With Spring dawning on us thick and fast, everyone is ready to do a much-needed deep clean of all excess spaces in their lives. For me, you might know that during the past few months I’ve paid particular attention to my blog. And in particular, cutting back on the clutter and mistakes that I’ve littered across my site over the years. Through large images, badly written metadata and hundreds of excessive tags. Today, I wanted to cover how to Spring clean your blog, and do a mid-year check of sorts, to ensure your site is optimised for your readers, search engines and performing at its best.
Identify Weak Points
The first place to start when Spring cleaning anything is to identify what it is that actually needs to change. What do you want to focus on? Is it improving your site speed? Is it your graphics, or your user interface? When you review your site, what is one thing that jumps out at you. Something you’ve been meaning to fix but never gotten round to it? It could be anything.
The Path to Success
A good way to find faults is by putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. When readers load up your site, what’s their ‘path’? What grabs their eye – where will they go. Is your site easy to navigate through? Try looking through your categories, and sub-categories. Can anything be simplified? Is it over-complicated?
I also recommend asking a friend or family member to check through the home page and watch what they do once it loads. Are they immediately gripped by anything. Do they understand what your site is about without you having to vocalise it?
Run a Speed Check
Your site speed is something you should always be wary of. After all, it’s truly the make or break of your user interface. Nobody will stick around for a site that’s taking too long to load. Use a free speed-check service like Pingdom to identify your loading speed and possible critical failures. Then use these points to inform your next decisions.
I try to live by the rule of not uploading images larger than 700KB to my site. And since I implemented it, everything has been running so much smoother. I used to upload files anywhere from 1 – 4MB in size, and then chunk a lot of them into a single post. That fact alone makes me cringe. Image size is invaluable to site speed, after all, each of those images will put you back in time through internet speed, what they are in size.
Media Library Cleanup
If you’ve been running a site for a while, chances are your media library is a little (or very) cluttered. Take some blog Spring cleaning time to focus on this. Search through images that aren’t connected or live in blog posts. Can these be deleted? Or, have you considered getting an image optimisation plugin to reduce their file sizes? Again, we’re focused on optimising our site and UI, so getting rid of unnecessary clutter is worth it for the end result. This may take a lot of time but utilise the filters on your media library to narrow down images you might have missed out.
How do you tag your blog posts, is there a hierarchy or are you tagging whatever your heart desires? Before, I used to tag anything and everything under the sun. Imagine keyword stuffing but in the form of tags. Now, I try to be considered with the tags that I’m using. And everything on my site falls under a select number of tags and groupings.
Now is a great time to focus on clearing out those hundreds of tags with 0 or 1 post that could be better assigned. Once you have systems in place, it categorises your content and keeps everything in your site neat and easily searchable.
Scrolling through your blog archives, how are your old posts holding up? Do they still appear well structurely? Are your images loading fine, and can the content be updated? Perhaps you could pull numerous posts through to your current content calendar, and simply update the information.
Just because its already been published doesn’t mean it isn’t worth tweaking and republishing again. Chances are your audience has grown since it was last posted, and you have eyes visiting your site that have never seen it before. This is a great opportunity to beef up your content calendar with archived posts. Focus on your favourites and see if you can improve upon them.
For more blogging tips of mine, be sure to click here. I cover a wide variety of blogging topics, from things I wish I had known before I launched, to photography tips and how to improve your Instagram photography!
When was the last time you ran a Spring clean for your blog?
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