Ah spring, a time of renewal. A time to take stock and get rid of the things that you no longer need or use and replace them with things that you now do. This applies not just to your home but to your business. And if you own or manage a Web or ecommerce site, doing a bit of spring cleaning is critical – for search-engine optimization (SEO) and to attract new customers. So here are 13 tips for getting rid of the clutter and freshening up your Web pages.
1. Do a content audit of your site and figure out which pages are performing well and which ones are not. “A content audit is a great website spring cleaning project,” says Gretchen Roberts, CEO & chief inbound strategist, Smoky Labs, a B2B inbound marketing firm. “Most websites are a goldmine of old, forgotten content that can be consolidated, updated, repurposed or even deleted to create a better user experience and actually boost your SEO rankings and on-site conversions.”
If you have the time, “download a database of your entire website and get to work labeling each page as Keep, Discard, Update, Repurpose or Consolidate,” she says. “If time is an issue, go straight to your Web analytics program and find the top 10 pieces of content,” as well the 10 worst.
“If a page is getting close to zero views per month, that's a clear sign you've got a problem,” says Marc Prosser, cofounder & managing partner, Fit Small Business, which provides product and service reviews for small business owners. “Maybe the page is dated. Maybe people just can't find it. Maybe it needs a serious revision. In any case, you can spot your problem pages and determine how you want to fix them.”
One way to do that is by taking a look at successful pages (ones that are getting clicks and have low bounce/exit rates), he says, and trying to duplicate what works.
2. Do an image inventory – and clean up, optimize and refresh your images. “Images can date your website faster than words, so new images can make your site feel fresh and new,” says Chad Jaggers, product manager, LightCMS, a website builder and content management system provider. “Your sales could also benefit from new product shots showing the product in action.”
However, before you start adding new images, take the time to inventory the ones you have.
“Most people tend to neglect cleaning [i.e., deleting or replacing] product imagery that is no longer in use,” says David Attard, founder, DART Creations, a provider of Web design tutorials and tips. “Large ecommerce or web sites tend to accumulate thousands of images that have been superseded. [Smaller businesses have this problem, too.] Besides hogging disk space, it makes it longer and more frustrating to find and add the images you actually need to use.”
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