Performing housekeeping on your blog has many benefits. After all, who doesn’t want their blog to look like a friendly, easy-to-use and inviting place old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to?
If you’re a blogger looking to expand their readership, performing housekeeping on your blog is something you should seriously consider.
But what blog housekeeping jobs should you consider doing?
During a 4-day heatwave last month, I couldn’t venture outside, so I took the opportunity to do some blog housekeeping. Here’s what I did.
1. Delete old, out-of-date blog posts.
I always feel that old, out-of-date blog posts that can not be updated or rewritten do nothing but drag down my blog.
They hang around like some uninvited members of the family you hardly ever see or have contact with. You know they are there but feel afraid to ask them to leave.
I had over 400 blog posts on my blog, some of which were doing nothing apart from attracting spam comments. They were dead ducks. They were not attracting any new views, visitors or comments.
I ended up deleting over 80 posts. Not only did I feel good getting rid of what I considered clutter, but I was also able to cut the number of spam comments by deleting those old posts.
After deleting them, I felt a lot better about my blog. I felt much more positive knowing I had removed all the deadwood.
Some bloggers claim that deleting old posts is not a good idea because they can look back and see how much they have improved since those early posts. But when you’re somebody who never goes back to read old posts, mainly because you don’t have the time to do so, deleting these old blog posts is like cutting away the string tied to the brick holding your blog down.
2. Fixing broken links.
A downside of deleting old blog posts is that any pingback and links you have to them will become broken.
I used Broken Link Check to run a report showing me broken links on my blog. It’s free to use.
Since SEOs like Google rank blogs lower that have broken links, cleaning up and fixing broken links is a job every blogger should consider.
That first broken link report could be long and overwhelming, but once you start running a broken link report every month, you’ll soon conquer that job.
Fixing broken links was the best bit of blog housekeeping I did because it improves your blog’s overall ranking, meaning more traffic and visitors to your blog.
3. Categories and tags
When I checked how many categories and tags I had on my blog, I was shocked by the number.
What amazed me was that many categories and tags were no longer active. Like some of my old blog posts, they were deadwood.
Checking which categories and tags are no longer active is easy.
Follow this guide.
- On your blog’s dashboard, click on Posts and then Categories. (Click on Tags to manage Tags).
A list of all your categories will show how many posts you have under each category.
- To delete a category, click on the meatball menu next to the number and click on ‘delete.’
Follow the same process for managing the Tags on your blog.
4. Menu Bar
I also took the opportunity to tidy up the menubar on my blog. Although it was not what I considered ‘top heavy’, I moved some items to sub-categories.
Here’s an example. I moved some fictional stuff to sub-categories under ‘Fiction.’ When you now hover over ‘Fiction‘ on the menu, you’ll see the sub-categories pop up.
Blogs with top-heavy menus can look overwhelming and messy to visitors.
Click here for more help with menus on your blog.
Once you start housekeeping your blog, it will make you feel much more positive about your blog.
Try and get into the habit of housekeeping your blog at least once every six months, although I’d recommend running a broken links report at least once a month.
Let’s wrap it up
- Performing housekeeping on your blog is something every blogger should perform at least once every six months.
- A well-kept blog is a blog that old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to.
- Fixing broken links on your blog will improve your blog’s SEO rating.
- Run a broken link report for your blog once a month. Fix any broken links.
- Delete categories and tags that are no longer being used on your blog. Too many categories and tags can confuse readers.
- Delete old out-of-date blog posts, especially if all they are doing is attracting lots of spam.
- Try and keep the menu of your blog to a minimum. Top-heavy menus can look messy and overwhelming.
How often do you perform blog housekeeping? What do those jobs involve? Do you have any simple tips for housekeeping your blog? Share them in the comments.
Remember that a well-kept blog is a positive and friendly place for your visitors and readers.
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This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in 2020.
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112 thoughts on “4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating”
I bookmarked this post on Twitter. It’s really helpful, thank you.
You’re welcome. I’m glad it has helped, Hayley.
Good job Hugh, you are doing a job of webmaster yourself, impressive
Thank you! I was just wondering, should I keep a list (or tag cloud) of my tags in the sidebar? Or is that too messy, and confusing for my visitors? Does a tag cloud help with SEO?
I think it’s a good idea, but don’t clutter the sidebar, as it can make a blog look messy.
Tag clouds tend to help readers find what they’re looking for. Adding tags to your blog posts helps with SEO.
Great reminder about keeping our blogs up to date, Hugh.
I tried using the broken link checker, but I keep getting a pop up that says ‘URLs with slashes are not supported in the FREE version’. I’ve removed all the slashes I can from the links but still get that message. Any ideas?
Try adding http://www.deborahjay.wordpress.com
Hopefully, that will work. Let me know.
Thanks Hugh – I had to input that, but without the http://
I’ve reached the page check limit, and found 128 broken links, so I have a bit of work ahead of me!
My advice is to fix those links in batches, Deborah. I do them in batches of 20 over a month. It helped stop me from feeling overwhelmed about fixing them all in one go.
Great idea, thanks!
Thanks, Hugh for this informative post! 🙂
You’re welcome, Carol.
Great post links, Debby! Xo
Thanks for the dead link checker.
Having moved multiple times since 05 I’ve got a lot of dead links.
I guess I know what my next blog project is going to be!
Don’t try and do it all in one go, though. I tend to check and fix about 20 links a day. Spreading out the job works much better.
Yeah, my last project took me about 5 years 🙂
Goodluck with the next project.
Thanks for this information. The general word housekeeping is needed for any blogger to do a thorough update on their blog.By making use of the tips stated above, readers will keep having confidence in your value-added content.
I have never even thought of tidying up my blog site or blog posts…partly because I’ve written only about 30!. But good tips, thanks Hugh.
There’s never a time not to do some blog housekeeping, Paul. It pays to start doing it as soon as you have a few blog posts up and running. For some reason, links are known to break for no reason, so it’s worth doing those checks at least once every few months.
Funnily enough earlier today I looked at my first blog, which occasionally I get visitors to, and a gap had opened up on it that made it look odd and disjointed. I easily got rid of the gap but it proves your point. I’ll start looking at the links now as you advise. Thanks again
I didn’t know about subcategories. I write a lot about gratitude and positive mindset. I have gratitude as a category in my menu right now because I plan on doing a LOT more posts about it, but it could really be a subcategory really. So you are saying, I think, that I could have subcategories that can be under the main heading? And so what would I do (if I figure out how to do that) if I write a post about gratitude? Do I click BOTH positive mindset AND gratitude?
Yes, exactly; you could have sub-categories under the main category. For example, suppose I was writing blog posts about the geography of the United Kingdom. In that case, I’d have ‘The United Kingdom’ as the main category and then England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as sub-categories underneath it. If my post was about a visit to a town in Wales, I’d click ‘The United Kingdom and ‘Wales.’
I hope that helps?
I think it does. I’ll just have to figure out how to put those in there. When I figure it out, it should help me with quite a bit!
This post may help.
Internal link boost performance. Thanks for sharing.
Very helpful tips for housekeeping our blogs to make them look tidy.
I’m glad they have helped. Thank you.