Website detox – 5 things to clean on your website
One of the websites I am responsible for is quite old and there is no budget to revamp it. It’s a content website that only one editor is actively working for so resources are limited.
So I started to get rid of a few things.
We start with everybody on board: editorial team (the above mentioned editor and the print editor responsible for the brand), marketeer, SEO specialists, development and me as the product manager.
Given that there is no budget and only few resources what are we going to do?
Having creative people like editors and developers on board you can be sure that they will always think three or more steps ahead and imagine the perfect website. While it’s good to have a vision it is necessary to concentrate on the things you can actually achieve now.
1. Get rid of old stuff
Just by browsing the website together we found a huge number of cooperations that no longer exist and content categories that are not being written for anymore. Getting rid of those will definitely improve the value of our website.
2. Reduce content structure
Find out what works best on your site and see what categories and sub categories you actually produce content for and then define the few categories you want to keep. Keeping a category because it matters to the editorial team makes no sense if there is not enough content to keep it going. Keeping categories that no one looks into just as well.
3. Focus work on the important things
Apart from the sites own content we reuse content coming from our other websites. So far our editor was working on the whole pool of content to promote current stories that matter on the homepage and category pages. Important for the user as well as Google is the unique content we have, so we now split the two sources. The editor must only work with original contents while the external contents move to the bottom of the page in an automated chronological order. This focusses the editorial work on the important stuff. It also allows us to get some students in for a low budget that will help the editor as the work just got a lot less complex. The idea is that the editor focusses one unique content and the creative parts while the students join in on all mechanical tasks.
4. Create new clusters
We have some byproducts on our site that we want to promote some are even paid products.We also offer a lot of tools that provide a service to the user. All these are cluttered all over the site. The user will find them only by chance and Google will probably ignore them altogether.
So let’s build cluster pages for these. A new product overview page for instance as well as a tool overview page. Both can easily be integrated in the navigation so that users and Google will always find access to them.
5. Create graphical teasers to interlink site where appropriate
Once clusters as mentioned above are defined we can build a variety of graphical teasers that we can put on all pages where appropriate. So if you are using a tool you are being offered access t some other tools as well. Basically we need teasers for everything we want to be accessed frequently but that fits in no category and thus is not part of the navigation.
I call this spring cleaning although a bit late. A workshop with these 5 steps as its agenda will produce a long list of actions. Some will be costing more than others but at least we have a list that we can begin working on. Any step is a step in the right direction.
And with success comes more budget.