It’s that time of year.

Things sit idle. They gather dust and become cluttered. It’s up to us to bring them back into working order, and clean them off.

Your website is no different. If you haven’t given it any TLC in a little while, it may not work the way they did when you first built it. The design, logo and content may also gather a bit of “dust” and begin to appear dated as styles, concepts, and ideas begin to change.

What can be done? Just like your house or your garage, your website needs a good spring cleaning. This will help your content marketing efforts run a little more smoothly.

Update pages – Do you have live pages for products or services that you’re no longer offering? Has your contact information changed over time? Make sure your website is an active reflection of your business. Don’t give your customers the wrong impression on your offerings. These things should be continuously monitored.

Clean up the backend – If you’re on WordPress make sure that the backend is kept up to date. Update your themes and plugins as quickly as possible. This is more than an organizational / clutter issue. Outdated themes and plugins make it easier for your site to be hacked. Here are a few WordPress security suggestions.

Fix broken links – Broken links are a major pet peeve of readers, customers and Google. Make sure that you go through and either delete the pages or update the links. Nothing is more frustrating than for a reader to be compelled enough to click, and then the promised content is missing. You should probably clean your links up at least every few months.

Update your site – Now is the time to catch up on any long-term housekeeping projects that you were considering. Is your blog on your website instead of offsite? Were there additional plugins you’ve been meaning to add? A few small projects here and there can keep your site humming along in the future. This should be evaluated every few months.

Fresh content and design – If your website sat for long enough, the content and design may no longer be an accurate reflection of what your business is doing. It may be time for a rewrite or redesign. Be honest with yourself. Your site’s an investment. This should be evaluated every few months.

Conclusion – Readers are more advanced than we often give them credit for. When your site shows signs of disarray, they can grow impatient. If you give them a reason to seek out the next search result, they will, so make sure your site is up to date. It’s also good to have a clean, optimal site as you look to continue driving traffic with awesome blog content.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-based marketing writer and copy editor

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