As we prepare to close the calendar year, it’s time to hold an annual performance review (audit) with your most important employee: your website. Think about it! Your website serves as a 24/7 salesperson, customer support representative, and brand ambassador. It provides a platform for you to showcase your products or services, engage with your target audience, and drive conversions. Your website is truly the centerpiece of your company’s digital presence. As we prepare to enter into the new year, you need to make sure that your website is prepared to show up well and look good while doing it!
Just as you would with any employee, you should
- Celebrate your website’s strengths
- Asses any areas that need improving
- Revisit goals from the previous year
- Set new goals for your website and hold it accountable
Why Should I Update My Website?
You’ve worked hard to develop a functional, aesthetically pleasing website. Even though it might be working well for you right now, it’s crucial to update it regularly. Similar to a company vehicle that needs consistent maintenance, updating and reviewing your website ensures it remains a valuable asset, effectively representing your brand and catering to the evolving needs and expectations of your audience.
Put simply, the digital world is constantly evolving and developing, and your website should be no exception.
Fun fact: Website updates are equally as important as new content!
Use my website update checklist as a starting point to create a tailored plan and prepare your website for the new year.
My checklist includes a spectrum, from easy to hard. Each task requires different investments of time and money to accomplish, but all will pay dividends for your next business year!
Download Your Free Website Checklist
5 Easy Ways to Update Website Content
1. Update the copyright year in the website footer.
This simple task will both protect your content for the new year and show website visitors that your website is up to date. Depending on who built your website, the copyright year in the footer might update automatically. However, if it doesn’t, you can lose the trust of both your visitors and search engines, like Google and Bing.
2. Delete any staff images of people who no longer work in the business.
The “About Us” page shares your company story, values, and mission. It’s important to show your face and share pictures of the team behind your projects. Help clients get to know you by keeping this page up to date! Even if you don’t update your current photos, you should definitely removed old team members from your staff list.
3. Post testimonials or reviews from last year’s clients.
Update any testimonials on your website. Share recent reviews on platforms such as Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and Trust Pilot. This will expand your circle of influence and establish authority.
4. Fill out a test contact form.
Every website should have a built-in contact form to convert website visitors into leads with a convenient and streamlined process to inquire about services. This can also help you keep up with and promptly respond to inquiries.
Fill out a test form to ensure you are receiving communications through your website. The last thing you need is a failing contact form.
5. Make sure all WordPress plugins and themes are updated.
If you are using a WordPress website, you are responsible for updating your theme and plugins. Although your website will work with out-dated plugins, you risk leaving your website open to many security threats and broken functionality.
Plugin and theme developers often create updates to address known security threats. If you don’t update, you expose your website and data to hackers. Ultimately this leaves your website and legal standing at risk.
5 Medium Ways to Update Website Content
1. Update staff bios and pictures, social media links, and contact information.
The best way to build trust with your website visitors is to make sure your audience knows who you are and how to reach you.
Some companies include fun bios for their staff members, but this isn’t always needed. Individual headshots, professional group photos, and photos of your team enjoying fun activities together is the best way to humanize your business and bring a level of transparency to website visitors.
2. Get (and post) new photos of your facility or services.
The work you have already done is a powerful marketing tool! Display your business, skills, expertise, and quality work to demonstrate your capabilities and range to potential clients. Use high-quality images and descriptions to showcase your completed projects.
3. Check for broken links on the website.
Nothing frustrates website visitors more than clicking on a link on your website, only to find that the link no longer works! Using 301 redirects is the best way to point people away from old links and land on the new links.
You should also create a 404 page on your website. This way if someone hits a dead link, it takes them to an error page that lets them search your website, view your services, or return to the home page.
The best way to find and fix broken links is to use a service, like ManageWP. Another option is to hire someone, like me, to maintain and support your WordPress website. I track and fix broken links for you.
4. Assess your stats, clicks, search result appearance, and forms filled out.
Perform a thorough website audit to determine whether or not your website is successful at, not only getting people on the website, but converting them into a win. Each company will have unique goals and success markers. We can use website statistics to track performance.
5. Edit the entire website to make sure all language, offerings, prices, testimonials, and images are updated and correct.
This is an opportunity to not only catch any glaring typos, but also improve your SEO marketing strategy. Conduct basic keyword research to determine what your audience is searching online. Then make your website text keyword-rich (but not repetitive!) to ensure you’ll get found on the search engine results pages.
5 Hard Ways to Update Website Content
1. Create a brand video for your business.
This clip should welcome your audience and tell website visitors why they should work with you. Brand videos are another great opportunity to show your face and humanize your brand! If you’re wanting to make a true statement on your website, use video wherever possible.
2. Check your server status to determine whether you should change or upgrade.
Your website host, although an often forgotten piece of the puzzle, is the foundation that your entire website is built upon. Many companies and organizations try to save a few dollars by buying cheap hosting plans, but just remember, you get what you pay for.
If you’ve been on a cheap hosting plan, you open yourself up to more security threats, slower website load times, and more opportunities for your website to go down.
3. Ask various individuals to audit your entire website and give feedback.
Have several people go through your website and answer a basic survey, and use this feedback to make your website more clear and effective.
When you ask people to go through your website, allow them to give you honest and open feedback. That’s the only way you can make the improvements that are needed.
4. Create a new lead funnel and nurturing system to turn cold leads into engaged customers.
Capture the contact information of your website visitors. Lead magnets are an offer you make to website visitors in exchange for their contact information (usually an email address). I have clients who have created irresistible eBooks, guides, or free consultations to capture leads.
5. Create a “how we will get found” content plan for your website.
When you are thinking about your marketing goals, you need to also make a road map on how you will get people to your website. Here’s a few things you can do to help your website get found:
- Create a content plan for new written content on your website.
- Create and advertise new webinars to get people into your sales funnel.
- Sponsors youth sport leagues, clubs, school, and local churches and parishes to get your website in front of more people (and help the community at the same time!).
- Figure out how your social media can reach the right people, instead of all the people.
- Focus on getting more Google reviews to show up higher in the Google Map pack.
But no matter what, you need a plan on how you will get people to come to your website. Then you need a plan to continue reaching them until they become a client, member, or friend.
Download Your Free Website Checklist
Website Maintenance and Service Plan
My 2024 website update checklist covers various elements, including design trends, SEO optimizations, security updates, mobile responsiveness, and more. It’s important to stay current in every area of your website, but it’s a lot of work!
My expertise is to collaborate with you to:
- Manage routine website updates, cleaning, maintenance, and service
- Completely rebrand or redesign your website
- Build a website that is designed JUST for you and your business
- Create a content plan to help you show up in people’s searches
- Get your website found online and look good while doing it!
Curious about how I can serve your business here in 2024? Let’s start a conversation to see what we can do together!
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Hi! I'm Marc.
I serve businesses, bloggers, and organizations by way of creating great websites that are able to be found online. Web design is a passion, but serving you is my joy.
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