How did your website perform in 2013? If you weren’t satisfied with the traffic it attracted, the amount of time your visitors stayed on the site, or the site’s ability to convert, now is the time to think about making some website updates. You may even decide to scrap your current site and start fresh with a new domain name and website design.
When deciding what website updates are top priority it is important is that you recognize what needs to happen to make the site better and take action to turn it around for this year. You don’t want to end another year wishing you had performed better, and the following actions will help you take your website development in the right direction.
Reconsider Your Design
If visitors aren’t sticking on your web pages or aren’t clicking around to visit additional pages after a search engine hit, you may have website design problems. Have a professional designer look at the site and help you determine the weak spots. You can then decide whether it is time to start over or fix up the site you already have.
If you didn’t invest in professional website development when you first created this site, chances are high that it does not feel professional or authentic to visitors. If you can’t create a professional website design that delivers a smooth, rewarding experience for visitors, make it your goal to work with a professional this year.
Update Your Content
Freshen up old content, even if it is evergreen. Make sure you are implementing effective SEO strategies. That means not stuffing keywords into your content unnaturally. Every keyword should fit the content and should flow seamlessly. Every page of your site should teach your reader something, make them laugh, make them think, or simply keep them thirsty for more so that they come back. If you can’t create that type of content personally, hire someone who can.
Content doesn’t stop with text. Think about incorporating videos, pod casts and other types of content. If you haven’t made a video yet, that might be a good goal to consider for this year. Finding fresh images may be another good goal.
Check the Technical Stuff
How much downtime did your site have last year? If you weren’t impressed with the number of site crashes you experienced, this is a good time to research a better hosting service. Go through your plugins and make sure they are all active and were updated within the past year. Consider whether you even need those plugins. Do the same with every link on your website to ensure you only link to high-quality, authoritative sites that are still active and relevant.
Come Out of Your Shell
Once you have improved your site or created a new site that you know will perform better, start reaching out to other people. Figure out who your target market is and find them on social media. Create guest blog posts with links back to your blog or website. There are countless ways to promote your website, but make sure you engage with other site owners within your niche as well. Get your name out there and focus on branding so that your site gets the attention it deserves this year.
While you are taking action to improve your website for the New Year, take the time to improve the security of the site. Select a tricky password and use a plugin to limit the number of login attempts allowed. A stealth login page plugin can help thwart the efforts of hackers as well. One final thing: don’t forget to backup your site on a routine basis.
Website updates are something that should take place throughout the year and not just every new year. With a dedicated maintenance plan you can assess changes and website updates that you need to make throughout the year. Having a current and up to date website makes your business look professional and keeps your customers coming back.