Martha Stewart, the Queen of Housekeeping has a recommended schedule for house cleaning and maintenance. We often describe a website as being like a house when we talk about the relationship between website files, domains and hosting. In this case, we are going to recommend scheduling website cleanups similar to Martha’s household schedule.
Weekly Website Cleaning
Sweep Your Site & Optimize Content
Your website can accumulate junk and clutter quickly just like your kitchen table. Spam comments and revisions to pages and posts can slow down your website. If you don’t check your website often, consider hiring someone to clear away the clutter and optimize your website database. Think of it as having someone cut your grass or clean your house on every week or two.
Deodorize: Check & Respond to Online Reviews
Online reviews can help or hurt your business and your SEO (read more about this here). It is very important to check Google My Business, Yelp, and other sources of online reviews (Trip Advisor, Open Table, and other business-category aggregate websites). If you receive a lot of reviews, you should even check daily to reply to reviews in a timely manner.
Monthly Website White Glove Test
While not necessarily “cleaning,” a monthly check on your website performance is a good idea. Look at your Google Analytics report and take a look at your website traffic. Review which pages and posts are getting the most visits and keep an eye out for any changes (positive or negative). Make any necessary adjustments to your website content, or technical specifications to address an issues found during this review.
Quarterly Website Cleanup
Visit Your Own Website
We build and maintain websites for clients, so they don’t have to check their websites to make sure they are working properly. While this is helpful, it can can also result in out of date or incorrect information on the website. Every quarter, or at the change of seasons, we recommend that our clients conduct their own website cleanup routine. Walk through every page to remind yourself of what is on your website and let us know about anything that needs to be changed, updated or fixed. The website should also be checked on mobile to make sure information is being presented in the best order for mobile users. We check websites for broken links, but sometimes external links may be live but may not be going where you want them to go. Lastly, check your social media icon links. Sometimes if you change your social media account or profile, this can result in a change in the url.
Here are some specific areas that may need updating and are often overlooked:
- Update staff/team list, photos and bios
- Update copyright on website footer (we build this to automatically update on sites we create)
- Add new, current testimonials/reviews
- Test forms to make sure you are receiving them and the confirmation messages say what you want them to say
- Make sure connections to mail chimp or other email management services are still working properly and are connected to the proper lists
Annual Spring Website Deep Clean
You don’t have to do this website cleaning in the spring, but you should schedule an annual review of your website to keep it fresh and give it some attention.
- Update featured photos on Home and key pages to freshen up the look of the site
- Remove/redirect any irrelevant blog posts
- Look at your Home Page and any landing pages to make sure the messaging is still in line with your strategic goals. Make necessary edits to update the content and message.
- This is a great time to develop a content strategy for the coming year, planning blog posts and any other new content anticipated going forward.
Create a Schedule and Reminders
In order to be successful, we recommended placing reminders on your calendar for monthly, quarterly an annual website cleaning tasks. Formalizing the process by scheduling them on a calendar will help ensure you will take this seriously and that your website will best represent your business.