Clean up your site for SEO success

Cheryl Luzet - 12 December 2016

One mistake that many people make is believing that the Search Engine Optimisation for their webpage is static. So, they build a fantastic website with great usability and then optimise it for the search engines and that’s that – but this isn’t where it ends!  The world of SEO is constantly evolving as is the online world in general. So business owners need to be aware that what Google was looking for in a website last year is likely to be quite different now.

To make sure that your SEO is as up to date and efficient as possible, you need to give your website a clean-up on a regular basis to ensure that your SEO is still effective. Periodically reviewing your website can prevent any errors or duplications leading to a Google penalty and a fall in the rankings. When you are going through your website here are the 4 key areas you need to review:

Get rid of any low-quality pages

You may have a number of pages on your site that were set up in the past for specific reasons such as an AdWords campaign or a new product launch. However, if these pages now have low engagement, thin content or offer no value to customers, they could be damaging your whole website.  Google Panda means that Google views your domain as a whole not on a page-by-page basis, so if you have too many of these low-quality pages, it can cause Google to downgrade the ranking for your whole site.

Remove duplicate content

Websites can often become unwieldly and you could end up with duplicate content being featured on a number of pages. Google really dislikes duplicate content and it can also make your site repetitive, with some pages adding very little additional value to customers. Luckily you don’t have to trawl through every word on your website to help you identify duplicate content, as there are a number of online tools that you can use. You can set the parameters of these yourself, so for example, you could ask them to find pages that have 80% duplicate content.  Once you have identified pages, you can decide if you simply want to remove them or if you want to do some work on the content to make it more relevant and unique.

Review your links to and from your site

Getting links from high-quality websites can be great for your website and can bring over some fantastic “link juice” to help your domain authority. However, if the links come from a low quality or spammy site, it can cause Google to view your site as spammy too. There are two ways you can remove unproductive links. One is to contact the webmaster of the sites that are linking to you and ask them to remove these links. This can be difficult though, so if you are unable to get them removed you will need to submit a disavow report to Google Webmaster to show that you have no connection with these links.

Review your site to make sure that it meets Google’s current requirements

Finally, it can be a good idea to do a regular audit of your site to make sure that it meets the requirements of any new updates that Google has put in place since your last review. For example, this year Google announced that pages that were not user-friendly for mobile users would move down in the mobile search rankings, so you would need to make sure that your website worked for mobile users.

Keeping your website up to date and giving it regular “spring cleans” is a vital part of a good SEO strategy. Make sure that you are always aware of the latest Google updates and how they affect your site. You should also make sure that the online influencers that you are connected with and websites that link to you still have a good domain authority, in order to make sure that they are not negatively impacting your site.