The data you should know when structuring your website

Deciding on the right structure for your website is a challenging task. It can be difficult to know where to start but reviewing the right data is key to make the right decisions.

We’ve summarised here some of the main types of data you should be reviewing to help you make better informed decisions.

1. Make sure you’ve got the full picture

To start, make sure you have details of all of the pages on your website. One way to do this is to export all of the pages which have had visits over the past 6-12 months from Google Analytics (or other website analytics package) in to a spreadsheet.

By doing this – and sorting pages by their number of unique page views – you’ll be able to make decisions on which pages to keep, remove, improve or merge taking in to account how effectively the page has been performing.

Go through each page manually and add any comments so you’ll have a headline summary of each page on the site in one convenient place.

2. Understand where people enter your site

Often, decisions about website structures presume that the majority of visitors enter your site via the home page – this may not be the case.

Review the top entrance pages for your website in Google Analytics to get a clearer picture of where visitors actually enter the site. What you find could make you rethink which pages you decide to carry over to the new site and which can be removed or merge with other similar pages.

2. View your site as search engines do

A number of tools allow you to crawl your website as a search engine would, identifying issues such as broken links and important search engine optimisation (SEO) information like page titles, meta descriptions, issues with images and even duplicate content.

Also check your Google Search Console for details of any crawl issues or other warnings from Google you should be aware of.

Be sure to run these checks on your current site before progressing too far in your website restructure discussions as you don’t want them to carry over to your shiny new site and undo your hard work.

4. Keep your rankings

Run checks to see which keywords your site currently ranks for in Google and – if the keyword is relevant – check exactly which page is ranking. In most cases you won’t want to lose pages like this in your restructure.

And if you’re rewriting the page as part of the redesign make sure it’s just as well optimised for the relevant keyword as the old page was, so that you don’t lose valuable search engine visibility.

5. Don’t break the links

Often, when a site is redesigned, the decision is taken not to carry over older news and blog posts. This can be a mistake as some of these pages could have well-established links from other third party websites pointing to them.

By not moving these pages to the new site considerable search engine optimisation equity can be lost almost instantly.

To avoid this, check which pages on your site have links from third party, relevant websites early on in your website restructure planning. Ensure these pages are either carried over or redirected to a similarly relevant page on the new site.

Get in touch

We’ve supported clients in a range of sectors with website redesigns – providing insight lead recommendations like the ones above. We also use leading and bespoke tools to uncover insights from your competitors digital activity which can help maximise your new website’s digital presence.

If you’re planning a website redesign get in touch to find out how we can help.

Author

David Kingston

David Kingston

Digital Director