Previously I published an article that listed my Website maintenance checklist, but in hindsight I realise that there are just so many ways to clean up your website. When you are engrossed in your every day blogging routine you often forget the real basics of what you actually do to keep your business running smoothly.
I mentioned moderating comments, removing unused themes and plugins and more. This article will look at this topic from a different angle. I guess I should warn you about removing stuff when your clean up your website. This is my disclaimer, be careful!
So let’s see how to clean up your website.
Remove Advertising That Has Earned $0
When monetizing a website a web-master might add a banner ad or an affiliate link onto a page or post on their website. The problem with this is that if this link or banner makes nothing, it will probably stay there forever.
If you were really organised, before adding an type of advertising you could:
- Make sure all affiliate links are tracked in detail.
- Make a list of where you place links and banners so you can remove dead under performing items.
- List all time sensitive promotions so you can remove when they are over.
For example, I have over 1000 pages on Tips4pc and old affiliate links and banners that are left on pages are:
- Possibly leaking page rank juice from my site. Hopefully not as they should be nofollow.
- Maybe giving SEO benefits to companies I am no longer supporting.
- Taking up bandwidth if banners are stored on Tips4pc.
- Taking up space that another affiliate could be using that actually sells.
- Possibly a dead link as the promotion might be over.
Now you can see why we need to remove dead advertising.
Remove Broken Links
Years ago one of my websites suddenly dropped out of the search engines and I had no idea why. I discovered it was because I had too many broken links on my website. At the time, I had never heard of this. As soon as I repaired the links and my website the previous rankings in the search engines returned. This was when I decided to add checking broken links to my maintenance schedule for my website.
Optimizing images for websites is important for improved website loading speeds, but broken images that simply do not work need to be removed or fixed. This is just like a broken link so don’t forget about them either.
Now in WordPress I use a plugin called broken link checker and it is free. I do not leave it enabled full time because I believe it slows down the website. I simply activate it when I need to clean up my website.
Dead Social Media Buttons
Yes it is probably a good idea to have social media buttons on your site, but what about the ones that nobody clicks? some of my readers just don’t click certain buttons so why have them sucking up your resources and taking up prime positions?
Even too many Social media buttons can be overkill. I feel that people are sharing your posts more from the actual social media sites and not on your actual post or page. For example they see your article run through their feeds on Facebook or Twitter and then share it around.
Do you really know if people are pressing your buttons?
Are Contact Pages Important?
I got this idea from Michael Dunlops article about a blog spring clean. Michael quickly states that contact are very important in some industries and not needed at all in others. I agree.
If you do not rely on the contact form to generate business then why have it? I personally receive spam through mine and it is is a total waste of time. I also have a guest posting page where I designed a form so that if people went to the effort of filing that out, they really must want to guest post on my site. I cannot let people waste my precious time, so I agree to remove the basic contact page.
Of course if you are selling a service then you would want people to contact you. In this case I would make the form a little bit more difficult than the basic ones available. Also you should make the question sections mandatory so the form cannot be sent to you unless it is filled out correctly.
Another tactic mentioned by Michael Dunlop is to link to your contact page in the footer area, not the header. That way people need to look for the link.
The important people with real questions for you will find a way to contact you if they really need to.
Remove Clutter From Your Sidebar
I have written about sidebar etiquette previously but this is more of a maintenance issue. Most of us keep trying new things and adding all sorts of banners and links to our WordPress sidebars. This is just a simple reminder to clean up your website and that includes clearing out the sidebars every now and then.
Back in the old days when you were allowed to sell links I would often forget to remove paid links after their time was up.
Remove Bad Content To Clean Up Your Website
People absolutely hate it when I say this but it works! Just say you have a section about one topic on your site and that section makes money and attracts traffic. If you have another section that is not great at all, people are not engaged and do not like it, why keep it. In fact they bounce off the page because the content does not belong on the site. The users are telling you that this content is a mistake. Many do not have the guts to remove that content but I do.
Guess what happens when remove the unsuited content? People find the good content that makes money easier as that is all you have.
If you do remove content be cure to remove the urls in Google Webmaster tools, or redirect the URL to another page with similar content.
Remove Repetitive Content
Remove Repetitive Content
Ha ha ha.
You do not really have to remove repetitive content because you really should not do it in the first place. Here is an example of what I mean: Probloger.net supposedly has 52 articles published about guest posting alone. I read this somewhere, forgot where, so I “Googled it”. Yes there were loads of posts all about guest posting.
Anyway, how many articles does it take to cover the subject of guest posting? I am pretty sure that one or two good tutorials would suffice. Even half a dozen will do.
The point here is that this type of repetitive content is not frowned upon by the search engines but will annoy the hell out of your human visitors. If you wanted to learn about guest posting from the Problogger website, which article would you choose to read?
Image credit: 1
I am sure I have not mentioned all of the things you need to remove when cleaning your website. If you have any tips to add, please comment below.