With a new year just beginning it’s time to set goals for your business. Just as you take care of other areas of your business, your website needs attention and care in the New Year. Now is the time to set a goal for website updates.
The good news is that even Google likes to see when you do website updates. It’s a strong signal to them that you have fresh and relevant content for visitors.
As your business grows and evolves, so should your website. And sometimes it doesn’t take much effort to make website updates either. You can always start small.
There are however some website updates, the functional ones, that you need to do constantly for your WordPress website such as for themes, plugins, WordPress version, etc. that you should honestly do weekly or at least every two weeks to keep everything secure.
In this article, I will talk about 10+ website updates that you should do throughout this year.
Remove any plugins, images, and pages you’re not using
Too many pictures, plugins, and pages can slow down the loading speed of your website. All these things take up a lot of space on your web server.
The easiest to get out of control is the media files area of the site, where without realizing it you can collect lots of pictures that you don’t actually use anywhere on the site.
When it comes to plugins, sometimes we tend to install a new plugin in WordPress for every feature but they are not always necessary. If you have some plugins in your admin area that are disabled but you haven’t deleted them, it’s best to do that now.
Check your site for these things and delete what you no longer use.
Update your keywords
SEO (search engine optimization) can help your website traffic blow up. With good keyword research, you can rank higher in search engines, which means your website will gain visibility.
Even if you did your keyword research when you first built the website, things like new competitors with a stronger SEO strategy can outrank you, search volumes can always change and that means that the keywords that you initially used and worked, now could bring less traffic.
You can fix this by doing website updates and adding new keywords. You can do research with Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
Add more and new testimonials
With a year of helping a lot of clients, you’ve certainly gathered a few testimonials from them that you’ve posted on social media already. If you haven’t collected testimonials yet, now is the time to do it. Don’t forget to make website updates with these new testimonials from your past clients. Place them strategically on relevant pages of your website to give your visitors a confidence boost.
Testimonials have the incredible power to convince visitors that you have a genuine business and that other people like them have gotten good results from working with you.
Create a new lead magnet
I am sure that by now you heard about list building, growing an email list, and the importance of a good lead magnet.
If you want to make it easier for you to grow that email list, you need to be sure that you have a couple of opt-in opportunities spread across your website. You can get creative and go beyond a simple PDF guide. You can build a freebie and deliver it as a video tutorial, a mini email course, a sample of your product, an audio file, access to a secret page, etc.
Also make sure that your lead magnets are placed in different parts of your website like a top bar, right below the above-the-fold section, in the footer, in your blog posts, or even you can build a dedicated page and put it in the navigation bar.
Raise your prices for your offers
A new year also means new plans to grow your business and one of the most recommended business tips is to raise your prices.
With every year your experience grows, so should your prices. It’s been a year of refining your skills either through client projects, practicing on your own, or learning something new. Your prices should reflect the value you bring to your clients and what transformation they get from working with you.
Also, now is the time to look over your services page and see which services you want to keep this year and which you want to ditch. Too many services and offers can be confusing and overwhelming for your clients, and they end up not knowing what to choose and giving up.
It’s the perfect time to make some website updates on your pricing and services pages.
Improve website loading speed
It’s no secret that the speed and performance of your website are some of the main things that affect the customer experience on your website and turn a good website into a poorly designed one.
Many of your website visitors will not have the patience to wait more than 3 seconds for your site to load and will give up before they see the content. Every delay can hurt your conversion.
Slow loading speed could be caused by a number of things: heavy, unoptimized images, underpowered hosting, too many plugins, and even an old, poorly performing theme.
Make sure you do website updates for good speed and performance. You can check the loading speed with these two free tools – GTMetrix and Pingdom Tools.
Maybe it’s time for a new hosting plan or company.
Strongly related to the point above, if you notice that even after your best efforts to optimize the website speed, you can seem to budge that score high up, maybe it’s time to consider a new better hosting plan or even a new hosting company, like Cloudways.
Website speed is an important factor that can impact so many things like the user experience, search engine rankings, and conversion rates.
If you’re taking into consideration changing your hosting company, you can choose one that specializes in cloud hosting, such as Cloudways. Cloud hosting gives you more control when it comes to scaling (or not!) your resources depending on your actual needs, which can help tremendously if your traffic is not consistent.
But, it’s important to keep in mind, as I said in my previous point, that your website’s speed is not 100% dependent on your hosting plan or company. Things like the quality of the website’s code, the size and number of images and other assets on the website, and the use of caching and other performance optimization techniques, can influence your website’s speed. Before you take the decision to change your hosting plan or hosting company, check your website and see what things you can improve on it.
Update your portfolio or case studies
As with testimonials, you’ve just completed a year full of projects and helped many clients. If your portfolio has not been renewed, now is the time to do some website updates. A refreshed portfolio will give you more confidence in your own skills and clients will see the potential in your most recent work.
You may have been too busy all year to make these website updates but what better time than the start of the new year to review your portfolio and showcase your best work to reach your target audience?
Check for any broken links and fix them
A broken link is a link that doesn’t exist anymore on your website and people are being redirected to a 404 page.
Broken links are very frustrating for your visitors. When you do website updates try to scan your website for broken links using this free online tool. Also if you have RankMath for your SEO installed, you can redirect them to the page that replaced that content or to a new page.
Add Google Analytics for traffic insights
If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your website, yet, then this is your sign to do it! Together with Google Search Console, it gives you insights into your visitors and how they land on your website. And both are free!
You can use them to find out all sorts of data about your visitors and especially which pages or articles are most popular and create more like them. You can check things like bounce rates, the most popular pages, and referral websites.
Create your free accounts, add them to your list of website updates for this year and connect them with your website.
Replace stock images with personal images
This is the easiest way to give a website a redesigned feeling. If your budget allows, now is the time to include a professional photo shoot on your investment list. Professional photos can set you apart from the competition, bringing a different, more cohesive look to your website.
I have one more point to add if you use photos of yourself, but they are old photos and you look different now, invest this year in a personal photoshoot to update your photos on your website. If you use social media for your business most likely people know what you look like now, and when they get to your website they will be confused because you don’t look the way they expect.
Sometimes you need to update a few pictures on your website to bring a bit of newness to the site.
I hope this list of website updates is useful for you in the new year and will make it easier for you to grow your business. I know you’re a female entrepreneur who divides herself in many directions, trying to take care of business, family, and herself, so I hope this list makes your life better. And if you need someone to do these website updates for you you can set up a free call with me here.
*Last updated on December 21, 2022