Updating Your Website for the New Year

For many small business owners, the new year is a time to finally take on a growing to-do list. Have you found time to update your website and social media business pages for the new year? If you have not done so already, take thirty minutes to perform the following updates listed below. Making these small changes sends a clear signal to your website visitors that you are open for business.

Website

Update the copyright year

Typically located in the footer, this is a quick way to your online audience on EVERY page of your website that you are an active business. Although some website themes may update copyright information automatically, it is important to confirm.

Related to the copyright…

Header and footer

Perform a quick review of all links and content in the header and footer. Header and footer content is critical because it is highly visible and often links to your social media networks and other pertinent contact information. Be sure all links are working correctly and contact information is accurate.

About or Services page

It’s important to take a look at what you currently have on your about page and make sure that it’s still relevant. Are you still offering the services or products mentioned on this page?

Double check that the links you’re sending people to work. If you mention anything personal, is it still true or relevant?

If you aren’t updating your services at all, take a look at your website and make sure that your rates and availability are accurate. The new year is a popular time to raise your rates, so if you plan to do that now may be a great time to go on ahead and update your pricing on your website or add a task to your to do list for some time in January to update them. Then make sure your availability is right. How far out are you currently booking projects?

When is the last time you updated your headshots? If you haven’t taking new photos in a while, that’s okay. You can still update your headshot to be something new from the last time you had photos taken.

Even slightly updating the design and visuals on this page will grab people’s attention.

Contact form

First and foremost, take a look at your Contact page or section and make sure it still works. Do you have a form on there? Are submissions going to the right email address? If you have an email address, business hours, or your availability, make sure those are up to date as well. This is one of the first places someone is going to look if they want to collaborate or hire you, so it’s important this information is up to date. While you’re checking your email address, make sure that the link to email you and your other social media links are working on this page and any other location on your website.

If you don’t update anything else I mention in this post, at least go make sure your social media links are working.

Portfolio and Testimonials

One of the most common places on websites to be forgotten are the portfolio and testimonial sections. Regardless of the type of work you do, it’s likely that you have work to show off or at the very least testimonials from happy clients / customers that you can show off. Set a few hours aside before the end of the year to get some new work and fresh testimonials uploaded to your website.

Bonus points if you use that new work and testimonials to show off what you do and pitch your services on social media!

Backup website and update theme/plugins

Take a look at the tools that your website runs on. Stop putting your hard work at risk of being hacked and totally lost.

If you haven’t been updating your website, theme, or plugins, it’s very important to take time in the next couple of weeks to update these things.

In WordPress or applicable CMS, start by installing a backup plugin and run a backup of your site just in case things go wrong. Then start updating one thing at a time.

Once your website is up to date, make sure you set aside some time to keep your website up to date on a regular basis next year.

Year in Review

Highlight your most important blogs or images of the past year with a simple Year in Review page. This not only saves your visitors some searching but also presents a great summary of your business. If your website is powered by WordPress, try using a photo gallery plugin to showcase images that represent the entire year.

Social Media Networks

If you do not have time to post new content to your social media channels, take a quick scan of the most prominent areas on your social pages and give them updates. This includes:

Update any pinned posts and call to action buttons

Update any profile or cover photos that have a holiday theme
Review of your automated replies
Review of your website links, particularly for Instagram and Twitter bios. Instagram and Twitter only give you one link, make the most of it!
Create a story on Instagram or Facebook with highlights of the previous year. Then add to your profile to give it a longer shelf life.

Even if they’re not done perfectly, completing the above tasks sends the right message to your customers and prospects. That you are present and open for business!

Tip – Save any holiday images for repurposing

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