5 New Year’s Resolutions for Website Owners
The New Year is a great excuse to look at things afresh, draw a line in the sand and say “From this day forth I shall…” So we’ve compiled a quick list of five simple New Year’s resolutions for all you website owners and managers out there:
1) Test Regularly
We’d encourage anyone running a website to make testing part of their monthly routine. Setting aside even an hour a month dedicated to reviewing a site for broken functionality or bad copy can help you quickly identify problems affecting the user experience. As well as carrying out simple walk-through reviews yourself, it can be useful to get external input too. Consider doing some usability testing with your target audience.
If your website is particularly large or complex focus on testing an individual site section each month or start by testing those features most used by visitors. But not all testing has to a manual. Checking for broken links and missing images for example can be automated using inexpensive (and often free) software tools such as Integrity for Mac or Xenu for PC. These can save you hours of manual browsing and clicking. Free services such as Google’s Search Console can also be useful for identifying possible page problems.
Even if you’re not in the position to fix every issue you find straight away, you’ll certainly be in a more informed position when it comes to allocating future development resources.
2) Measure Performance
Before you can start making meaningful improvements to a site you need to be measuring its performance. Only then can you compare and see if any changes have actually made things better. What you measure will very much depend on the nature of your site and how detailed you want to be.
Tools such as Google Analytics offer a truly overwhelming range of metrics.
The important thing is to decide which performance indicators are most important to your site and then actively monitor these on a regular basis.
Even if you don’t do anything with the data now you’ll probably find that just by observing the performance of a site over time you’ll start to understand more about the factors that shape how it performs.
Some of the clients we produce regular website performance reports for now have years of useful data, specific to their site and business. They can call upon this when assessing the success of their online strategy and to inform future development decisions.
3) Think Mobile
The number of people accessing the web via mobile devices now exceeds that of traditional desktop PCs. So if you don’t already have a mobile strategy in place for your website then this is probably a good time to do just that.
Having a mobile strategy doesn’t necessarily mean planning to rebuild your site from scratch to be ‘Responsive‘ or launching dedicated native apps. There are often plenty of simple ways to make your existing site more accessible to mobile users, whether it’s making the sizing and layout of pages more touch-friendly or stripping out any Flash content in favour of an HTML5 equivalent.
It’s also about shifting the way you think about your site. Once you start making development decisions with mobile in mind, you’ll be ensuring that future development investment will serve you better in the post-PC era.
4) Engage in the Social Side of SEO
It has been suggested for a while now that social media is likely to be an increasingly important signal for the search engines to use when ranking web pages. The pages we share and like on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest present a great opportunity for Google and the other search engines to understand which sites real people are actually recommending. It’s also thought that Google uses the content of Google+ posts to identify new pages for crawling, which might otherwise taken longer to identify by the traditional spidering methods.
So if you haven’t already, establish a presence on the main social networks and start sharing relevant content from your site. If your content is particularly visual-led then you may also want to consider Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube too.
For more on the Whats, Whys and Hows, check-out our series of posts on Getting Started with Social Media.
5) Love what you do
Ok, so you’re probably thinking that this one is here to make up the numbers. But in some ways this is the most important resolution of all. If you love what you do and care deeply about making the best possible website you are more likely to have the resolve to action the other resolutions above.
When we look at some of the products and services we value most they are produced by companies or individuals who project a genuine love for what they’re doing. This love of your craft drives you to do the best job you can and since the start we’ve made this one of the core principals around everything we do. We find that our best work is produced working on projects we are genuinely excited about, with clients who are passionate about what they do.
Here’s to a happy and successful year for you all!
Receive Updates by Email
Sign up for our latest knowledge base articles delivered direct to your inbox.