Four Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Website
Website content is an important part of any small business marketing plan. The quality and presentation of the text, some of which is not even visible, can make or break the website’s position in a page full of search results.
To maintain a flow of visitors to your digital doorstep, a little spring cleaning is in order from time to time. Trends change, and so do the keywords people use when searching for something. It’s important to keep your website’s content clean, neat, and up to date to reflect those changes.
Like a house or car, your website requires regular maintenance from time to time to ensure it’s doing its job – help searchers find your site and give visitors a reason to click on stuff. Here are some of the easy ways to make sure your website is visible to searchers and looks neat and clean when they land on your Home page.
Broken Links and 404’s
Links that lead nowhere because the destination site has changed will return dreaded “404 errors” to your visitors. Okay, so they might not be dreaded but no one likes a 404. Broken links can also negatively impact your search standings, and they make your website look sloppy and unprofessional.
When you include a link to another site, product, or informative article, you are recommending that item to your visitors. If visitors have a bad or frustrating experience due to broken links, they may never return.
Check your site for dead ends and incorrect destinations and fix the links that lead people nowhere.
Do you have the same description of your services on multiple pages of your website? We tend to repeat things when we like how they turned out, especially if content writing isn’t your strongest skill. Although duplicate content may not affect your users or search standings, Google (and others) may not know which info is the most current or contains the most important stuff.
As Google’s own site say, “Webmasters become sad” when they show visitors older, inaccurate info instead of fancy, new stuff.
In most cases, you won’t be penalized for duplicate content but it’s still a good idea to clean it up.
Image Titles and Alt Text
Even now, in 2019, search engines are still working to effectively catalog the visual attributes of an image. Since they cannot “see” the photo or apply a human response to the content of that image, a search engine may not know what’s important about it or why.
We see a movie star on the red carpet in a green dress and react in one of many ways. We might dream about being there, or being her, or owning that dress. Google will only know it’s a woman on red carpet in green clothes. They may recognize that she is Jennifer Lopez and know she is the popular subject of common searches, but the rest is still up to us.
You can help search engines know what is important about the image to your potential visitors with custom titles and Alt text. Originally designed for visually impaired users, Alt text can now be used to telegraph the aspects that are most likely to catch your visitors’ attention.
The image title can be made to do the same job – instead of Image_001.jpg, use that space to tell search engines what’s important to your visitors. If you sell Versace and expect your visitors to search for Versace Dress, you might want to title the image “Jennifer Lopez in a Green Versace Floor-Length Gown” instead.
Or something like that. Add info, it helps people find you.
Outdated or Incorrect Content
Things change. Your office might have moved, or your phone number might be different, or the staff members listed on your site may no longer work for your company. There are a million little ways content can become stale, with old dates and outdated information.
Everything on your site has the potential to show up in a search. If a search sends potential clients to the other side of town, then they’ve just had an experience that could put them off enough to take their business elsewhere.
Old content can also give off the impression that you are not professional. If you don’t care about the details on your website, why would someone believe you’ll pay attention to the details of their needs?
Take the time to bring your content out of 2014 and updated with shiny, new, accurate 2019 stuff.
Clean up your Digital Office
There are other details you can fix to help people find your site and have a great experience when they get there. However, just looking over your website for outdated, unclear, inaccurate info will make a difference in both your search engine interaction and your user’s experience.
If you manage your own website, get in the habit of “spring cleaning” your content once a year at the very least. It’s a good idea to do it more often since websites come and go, and sometimes just plain change. The links that led to the most incredibly useful article on basket weaving may suddenly go all 404 on you, in which case – it’s time to get out the duster and vacuum and get to work.
If you prefer to take a more “hands-off” approach to website maintenance, the team here at GreenCup Digital would be happy to maintain and improve things for you. Contact our team today to set up a meeting and let’s see what we can do to improve your website’s performance and visitor’s experience.