Spring Cleaning is Not Just for Closets
Websites need attention too

Although a website review can seem like a daunting task there a small steps you can take to ensure your content remains relevant to your visitors.

Author: Phoebe Simon

Website Clean-Up

There are many considerations when planning a site review, but the process does not have to be overwhelming. A site clean-up can be as simple as taking a look at your content or as complex as creating governance and content strategies. For the purposes of this blog we'll look at some low-hanging fruit you can address that will garner large wins not only for your visitors but also for search engine optimization results.

Content Organization

The first step to dealing with website clean-up is to determine who is responsible for each page of content on your site. It can be an eye-opening exercise which may bring to light that some content is not being managed by anyone, or that several are responsible for the same page or pages. In truth, every page of your site needs to be assigned so there are no questions about who is responsible. To take it one step further, you can begin to think about implementing rules for content. For example are there time stamps by when content should be reviewed? If not, a page review for relevancy at least every six months is a good practice. 

Page Not Found Review

A big detriments to your search engine optimization results (and user frustration) is a 404 error or Page Not Found result. One way to locate these broken links is to have a crawl done of your site using a tool like Screaming Frog. The results from the report will indicate where those broken links are located so you can review  pages, set up redirects, or eliminate the link altogether. 

Search Results

All websites on the Digital Commons platform have Google Analytics tracking set up. Google analytics provides a ton of information about your site and site visitors for free. One easy application of this tool is to review what search terms site visitors are typing into your website "search" field. Reviewing this information may show that a restructuring of your content is in order. If there is a large number of searches for a specific piece of content, it means your visitors are having trouble locating it and the site architecture may need to be revisited. Access your Google Analytics account and review what search terms your site visitors are looking for.  

Content Structure

Most site visitors want page content organized in chunks so they can quickly scan a page and find the content they are looking for. Similarly to how this blog post is organized with headings followed by small bits of more detailed content under each heading. If your site pages have nothing but links on them or paragraph after paragraph of text with no headers or images to break it up, it might be time to restructure your content in a way that is more user friendly. Take a look at your top pages to see how they are organized. If it isn't already, chunk your content so site visitors can quickly scan your pages to find the information they are looking for. 

If you are a web manager of your site, you can submit a ServiceNow ticket to request assistance from Digital Services team.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and we have more coming! If you have any suggestions for a topic you'd like to see covered please suggest it here: https://digitalcommons.nc.gov/blog-ideas.

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