Photo credit: The interesting Anton
It’s that time of year again when the seasons change and marketing budgets and expectations for the year have been set. Now that companies are turning their focus to performance, this is a great time to look at your site and more importantly how it’s producing organically. Here’s our guide to spring cleaning your site and making sure your organic presence hits the mark.
Crawl your site
Sites break over time for various reasons and if you haven’t run a crawl in the last few months, this is a perfect time to use Screaming Frog or similar tools to check your site. In addition to finding and fixing broken links, we recommend focusing on the following areas:
- Sitewide redirects
- Sitewide canonicals
- Short H1 tags
- Short Title tags
- Missing meta descriptions
- Buried pages (crawl depth of 6 or greater)
- Short pages (100 words or less)
- Low internal links
Once you have your crawl data, build a gameplay to prioritize and tackle everything over time. Sites can be nebulous so a schedule with accountability is a must have.
Dust off your blog
Blogs work well for content development but for most sites on the web, the last entry is often months if not years ago. If you have a compelling value proposition, industry knowledge or want to address pain points in your market then you should consider creating a content calendar and holding your brand accountable for consistent, quality, content production.
You’ll have new assets to share in social, Google will see new content and crawl your site more often and more importantly you’ll have new touchpoint for prospects looking for solutions.
Cull your underperforming content
Similar to pruning a tree or rose bush, your site likely has content that isn’t getting any traffic and is taking link equity and crawl space away from more important pages. We recommend taking a list of current pages then doing an export of Google analytics for pages that received traffic over the last 6 months and comparing the two lists.
For most sites, you’ll see 5-10% of pages haven’t received traffic in the last 6 months and we recommend the following steps when reviewing whether to keep or remove content:
1. Is the content still relevant? A post about a new hire who has since left or a post wishing people a Happy 2017 are likely candidates for removal. Remember these posts take link equity and crawl budget away from your higher performing pages.
2. If it’s still relevant, can it be improved? This is something we consistently do with our corporate blog given the number of guides and how-to articles we create. Often steps need to be redone or a platform will make changes that require us to revisit and rewrite content which gives us the opportunity to make sure we’re up to date and let people know a post has been edited for 2022.
For content you decide to update and improve on – make sure those changes get communicated to your prospects via social or email updates.
3. If you find content you need to delete, make sure to put redirects in place and crawl the site to make sure everything looks good.
Getting your site cleaned up and performing well is going to pay dividends throughout the year and if your brand is struggling to get your site to perform make this your top priority.