Believe it or not, it’s 2015! It’s a new year, which means it’s a fresh start for you to finally get around to those things that you’ve been putting off for all of 2014. You’re going to start using that gym membership. You’re going to throw away your cigarettes. If you’ve had a particularly wild December 31, you’re going to stop partying so much.
But what about your poor old website? In the constantly evolving world of the Internet, there’s always something you can do to improve the appearance or functionality of your site. As long as you’re in new year’s resolutions mode, why not set some goals for your website as well?
Of course it’s entirely dependent on your particular website which resolutions are best, but we thought we’d kickstart the process by offering this list of resolutions to help get you started:
Finally Update Its Content
Is the latest project on your site described as “fully optimized for Windows Vista!”? Misspelled a couple of words that make you cringe every time you read them? Have some images that are a little too low res? Do yourself a favour and actually get around to updating all of that content you’ve been meaning to fix. If something’s bugging you on your site, chances are it’s bugging a whole lot of other people as well.
Make It Mobile Responsive
It’s 2015 – most people use smartphones now. Many people even use their phones for Internet browsing more than computers. Having a website intended only for desktop computers is kind of like releasing an album on CD but forgetting about a digital release on iTunes or Rdio. Whether you like it or not, people are going to check out your site on their phones. Make sure there’s something great waiting for them!
Eliminate Unnecessary Pages
Have a Featured Work page and a Best Work page that basically just say the same thing? Has your News section just said “stay tuned for updates” since July of 2012? Take a good look at your website and see which pages are unnecessary or clearly will never be used. There’s a good chance that you have sections where you had an idea in mind when you built your website that never really panned out – and that’s totally fine! That doesn’t mean that those sections should stay up forever, though. In 2015, finally get rid of all that unnecessary clutter.
Look At Your Analytics
If you haven’t set up Google Analytics for your website, drop everything and go do that right now. If you’ve set it up already, make this the year where you actually take a look at your account and make sense of all the data that you’ve been collecting. You might have a gut feeling about what are the best parts of your website or maybe get the occasional piece of feedback from someone on Twitter, but Google Analytics is one of the best ways to actually see how your site is performing.
Google Analytics requires a series of blog posts to scratch the surface, so you’ll need to do some more research to see what you should be checking (or stay tuned to the Hover Blog for future posts!) but at the very least you should be checking where traffic is coming from, what your most popular pages are, what path people take once they get to your site, how long they spend on each page, and where they leave off. Remember, it’s important to determine what’s working, but it’s perhaps even more important to see what isn’t working.
Alright, I’m a little biased here because I’m a blogger myself, but trust me – blogging works! Whether you’re a leader in your field or just starting out, everyone has their own unique point of view to share. Setting aside a couple hours to write a great blog post every one or two weeks will help attract new eyes to your site, keep your current audience engaged, and position yourself as an expert who others look to for information on whatever topic you’re interested in. Even if your blog doesn’t take off and become the next Mashable, it’ll at least show people that you’re active and still giving your website some attention.
Twitter is one of the best ways to get new people to check out your website and keep your current audience engaged, so you owe it to your site to properly utilize the social network. Find relevant people and strike up conversations with them. Offer your expertise wherever appropriate. And most importantly, respond to people when they tweet at you! Similar to what we went over with blogging more, use Twitter to show people that you’re still around and working on whatever your website is showcasing. Whether you plan on tweeting a couple more times a week or developing an entire social strategy for 2015, make this the year that you better utilize Twitter!
Keep an Ideas List
We all occasionally think of ideas that are so great that there’s no way we’ll forget them, only to say to ourselves the next day “wait…what was that thing I thought of again?” If you don’t have a system in place to document your ideas as they come up, then 2015 should be the year you start. There are many note-taking apps out there like Wunderlist, Evernote and Asana that will let you quickly jot down ideas wherever you are and sync them across your devices. You can then even keep revisiting these notes to add new thoughts and document your brainstorming every step of the way. This year, when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking of a new way to start off your About Me section, jot it down so you won’t forget it!
Create an Update Schedule
It’s one thing to say that you’ll do something at some point this year. It’s another thing to actually set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. When you unwrap your new calendar for the year, grab a pen and mark off what you’d like to update for your website and when you’d like to do it. This will give you the added pressure of a deadline to work towards instead of an indefinite timeframe, plus will also ensure that you’re regularly working on bettering your site.
What resolutions do you plan on setting for your website? Have any that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!