Cleaning up Your Website Structure: How to Reorganize and Optimize Your Website
As your website expands, it can become overwhelming to manage a large collection of pages and maintain a coherent structure. You may find that your menu is cluttered and lacks organization, causing confusion for both users and search engines. It's time to clean up this mess and create a streamlined and user-friendly website structure that Google and your visitors will appreciate. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of reorganizing your website and provide step-by-step instructions to help you achieve a well-optimized online presence.
Define Your Goals
Before diving into the reorganization process, take a moment to revisit the purpose of your website. Your goals may have evolved since its creation, and it's essential to align your site structure with your current objectives. Define the mission of your blog, online store, or business, and ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page. Additionally, identify any sub-goals or specific targets within your website and make note of them for future reference.
Assess Your Content
To effectively reorganize your website, you need to gain a clear understanding of your existing content. Create an overview of all the pages and sections within your website using a spreadsheet or similar tool. Focus on high-level categories or sections rather than individual pages, especially if you have a substantial amount of content. In addition to listing your content, gather data from sources like Google Analytics to evaluate the performance and relevance of each section or category. This information will help you make informed decisions during the restructuring process.
Evaluate Your Menu
Your website's menu is a crucial element in presenting your site structure to visitors. Take a close look at your menu and assess its effectiveness in guiding users to relevant sections of your website. Consider visualizing your menu in a table or document alongside other planning documents. This visual representation will help you identify any gaps or areas that require improvement.
Align Goals, Content, and Menu
Now that you have a clear understanding of your goals, content, and menu structure, it's time to ensure they are in alignment. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which content aligns most closely with my website's mission?
- Does this content meet the needs of my target audience? (Refer to data and user research)
- Is the important content easily accessible through the menu or homepage?
- Are there any essential elements missing from my site based on my goals?
- Do I have any content in my menu or hierarchy that is non-essential or underperforming?
Answering these questions will provide valuable insights into how you can reorganize your site structure. Highlight the most important pages, sections, or categories in your spreadsheet, ensuring they are easily accessible through the menu and/or homepage. Remove any non-essential content from the top-level menu, but remember to include links to these pages in related content, XML sitemaps, or your website's footer. Aim to keep your main menu concise, featuring 5 to 8 items for optimal user experience and easy navigation.
When designing your homepage, consider both your goals and the user journey of your audience. Determine where visitors are in their journey when they land on your homepage and what content they expect to find. By delivering relevant content at the right stage of their journey, you can enhance their experience and engagement on your website.
Streamline and Update
During the content assessment, you may identify pages that require updates or removal. Take the necessary steps to refresh outdated content or eliminate irrelevant pages. Create a list of pages or posts that need updating and utilize project management tools like Trello to track the progress of content updates. If a page no longer serves a purpose or aligns with your new structure, delete it from your website and set up proper redirects to related content. Consider using the Redirect Manager in Yoast SEO Premium to easily handle redirects without relying on a developer.
In some cases, you may discover that multiple articles cover similar topics, resulting in keyword cannibalization. To address this, merge relevant articles into a single, comprehensive piece of cornerstone content. By consolidating your content, you can avoid duplication and improve your site's overall SEO performance. When moving or merging categories or sections, be mindful of URL changes, and utilize 301 redirects to maintain search engine visibility.
Don't overlook the importance of internal linking and cornerstone content. Evaluate your internal linking structure, ensuring that related posts are interconnected. Make use of Yoast SEO Premium's internal linking suggestions to streamline your internal linking efforts. Additionally, consider rethinking your taxonomies (categories and tags) to maintain a focused and well-organized site structure.
Seek Expert Advice if Needed
Restructuring a website can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for larger websites. If you are unsure about certain aspects or need assistance with technical considerations such as permalink structure changes, consulting an experienced SEO professional is recommended. They can provide valuable guidance and ensure that the restructuring process is executed effectively.
Remember, reorganizing your website's structure is a significant undertaking. Take the time to plan, evaluate, and execute the necessary changes to create a clean, user-friendly, and optimized online presence.
If you require assistance in reorganizing your website, Media Masters Plus+ is here to help. As a leading web design company, we specialize in creating streamlined and effective website structures. Our services include web design, ecommerce development using Shopify, and SEO services. Contact us today to discuss your website optimization needs and start building a better online presence with Media Masters Plus+.