Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic

Here are some tips to help you optimize your blog by cleaning up clutter and enhancing your SEO

"Spring" via promanex on Flickr under creative commons license.

Ahhhh Spring! The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, and there’s a sense of renewal in the air.

But with Spring also brings with it the need to do Spring cleaning. For our cars, we wash off the grime and road salt that has built up over the last few months. For our houses, we clean the windows, air out the house, get the old leaves out of the flower beds, and get the yard prepped for growth. And, as with all Spring cleaning, the more effort you put into getting everything done now, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a clean house and beautiful lawn later.

Just a heads-up…your blog may need some Spring cleaning, too.

From time to time, I go back and review some of my early posts, and sometimes I’m a bit appalled. I find posts with no Alt tags on the images, meta tags that just weren’t well thought-out, and content and data that, while correct at the time, is now a bit outdated. So in preparation for my blog Spring cleaning, I thought I’d put together a checklist of things that I want to do that would positively impact my SEO and I figured I’d share it in hopes that might help you out.

Remember, the more you clean up those old posts the more they will pay you back with increased search engine traffic or organic traffic from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Setting aside a few hours to do the work is ideal, but if you can spare 10-15 minutes each day to review old posts, it will be worth your effort.

7 Tips For Cleaning Up Your Blog And Improving Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  1. Clean up those plugins – If you have been trying out new plugins or widgets for your blog, be sure to delete them if you’re not using them. By removing the files, you can speed up your page load times and reduce any potential security risks that may come from having out-of-date plugins.
  2. The WP-Cleanfix Plugin can help you do cleanup unused tags and categories and optimize your database

    WP-CleanFix is a great plugin that can help you do some Spring cleaning on your blog.

    Get rid of unused categories and tags – Unused categories or tags are potential 404 errors waiting to happen. Additionally, the more categories and tags you use, the more it can bog down your database and decrease the performance of your blog. Tools like WP-CleanFixcan help you identify any opportunities to clean up categories and tags (among other things) and make sure your database is optimized.

  3. Use Google’s Webmaster tools to ensure that there aren’t any 404s occurring – If you aren’t familiar with Google’s Webmaster tools, now is the time to get familiar. The data provided to you by Google can be a goldmine in finding and fixing 404 errors. Technically, Google says they don’t penalize you for 404s, but why risk a bad visitor experience if they can’t find the page they are looking for. If you have changed your permalink structure or your domain name, you might even have some old links out there that need fixing because they point to the old URLs.If you need a good tool to redirect user from an out-of-date URL to a new one, check out the Redirection plugin for WordPress.
  4. Make sure every image on your site has an Alt tag – This one is a MUST. Google will actually penalize your page if your images don’t have Alt tags. Since I’m a huge proponent of having images on every page, be sure that they are helping your SEO and not hurting it.
  5. Re-read your posts and make sure they are still relevant – Let’s face it, some articles are just timely and are out-of-date quickly. But…maybe there is an update on the topic, maybe it’s a good opportunity for a new post that links back to the old post. Don’t just give up on those time-sensitive posts, find a way to update and re-energize the content
  6. Cross-link between posts for better internal linking – It’s likely that your old posts talk about content that is similar to your new posts. So why not go back and create links between similar articles. You don’t want to go overboard and over-link your articles, but by creating internal links between articles, you’ll be helping readers and the search engines re-discover some of those older articles.
  7. Re-evealuate your sidebar(s) – Page load time is a factor in your search engine ranking, so find ways to minimize that load time. One way to do is to take a good, hard look at the items that are located in your sidebar. Do you have too many widgets? Are those widgets slowing down your blog? If so, consider dropping some of them. Anything you can do to increase the speed of your blog and decrease page load times will pay off in SEO.

There you go! 7 quick tips that you can use to clean up your blog this Spring and, hopefully, drive more traffic.

Did I miss any important ones? Would you have an addition to the list? Leave a comment and let me know.

Cheers!

–Sean

 

  • http://www.dgmommy.com Tamara

    Excellent suggestions! I’ve been thinking I should do this for some time now. Now it is on my task list for the week! Thank you.

  • http://www.ashdhartphotography.com Ashley Drake Gephart

    All really great tips. Several of these I try and do monthly like the plug-ins.

  • http://teresalynn.ca/ Teresa Lynn

    Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll definitely be cleaning up my blog now.

  • http://twitter.com/SusieBlackmon/status/181508339585400833/ Susie Blackmon (@SusieBlackmon)

    Blog Spring Cleaning – A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine & Social Media Traffic http://t.co/Gbux8Nbh via @zite #horsebiz

  • http://www.katsdailyinspiration.blogspot.com/ Kat Meller

    Great tips here – thank you. I have some Spring Cleaning to do on my blog I am CERTAIN about that ……
    thanks for the tips and reminders.

  • http://www.terrislittlehaven.com Terri’s Little Haven (Terri Ramsey Beavers)

    I really have got to take the time to figure out Google’s tools. I have a lot of errors on my site. thank you for sharing the spring cleaning tips. Tweeted.

