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5 Quick Wins to Start the New Year Right

It’s the new year! Here are five quick tasks you can do RIGHT NOW to start the new year off right. (Plus two bonus tasks for you overachievers out there.)

Copyright

Let’s start with a small win. Check the copyright date in your footer. Some themes will pull the date dynamically, but others are hard-coded. If it’s not showing the current year, change it!

Contact

One of the most important parts of your website is your contact form and information. Head over and fill out the form or ask a friend to do it. Do you receive an email? If not, look into why your form isn’t working.

Don’t forget to check your address (including any maps), phone number and hours, too.

Check on your Google My Business listing

Your Business Profile appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your Business Profile—so you can stand out, and bring customers in.

Google My Business

Sign in and take a look around. Are your hours still correct? Address, phone, business category? (I love this post from the Moz blog on how to optimize your GMB listing.)

Don’t have one? Stop reading this immediately and go sign up.

Update SOMETHING

It’s no secret that search engines look favorably on fresh content. Is there something on your site that needs to be updated? A new product or service? A new team member?

Can you ADD new content? A new blog post or page? (And hey, don’t forget to share the new content on social media.)

Change your link text

I have a pet peeve. It’s something I see ALL THE TIME and it makes me want to pull my hair out.

It’s when you link to the word here.

You might see something like click here to learn all about my new services.

A better way to do this is to say learn all about my new services.

Notice that I’m linking to the text my new services. By doing so, search engines understand that the link goes to a page about services. This is good! When you link to the word here, search engines don’t understand where you’re linking. This is not so good.

Bonus 1: Check on your analytics

Analytics, like logging in to your bank online, can be scary, but don’t let it be!

Log in and look at the home area. Here you’ll see:

  • An overview of users, sessions, bounce rate and session duration
  • How you acquire users (by traffic channel, source/medium or referrals)
  • Your top devices (desktop, mobile, tablet)
  • What pages your users visit

For each of these sections, the default is the past 7 days, but you can change it to the past month or year.

Bonus 2: Make ONE change to improve page load time

There’s always room for improvement with page speeds. And we all know that fast sites = happy viewers (and happy Google bots).

Check your site speed on GTMetrix, Pingdom or WebPageTest. Then, pick one area to change. You could:

  • Enable GZip compression
  • Install and enable a caching plugin (and minify your JavaScript, CSS and HTML)
  • Optimize your images by resizing and compressing them
  • Switch to better hosting

These tasks won’t take long, but will give your website a bit of TLC so you can start the new year off right.

Need help implementing any of the above? Drop me a line.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash.

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