If you’re reading this from the United States, winter of 2016 has just kicked off. Spring isn’t in the forecast as of now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead on organizing and de-cluttering your company website. Just like storage spaces in your home, websites can collect dust and clutter over time, requiring a thorough cleaning every so often to keep things fresh and organized.
A website audit is the perfect solution to successfully cleaning up your company website and ensuring that it’s functional and secure. The purpose of a website audit is to comb through each page and your Google Analytics account and analyze your very best content, as well as detecting security threats. This is also a time to reorganize your navigation menu, replace outdated photos, analyze keywords that impact your SEO, and do general housekeeping around your website.
If you haven’t thought about cleaning up your company website, it’s time to take a closer look. Clear a couple hours off the clock, open a blank Microsoft Excel document, and get ready to get your website rocking for 2016.
Website Audit Step #1: Start With a Spreadsheet
The first step to a website audit and cleaning is to document your findings in a spreadsheet. Open a blank spreadsheet and create categories for the following:
- Webpage URL
- Webpage Title
- Page visits
- Last date updated (if known)
Depending on the volume of content that you have on your website, this can turn into a tedious task. However, it’s an important step in terms of identifying outdated data on your website and adding new, relevant information for your customers.
Website Audit Step #2: Open up Google Analytics
The next step in your company website cleanup is to open up your Google Analytics account. You’ll want to set the date range over the entire course of 2015, so you’ll know exactly what volume of traffic each page received over the course of a year.
You can find the traffic numbers and sources for each page of content by logging into Google Analytics, selecting your date range, and going to:
- Site Content
- All Pages
You can then sort your pages by page views in either ascending or descending order. This will help you keep track of your subpages, blog posts, and downloads that are ranked most popular to least popular or vice versa.
Website Audit Step #3: Comb Through Your List of Pages
This step is one of the most time consuming steps during the whole website auditing process. Your job now is to fill out your spreadsheet page-by-page while listing all of the corresponding information that we listed in step 1.
While the first 4 categories we listed in step 1 are pretty straight forward, you’ll want to also pay attention to your keywords. Take a close look at what keywords you are using on each subpage (if any), and evaluate how effective those keywords are for your goals. You can evaluate the effectiveness of your keywords by using keyword research tools such as SEMRush, Wordtracker, and the free version of Google Adwords.
This process will help you identify content and subpages that are both useful and not useful to your customers. When you find pages that are severely outdated or have very low traffic numbers over the course of the year, you’ll need to consider how to move forward with the page in question. Popular subpages can be updated, expanded, or even re-purposed into new forms of content for your customers to enjoy.
Company Website Cleanup Strategy: Your Navigation System
Once you’ve completed your website audit and determined what’s missing from your website and what can be improved upon, it’s time to start your cleanup.
One of the first steps that you want to take for cleaning up is taking a look at the structure of your navigation. Your navigation system is vitally important for the flow of your website, and to ensure that your customers have a good user experience.
The first step is to put your most visited and popular subpages in a visible place on your navigation menu. On the other hand, if there aren’t a lot of people who are looking at your photo gallery page, there’s no sense in making the link the first option on your navigation bar.
From there, your options depend on how much content that you have on your website. You can break options down into categories to make it more organized. If you happen to have a lot of content and subpages, you might want to consider using a mega menu instead of the standard dropdown CSS menu.
A mega menu is a navigation menu that expands horizontally instead of vertically. This allows you to avoid making customers use extensive drop down menus that tab out excessively into new categories. All of your links and subpages will be displayed in one cohesive menu instead of branching out into multiple categories.
Cleaning Up Security Threats
As you’re wrapping up your website cleanup and reorganizing, don’t forget to take security threats into consideration. Viruses and hackers can enter your website through exploited scripts, leaving your website and customers vulnerable. This is especially the case if your customers enter sensitive information through your website, such as contact information or a credit card number.
If you use WordPress, there are various tools that can scan your website to scan your website for malicious and unwanted codes. Sucuri can help you detect security threats in WordPress themes, so you can take action against exploitations.
How is Your Business Doing Online?
In addition to auditing your website, managing your content, and checking up on security threats, you’ll also need to get a handle on how your business is performing online in terms of SEO. The cleanest website in the world won’t get you any customers if they can’t find you in the search engines, and Big Foot Media can help review your website’s search engine performance.
Find out how your business is doing online right now. Use our FREE website scanning tool below to get your visibility score – Takes 45 seconds.