Cleaning Up Overcrowded and Confusing Sites
After a website has been around for a while, it might get a bit cluttered up. In fact, this is actually a common problem with websites that are very well maintained. Well maintained sites usually add content for search engine optimization purposes on a fairly regular basis. Over time, that content piles up and you might end up with a navigational mess on your hands. Here are some ways to clean up this, and other, website clutter.
1: Use Tags
If your website navigation is confusing because some of the content you added doesn’t really fit under the appropriate category, consider using tags as organizational elements. If you have a blogging section on your website, there’s a good chance that it allows you to tag content with keywords. Make sure you use these and make sure you use a lot of them. This helps people to navigate from one article to a related article by clicking on the tag rather than having to find the related article through the navigation menu, which might be difficult.
2: Take Out the Trash
Some of the content you might have on your website could very well be outdated. For instance, envision that you owned a software company that has released many different downloadable patches for your various products over the years. There’s a good chance that some of those products are no longer available or supported. Go through and clean up your server and get rid of this outdated material. It might give you some valuable disk space but, more importantly, it may allow you to eliminate some options from your navigation menus, making them more streamlined.
3: Broken Links
You will definitely want to make certain that you identify any broken links on your site. They look very unprofessional. Your website designer can likely handle this for you if they are doing a redesign. There are some utilities you can use to check for broken links on your site. If you do have one of these, be sure you give the results it gives you back to your web designer so that they can go through and take out broken links. These are particularly bad to have in your actual navigation menus.
If part of your site is a blog, it likely has archiving features built into it. Make sure that you use these. This makes it easier for people to find content that they may be interested in and it eliminates the need for you to have old and dated content posted on multiple places on your site.
5: Take Out Some Ads
This is always a very hard thing to do, but it’s sometimes better to remove advertisements from your website than it is to leave them running. If the advertisements aren’t bringing in much money, they’re likely just cluttering up your site. Ask your web designer if there is any SEO benefit to any of your advertisements before you eliminate them, however, as that may be a factor.
When you’re having a site redesign, your site designer will generally want to go through and make certain that you get rid of any content that you don’t want anymore. Be sure you help them through this process. Remember that, by doing so, you’re actually saving yourself money because you’re not having useless pages put back onto the redesigned site.
The best way to keep your site from getting overcrowded and confusing to visitors is to be selective about what you put on it. If you could sell a banner advertisement but you just don’t have the space for it on your site without cluttering it up, for instance, seriously consider what you’re doing before you commit to anything.
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