Cleaning up your website will increase organic traffic and it will make your content more user-friendly.
Listen to episode 136 to get your wheels turning. We talk about six ways you can get started with blog tidying today!
Takeaways From Episode #136:
- If our sites are a mess, the clutter carries over into our minds. A tidy website equals a tidy you, which makes you much more efficient and capable.
- Book Recommendation: Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”
- Cleaning up your website will increase organic traffic and it will make your content more user-friendly.
- Comb through each piece of content asking those 2 questions and in that order: Does this support my brand? Does my audience find value in this content?
- Update your About page.
- Update your Home page.
- Update poor writing and photography.
- Optimize top content
- Plugin cleanup.
Transcript of Episode 136
Eat blog talkers!! Hey! How are you? I’m super excited to talk about tidying up your website today because Q4 is literally right around the corner, so it’s a good idea to do a little FALL cleaning BEFORE the traffic spikes hit.
First, though, if you would head over to itunes to subscribe, rate and review EBT I’d be so grateful. It literally takes 2 minutes to do this.. Those 2 minutes of your time are SO appreciated.. And they also add value to EBT, so thank you.. I’m really so grateful for every single person who takes the time to do this.
One more thing before we dive into WEBSITE TIDYING.. If you have not yet joined the new amazing EBT community GO DO IT. You’ll find so much value inside, including connecting with other food bloggers in a much deeper way and having access to ALL kinds of exclusive value such as bonus podcast episodes and mastermind groups and challenges to keep you on track and a resources and service providers directory (and SO much more..).
Alexis from FancyApronCooking says: “This is the place to get what your blog needs. The EBT community truly is a community. You can connect with bloggers, view helpful resources, and get tips for your blog that you take immediate action on. I was blown away to see some big blog names here in the community and I that’s when I knew I was in the right place.”
Go to eatblogtalk.com for more information and we can’t wait to see you inside!
Let’s dive into Website Tidying..
Have you read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”? If you haven’t, I strongly recommend doing it. Marie talks a lot within the book about tidying your home and how this can seep over into your brain and other areas of your life. Her philosophy is that a tidy home inspires a calm and motivated mindset. Which is something we all yearn for..
I believe this same principle applies to our work and our blogs because if our sites are a mess, the clutter carries over into our minds. A tidy website equals a tidy you, which makes you much more efficient and capable..
Before diving into HOW, let’s quickly chat quick about WHY. Cleaning up your website will increase organic traffic and it will make your content more user-friendly.
Here is a list of ways you can tidy up your website today:
1 – Take Inventory: Consider which content no longer supports your brand and also gets little to no traction. (If you do this Kondo-style, you’d sort through content by category to avoid missing anything.) Comb through each piece of content asking those 2 questions and in that order: Does this support my brand? Does my audience find value in this content?
Finding the answer to the second question is two-fold. First, see how many actual clicks the page has received and second check to see if it receives backlinks from other sites.
To see how many clicks a specific page has gotten, open Google Search Console and click “Search Results” under “Performance” in the left sidebar. Select a date range of 16 months and directly to the right of the date range where it says “NEW” click “Page.” Paste in the url you are checking, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “PAGES.” Underneath there you will see exactly how many impressions and clicks the specific url has gotten in the past 16 months.
To determine if the page has backlinks, you can enter it into a free backlink checker such as the one at https://ahrefs.com/backlink-checker. There are other backlink checkers available, so pick your favorite. This will tell you if other sites link to this specific page on your blog.
If the page does not support your brand, receives little to no clicks and contains no backlinks.. Get rid of it.
2 – Update your About page. Personally, I have never had an About page that’s been in good shape. It’s been a source of blog shame for me personally for far too many years, which is why this point is on my list THIS WEEK to tidy up. Madison from Grace and Vine Studios has great recommendations for creating an About page on her podcast (episode 43) so listen to that and create the About page of your dreams.
3 – Update your Home page. Again I am going to send you over to Grace and Vine Studios because Madison put together a helpful episode about what should be on your home page. Listen to episode 27 and make a few tweaks to your home page!
4 – Update poor writing and photography. Make a list of posts that can be improved upon and create a schedule to tackle cleanup on these posts. For Pip and Ebby, we have a master document that is housed in Google Drive. It is a spreadsheet that literally has every piece of content that resides on my blog, as well as everything that has been deleted. My VA and I communicate about the status of blog posts through this spreadsheet and it is extremely useful when I decide to do tidying up. I can indicate which posts need new photos, which need copy updated and which ones need a complete overhaul.
Start putting these updates into your editorial calendar and treat them as if they were new content! An example would be to reshoot photos for 1 old but worthy post weekly and give 2 posts from the archives a complete overhaul every month.
5 – Optimize top content . Find your top 10 (or 20 or 30 or more) posts for the past year in Google Analytics, plug them into a spreadsheet and start chipping away at optimizing them. Consider performing any of the following to each post:
- Create new Pinterest pin(s) and circulate through Pinterest.
- Ensure all images within post contain alt text.
- Check out Yoast SEO and tweak until you get the green smiley.
- Break up long paragraphs.
- Update recipe card if needed (add notes, update photo, ensure measurements are written consistently, etc)
- Add extra information to the copy if it adds value for your audience.
- Check for broken links.
- Add affiliate links, if it applies.
- Track average position through Google Search Console.
- Request indexing (also through GSC) after changes have been made.
6 – Plugin cleanup. First, make sure all your plugins and themes are updated. (You need to do this once a week!) The only exception is when a new WordPress system update comes out. In this case, it’s advised to wait at least a week or two to update. You can check with the company who made your theme for their recommendation for when to update.
Then look at the plugin list and if you aren’t using a plugin anymore, make sure you deactivate it and then delete it.
And, if you’re feeling ambitious you can also go through and check for any plugins that may not be updating anymore. For most plugins, when you click on “view details” in the backend, it will show you a “last updated” date, and if it’s compatible with your WordPress version.
Now, don’t take those updates at face value, as it’s okay if everything does not fully match or if a plugin hasn’t been updated for a while. Not all plugins need to be updated consistently. But, if you have a plugin that hasn’t been updated for over a year, you might want to dig deeper and visit their website and see it it is still supported. If it hasn’t been updated for 2+ years, it’s definitely worth looking into if you actually still need that plugin or if there are any ones that are more current that will do the same thing.
I hope these ideas inspire you to perform website tidying before Q4.. And also beyond Q4!
Do you have additional ideas for doing website tidying? Leave them in the comments at eatblogtalk.com/websitetidying
Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time!
Helpful Resources From This Episode
Book Recommendation: Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”
More About This Topic
Defining your brand can be very helpful in strategizing your business plan so head to Episode 124 to learn more from Beth Taubner.
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