Start the New Year With a Clean Slate by Taking Stock of Your Website
Like many, every New Year inevitably arrives with a few extra holiday pounds. And like many, each year one of my resolutions is to rid myself of any evidence of the holiday feasts upon my waistline. A lot of the time, it's wishful thinking. As humans, we dream big and often fail to commit to living up to the dream. So this year, no resolutions. My mantra instead will be "Just for today" which takes the pressure off of the hard-to-reach end goal, and makes me instead focus on what I can do each day to achieve my goals.
There is, however, real value in taking stock of where you are today in both your personal and professional lives. As a digital marketer, this means reviewing all of your digital assets and looking at them with a critical eye. Is your website copy consistent with your organization's current messaging? Can it be improved upon? Are your digital assets outdated? Are expired pages still showing up in your site map? I find that a thorough review reveals many ways I can improve my website, and more often than not the tweaks are minor in nature. Going through this exercise annually is good for your brand, and good for the soul. Let's face it, we all love starting with a clean slate.
As you conduct your website review, why not put some best practices in place as well? Here is a list of just a few of the simple things that I plan to put into practice:
- Set Freshness Reminders—Get in the practice of scheduling freshness reminders six months out to ensure content integrity
- Broken Links—Get in the habit of running a broken links report regularly to see if you have any rogue links that need to be corrected, and fix them
- Page Descriptions—Make sure your page descriptions and metadata are up to date each time you edit a page for better site organization and search results
- Vanity URLs—Start creating vanity URLs for new pages as you create them to help improve digital marketing results
- SEO—Conduct a search on your organization's keywords to see how well pages are performing on search engines, and update keywords wherever necessary
- Social Media—Create social media triggers so as you create new content, tweets and shares will be automatically created helping you to become more disciplined with your social media outreach
- Page Performance—Run a performance report to locate pages that are running slowly, then figure out why and fix them
- Analytics—Spend some time reviewing website analytics reports to see what is working/not working to improve your overall marketing results. The deeper you go, the more interesting data you will find
If during your website review you find many changes that need to be made, remember "Just for Today". It helps you chip away at your to-do list without becoming overwhelmed by it, and brings great peace of mind.
Happy New Year!