New Year, New Checklist
Is your website ready for the New Year? Now is a great time for a quick checkup to ensure you are reaching your potential customers with current content.
For Your Website
- Forms: Check, don’t assume your forms work. Any form you have on your website from the contact form to the login form should be tested to make sure they work. If you use autoresponders, make sure the information is still.
- Contact Info: Check your contact information listings. The contact us page, other pages, footers or headers. Search your site with Google, type the keyword/phrase you want to find and then add “site:[domainname.com]”. So if I were to search my website for a phone number I would enter this into the search form “214-789-4967 site:redmangomarketing.com”
- Products & Services: Are all of the products and services listed still available? Are the photos, descriptions, and pricing correct? Have you added new products in the store that are not listed on your website?
- Dated Material: Do you have items on your site about “upcoming” events that happened months ago? Is your website copyright date current? Do not delete any pages. Search engines list web-pages not web-sites, so if you delete a page you will loose any traffic a search engine might be sending it. Best practices indicate that you should update your dated information rather than deleting it.
- Images: How old are the photos, graphics and images on your website? Have you had the same one since you started your business10 years ago? Freshen up your website by adding new images. Pay for pictures or use your own! Do not grab them from the Internet!
- Dead Links: URLs can change, make sure your links are valid. You don’t want to send your website visitors (or search engine bots) to dead ends. There are many link checking websites out there that are free.
- Favicon: Make sure your Favicon is current and looks good on all devices/browsers. Different browsers can require different Favicon files/formats. Always make sure your Favicon is an .ico file – it can even be animated!
- Mobile/Tablet View & Cross Browser Compatibility: View your website on different mobile devices & Internet browsers to ensure it displays properly. How many customers view your website from a mobile device? Consider refreshing your website with a responsive template that automatically adjusts for the different devices (desktop, tablet, smart phone).
- Site Backups: Backup your website content and Email, often! Talk to your hosting provider to ensure this is being done.
Search Engine Optimization
- Content is King! When was the last time you added new information to your website? If it has been more than a month or if you don’t regularly update, make a resolution to update it. Google will reward your efforts. Google is looking for new and regularly updated content. This is the most important part of your SEO efforts.
- SSL Certificate: If you have an SSL certificate, make sure it is current and that you know/will be informed when it expires. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. Google recently announced they are rewarding secure sites with increased traffic.
- Back Links: Make sure the websites linking to your site are not in “bad neighborhoods”. There are many free tools online to help you do this. Just Google it and you will find helpful information and tools.
Social Media & Newsletters
- Contact Information: Check, don’t assume your contact information is correct. This includes your website, social media platforms, map listings, and directory listings. Your information IS out on the Internet. Have you recently moved, acquired a new store, or changed your hours? Make sure your information is updated everywhere, not just your website.
- Google Yourself: See what listings are online for your business. Are your Internet listings correct? Is the Internet map location correct? Are there any negative customer reviews that prospective customers may see? You should address these.
- Social Media Links & Icons: Do you have social media icons that link to your social media pages on your website homepage? Are they correctly linked? Do you have your website listed on your social media sites? Store hours, contact information?
- Newsletter Signup: Do you have a link on your website where customers can signup for your newsletter? Is it prominent? Do you reward them for signing up with a one-time offer? Give them a reason to want, open, and read your newsletters. Can customers sign up for your newsletter from your Social Media sites? Make it easy for them to join your list.
- Email Signature: include a link to your newsletter in your email signature. Example: Click here to sign up for our free newsletter.