Creating a New Year Action Plan for your website

Creating a New Year Action Plan for your website

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Creating a New Year Action Plan for your website

New Year is a popular time for resolutions and fresh starts, so creating a website action plan will help you get organised and motivated as well as ensuring a good start to 2018!.

Out with the old

The beginning of the year is a great time to do an in-depth assessment of your website. What could be improved? What’s missing or broken? What needs updating? Check your stats and ask visitors for feedback to improve their experience on your website. Make sure there are no dead ends causing visitors to leave; offer them something new on every page and provide a clear call to action so they don’t feel lost.

It’s also a good idea to do a review of your website’s sitemap. Are there any links you need to add, remove or redirect? What does your website’s structure look like? Check each link for errors, and keep an ‘off the record’ document with a link to every page of your website if you’re deliberately excluding pages from your sitemap for any reason.

Markup is a great tool to annotate webpages. As well as making reminders for yourself, you can highlight aspects of your site that need refreshing without the hassle and waste of printing pages. It’s relevant whether you’re a writer, designer, developer, or all of those things, because you can differentiate between changes using the various colours on offer. Markup is also useful for team collaboration and explaining changes to freelancers and agencies.

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In with the new

Organisational tools such as Workflowy and Remember the Milk are ideal for keeping track of what needs doing and what you’ve completed.

Planning your content in advance can save a lot of hassle, particularly if you work with other people. If you’re outsourcing any design or content, then planning at least two or three months ahead can also have a positive impact on your budget. If you do all your own design and content, then create a schedule with deadlines to maximise your use of time and help you stay motivated.

If you have pages of your website which are outdated but still provide SEO value, then consider what content you can add to give them new value, or how to best refer visitors to the important core pages of your site.

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Bridging the gap

2017’s been and gone – but don’t write it off just yet. Now’s your chance to review what you achieved and make a note of areas which still offer potential. Think about:

• What was successful? (e.g. a great marketing campaign, an increase in hits, a comment-rich blog post, an improved design)

• What did you achieve as a result? (e.g. a new client, more visitors, a valuable contact, a great backlink)

• What didn’t you get round to doing? (add it to your 2018 list!)

• What could be improved? (e.g. number of 404s, small design details, social media strategy)

• What do you need to get rid of? (e.g. pages that compete and conflict with each other, pages which have no SEO or visitor value, old/outdated promotional pages and images)

 

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Developing your action plan

Divide your website into key aspects or areas (e.g. design, content, promotion), and then make a list of improvements and additions to make in each. Although there will be some overlap, dealing with one section at a time helps create more manageable chunks and stops you feeling overwhelmed. It’s also a good way to brainstorm fresh ideas. Spending more planning time on areas you’ve neglected or put off in 2017 can help you get to grips with carrying out your actions in 2018.

Make some new year’s resolutions for yourself as well as your website. Perhaps you’re thinking about making a commitment to blog more, or learn a new skill, or get familiar with new software. Take advantage of all the lists and round-ups of helpful resources that are posted around the web at this time of year by picking out the most useful and bookmarking them.

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Finally…

If you’re a web hosting customer

Why not explore the range of add-ons and free one-installs we offer? Kick off your new year by getting to grips with a new forum or CMS, or quickly create a mobile-friendly version of your site with goMobi mobile website builder.

If you’re a reseller hosting customer

Refresh your products and services with planned new year marketing and promotions. Offer a discount to kick start sales, and extend your reach by offering more add-ons to your customers such as Hosted ExchangeSSL Certificates, dedicated servers and mobile website builder software.

If you have a dedicated server

Have a spring clean. Make sure all your scripts are up to date, and delete anything you aren’t using any more to improve space, speed and security… and don’t forget about the backups!

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