A website is like a lot of things in life.
We have a tendency to add things. And then add more. And then keep adding until we feel stress and we don't know why.
Thinking about early human history, the need to want to accumulate makes sense. When you're living a sustenance lifestyle - growing and hunting your own food, avoiding predators, etc. - it's good to accumulate things because no matter how hard you try you're likely not going to ever accumulate too much.
Flash forward several centuries and we live in a modern situation where we have access to just about anything we want. It's a unique time in human history and we have to fight our urge to keep adding and adding.
It's like sugar. We're wired to want it because in the early days when we didn't have food readily available and we came across sugar, a source of quick energy, our brains told us to eat as much as possible. Today, of course, we have unlimited access, but our brain still wants as much as possible.
In regards to your website, it's good to have an approach of keeping the content to a certain level. You can still add things. But when you do, look to do a little spring cleaning.
Here are a few tips for following this approach...
#1. Recurring Website Audits
The first thing to do is to set a recurring item on your calendar. At least every 12 months, but 6 months wouldn't be bad.
On these dates, set aside a couple hours to go through your entire website. Looking at each page. Simply reviewing all the content will likely reveal a few changes that need to be made. Things to add, but especially things to remove.
Think of it as spring cleaning every April. You go through every room in your house and find things you didn't even realize you had. Things that aren't useful. That don't add value and that take up space.
When we spring clean we rarely find things to add, but we almost always find things to remove. It's the same with your website.
#2. Analyzing Stats & Unseen Pages/Content
Also check out your stats every year. Look at the pages that have been performing well, but also look for pages that aren't getting much attention.
If a page isn't getting the attention you think it deserves there are usually two courses of action you can take.
First, it might be an important page that needs traffic (like your homepage). You will want to figure out ways to get more traffic to this page.
Second, it may be time to remove the page. For example, you might have added a case study several years ago. Today, it gets little traffic. It's not adding anything to the sales process of your site. You're better off removing it than keeping it.
#3. Building On Winning Content
Let's say you discover a page that has been doing well that you didn't realize was doing well. This happened to me recently. I discovered that our FAQ page was doing better than I thought. It was something I had added to help potential customers and it was getting a lot of traffic and helping make the sales process more efficient.
After seeing that the content was doing well I put in some effort to make it more valuable for visitors. The design was tweaked. The answers were tweaked. I add some additional answers and removed a couple that were repetitive.
#4. Replicating The Sales Process
Your website is your online salesperson. You want it to act just as a salesperson would in person.
As such, you want to always analyze how your sales process has changed. If, for example, you have new examples to use for sales then add them to the site. Update the pricing. Maybe a really successful salesperson has found a different approach. Replicate their new approach on the website by changing around the order of the content.
#5. Identifying Confusion
Finally, look for things on your website that cause confusion. One example could be having too many brand names throughout the site. Another could be confusing price listings. Another could be having too much description for a product. Or maybe it's too little description.
Website content is often something we set and forget. Then we often add content here and there. A new product. A new service. A new employee. A new description. Over the years it all adds up to a bloated site. Every time you add something new, make it a habit to look for something else that needs to be removed.
Then also setup a recurring audit to go through the entire site just as you would if you were doing spring cleaning at your house.
This will keep your site lean, mean and selling efficiently.