When thinking about the performance of your business website, the most important place to start is your content. If your website has been up for a while and you have been regularly adding content to the site, the number of pages on your website may have gotten out of control. You probably don’t even remember half the stuff that is on your website.
The problem is: search engines and users do remember. If your content has been indexed or bookmarked, visitors may be landing on your site looking at out-of-date content, or worse incorrect pricing/offers. To prevent this from happening, begin scheduling a regular Website Content Review.
What is a Website Content Review?
A Website Content Review is the process where a member of your team, and maybe an objective third-party, go through each page and file that makes up your website and identifies content that needs to be updated, removed or created.
When to do a Website Content Review?
Plan a Content Review yearly as part of your Website Strategic Plan. The first time you perform the Review you will need to get a good inventory of the amount of content saved on your website. Once you have that baseline inventory, follow-up reviews should go much quicker.
If you are planning a website re-design, we would highly recommend doing a Content Review prior to taking down your old website. Before replacing your old web pages, include search ranking data on your old pages when you perform your Content Review. Identify which pages are highly ranked in search results and which pages generate a lot of search traffic. You will want to discuss with your web developer how to maintain search performance through the web redesign process.
How to Start your Content Review
- First you will want to pull down a copy of all your website files from your website hosting account. Even if you have done this before, do a fresh copy, so you have a current snapshot of your live website. You will want to start at the hosting level because old content may no longer be linked to live pages. This is the only way to get a true sense of what is still out on your website.
- Create a spreadsheet with a list of all the files. Add columns for the file name, keep, delete, rewrite.
- Now you need to go through each page of the site and flag it as a keep, delete or rewrite.
This will give you a start. There are many things to double-check before you start removing items from your hosting account. You may want to enlist your web developer or a technical resource to make sure that nothing is removed that could break functionality on the website.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? This is a big job, but a necessary one. We would suggest getting help with your first review and then once you have that baseline, the follow-ups on a yearly basis should be much easier. If you have questions about this process, feel free to sign-up for a free website consultation and we can discuss the scope of your project.