SEO Cleanup: How to Start the Year Right

Ilfusion Creative
5 min readJan 11, 2023
SEO Cleanup: How to Start the Year Right

Optimizing your website involves several steps, and by the end of every year, all these could build up and result in a cluttered and messy SEO environment. That’s why the start of the new year is a good time to do an SEO cleanup and get your website humming along as it should.

What Is SEO Cleanup?

In a nutshell, SEO cleanup is the process of removing all the unnecessary and outdated elements on your website/s that are no longer needed, such as outdated content and meta tags that are no longer relevant.

SEO cleanup also involves a thorough review of your website’s content, structure, and technical components to ensure that it’s optimized for both search engine indexing and user experience.

SEO Cleanup vs. SEO Audit: Are They the Same?

It’s important to note that SEO cleanup isn’t the same as an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a broader review of how well your website performs in terms of SEO and how it can be improved.

On the other hand, an SEO cleanup is a more focused process that is done to remove any unnecessary and outdated elements that can hinder the performance of your website.

It’s like a deep clean for your website, clearing out all the clutter and leaving it optimized for search engine indexing and user experience.

Why Is SEO Cleanup Important?

Conducting an SEO cleanup ensures that your website is truly optimized so that your website can be easily found by search engine bots. This ultimately helps to improve your website’s search engine rankings, which in turn helps it attract more organic traffic.

It also ensures that users have a positive experience and can easily navigate through your website and find what they’re looking for. Cleaning up all the unnecessary clutter also helps reduce page load times, making it easier for search engines to index your website.

What Areas Should You Look for When Doing an SEO Cleanup?

When conducting an SEO cleanup, you should look at all areas of your website’s structure and content. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

Website structure:

  • Make sure all content is organized in a logical hierarchy and can be easily navigated by users.
  • Review your website’s URL structure and make sure it uses logical and meaningful URLs.
  • Ensure all internal links are working properly.

Content and on-page SEO:

  • Make sure all content is up-to-date, relevant, and written in a style that’s optimized for search engine indexing.
  • Remove all content that’s no longer needed or relevant.
  • Optimize your images and make sure they have proper alt tags.
  • Make sure all meta tags are in proper order and relevant to the content they’re associated with.

Off-page SEO:

  • Review your website’s backlinks and remove any that are irrelevant or low-quality.
  • Make sure all external links are working properly and point to relevant websites.
  • Monitor your website’s performance periodically to identify any areas that need attention.

Technical SEO:

  • Run a check to make sure all technical elements of your website are functioning properly.
  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Ensure that your website is secure and all the necessary security protocols are in place.


  • Set up a Google Webmaster Tools account and track your website’s performance, if you haven’t already.
  • Monitor any changes in your website’s ranking.
  • Monitor any changes in the search engine indexing of your website.

How to Conduct an SEO Cleanup

While there are no set rules on how to conduct an SEO cleanup, and your approach is best tailored to your individual website’s needs, there are a few steps you should take to get started:

1. Take inventory

Start by taking an inventory of all the content and SEO elements on your website. Make sure that all content is up-to-date and relevant, and remove anything that’s no longer needed or outdated.

Other things that you could include in your inventory:

  • All images and their alt tags
  • Any meta tags associated with content
  • Internal and external links
  • Website structure
  • Website performance

2. Analyze your website’s data

Once you’ve taken inventory of all the elements on your website, it’s time to analyze your website’s performance. This includes looking at things such as:

  • Page load times
  • Number of visitors to your website
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time on site
  • Search engine rankings
  • Backlinks

3. Review your content strategy

Your content is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO, so it’s important to review your content strategy. A few considerations to make:

  • Is your content optimized for search engines?
  • Is it written in a style that’s easy to read and understand?
  • Does it contain keywords that are relevant to your business?
  • Is it up-to-date and relevant?

4. Test your website’s performance

Testing your website’s performance is the best way to identify any areas that need attention. Make sure to test for things such as page load times, broken links, and other technical elements.

You can also use tools such as Google Webmaster Tools to monitor your website’s performance over time. Other tools you can use in your SEO cleanup are:

SEO audit tools to find areas where improvements can be made.

Examples: Screaming Frog, Moz, and Ahrefs

A/B testing tools to fine-tune your website’s user experience.

Examples: Google Optimize, VWO, and Convert

Website speed testing tools to check the loading times for your web pages.

Examples: Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and Pingdom

Content analysis tools to identify content that needs updating or removal.

Examples: Buzzsumo and Ahrefs

5. Make any necessary changes

Executing any changes to your website is the last step in the SEO cleanup process. Make sure that any changes you make are consistent with your content strategy and SEO goals.

If you’re making changes to the content on your website, make sure they are relevant and up-to-date. If you’re making changes to the technical aspects of your website, make sure they are in line with best practices and the latest SEO policies.

Finally, don’t forget to test your website again after making any changes, and make sure that any new content is.

How Frequently Should You Conduct SEO Cleanup?

Ideally, you should conduct an SEO cleanup every few months to ensure that everything is up-to-date and in line with current best practices. Additionally, you should also make sure to monitor your website’s performance regularly, so that any issues can be identified and addressed quickly.

SEO cleanup is an important part of maintaining a website’s performance and visibility in search engine results.

By taking inventory of your website’s content and SEO elements, analyzing performance data, reviewing content strategies, testing website performance, and making any necessary changes, you can ensure that your website meets the latest SEO standards and provides a great experience for visitors.

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Ilfusion Creative

Ilfusion Inc. is a full-service creative agency located in Fort Worth, TX with talents in web, design, video, social media and marketing consultation.