New Year Website Updates We Should All Do, Including Me!

 

Last year at this time I said to a client -- websites are like having a puppy: they require constant clean up, care, and feeding. That was an apt metaphor for 2018, altho I didn't realize at the time that it would be the Chinese Year of the Dog.   And it's still true for 2019.

 

But I digress.

 

Nonetheless, there are a few things that every solopreneur should be taking care of every late December or early January and throughout the year to ensure that your website keeps working for you as your primary means of marketing your business. I'm in process with doing some of these myself.

 

 

Small Updates with Big Payoffs

 

  • add the current year to the copyright in your footer

  • check each page's meta tags, update keywords, title, and description

  • update your bio page with new achievements, credentials, and training

  • add social media icons for platforms where you've become active

  • freshen up your homepage with new images 

 

Adding new year to copyright.  This is a simple text edit. If your current copyright is something like © 2012 Susie Smith, it can cause some people to wonder if you are still in business in 2019. So insert the current year so that the line reads © 2012-2019, or © 2012, 2019.  Using the hyphen means that you have made changes every year since the original date. Using the comma means that you made changes or added to the content just in those two years.

 

Updating meta tags.  The Wix wizard that I use for on-page SEO prompts me to display Business Name | Location or Site Owner Name | Phone as the meta title for a home page, with page names substituting for business name on other pages. Meta descriptions and keywords should reflect the content of each different page and not be the same for all pages. Many solopreneurs who have built their own website would benefit from bringing their meta tags up to current standards.

 

Keep your bio current.  Did you finish a training, complete a new degree level, publish an ebook in 2018? Be sure to add it to your About page -- and then promote that addition on LinkedIn and Facebook. Maybe even take a new good quality selfie and add that to your About page too.

 

Add Social Media Icons.  If you have a LinkedIn account -- and you should -- be sure to make similar updates there as well, and then add the LinkedIn icon somewhere on your website. This is usually done in the footer, but could be anywhere that blends in well with the design. Same with Facebook, and make sure that the Facebook icon sends people to your Facebook business page rather than to your personal page. Search Vecteezy or Pixabay or Flaticon for free social media icon designs that help them stand out on your website, for a little extra design flair.

 

Freshen up homepage images. But take care not to mess up the design layout of the homepage!! New pizzazz can be added to a website simply by changing the images used. Or add a video. Or change the style and color of your buttons. Or add a logo to the header or footer. There are a lot of minor changes you can make that can freshen up a site that was created 3-5 years ago or more. If you prefer to leave this kind of update of your Wix site to a professional, email me. 

 

Each of these updates are fairly easy and quick to make. If you did them all at once, you could be done in a couple hours.

 

 

Other Updates to Prioritize in Your Marketing Plan

 

 

This second set of recommended updates will take longer, and are something that should be part of your routine and ongoing marketing plan anyway. For introverts especially, I promise you will get more out of putting your time in on these tasks than on going to networking breakfasts!

 

  • start blogging or add a new post at least once a month

  • add a new page for a new client niche

  • add an audio recording to your homepage

  • add a video greeting to your homepage

  • add some 4-8 page special how-to reports as free downloads

  • repackage your services, and create a new page to offer them

  • add testimonials to your site

  • add recommended allied professionals with links to their websites

 

New content is more important than ever for good SEO, and there is no better way to add content to your site than with a blog, or new pages. It's not as hard as you might imagine, but it might take some learning and planning. If you need some pointers, ask me for my free guide on blogging.

 

I recommend making it a regular part of working on your business to add to your website every month at least. This keeps the site "active" in Google's eyes, and that's good for SEO.

 

Audios, videos and testimonials help keep visitors on your website longer, and this is also good for SEO.  These days it is incredibly easy to create audios and videos with an iPhone, and probably with the newer versions of many other brands. Play with the technology and see what you can do. Usually there is a way to then send an audio or video file to yourself by email and from there you can install the file to your website.

 

Now I know that there are still some old fashioned limitations for clinicians on requesting testimonials, but in my opinion and experience as a psychotherapist there is nothing inherently unethical about using ones that are voluntarily offered to you.  And if you are not a mental health clinician, it is standard business practice to ask for them. Either way, whether you do astrology readings or counseling, your clients can always decline.

 

 

More Complicated Updates to Do

 

 

You don't have to be a data junkie or techie to get some value from these last two update ideas, but you might need some help to accomplish them.

 

  • add your sitemap to Google Search Console

  • add an analytics program to your site

 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm no fan of analytics for micro-business websites. Obsessively watching your website analytics is like compulsively watching the stock market -- most solopreneurs just don't need to know all that info, get overwhelmed and paralyzed by it, and won't be making the incessant mini-changes to your website that the big internet marketers would do. You just don't have the kind of business as therapists, psychics, authors, attorneys, etc, that demands that kind of constant tinkering.

 

That said, there are two things that I do recommend for my colleague-clients. One is to add your sitemap to the Google Search Console. This will require having a gmail account, and even if you don't use gmail for your email, you can create a gmail account for the purpose of having access to the Search Console.

 

If you have a Wix website, I can help you with this, while updating your meta tags as well. See my DeWixDoctor.com site to contact me about that. Otherwise, ask your web host tech support what to do.  If you still have a WordPress site, WPfFxIt.com may be able to do this for you.

 

The other thing to consider doing is to add an analytics program to your site. Google Analytics is what the data junkies use, but I find it confusing and overwhelming to try to figure out.

 

Much more friendly is StatCounter.com, or if you have a Wix site, the Visitor Analytics app is an easy to comprehend program to install and understand. The free version probably gives all the info you really need, but the premium version provides all the extra data you might want. If you need help locating that app, I'd be happy to add it for you at no charge. 

 

 

 

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​I ​​do two basic things when I work with people:

I bring 40 years of experience and training​ to bear on the projects or situations at hand, and

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