The first month of 2016 is almost over. However, if you’re like me, you are still dating your personal checks “2015” by mistake. It’s a minor error, but what if that mistake is on your website? The new year provides an opportunity to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward online. Website update ideas for the new year cover several sections of a site, including a few that are not outwardly visible.
New Year Website Update
Every January 1 is a good time to review your site and schedule updates that show your customers, clients, and visitors that your organization is relevant and up-to-date. Let’s take a look at some common time-sensitive items that need to be updated on a website each year.
Often easy to overlook, the copyright year at the bottom of your website is a simple and important update. An outdated copyright can send the wrong signal to your website visitors that your site’s content is out of date or unreliable.
The best practice is to list the current year or change the latest year if your website shows a range (e.g. © 2010-2016). A range is used to denote when content was first published. Other components of a website footer copyright may include:
- The actual © symbol, which can be rendered using HTML entities
- The name of the author or content owners
- A rights statement
- The actual word “copyright”
SSL Certificates allow secure connections between a user’s computer and your website. A secure connection protects sensitive data such as credit card information ensures you stay compliant with PCI standards. Plus, it offers your site users peace-of-mind that they can transmit that data safely on your site. This ensures your user experience and resulting conversions remain stable.
SSL Certificates are typically renewed on a yearly basis so with the new year, it may be time to renew yours. Check with your vendor to see if your SSL is up-to-date. If this is over your head, PINT has people on our team who would be happy to help.
Wondering if you even need an SSL certificate? We’ve blogged about the topic of adding SSL to a website in the past.
News and Events
Did the new year bring any mergers or acquisitions at your company? Announce these changes by posting an announcement on the homepage or a new press release in your company news section.
Does your website list upcoming events for your company? Make sure the events page is up-to-date and shows upcoming events for 2016. It is always easier to promote an event or tradeshow appearance with a direct link.
Company pages can quickly fall out of date if they mention specific staff members or numbers of years of experience. If your stakeholders are interested in this type of content, it is important to ensure company bios accurately reflect the personnel at your organization. This can also be a key website update for companies that need to keep personnel information current for public information purposes.
If you had new hires, make sure those individuals have bio pages and pictures on your company page.
Speaking of pictures, do your employees need updated photos? If the photos are a few years old, this is something you should consider. If you had redundancies, make sure those individuals are removed. Did anyone’s title change or was anyone promoted? Make sure their new title is in their bio.
Perhaps looking at your site with new, 2016 eyes makes your website just look “old.” How long has it been since your site was redesigned? A new year brings a new opportunity to freshen up the design of your website. Consider redesigning your website to improve user experience and attract more visitors.
Smaller Redesign Projects
PINT helps a roster of clients perform smaller projects to improve their web presence without a full overhaul. These can be a good way to invest in your web presence over time. Popular projects include:
- Making your email templates responsive
- Performing a security and performance review to determine software upgrades
- Implementing small feature updates you’ve been meaning to add
- Website redesign for modern browsing
- Setting up quarterly SEO and Analytics reviews
- Making your website responsive – As we’ve noted previously, mobile compatibility is crucial for ranking within Google’s search engine.
The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate site traffic of the previous year. Reporting platforms like Google Analytics and others offer insights into who your users are and how they behave on your website.
What worked for your website last year? Consider using those best practices elsewhere on the site. What didn’t work? Using analytics collected from your site, PINT can help you develop a strategy for A/B testing new page layouts, CTAs (calls to action) and other elements to find a solution that increases conversions.
Wondering what other marketing questions you can answer through analytics? Our recent social analytics post may be useful for you.
More Website Update Ideas
Beyond what’s noted above, a good question to ask yourself is, “does my website have time-sensitive information?” If you’re not sure, navigate around your and look for any outdated information. Keeping your site current ensures that it remains relevant and that your users have the best website experience possible. And if you think of any questions, you can always add them here in the comments section, or keep them private by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.