  • http://twitter.com/ChoiceZnewZ/status/181599130366390272/ CZ (@ChoiceZnewZ)

    Why I Just Deleted All My Pinboards From Pinterest – Hint…It’s Their Terms Of Use http://t.co/SyFTJPk6 | RT @accrete via @SocMedSean

  • http://twitter.com/WebbyStation/status/181697795684704256/ Webination Station (@WebbyStation)

    How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/mb1SSriX ( via http://t.co/M95Bb3T0 )

  • http://twitter.com/globallover3/status/181701334611922944/ Michael Puschmann (@globallover3)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/6Iw0MTiu (via @summify)

  • http://twitter.com/globallover57/status/181701338319695873/ Michael Puschmann (@globallover57)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/NvYQztVl (via @summify)

  • http://twitter.com/globallover2/status/181701336239312896/ (@globallover2) (@globallover2)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/FQ9bpka9 (via @summify)

  • http://twitter.com/KendaMorrison/status/181716670430199808/ Kenda Morrison (@KendaMorrison)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/2jM3O9oJ

  • http://twitter.com/brasonja/status/181720178361499648/ (@brasonja) (@brasonja)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/CWnzkyaM via @socmedsean

  • http://twitter.com/sagethefool/status/181732261291495424/ Mark Traphagen (@sagethefool)

    Blog Spring Cleaning – A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine & Social Media Traffic http://t.co/7bnrgwLy

  • http://twitter.com/rjfrasca/status/181737042907115521/ RJ Frasca (@rjfrasca)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search & Social Traffic http://t.co/l7IFLOx3 via @SocMedSean @brasonja

  • http://twitter.com/MDCudahy/status/182035185141956608/ (@MDCudahy) (@MDCudahy)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic – http://t.co/3JA1H1vV

  • Florian

    I agree with everything you said in this post. We should regularly do this cleaning of our blog to make sure that everything is in perfect shape.

  • Frithjof

    This is IT :-) thanks for nudging me to clean up those categories! I have way too many on my blog.
    Happy Spring cleaning!

  • http://twitter.com/iContact/status/182557221186568192/ (@iContact) (@iContact)

    Do some “spring cleaning” on your #blog and reap the rewards http://t.co/5UY09mL9 via @socmedsean

  • http://twitter.com/Coast_Connect/status/182561364047446016/ Coastal Connections (@Coast_Connect)

    Great tips for blog upkeep
    http://t.co/boFDbEk9

  • http://twitter.com/wildheart4vr/status/182682349820063744/ Joe Cheray (@wildheart4vr)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/mPRO4APB via @socmedsean

  • http://twitter.com/WritingTrainer/status/182863021679456256/ Catherine Hibbard (@WritingTrainer)

    How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine & #SocialMedia Traffic to Your Blog http://t.co/HUtPN524 via @socmedsean #bloggers

  • http://twitter.com/vapartners/status/183284530784894976/ VA Partners (@vapartners)

    Spring cleaning for blogs to drive traffic via @MarkEvans http://t.co/VUbGhKDK #marketing

  • http://twitter.com/hallwf9/status/183520030439378944/ hallwf9 (@hallwf9)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/rbbYHYFa

  • http://twitter.com/aSmilingMind/status/183534759895498753/ Gary Ares (@aSmilingMind)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/ETpLtJ21 via @socmedsean

  • http://www.taremservices.co.uk/ Social Cleaning

    Excellent suggestions! I’ve been thinking I should do this for some time now. Now it is on my task list for the week! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/ComOptimum/status/185627336526401536/ Sandrine Nessi (@ComOptimum)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/8mEiveT1

  • http://twitter.com/HJUyleman/status/187380343156903936/ Huub Uyleman (@HJUyleman)

    Spring Cleaning For Your Blog – How A Little Work Can Drive Search Engine And Social Media Traffic http://t.co/fbmBqCDw via @socmedsean

  • http://www.simplywastesolutions.co.uk/ Simply Waste Solutions

    Thanks for the great information and nice pics of the cleaning service.

  • http://www.paidsocialmediajobsreview.com Paid social media jobs

    Hi. Great post about keeping blog tidy and well optimised. One more thing I do is fast backlinking using some paid WP plug ins

  • http://www.niunadietamas.com Salomon

    Does deleting old post that were only for fast communication with my readers but don´t have good content is good or bad strategy?
    Salomon

    • http://www.socmedsean.com Sean R. Nicholson

      Salomon,

      I prefer to keep them, because they represent previous work and might still offer some SEO juice for anyone researching past issues.

      Just my $.02..though.

      Cheers!

      –Sean

  • http://www.niunadietamas.com Salomon

    Thanks Sean,
    I am taking a look on your sponsors because your advice is very helpful.
    Additionally do you think using only one blog but having three other blog without content could impact my SEO. Should I delete the non used blogs?
    Salomon

  • http://www.bioprollc.com Biopro Crime Scene Clean Up

    love this blog, keep the updates coming!

  • Mike

    Well, that was an interesting read. Thank you very much.
    http://www.endoftenancycleaningservice.com/

  • http://cleanster.co.uk cleanster

    Useful tips for a clean blog! Thanks!

  • http://www.housecleaning-maidservice-njpa.com/house_cleaning_yardley_pa.htm House Cleaning Yardley PA

    I never realized there was so much to spring clean. I cleaned my house for the spring, then saw this article. Needless to say, I have a ton more work ahead of me. Great article!

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  • http://www.alexinleeds.com Alex in Leeds

    Good tips, I am weeding through old posts for the alt tagged images already but it’s nice to be reminded it’s a chore that NEEDS doing.

  • http://iwinseo.com.au/ Jason

    Awesome tips! Definitely going to have to clean up my blog, I haven’t done it in a while and I always forget to get rid of the unused tags, got to remember that. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://sunnysidesocialmedia.com Sani

    Useful tips! Great read, thanks for sharing!

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