Most of us start the new year full of energy, determined to clear the decks and tackle new projects. Some of us at Geonetric have spent the past week in “clearing” mode: recycling documents, archiving information, purging duplicate files. The result is a clean and uncluttered workspace – or at least a lot less cluttered than it was – one where we can readily find the information we need without tripping over outdated stuff or running into dead ends.
As we worked, it became easier to say “yes” to the perennial question – “Are you sure you want to permanently delete this file?” – especially when the information was several years old or saved in multiple locations.
The whole process got me thinking about how the practice of clearing our workspaces needs to extend to our websites. Websites are workspaces for our online audiences as they seek to find directions and phone numbers, pre-register for a procedure, learn about a treatment, sign up for a class or complete any number of tasks that brought them to your site. The more content you have, however, the harder it may be for people to find what they need. That’s because more content often means more clutter in the form of duplicate, redundant, misplaced or outdated pages.
A content inventory is a good first step in identifying potential clutter. Running an inventory and organizing it by content type (such as HTML pages, images, videos and links), gives you a look at what you have and where it’s located. Further filtering can help you take concrete action – for example, sorting by page title or filtering by subject – to identify and eliminate duplicate content. And reviewing your content by subject area can reveal gaps you may not have known about, such as a women’s section full of information about childbirth, but with limited information on other women’s health services.
Just like a clean sweep of the office, a fresh inventory of your website gives you the opportunity to clear the decks and make your relevant content more findable. Our content team thrives on conquering clutter – and we’re happy to help you. If you’re inspired to get started, contact us.