated descriptions to appear. These automated tags may not be relevant and could deter people from clicking through to your site.
Each page on your website will have space for you to fill out a meta description. To fill them out, simply write a short 200-300 character description of what’s on the page, including the pages’ keyword any USPs that will make the user want to find out more.
2. Check for internal and external broken links
Go on a quick tour of your website, clicking all the links to make sure they are working and repair or delete any broken ones. Broken links are a dead end for visitors to your site and can ruin user experience.
Not only do broken links make your site look messy and unfinished, but they can also reduce the amount of time people spend browsing. If you don’t give the user an opportunity to find what they are looking for, they may just leave.
3. Remove outdated content
There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a page only to release it’s for an offer or event that’s in the past. Google announced recently they may start penalising pages that contain outdated content such as this.
To keep your site fresh, it’s worth going through your site every so often and removing outdated content such as old events or job vacancies that have been filled.
4. Make sure your images are labelled and load properly
Image alt tags display when an image doesn’t appear for any reason and tell visitors what the image was meant to be showing, even when they can’t see it. They are also picked up by google during image searches.
Whilst you’re checking your alt tags are complete, it’s worth checking that your images are the right size. Unnecessarily large image files can cause your site to load slowly, or not at all. It’s always best to upload images that have been resized to the correct dimensions.
5. Install Google Analytics (other platforms are available!)
A good website cleanup should start with a review of your analytics platform. Analytics platforms monitor activity on your website and can tell you what areas aren’t working as well as they could be.
They also allow you to track how well specific areas of your website are performing by telling you things like how many people visited a page, how long they spent there and what action they took. This includes pages like contact forms, blog posts and product landing pages.
Google Analytics is the leading platform and comes with handy free guides and short courses to help you understand the basics.
6. Re-visit your SEO efforts to make sure they are still relevant
When your website was first created, it was (hopefully!) written with a keyword strategy in mind. Mentions of these keywords are what brings prospective customers to your website from search engines.
Although your offering may not have changed, the key terms might and it’s important to keep on top of this. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an ongoing task and part of this is making sure your main keywords are still the terms people are searching for.
Make sure all page titles include the relevant key terms, are descriptive and to the point. Look out for any bad SEO practices, such as overused keywords (keyword stuffing), pages with too little content and duplicate content.
The most common website content management system (CMS) platforms have free plug-ins, such as Yoast SEO for WordPress, which flag this kind of information to you.
Got any questions or looking for a professional’s advice for your website? Contact us on 0113 394 4559 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, discover the areas in which your marketing could be improved by taking our free online marketing review. Just leave us your details via our website and we’ll send you your results within 48 hours.