Last Updated on January 10, 2024
Welcome to a new year filled with endless possibilities and opportunities for your business to thrive. As a business owner, it’s crucial to kickstart the year on the right note, and what better way to do that than by ensuring your WordPress website is in top-notch shape? In this blog post, I’ll walk you through a short New Year checklist for business owners looking to enhance their online presence and drive success in 2023.
Update Your Website Content
Let’s start with one of the most obvious areas – your website content. New or updated content will help engage your website visitors and improve your search engine rankings. Also, now is a good time to check for typos or spelling mistakes – I highly recommend the Premium Grammarly service as their browser extension picks up typos in real-time and can rewrite your content for better clarity.
Update your homepage, service pages, and product descriptions. Ensure that your website reflects the latest information about your business, including new products, services, and any changes in your team or contact details. Harness the power of AI to generate draft content for new blog posts – but finish these blog posts off with a human editor to ensure you are getting the right tone for your business.
Optimise for Search Engines (SEO)
Enhance your website’s visibility on search engines by optimising your content for relevant keywords. Update meta titles, descriptions, and alt tags for images. Consider conducting keyword research to identify new opportunities for attracting organic traffic. Adding new content will also help your SEO efforts. Check how your site ranks in Google. If you want to see all of the pages that Google has for your site, enter into the search box site:yourdomain.co.nz (replace with your own domain name).
In an era where mobile devices dominate internet usage, having a well-designed mobile-responsive website is essential. Check how your website performs on various devices and browsers and get me to make the necessary adjustments to ensure a seamless user experience. Even if your site was working well on mobile, it’s worth double-checking, as plugin and theme updates can make unintended changes to mobile layouts.
Backup Your Website:
Don’t leave your valuable website investment at risk. Regularly back up your website to safeguard against data loss from a website hack or server failure. If you don’t have an automated backup system, now is the perfect time to set one up or go onto one of my care plans for WordPress websites – where I include a daily ‘offsite’ backup that is separate and in addition to your web hosting backups. I strongly recommend NOT solely relying on your web hosting company’s backups of your website – these are often not guaranteed (check your hosting terms of service).
Ensure the security of your website by updating WordPress core, themes, and plugins to their latest versions. Remove unused plugins and themes, and consider implementing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication. Check who still has access to the site as an admin or editor, and if they no longer need access, remove them or downgrade their access.
Don’t want to bother with doing security checks and updates yourself? Go onto one of my monthly care plan subscriptions for WordPress sites.
Evaluate the Website’s Speed:
A slow website can drive away potential customers. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyse your website’s speed and take steps to optimise it. Optimisations may include compressing images, caching and CDN, minimising unnecessary code or moving to better web hosting – as not all web hosting is created equal, and some web hosting is detrimental to your business success.
Review Contact Information:
Ensure that your contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses, is accurate and current. Make it easy for potential clients to get in touch with you.
Check your web forms are delivered to your email address
Complete your website enquiry form and ensure the email gets to you. Web forms on WordPress websites are notorious for not delivering, as they have to be set up in a particular way for them to work consistently and reliably, and even if you were getting your emails, this could stop if you move to a different email set up, or your email provider changes the security on their email server.
Evaluate User Experience (UX):
UX is user experience, and it’s about putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes and navigating your website. Is it easy to find information? Is the navigation intuitive? Address any issues that may hinder a positive user experience. If you want to go further, create personas for those most likely visiting your website. Think about what people visiting your site want, why they want it and how you can help them achieve it.
As you embark on this journey into the new year, taking the time to fine-tune your WordPress website is a wise investment in the success of your business. If you want professional assistance implementing these checks, I’m here to help.