So, we’re now approaching the end of the 6th week of lockdown in the UK, and I initially started writing this 3 weeks ago..lol. BUT whether lockdown restrictions ease or not in the coming week, it goes without saying that these blog admin jobs can be done any time when you got some free time on your hands.
Having said that, lockdown is genuinally the perfect opportunity to spend some much needed time on your blog to get the behind the scenes running smoothly. They are most probably those jobs that you’ve been putting off for months and pretending they don’t exist, cos SAME.
With my background in Ecommerce and SEO, I always write and engineer my blog with these hats on. If you’re looking to clean things up and spring forward with a new passion for your blog post lockdown, here’s some blog admin jobs you gotta be adding to your list.
Fix Broken Links
It’s the job we all love to hate. Broken links are typically found on old wishlists, fashion posts and anything in general where a product you linked to no longer exists. So, you might be thinking, but what is a broken link and why should I remove them?
When a user lands on your blog post, they spot a lovely dress linked in your post. When they click through it from your blog they end up landing on a ‘page can not be found’ landing page.
Why is this bad? Because google can see your blog is sending people to pages that don’t exist. This is bad for the customer experience, also for the business you are linking to and it means the customer might not return to your blog again. If you have a lot of broken links, this in turn can affect the domain authority of your blog.
Clean them up. There’s no excuses, think of your audience. How do you do it? I use a website called Broken Link Checker (how OG). Simply add your URL in the free check for broken link check box and submit. This will then start crawling your website and displaying all of the posts with broken links, this can take some time, especially if you have a load.
For each broken link displayed, this is the only info you need to look at;
- the broken link you are linking to
- the anchor link text used e.g Floaty Dress
- URL – where the post was found, this helps you identify which blog post it is
Then simply go into the backend of your blog, find the blog post and simply delete the link, you can delete the link text unless it adds context to your post.
This is not a task I recommend doing every couple of years, schedule it once a month and you’ll be able to get through them super quickly.
Delete Old Posts
I’ve been blogging for 7 years now and in that time I have a LOOOOT of content. Embarrassing content. Not just how I look, but the writing style is atrocious, it sits on my blog, no one views it and it provides absolutely no value to my blog. Zada, zilch, zero.
We can all normally tell which posts offer no value, for me, such as 7 year old outfit posts. Before deleting ANY posts I would firstly go onto google analytics and look at your top performing pages as the last thing you want to do is delete blog posts which get a high amount of traffic. To view this data on analytics, head to; Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages.
When you’ve decided to delete a post, regardless to the fact that it receives no traffic as standard practice you should setup a redirect from that old page, so if anyone comes across the link and clicks on it, rather than being met with a cannot be found page they will be redirected automatically to the homepage.
In WordPress you can do this by navigating to Tools > Redirection and Add New. Simply paste in the URL you’ve deleted and redirect to the homepage, this can be done with your URL or simply ‘/’, example below.
Fill Out Posts With Missing Meta Data
Meta data is one of the easiest SEO jobs you can do for your posts. I recommend doing this before you hit publish with every post to ensure its best chances of gaining visibility.
But you’re likely to have a lot of posts that either don’t have any or could be improved upon. Meta titles and descriptions allow you to provide google with a concise summary about the key parts of your post, this helps with click through rate, your traction on google and getting the right people to your post, as well as improving the customer experience. Think of it as a mini advertisement for your post.
Rather then going through each individual blog post to see which one has missing meta data, there is a much easier way to do this.
You will need the Yoast SEO (free version) plugin in order to do this. Navigate to SEO > Tools > Bulk Editor. You can then click between the Title and Description tab and you can easily spot which posts are missing this information. Simply fill it in and click save. I must admit I used to go through EVERY single post before realising there was an easier way to do this.
The meta title has a limit of 70 characters and the description has a limit of 156 characters. You can check the character length on SEO Mofo.
Improve Top Performing Posts
You will always have a select number of posts on your blog that perform amazingly well! One of my most read posts every month is 10 of the best independent coffee shops in Plymouth. Because of the nature of this post I need to ensure this is not only constantly updated with new establishments, but is there anything else I can do to keep my blog readers on my blog for longer?
To find your top performing posts you’re going to need to head on over to your analytics account again. You’re going to want to select Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. You’re going to want to get a large subset of data to get an accurate picture of the most popular posts, so select a date range of the last 6 months to a year. You can select rows at the bottom, increase this to 50 or 100 so you can view it all on one page and then export as a PDF. I usually print this off so I can work through the list logically and tick off the ones I have improved as I go.
Looking at your most popular posts can help you understand if there’s any that really needs improving. Are they just old and outdated? Can you add any further informative data to it? Do the images need redoing? Is your bounce rate ridiculously high? (bounce rate is how quickly someone lands on your page and leaves again).
Due to the nature of blog posts where you read them and quickly exit this is generally going to be high, but anything higher than 70% should be looked at to improve on. You want to focus on how you can get these readers to stay on the post and your blog for longer.
Blog Title Planning
Finally, a little bit of down time is the perfect opportunity to decide where to take your blog in the future and get some blog content planned.
Whilst the majority of my blog posts can be off the cuff, with my SEO hat on I’m always looking for posts that I think could perform really well and that fit with my blog, plus, ones that I would enjoy writing. There are a number of ways that I do this that help to give me inspiration for post ideas;
- Look on the trending topics on Pinterest, is there something that I could write a post about and then pin onto Pinterest to tap into this topic? You can do this by opening the search box on Pinterest. Scroll down and then see what is under Popular On Pinterest.
- I also use Pinterest in general to scroll through and see what types of posts people have written, is there anything I could tap into and share my own ideas on? Is there something that’s never been written about?
- I use Google Trends, and see what’s trending either in the UK or worldwide. Again, are there any key search terms that I could write a post on. You need to be reactive with this type of information as the trends change so rapidly.
- I’ll also look back at my most popular posts again and see if there are any additional ones I could create. My top places to eat in Plymouth are always the most popular as they tend to turn up on Page 1 for the google search. I’ve since done 7 of the best places to grab a hot chocolate in Plymouth and 10 of the best places for breakfast in Plymouth to give you an idea. Start with a topic and brainstorm off it!
Lockdown or not, your blog deserves a little spruce up, don’t neglect the areas we love to hate! What else would you add to your blog admin to do list?