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Spruce Up Your Blog in 2013! (A New Series) Part 1: The Blog Audit

Have you audited your blog lately?

Corporations regularly have professionals perform audits of their websites for everything from load time to accessibility to appearance. While it’s likely that you’ve tweaked your site design recently, you probably haven’t done a full site review.

Here’s a few simple things you can do to launch your blog audit.

1. YOU.

Do your blog readers know what you look like? Do you they know who you are? Is it clear what your blog is all about? is it easy for them to find all this information?

Your blog name, tag line, and about page should spell all this information out, clearly. AND USE YOUR PHOTO! Please ditch the cartoon avatars. That doesn’t say anything about you.

2. SITE NAVIGATION.

Is it easy to find the link to your about page? How about your archives? Your categories? Search? Keep it loud and proud, my friends. Make it crisp, clear, and obvious.Also, avoid too much cuteness in your navigation tabs; you want them to be easy to find.

3. INDEXING.

In order to get eyes on your posts, you need to make sure the search engines can index your blog. The best way to do this is to create a sitemap and submit your sitemap to Google (here’s some great info about how to do that). Here’s yet another reason to have your site on WordPress: there’s a handy plugin that takes care of that for you.

4. FIX THOSE BROKEN LINKS.

If you’re on WordPress, this is simple. The Broken Link Checker plugin finds your broken links for you. If you aren’t, you can use sites link Broken Link Check to find your broken links. If you have too many broken links in your site, you’ll be penalized by the search engines and your site will get buried.

5. BRUSH UP YOUR SEO.

Want a fun and easy tip to improve your SEO? Dump the “read more” tag at the end of your posts unless “read more” is a term you want to optimize. Instead, include your title in the piece (assuming you’ve optimized your title, of course).

BONUS:

Don’t forget to make your site mobile friendly. More people read websites on tablets and phones than computers these days.

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