We’re are almost half-way through the first month of the new year. For most business owners, this is the time for year-end taxes, first quarter slumps, and endless planning meetings for the year to come. In the midst of all these extra curricular activities, have you thought about your website? If you happen to be one of the lucky few with some extra time on your hands, I would like to suggest a few items to add to your to-do list:
- Evaluate your website’s content
- Review your website’s performance
- Plan new functionality/features for your website
- Redesign your site
- Research new solutions and technology
Evaluate Your Website’s Content
I put this task at the beginning, because it is the hardest one to do. Shear boredom factor of reviewing every piece of text on your website is incredible. However, it must be done.
The key to this task is to update inaccurate or out-of-date information. You may discover that your website’s information architecture is severely flawed or missing entirely. This is the time to get those issues under control. Also, you might find this a great time to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. So, take some time to write and re-write your content.
Review Your Website’s Performance
There are two kinds of performance to consider. Most business owners will immediately think of the sales figures and conversion performance (analytics), but designers and developers will think of the code (html and css).
First, let’s look at the analytics. With a full year’s worth of figures, you can look for patterns in your website’s traffic. Look for ways to improve your website’s conversion. Where do people leave your site? What pages do they tend to visit the most often? What are they looking for, and how can you help them find it?
Now for the less exciting part, we need to look at the speed of your site. Basically, how fast does you site download? A slow website can kill a website’s conversion faster than a poorly structured one. So check your source files, compress that css, get those images as small as possible, and don’t forget the caching.
Plan New Features and Functionality
Now we can get to some fun stuff. Are there features your visitors want? This is the perfect time to get some feedback from your clients. Ask them what they think would make their experience better. Perhaps, a new product rating system. Or perhaps clients want to chat with customer support. This is the time plan out budgets and timelines, and don’t forget your good friend: ROI.
Do you have a new corporate identity? Did your performance analysis reveal some areas needing improvement? Well? A redesign is just the thing for you. It doesn’t need to be a brand new site, but it does need bring in some results. Take all the information you have from your current site and implement some improvements. If you’re still unsure, start with some A/B testing on testing on key pages. This can help you determine what performs better for your site.
This is my favorite task. Unfortunately, we all get busy doing the day-to-day task of business, and researching new techniques and technologies often takes a back seat to everything else. So if your site is in good shape, take some time to look for new ways to improve your self and your business.
Here’s to a new year. I am confident it will be one to remember.