Over the years, you have probably accumulated many pages, articles, and press releases – some that probably have overlapping or duplicate topics. Organizing a big, messy site is a challenge but luckily it can be done in steps. The biggest mistake you can make is not starting.
It begins with taking inventory of all the pages on your website. Don’t forget about folders, folders in folders (if applicable), and any subdomains or other strange anomalies. Use a tool like Screaming Frog, Moz, or LinkSleuth to extract header/title tag information. In a spreadsheet, you can see which topics overlap.
Once the pages are organized by main category, you can rename them with an SEO friendly URL, minimizing repeating keywords and/or dashes where necessary. Take a look at this article: https://moz.com/blog/15-seo-best-practices-for-structuring-urls for some tips.
Easy to Navigate
For Users: Why should you bother to reorganize and restructure a website you ask? The #1 reason would be for enhancing user experience. With pages put in the appropriate directory, with URLs that accurately describe the content, potential customers will be able to easily tell where they are going and where they are.
For Internal Linking: Restructuring URLs to be more organized and intuitive will enhance with your own internal linking and SEO. Having a structured system means that your website is more easily crawled by search engines and that is always a good thing.
Reevaluate What You Really Need
The content on your website should be intuitive, intentional, and serve a specific purpose. If you have a random collection of content, it might not be the best to hold onto everything hoping that it will capture some of the right traffic. Having multiple pages on the same topic isn’t all that helpful and can even be diluting your link juice and ranking ability. Instead of having pages compete against each other on your own site, it may be helpful to combine them to make a longer, informative web page.
Technical Issues When Redirecting
Remember, pages can’t just be deleted and left alone. 301 redirects and changes in the .htaccess are important and your newly renamed URLs may cause havoc if these steps aren’t taken properly. You may need the assistance of an experienced webmaster to make sure that the right measures are taken so that your site doesn’t suffer from broken links and bad user experience.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.