There can always be another tweak to your website copy, photos can and should be updated every couple of years, and you should always seek to make your website easier to navigate to eliminate any confusion. Personally, I love to do an audit and simplify my website at least once a year. And I recommend doing a website audit of your own website a couple of times a year too, by looking over your website from top to bottom and looking for things that you can change to make them more effective. I typically change things up in big and sometimes little ways. This past year, I did a massive overhaul of my site, but in year’s past, I merely changed words here and photos there.
Today’s post is all about taking the time to tidy up and simplify your website to make it easier for your audience. You can tackle these things all at once and do a major website overhaul, or you can take one thing at a time (perhaps once a month) and slowly tweak your site to your heart’s desire.
Whatever you decide, I’ve made it easy for you with a video and a list of the things you should consider when tidying up and simplifying your website:
Tidy up your site
#1 – Get rid of opt-in forms and links that don’t work
You’ll want to make sure that your forms and links are working. Check through every page and post, clicking on the links and filling out any email opt-in forms. Consider adding a custom 404 Error page that has your most recent posts and a bit of information to help point your audience in the right direction if the pull up a link that no longer works.
#2 – Edit any posts that mention a past promotion that is now over
Go back through past posts and make sure your calls-to-action are still valid. If you’ve taken a course or product out of your shop, consider changing the link or adding in a question (to get comments on the post) instead.
#3 – Delete posts that no longer serve your ideal audience
If you feel like the post no longer serves your audience or if you’ve moved in a different direction with your biz, be sure to either delete these posts or at least change them from published to a draft so that you don’t confuse your audience.
#4 – Go page by page and look for any irrelevant sentences, products, services, etc.
Make sure that you only have products or services that you’d like to promote this year. Do more of what is selling and declutter any products or services that aren’t serving you.
#5 – Delete unused plugins, themes, and pages
These things just bog down your website. Delete anything that you’re not using, so your website can be fast and efficient.
Simplify your website
#1 – Narrow down the choices in your navigation to the most important pages
When you have too many choices in your menu bar, your audience will suffer from analysis paralysis. They won’t be sure where to go, and they’ll freeze. I typically recommend having seven items in your navigation bar or less.
#2 – Have a friend walk through your site as you quietly watch so you can see where anything is difficult for them or hard to understand
User testing is very important to do from time to time. Have a friend or a family member walk through your entire site. You can even ask them to perform certain tasks, like going to your shop and pretending to purchase one of your products. Watch to see where they get hung up or if they try to click on anything that they might think is a button that isn’t really a button. Eliminate any confusion or make things easier after you’ve watched them walk through your site.
#3 – Have one main call-to-action per page/simplify choices
Each page needs to have a call-to-action for your audience to complete to help move them toward joining your email list or purchasing something from you. Look at each page and see if you need to add a call-to-action (like a contact form, button, or link to another page on your site). If you have too many choices, simplify and get rid of anything that is unnecessary or redundant.
#4 – Eliminate the need for multiple clicks to get to a certain page or product
If people have to click a TON of times to get to the item they want in your shop, then they might get a little annoyed and click away. The fewer clicks that your customer takes, the better.
#5 – Use the recommended amount of fonts and colors
Try not to use too many fonts or colors, as this will be overwhelming and will also water-down your Branding. Use the same consistent colors and font choices everywhere on your site (and beyond).
#6 – Narrow down your blog topics/categories
The more you narrow down what you’re blogging about, the better the chances that you’ll attract your ideal audience. A business friend of mine, Meera Kothand, recommends how to get your main content buckets in her book Create*.
#7 – Get rid of your sidebar
This isn’t necessary but it can help people to focus on your blog post instead of getting distracted by the things in your sidebar. You can always add an author section and a recent post section at the bottom of your posts to help your audience to learn more about you and to keep them reading.
Need more help to create a site that you’ll love? Check out my Work With Me Page to find out how we can work together.
*This post contains affiliate links to a product that I’ve used and loved so much that I couldn’t help myself but share it with you. Know that I get a small kickback from you clicking on and purchasing the items mentioned.