Is your website ready for the new year? Can it handle the increased traffic you are going to generate in the next 12 months? Will your visitors easily find what they want and what you offer? You need to supercharge your website so you can be sure it will handle everything you throw at it this year.
We have created a list of 10 steps you can take to ensure your site is running at top efficiency, offering your visitors a streamlined and compelling experience. You don’t have to do all of these at one time. Just work your way through the list and check each item off as you get it done!
Speed up your website.
You want your website to load in less than 4 seconds. Longer than that and your visitors will abandon your site and move on. First, check how fast your site loads by visiting https://tools.pingdom.com/. If your site loads in more than 4 seconds you need to improve the speed. Here are some tips to improve your site loading speed:
- Compress your images. Generally speaking, the images your website uses should be in the JPEG format (The file names will end in “.jpg”). JPEG is a compressed format and features a smaller file size than PNG, which means they load faster. If you have a WordPress site, plugins such as “SMUSH” can compress your images. Some hosting providers have a conversion service that can also convert your images to JPEG.
- Hosting Provider Optimization. Many hosting providers provide “optimization” features to improve your website speed. This may include enabling gzip (a web content compression tool), enhanced caching ability, and other provider-specific techniques. Take a few minutes to explore what your hosting provider offers.
Update your plugins.
WordPress sites rely on plugins to enable a zillion features and capabilities. Keeping your plugins updated ensures they are operating efficiently and not impacting your site’s performance. Keeping your plugins updated also enhances your site security. A best practice is to update your plugins on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule.
Check for broken links.
Nothing turns a visitor away quicker than links in your site that lead nowhere. You don’t have to go through every link on your site to find the broken ones. Use https://brokenlinkcheck.com/ instead! This should be a regularly scheduled task, especially if you have a lot of external links on your site. Other site owners don’t tell you when they change their sites!
Make sure your site is using up-to-date SSL. Open a “private browsing” tab on a browser and navigate to your website. The site should show “https://yoursite” along with a lock symbol or green bar. If it does not, then your website is not secure. Check with your hosting provider on how to secure your website. Some hosting providers include SSL with your hosting fees, while others charge a separate fee. You don’t want your visitors to get a “Not Secure” warning when visiting your website. That is a huge turn-off!
Update your photographs.
Are your pictures old? Do they still look like you? If you answered yes, then put new photos on your website. Consider investing in some professional photographs that showcase your professional personality. Have both vertical and horizontal pictures taken.
What year is it?
Update your site’s copyright year to 2020! This is a simple way to show that you are actively engaged in your website’s appearance and content. It is surprising how many visitors will be put-off by an old copyright date on a website. Be sure to do this on all pages that show the copyright. This can often be done once within the setting for your theme.
Cleanup your content.
Check your blog posts to make sure there are not any outdated or time-sensitive posts that need updated or removed. If you have any videos, review them for the same reasons. Go through all of your landing pages, forms, and other pages and clean out any you don’t need anymore.
Social Media Links.
Verify that the social media links you have on your blogs, pages, and emails actually connect to your social media. A simple typo in a link can cost you followers.
Test your funnels.
The only way you will know if your funnels are working correctly is to check them. Test ALL of your opt-ins, CTAs, contact forms, and product buy buttons. Create and use some “test” emails from Gmail or Outlook for this purpose. Pretend to be a new visitor or customer. Does the flow and your links work as you designed?
Is it clear on your website who you are and what you do? What is the #1 goal of your website? Do you want the customer to book a 1:1 call, purchase a class, or subscribe for a free offer? Make sure this is clear and easy to see when first visiting your website. Your goal is to be clear, not confusing. Put yourself in the place of a visitor for the first time. Consider the customer journey on each page of your website.
Investing a little of your time can ensure that your website is fresh, up-to-date and responsive for your visitors. A friendly, easy-to-use website increases engagement and conversions.
Check out these additional posts to help with your website: