Search engine optimisation should always be an on-going process, but it’s always a good idea to set aside some time to do those annoying little tasks that you’re always putting off.

So when betterto do this than when you’re getting on with your general spring cleaning?

Here are five bits of SEO housekeeping that will help make sure your site is ranking as well as possible.

1 – Ditch those now worthless links

If your site is of a decent age, the chances are that at some point in the past you acquired links that passed on value then but are now worthless.

It’s easy to pretend none of us ever submitted our sites to directories en masse, but let’s face it a substantial number of people did.

Although these links are unlikely to have a negative impact on your site, they can limit the effectiveness of contemporary link building methods.

Remember, Google looks at a site’s link profile as a whole, so if you have a lot of worthless links the good ones you are now getting will be swamped by the bad ones of the past.

So either manually delete the old directory links (or whatever) if possible, or else use the Google Disavow tool.

That way, your good quality links are more likely to boost your rankings.

2 – Sort out all those little meta issues

Admit it, you’ve never really got round to sorting out all those duplicate meta descriptions, or those pages that don’t have meta tags.

You kind of know you should, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort. After all, there are much bigger SEO fish to fry.

It’s true that fixing this sort of issue won’t catapult you from 20th to first in the rankings, but it might help you edge up from second to first if things are tight.

3 – Rewrite your static copy without thinking about keyword density

This is another old school SEO habit that has died hard because people are lazy.

Again, if your site is old enough the chances are you were told it was best practice to include keywords a certain amount of the time to rank as highly as possible.

Why not do your visitors a favour and rewrite that content with them and not search engines in mind?

The keywords you want to target will crop up naturally enough in your text, and you only need them in there a couple of times for Google’s crawlers to understand what the page is about.

If possible, get the keyword in the page title but never, ever force it.

4 – Check your 404s

And any other error codes you might be experiencing. Not only are missing pages bad for user experience but they can also harm your rankings.

Make sure internal links are pointing at relevant pages so they are passing on their power in the most effective way.

5 – Cut down on internal links

While you’re looking at internal links, spend a bit of time thinking about if you really need all of them.

Too many links can be confusing for visitors and dilute the value of your internal linking schema.

Get rid of a link if it’s not directing people to a resource in which they are likely to be interested.

In short, don’t be lazy! Ok, none of these techniques will send you shooting up the rankings on their own, but if you don’t have the basics sorted then you’re only making things harder for yourself.

License: Creative Commons image source

This guest post was written by Will Stevens, part of the 123-reg blog team and an SEO expert who has written for the Guardian and ReadWrite.