Spring Cleaning Your Website

WHAT IS A WEBSITE

A website is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.

Websites come in a nearly endless variety, including educational sites, news sites, porn sites, forums, social media sites, e-commerce sites, and so on. The pages within a website are usually a mix of text and other media. That said, there are no rules dictating the form of a website.

A person could create a website of nothing but black and white photos of roses, or the word “cat” linked to another Web page with the word “mouse.” However, many sites follow a standard pattern of a homepage that links off to other categories and content within the website.

The homepage (or simply “home”) represents the main page of the site itself. Frequently, the homepage is a sort of “hub” from which all other pages can be accessed. An internal web page to which several other pages are linked in a coherent structure (such as a specific category of topics) is instead called a “parent page.”

Every page is a single HTML document, and all of them are connected through hyperlinks (or simply “link”) which can be combined in a navigation bar for ease of use.

The navigation bar is displayed on every page rather

Webste is a set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization.

A website is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business or organization to serve a variety of purposes.

Together, all publicly accessible websites constitute the World Wide Web.

Although it is sometimes called “web page,” this definition is wrong, since a website consists of several webpages. A website is also known as a “web presence” or simply “site”.

WHAT IS WEBSITE SPRING CLEANING

Every website needs a refresher now and then to make sure everything’s working properly, looking good, and meeting the goals you need it to.

The beginning of spring is a good time to take on any the projects you’ve been putting off, and we’re betting a website refresh is overdue for you.

Take some time to spring clean your website and make sure everything’s in good working order.

Over time, you may make additions to your home, fill your closets, and change rooms to meet emerging needs.

The home you reside in today may not resemble what you moved into years ago.

This can also be said of your website.

Many website owners tend to add content without removing what’s no longer needed.

Pages are created to suit events, marketing plans, and other activities.

They are then often forgotten.

While you may not see or remember this content, searchers may be stumbling upon it and getting a less-than-favorable first impression of your website.

Preventative Maintenance For Your Site

Website cleaning makes three different parties’ lives easier.

A clean website lets you traverse your admin section and review content without sifting through a sea of URLs.

Your users will also feel comfortable visiting your website because the content they want will be easier to access.

Finally, we must do whatever we can to appease crawling search engines.

Search engines can review your site faster (aside from load speed considerations) if you provide only the essential content.

This isn’t a comprehensive website maintenance plan. Rather, these few activities should be easy enough to complete quickly and will leave your site that much cleaner.

I promised you just three steps, so here goes.

1. Assessing The Job At Hand

Our first step in the cleaning process will be to gain a full view of every website page.

A website analysis tool likescreaming frog can provide an organized list view of all website URLs.

Next, eliminate areas of the export via sorting to reduce pages we do not need to review.

You may find yourself uncovering some surprising content.

These can include:

  • A large number of old newsletters, blog posts, etc.
  • Outdated resource content.
  • Unintentional page duplication based on technical issues.
  • Old pages created solely for ranking consideration, a.k.a. “Old School SEO.”
  • Irrelevant pages, ex., author or bio content for employees.

This exercise is a great way to see a backend view of your website and often can reveal technical issues that may exist.

2. Cleaning Up The Clutter

Now, it may look like you have a clean website.

However, it’s also a good time to look at how well your content performs.

Your current list of site URLs all appear to be valid, content-filled pages, but do they need to exist?

Some of our spring cleaning exercises relieve our confusion in website management, but let’s take a minute to help the crawling bots out.

In Google Analytics, look at the last years’ worth of website page views to determine what content your visitors want to see on your website.

The reason for 12 months of review is that industry and behavioral seasonality can cause bumps in content demand.a year's worth of website pageviewsImage from Google Analytics, March 2022

Take a gander at the lower right corner.

It may be surprising just how many pages are driving page views for your website over a year.

You may see anomalies in parameter generation due to advertising, but you may also notice that some of your perceived “valid” content is not highly consumed.

This view may seem a little bit daunting but pause for a moment to begin your sort.

Perform an export and prepare to look for a few key areas.

We want to look at the content that only has a few yearly page views as well as user behavior.

Pay close attention to the pages with a high exit rate.

This may be due to Bad design layout or lacking internal navigation. It may also show that the content is either in need of refreshment or retirement.

3. Sweeping Up On-Page

To this point, we have concentrated solely on URLs.

Now that we have cleaned up unnoticed content waste and lower value content let’s see how we can clean the in-content areas of website pages.

We have cleaned out the long-forgotten closets, but now it is time to look at what lies on the “living room floor” of your most visited website pages.

For this, we will rely on a heatmapping tool such as CrazyEgg or my favorite, LuckyOrange.

From our previous exercise, we reviewed website pageviews based on count.

First, review the most trafficked pages.

Pay special attention to the exit rate column, which is an important indicator of poor page performance.

Under pages of consideration, REVIEW USER BEHAVIOUR to understand where click behavior shows page area preference.

By reviewing your content in both mouse activity, click activity, and scroll depth, you can gain insight into where user attention lies on page.

Some websites still suffer from ancient SEO tactics of extremely lengthy content.

While we have worked to remove full pages of content, you may be ripe for the process of cleaning up in-content areas of website pages.

In Screaming Frog, you can also sort URLs by word count.

This could help you understand where your long form content resides on your website.

4.Check for broken links

You know the feeling when you’re on a website, click on a link you’re interested in, and get the dreaded 404 page.

Inevitably, pages will move and websites will be left with broken links that disappoint visitors, unless you make a point to stay on top of it.

Ideally, this is a job you should tackle once every few months, but it’s easy to let it get away from you. If you haven’t checked for broken links in a while, this website refresh is a good time to do it.

BENEFITS OF WEBSITE SPRING CLEANING

By spring cleaning, you will improve your website’s visibility, strengthen your reputation and will leave you in the strongest position possible when people are ready to shop again.

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