This post contains affiliate links to products I myself use and trust.
Freshen your website for the New Year. It’s easy! I know there’s already enough pressure with New Years Resolutions to do-everything-better-than-last-year. But here are easy things you can do to amp up your website with little effort.
Update your footer to say 2021
A shocker, I know. It may be at the bottom of your site, but you’d be surprised how many sites I see with out-of-date footer content. The most obvious (and often overlooked) is if it still says 2020. Or worse… 2019.
- Track with Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager
- Collect email addresses for contact forms
- Collect email addresses for newsletter lists like ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp
- You are an affiliate for companies and have links for monetary purposes
- You process payments and refunds
- You use any other plugins that pass user information onto their systems
Update your homepage
When was the last time the most-visited page of your website was refreshed? It’s not only good for visitors: it helps search engines know that you’re still relevant and active on your site. Some quick ways to update your homepage:
- Notating your latest free offering (e-book, downloadable or podcast)
- Updating the main image on the homepage (new headshot or location since last year?)
- Redesign your latest posts to be more user friendly, such as organized by category or most popular
- Add a clip from your best performing video or podcast episode
- Add a call to action if you don’t have one already. A call to action denotes one thing you want a user to do next. Such as booking for an appointment, buying a product or calling you.
Make sure your company name is mentioned on various pages
Does your company or organization’s name appear in text other than on the homepage? Many people assume that the domain and/or page title (what you see at the top of your browser) covers all the bases. However, I recommend you pepper your name throughout your website. Yep, this is for branded search for SEO.
If you’re an individual, this can seem heavy handed. I assure you, name-dropping yourself on your own website is totally appropriate. Just take a deep breath and throw it into the second or third paragraph of each page. No one will roll their eyes at you, promise.
Review your domain and hosting renewals
Expiring hosting and domain services can creep up on you! I encourage you to check your accounts. Even if things aren’t going to inspire for a while, you should still make a note in your calendar when things are coming up for renewal. Some other hosting and domain tips:
- If you’re unhappy with your hosting, you don’t have to stay with them. But do note that switching hosting is not a quick process: it can take a few days for the internet to catch up to changes. I recommend switching at least two weeks before your hosting account is due. I outline what to look for in a quality Canadian WordPress host here.
- Some hosting companies pro-rate if you leave them before your renewal time. Some do not. It’s ok to check with their sales team on their terms and conditions. That’s what they’re there for!
- Everyone has to renew their domain, and the cost is often separate from your hosting. Yes, you can sometimes buy renewals in 3 year increments, but some people assume they have it for life. Nope. I explain more about domains in this blog post.
- Sometimes hosting companies send emails about discounts or bulk prices. Check your spam folder to see if you can save some $ before logging into your account and pressing ‘renew’.
Bonus: not happy with your current WordPress hosting company? For Canadian folk I recommend Websavers – use code ‘AKC10’ and get 10% off all their hosting and domain services!