New Year’s Website Checklist

By Ally Hugg, Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Year is quickly approaching, and by now you’re surely thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. In between eating healthier and getting more exercise, we suggest you dedicate some time to making sure your website is displayed and optimized to its full potential. After all, once the holidays are over, it’s back to business as usual, and you want to make sure you welcome the New Year with an improved website.

We have put together a list of strategies to help you improve your website for the new year.

1. Review your domain name record

Making sure that the contact information for your domain record is correct will prevent you from missing domain renewals and other important notices. Conduct a “Whois” search to check the contact information for your domain. While you’re at it, use the Whois results to check the expiration of your domain.

2. Test your links

Take a few moments to search your own website, and browse through the pages as though you were a visitor. Click the links on each page and make sure they point to the correct destination. Nothing turns away website visitors like difficult navigation and broken links.

3. Test your online forms

Are all of your forms working properly? Are the form results being sent to the correct people? Again, act as a visitor on your site and complete a few test forms. Check that the forms not only work properly but also that they are easy to use.

4. Update your blog

Don’t start the New Year with an outdated blog, nobody wants to read old content. Write a few new posts, perhaps tying in current events or trends to make your subjects more relevant to readers. If you’re struggling with topic ideas, check out the Blog Inspiration book we created to help you generate quality content.

5. Update your copyright information

Not only does updating copyright information protect you legally, but it also shows your readers that your content is up-to-date.

6. Update your mailing list

Take a careful look through your e-newsletter mailing list. Be sure that you aren’t sending duplicate messages, that you’re not mixing up current clients with former ones, and add all of the contacts you’ve acquired recently. Notice your mailing list statistics; do you have an unusually high rate of bounces? Do you have more unsubscribers this month than last? You’ll want to investigate these issues before developing your mailing strategy for the New Year.

7. Review your e-commerce trends

Take a look at how many people are placing orders with you online – how does this compare to your offline sales? Notice where your customers are coming from, are they being referred from your homepage, your blog, or directly from search engines? Noting these trends will help you strategize your e-commerce for the New Year.

8. Check your search engine visibility

Visit Google and type in a few keywords that people may use to find your business or services on the web. Does your website appear on the first few pages of these results? If not, you may consider improving your search engine optimization (SEO) for the New Year. SEO helps you gain visibility on the web, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

9. Review your social media strategy

Has your social media strategy been effective in developing your online presence? Is there anything you could do to translate social media engagement into online sales? Take a look at the social media presence of some of your competitors, and see how you compare.  Did you include your social media links in visible places on your website?

10. Save and back up

The worst way to kick off the New Year would be losing all of your website content and data. So, make sure you have a copy of your entire website, and that it’s backed up in multiple, secure locations. Make a resolution to do this on a regular basis. It will save you lots of stress and heartache in the long run.  And don’t forget that database!

Again, the New Year brings new opportunities, so make sure your business is ready with an updated and improved website. Please feel welcome to post questions or concerns about your New Year website maintenance here.

Posted in: Austin Web Design, WWW Learning Center

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