The Christmas decorations have been taken down, the goodies have all been eaten, and the countdown has ended until next NYE…it’s a new year for every one of us. Now that it is, we’re looking at how best we can improve our companies and enrich our lives in and out of business matters. Why not start with your website? Now that you’ve taken a break, it’s time to look at it with fresh eyes. Here are some things you can do for your business’s website in January, not only for this year but the year afterwards, and beyond.
- Re-evaluate your hosting plan
Sometimes a fresh year can come with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective. Try to use this on your website’s hosting plan; how is it working out for you? Do you feel like it could be improved in any way? Are you happy with the amount of storage you need, or do you need more of it? How long have you been using the same plan? Has anything about your business expanded since last year?
Once you’ve finished addressing these questions, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your current hosting plan, particularly if it’s not performing the way you hoped. Maybe you’d like to expand on your online services and how that’s done, but the software is too advanced and the space needed too big for what your current plan allows. For anyone who’s still stumped about the subject, we hope this blog post about managed VPS hosting can soothe some of your concerns.
- Make your website more accessible
The sooner you add these design elements to your website, the better! While it’ll be a few years yet before BC and Manitoba are required by law to provide accessible websites for people with disabilities, this law is already in effect in Ontario as of January 1, 2021. Eventually, BC, Alberta, and Manitoba, and all of the other Canadian provinces won’t have much choice as the acts and laws for making sites more accessible will be present in the coming years.
There’s one year less to go for us all, and V3 has already applied options for these designs on our website. This year can be the perfect time to show your consideration towards people who want to reach out to your business, but can’t for invisible reasons of their own.
If you need to know what tools need to be applied to your website for accessibility purposes and use, here are some suggestions:
- Increase and decrease text size
- Readable font
- Underline links
- Change of contrast
- Lighten the background
For more information you can refer to our blog post about the subject last year, “What You Need to Know About Website Accessibility Laws in Canada“.
- Update your Google My Business profile
Even before we were all forced to stay inside thanks to lockdown, local businesses can and still do matter—so take this opportunity to get found online. Applying local SEO to your business’s website can be as simple as updating the Google My Business profile or your major online directory profiles and social media accounts. You can add new photos from your company, update the hours of operation (especially the holidays for 2021), add some tags and categories that will help you be found online more often, and take some time to respond to or reflect on the reviews your customers are leaving for you online. (In the latter’s case, checking it every day even for just one minute can make a world of difference for your online reputation.)
Your Google My Business profile is not a static, absolute directory that can’t be changed once it’s out there. Think of it instead as an organic means to attract people to your business on a local scale where some of your most loyal customers are coming from. This same rule of thumb applies to all forms of white hat SEO as well. For more tips on local SEO, you can start with our blog post about the “4 Tips on Local SEO for Business Owners“.
- Revisit what worked, and what didn’t
Take a little time this month to really reflect on the campaigns from 2020 that really knocked things out of the park…and the ones that completely struck out. You can start with this by reviewing your Google Analytics account first (check out our first blog post on how to get started here), and also examine the insights of your social media accounts which are typically provided with every business profile.
Once you’ve compiled some data and get a better look at how things went last year, it’s time to do some serious planning. Maybe last year you focused so much on a particular service and this year should be letting all of what you have to offer really shine? Or maybe it’s time to reshare a popular blog post? It’s also likely there are some links that are either broken or failing to work, so take some time to look for these on your website (or you can ask a professional team to help with that, if you don’t have time). Finding out what works and what doesn’t before your customers find them can save you and your company from a lot of unnecessary hassle.
- Come up with a plan for content for your website
January is also a prime time of the year to rely on the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the number of things featured on your website that is no longer serving your business or fulfilling its purpose; reuse the most valuable content your site has to offer by sharing it on social media or even Google My Business; recycle what has potential to become even more popular and maybe you’re even proud to reshare. With this in mind, try to create some killer new ways to reach your audience online via content and maybe even make some sales happen as a result of following through with the plan. It doesn’t hurt to rely on a professional marketing agency to help with this if you’re struggling.
Need a Complete Refresh?
Perhaps you’ve already looked at these changes but your website just isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do, which is 1) attract and retain new and loyal customers, 2) provide useful information and relevant content that people are looking for, 3) making sales, and 4) be your virtual business card. If it’s over 10 years old, or the software or hosting plan isn’t performing as well as you hoped, it’s definitely time to refresh your business’s website. Give us a call at V3 Media today, and we can get you and your brand caught up with the Internet. After all, we’ve been doing so for over 30 years!