Marie Kondo took the world by storm and led everyone to declutter their house. Now, it is officially Spring and that can only mean one thing.. It’s time to spring clean!
My friend Marie already got your house in order and today I want you to focus on your website. That’s right baby, 2019 SEO Spring Clean is coming at ya!
Follow along closely because a few quick SEO cleanups may make a big difference in your rankings.
Clean Up 404 Pages
3 Ways to Fix 404 Pages
1. Set up a redirect
Be proactive and send people to the page they likely looking for. This makes people much happier than a dead end.
You can do this by setting up either a 301 or 302 redirect. Which redirect you use will be dependent on whether the redirect needs to be permanent or temporary.
2. Find the source of page traffic
If people are not typing in the page directly, they are getting to the 404 through an active link.
Use Google Analytics to find who is owns the active link and ask them nicely to fix it. Note, this may mean you need to talk to your internal Dev team.
3. Restore deleted pages
Perhaps people have bookmarked a page that you’ve since deleted. An example could be a how-to guide or a “always up to date” page that you no longer have. It may be worth reinstating this page and adding a disclaimer that saying the page is no longer being kept up to date. Another option is to consider this discover keyword research and update the page.
Get Rid of Irrelevant Content
If you are creating content the way you should, it’s likely you have content on your that is a bit irrelevant to today. But today, too much content may hurt you than not enough content. If you have 100s of pages with low quality scores due to not getting great traffic (quality or quantity), it may hurt your overall authority.
Old Content Has Got to Go
In 2011, Google announced it was showing “fresher, more recent search results.” So, you may want to do a quick look into what pages are indexing and whether or not those pages are still “recent” or relevant.
The definition of “fresh” will vary depending on who you ask. My rule of thumb is generally anything that is older than 18 months is probably old. However, you will have to use your best judgement here as relevancy is different dependent on industry and topic.
WARNING: A major caveat here is that if your page is old and still getting traffic… If this is the case you should NOT delete it. We will get into that next.
Revamp the *Good* Content
If you find pages with “old content” that continues to get traffic or had a good amount of traffic at one point and is still somewhat relevant, it may be worth giving the page some TLC.
Revamping a page may include updating the content based on new sources or adding new viewpoints. It could also include focusing on a new longtail keyword. It doesn’t have to be anything super major, but it will show Google that you are keep the content up-to-date.
Doing this could also earn you a spot in the featured snippet if you do it right, see this Snapchat for business article? It’s getting kind of old, who will refresh their content and take it’s spot?!
Minimize Your Site's Weight
When we create and/or manage a site, it’s very easy to start stuffing things in that we don’t need forever. You may try a new plugin for a day and forget to take it off the site, then throw an uncompressed picture up on the site really quickly because the client wants it on the site NOW…
But these types of files, once they add up, can weigh down your site and make the load time drag.
I suggest using the waterfall tool on a few of your pages. You’ll be able to see where the most drag is and a list of all of the files your site has to fetch in order to load fully.
This video will walk you through the waterfall process step by step.
Go down this list like a checklist and make sure everything your site requests is truly needed and relevant.
Then look for the things that take the longest to retrieve.
Now that it is starting to get nice out, I suggest hitting your favorite coffeeshop, grabbing a drink and working through this Spring Cleaning List.
These recommendations are fundamental, but that makes them easy to overlook. So, take the time to go through the list step by step and you may find an easy win!
Need help going through these steps? Don’t have the time to do it yourself? Reach out!