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Nine Ways to Update Your Website for the New Year

New Year’s is a fantastic time to refresh website content, make some changes to boost overall performance and do a little prep work for the year ahead. Even if you don’t have a total site redesign on the horizon, it’s a good idea to make sure everything is up-to-date and on-brand and that the back end is on point. A little bit of time spent on a few website “housekeeping” tasks will keep your site looking current, attracting clients, and converting customers all year long. Here are nine ways to update your website for the new year!

 

Change the copyright year in your footer.

If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of your website, you might see a copyright symbol ©, followed by the year (or a range of years). It’s a tiny piece of information that’s easy to overlook, but if clients come to your site and still see last year’s date, they might think you’re not active or keeping your site current.  

If you don’t have a copyright year in your footer, you can always add one! Just by creating your website content, you automatically carry the rights to it. All you have to do is copy and paste this © into your footer, along with the latest year. 

 

Audit your site’s performance

You’ll want to set aside a little more time for this one, but auditing your site’s content helps you get a handle on what’s already bringing visitors to your site, what’s converting, and what might need a little tweaking.

One of my favorite ways to do this is with a heat mapping tool (like Hotjar), which lets you see where visitors click and when they’re leaving your site. If you find out that one particular part of your site is losing a large number of visitors, that’s your cue to start asking questions. Compared to your top-performing pages, what’s different? Are there more words? Fewer calls to action? How can you make this page more visitor-friendly?

You can dig a little deeper with Google Analytics to learn the sources where traffic is coming from and which pieces of content are performing well. With that in mind, you can adjust SEO, get ideas for blog content, or gain insights into which services clients are searching for. 

 

Curate your collection of plugins

WordPress plugins are my jam! I love finding the best ones for everything from cookie consent policies to adding Google Analytics to your site, but it’s easy to let inactive plugins pile up. Now’s the time to take a peek under the hood and see that you only have active, updated plugins installed.

Here’s how to do it: log into your WordPress account and click on “Plugins” in the left-hand menu. Scroll down until you find the complete list of plugins, and deactivate and delete any that you’re not using. While you’re there, verify that any plugins you are using are updated! 

Pssst! This is actually a best practice that will serve you year-round, so go ahead and set a reminder now to repeat the process twice a month throughout the year.

 

Update your about page

This is the one page that is the most likely to need extensive updates! Over the course of a year, so much can change in your business. Maybe you’ve brought on new team members or were featured on blogs and podcasts. You’ve probably even worked with a few dream boat clients that you want to feature (yay you!) 

Once you’ve brought all that good-ness from the year onto your about page, give the minor details a once-over. Double-check on-site copy for dates or numbers that need refreshing. If you’ve mentioned a specific number of projects you’ve worked on or how many years you’ve been in business, make sure they reflect your new information!

 

Edit your portfolio

A whole year of business means new successes, progress in your skills and expertise, and a whole ‘nother batch of happy clients – cue the confetti 🎉! Reflect on the past year’s wins and add the highlights to your portfolio. Take a deep dive into your CRM, digital files, and social media accounts to remind yourself which projects you worked on throughout the year, so you can catch everything!

You might also need to edit this page to align with what appeals to your ideal client, so clear out old case studies and testimonials that don’t serve your niche. If you’ve sprinkled social proof throughout the rest of your site, consider updating those pieces as well.

 

Refresh your data content

Concrete pieces of data keep your copy and content eye-catching and relevant. However, hard numbers can become outdated as time goes by, so they’ll need to be part of a website update for the new year. 

Check out the latest studies and bring in the latest and greatest data points that will draw potential clients. With a few annual edits, last year’s pillar blog content goes from stale to evergreen – so update everything from pricing information to step-by-step how-tos! 

 

Replace old photos on your site

Whether you’re using custom brand photography, stock photos, or a mix of the two, these images should also be kept fresh! If you’ve had a recent photoshoot, now’s the time to incorporate some new images into your site. If your last photoshoot was a while ago, reschedule your next one!

Take a step back from your site, evaluate if the images on your website are still in line with your branding vibe, and replace anything that no longer fits the bill. My two go-to’s for beautifully styled stock photos are Haute Stock and Styled Stock Society. If you really want to get ahead of the game for the upcoming year, build a file of stock photo file images that match your brand colors and tone, so you’ll always have one on hand for that next blog post. Speaking of blogs…

 

Plan upcoming blog content

Blogging is one of my top strategies for bringing new traffic to your site; growing brand know/like/trust, and building authority in your niche. For most people, the biggest challenge is figuring out what to write about and how to be consistent in posting new content. Planning does away with the last-minute rush to come up with a new idea, write, find images, and post content in just a couple of days (when you’re already booked up with client work!)

As you update your website for the new year, write and schedule a few new blogs. Better yet, plan and outline posts for the next six months! Use important dates and launches as your starting point, then plan content around them. It’s so much easier to be consistent when you’ve done some of the work ahead of time.

 

Optimize your contact form

Every year I’m in business, I’m learning more about my processes and perfecting my brand’s client journey. I’m sure this is the same for you! With your new, more experienced eyes, review your website’s contact form to ensure it’s asking those must-have questions that set the stage for the rest of the client journey.

If you’ve figured out you need more clarity before a discovery call, add some new questions! That said, you still want it to be as effortless as possible for clients to reach out to you, so try to keep this form on the shorter side. Ruthlessly edit out anything that can be answered later in your process!

There you have it, friends! Nine ways to update your website for the new year. Some items on the to-do list are quick wins, and others will take a few hours, but it’s time well spent to keep your website fresh and aligned as your brand grows.

If you’re a service provider or coach who’s finding that these tips aren’t quite enough to update your website for the new year, give your site a total makeover with Launch Week! Once you’ve booked, it’s just one week to get that brand-new strategic website you’ve been dreaming of. 

Steph-brand-photo-shoot-raleigh-43

I'm Steph!

I'm the Founder & Creative Director behind Southern Creative. Taco-lover, a sucker for neutral color palettes, and completely in love with crafting websites backed with strategy so you can put your focus where your heart & expertise truly is.

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