While many of us are working from home, it’s a good time to think about doing some website “spring cleaning.” Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home and office—it also matters for your web content. Google changes their algorithms often, so it makes sense you should make adjustments to match. What ranks high in search results today won’t necessarily be the same tomorrow.
Here are a few reasons why content spring cleaning is a good idea:
You have not updated your web content in a while
Google’s crawlers pay more attention to sites that post fresh content frequently. That doesn’t mean you have to change up your web content every week; generally speaking, a couple of times a year (or more often, if it makes sense) is enough. Posting weekly blogs is one way to manage this effort, and it’s also a great way to build your audience.
Your Company Has Seen Some Changes
If you have changed locations, expanded your operations, added services, augmented your team, or enhanced your qualifications, your website content might not be the best representation of your company. Going page by page, check all information on your website to be sure it reflects your current operations.
Your Search Engine Results and Analytics Show Poor Performance
If you are suddenly getting no action on some of your pages or if your site has dropped in rank, it’s likely that your content needs a little TLC. It might be as simple as expanding the content (300 words minimum is a best practice for SEO), cleaning up the grammar, the content structure, or rethinking your keyword strategy. Break up your page text with H1, H2, and H3 headings and up the ante on quality.
Your Products and Services Are Outdated
If your offerings are seasonal or if you have made changes to your product line and promotions, it’s critical to ensure what’s on your site is current, and that includes your blog. If you haven’t posted anything for a few months, it’s time to get down to it! If you’re all out of ideas for topics, there are tons of idea generation tools out there to help. You might start by typing your main keywords and phrases into a search engine and see what comes up. Chances are if a topic ranks high for your competitors, it will rank high for you too.
Your Social Properties Are Not Working for You
Your social media pages are a huge contributor to page rank. The more you post, the better your engagement, the more it will contribute to your overall rank. Your social media pages also list your current hours of operation, address, contact info, website links, and a brief description of what you offer. Be sure it’s all up to date to ensure you’re capturing as much business as possible. Plus, as people are spending a lot more time online these days, you want to make sure that not only your info is current, but that you’re posting and sharing items that are topical, positive, and helpful to your followers.
Your Navigation is Complicated or Confusing
Is your navigation helping or confusing your site visitors? You might be so used to it that you don’t see its shortcomings, but to the average user, it might not seem so simple. Solicit objective opinions from friends, family, employees – or if you want a completely unbiased view, spring for a full SEO site audit.
You Haven’t Done a Website Redesign in A Long Time
Website design has changed considerably over the years. With recent changes to data privacy laws and more stringent regulations around compliance, your old website might be putting you at risk. Newer web security technology might not be compatible with your current site. Even if your web design is cool, responsive, and otherwise working for you, look into the technology that keeps it running and make sure it isn’t putting you—or your customers—at risk.
Security certificates are also handled a little differently these days. If not specifically purchased, your website will show as “not secure” in the search bar. While this may or may not matter to you, it will most definitely matter to your customers, especially if they are buying from your site. Taking payments on your website requires another layer of PCI compliance.
Your Keyword Strategy Is Now a Keyphrase Strategy
Keywords are still very important to SEO. However, the way we approach keywords has changed a lot. It is always a good idea to do regular keyword research to be sure you’re hitting the right marks, but if you want to make the most out of the effort, you need to dive a little deeper. With the growing popularity of voice-activated devices, smart home hubs, and voice search, search terms have changed significantly. Instead of typing in a few disjointed words, people are speaking their search query in whole sentences, making it especially important to optimize for long-tail keyphrases and not just words.
Your Audience Has Changed
Have you seen a change in your audience’s demographic? It might be time to refocus your marketing strategy. Review your ideal customer personas to see if they still fit. For example, maybe your customers are mostly Millennials, but lately, you are seeing an influx of Gen-Y clientele. These two groups have vastly different outlooks on everything from financial planning to how they communicate. You can’t be everything to everyone, but if you know who you’re selling to, you can more reliably give them what they want and need.
For example, if you find yourself doing business with a younger clientele, you will want to make sure you can appeal to their preferences in terms of customer service. Think about adding live chat or including more self-service options.
You Need a Content Strategy
If your content strategy, up to now, has consisted of posting things “when you can get to it,” now’s a good time to get organized for the future. Create a content calendar that covers a few months in advance. This approach will give you a blueprint to work with, so you’ll never be at a loss for what to post. When you’re putting your roadmap together, give yourself space to work with topical subjects that will pack in some immediate resonance. If you are concerned that your new content posting approach will fall by the wayside during busy times, think about hiring a freelancer to stockpile articles that are ready to go when you are.
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