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How to declutter your website

Three workers carrying WWWDoes your website resemble the closet under your basement stairs … jammed with random items? Is it full of things you’ve never bothered to clear out simply because they’re hidden from your view and your attention?

In my former career as a website consultant, I worked with a number of clients whose secondary use for their website was to archive documents (usually in the form of a PDF). As we moved toward redesigning their website, we spent countless hours inventorying their content, deciding what should stay and what should go … and trying to figure out WHY the heck those documents and pages were there in the first place.

If you’ve just launched your website and feel everything is how and where it should be, then there’s no need to read any further. But, if you’re like most people and feel your website could use a spring cleaning, read on.

Here are three steps to help you get your website to be clutter-free:

Step 1 – Audit

Go through each page of your website and ask yourself these three questions about your content:

  1. Is it timely and relevant?
  2. Does it inspire action?
  3. Will it make me money?

If you answer yes to at least two of the three then it stays. If not, maybe it should go.

Step 2 – Sort

Now that you’ve culled your content, it’s time to sort it into logical categories. Pay particular attention to your navigation headings. These are the names of the sections of your website, such as About, Contact, Blog, Services. The trick is to keep them short, simple and obvious to the end user.

Step 3 – Test

Your website may appear to present your information in a way that makes perfect sense, and it may … to you. The true test is with those who actually use your website. Find two or three people from your target audience. Show them your content and your headings. Ask them to find certain bits of information and see how long it takes them. For example, ask them to find a listing of your services, or to sign up for your newsletter. If it takes too long, (or worse if they can’t do it) it’s time to reorganize.

These are three easy ways to get started in clearing the clutter from your website. Next week we’ll take at look at organizing your website to make it a nice place to visit … all the while ensuring it converts your visitors into customers.

How is your website working for you? What are you doing to make it a technology tool that helps you run your business and achieve your goals? Post your comments below and join the conversation.

 

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