Spring cleaning is the worst, isn’t it? You do it once a year, you rip your house apart to get rid of all the accumulated filth, extra knickknacks, and kitchen tools that you don’t know when you bought, and you end it a heaving, sneezy, coughing wreck (or maybe that’s just me). When you look at your house, though, sparkling clean and fresh, you can’t help but think it’s all worth it.
The same can be said about websites.
Just like your house, your dealership website needs to be taken care of and cleaned out. As time goes by, you’ll need to comb through it and either rework or remove “bad” or outdated content to help it thrive.
Thankfully, we’re here to help.
What kind of content is considered “Bad”?
There are many different kinds of content, and as a result, there are a lot of ways that it can go wrong. Generally, content is considered “bad”, or in need of repair / removal when it contains at least one of the following:
- Broken links, images, or other content
- Outdated information or marketing
- Thin content
- Irrelevant content
- Poor writing
- Unnecessarily long load times
None of these are a particularly good look on any page, and these are not very favorable to your website’s SEO, which means you’re going to want to fix them ASAP.
Thankfully, they’re not unfixable. In most, if not all cases, these are the side-effects of certain pages getting neglected, and not being updated regularly.
Let’s go through each of these one at a time:
Broken links, images, and other content – These are the videos that aren’t loading properly, or the links that lead to dead or error pages. A single broken image or link is bad enough, but having more than one of these can be an eyesore.
Outdated information or marketing – It’s exactly what it says on the tin. Maybe you had a huge marketing blitz a few months back, or you forgot to update a few of the pages to account for a change in management, phone number, or location. Either way, if the information isn’t accurate, that’s going to lead to a lot of frustrated people that won’t be looking at your dealership very favorably.
Thin / Irrelevant content – Thin content is useless content that doesn’t have much value to the user. Google generally considers doorway pages or pages with little to no content “thin”, which will cause a drop in your SEO score.
Bad writing – Writing a website doesn’t have to be like a Cormac McCarthy novel, but it should include proper spelling, sensible word choice, and active voice. Users aren’t going to respond well to a page that is barely comprehensible, after all.
Unnecessarily long load times – The bane of most mobile users’ existence is a poorly optimized page. A website with poor optimization will often take a lot longer to load, which gives them less incentive to hang around when they can go somewhere else that will load much quicker.
Noticing these issues and knowing when to fix them is extremely important, especially because of how much they can wreak havoc on your site’s SEO.
What are the benefits of fixing “bad” content?
The benefits are twofold: One, you can improve the experience of any user who happens to visit your website, and two: it boosts your SEO and helps your website get noticed in major search engines.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is often the life or death of the online arm of any business. It boosts the visibility of your dealership’s site on search engines like Google, which sorts websites based on various factors using their unique algorithm. The better you optimize your SEO, the better your chances of showing up on the first page of a potential customer’s Google search results, which can then lead to a purchase if you play your cards right.
This is absolutely essential for your business, and keeping your website pruned and up-to-date is an important part of the SEO process.
What should I do about the “bad” content and pages on my website?
When faced with a “bad” page, you can do one of two things: you can fix the bad content, or you can remove (or replace!) the page entirely.
Before you decide whether or not you want to remove of fix a page, ask yourself these questions:
- How much traffic is this bringing in?
- Is this page essential to the dealership’s website?
- Will removing the page break your links?
- Have you covered this topic somewhere else already?
For example, if this is a page with higher traffic than some of your other pages, with important information that just happens to be out of date, you might want to go and edit the page instead of removing it. On the other hand, if the page is a low-traffic page that’s a near-duplicate of a page found elsewhere on your website, it may be best to cut your losses and remove it completely.
Sometimes, the current version of a page might be irrelevant, but it inspires you to create a new, similar page that fits the same function but has none of the hangups that held it back before.
What you do with your pages is up to you, though if you want to remove a page, always make sure to check the rest of your website to make sure no links get broken in the aftermath.
If I want to fix these pages, what should I do?
Fixing a bad page can take a lot of time and effort, but there are more than a few ways to go about it. You can:
Improve the page’s content. – Improving a page’s content is simple enough. Expand the material that’s already there, tweaking the writing and changing some elements that you aren’t particularly sold on. Don’t like that headline? Make it snappier! Does the writing go into too many unnecessary digressions? Tighten the writing so it reads at a nice clip instead of a dripping slog. Add a relevant video or some more images if it looks like nothing but a wall of text. Make sure that it’s a page that you would feel proud to represent your brand.
Check for grammatical errors, and other editing mistakes. – There are few things that turn people off a page more than a glaring typo. You shouldn’t rely on spelling or grammar checkers if you can help it; while they are useful with very obvious mistakes that you might overlook, there are some errors that they won’t catch.
Use SEO best practices – This means going through the content, tags, page titles, and other elements and making sure that they’re as optimized as possible for SEO. This also means going through your content and making sure not to fall into the common SEO pitfalls: keyword stuffing, overuse of links, and poor URL architecture.
Update any outdated information – If the page’s information is outdated, it’s extremely important that you fix that ASAP. You should be checking your website regularly to make sure that none of the information is out of date.
Fix any broken links or other page elements – This is probably one of the easiest issues to find, but sometimes one of the hardest to fix. It could be as simple as changing a few images around or updating some links, to changing the site layout entirely. Make sure that any and all images and videos that are embedded in your pages are up-to-date, and your site is compatible with both current desktop browsers and accessible to mobile users.
Once the bad page is fixed, your job isn’t over. Check it and the other pages of your website regularly to look for issues. Finding them and fixing them early can keep your website’s SEO in good shape and will save you both time and money in the long run. Fixing everything at once was a huge undertaking the first time, after all.
Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.
This can be a little intimidating, and you might not know where to even start. Don’t worry: we have you covered.
Let Fixed Ops Digital do an audit of your website, and we’ll make you a prioritized action plan that will not only help your website get back in shape, but help your dealership get higher profits and better SEO visibility.
If you’re interested, contact us today, and we can get your dealership, your website, and your bottom line back on track!