It seems like everywhere you look people are talking about how the new year (and a new decade) is right around the corner. Truthfully, I generally love this time of year. There’s something so fun about sitting down and creating a plan for the next year.
But before you get too deep in your planning for next year, it’s important to make sure you’ve taken care of everything that currently needs your attention… like your website.
It’s so easy to forget about the little things here and there when you’re busy running your business throughout the year, which is why I wanted to spend this week giving you 6 places on your website to review and update before the new year.
1 | About Page + Headshots
I just had to start with one of the hardest pages on your site to update, right? I know, I know. Writing copy for your About page is tough! That’s why so many people end up going far too long without updating one of the most important pages on their site.
The good news is that I’m not saying you have to write an entirely new About page, but it’s important to take a look at what you currently have and make sure that it’s still relevant to your business.
Are you still offering the services or products mentioned on this page? Double check that the links you’re sending people to work. If you mention anything personal, is it still true or relevant?
While you’re checking out your About page, when is the last time you updated your headshots? If you haven’t taking new photos in a while, that’s okay. You can still update your headshot to be something new from the last time you had photos taken.
Even slightly updating the design and visuals on this page will grab people’s attention.
Related: How to Write an Effective About Page
2 | Contact Page + Social Media links
Once you’ve made it through the hardest page (or, okay, so you want somewhere easier to start), it’s time to take a look at your Contact page and your social media links. This is pretty straight forward and it shouldn’t take you much time.
First and foremost, take a look at your Contact page and make sure it still works. Do you have a form on there? Are submissions going to the right email address? You definitely don’t want to roll into the new year and not receive emails through your website.
If you have an email address, business hours, or your availability on your Contact page, make sure those are up to date as well. This is one of the first places someone is going to look if they want to collaborate or hire you, so it’s important this information is up to date.
While you’re checking your email address, make sure that the link to email you and your other social media links are working on this page and any other location on your website.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been to someone’s website and I either went to email them or check out their social media accounts, but the links didn’t work. This is so frustrating, especially when it’s someone I’m excited about connecting with.
If you don’t update anything else I mention in this post, at least go make sure your social media links are working.
3 | Opt-in Freebie
Just like your About page, your opt-in freebie is a really easy thing in your business to forget about throughout the year. Maybe you slightly shift your services or your positioning, maybe you switch email providers, or you just create a brand new opt-in freebie.
Usually what happens when you’re doing things like this is that you forget to update your freebie or miss a link somewhere on your blog, or maybe you made a new freebie but you’re not linking to it on your homepage.
Take a few minutes to make sure your opt-in freebie is relevant and working the way it should before you start working to grow your email list next year.
Make sure that your opt-in freebie relates to your services / products. Double check that the right link is being sent to new subscribers, that subscribers are tagged or segmented the way you want them to be.
If your opt-in freebie isn’t converting anymore, then add some time in your calendar over the next few weeks or sometime in the first few months of next year to create a new one.
4 | Your Services
Reviewing your services is probably part of your new year planning, but in case you hadn’t thought about it, now is a great time to start thinking about what you actually offer your clients that your website is setup to help you book more work.
First, take a look at your packages. How many packages or different services are you currently offering your audience? Do you need to reduce them? Restructure? Again, these may be things that fall in your big annual planning because they’re important to think about before you start working on growing your business.
If you aren’t updating your services at all, take a look at your website and make sure that your rates and availability are accurate.
The new year is a popular time to raise your rates, so if you plan to do that now may be a great time to go on ahead and update your pricing on your website or add a task to your to do list for sometime in January to update them.
Then make sure your availability is right. How far out are you currently booking projects? Are you taking time off that you need to account for in your schedule? Save yourself the trouble of having to turn people away or the pressure of taking work that you don’t have time for by updating your availability now.
5 | Portfolio + Testimonials
One of the most common places on websites to be forgotten are the portfolio and testimonial sections.
Regardless of the type of work you do, it’s likely that you have work to show off or at the very least testimonials from happy clients / customers that you can show off.
However, so many people don’t take the time to update these sections on their site.
If you’re a designer, and you haven’t updated your portfolio in 6 months, think about what that says to people who are thinking about hiring you. In 6 months you’re growing as a designer, your style may be shifting, you may have created one of your best projects ever. Leaving those types of updates out of your portfolio can actually hold you back from booking new projects.
Testimonials work the same way, especially if you don’t create visual work for your clients. If I’m thinking about hiring a coach or a copywriter, I totally understand that you may not have anything to actually show me before I inquire with you. However, I want to see that people have worked with you in the past and what their results have been.
Set a few hours aside before the end of the year to get some new work and fresh testimonials uploaded to your website.
Bonus points if you use that new work and testimonials to show off what you do and pitch your services on social media!
6 | WordPress, Themes, Plugins
Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to take a look at the tools that your website runs on. It hurts my heart to think about how many people totally neglect their website month after month, putting their hard work at risk of being hacked and totally lost.
If you haven’t been updating your website, theme, or plugins, it’s very important to take time in the next couple of weeks to update these things.
Start by installing a backup plugin and run a backup of your site just in case things go wrong. Then start updating one thing at a time.
Once your website is up to date, make sure you set aside some time to keep your website up to date on a regular basis next year. If you struggle to keep your site updated, be sure to check out this post I wrote on how to maintain your WordPress website as a busy business owner.
What will you update first?
I know the end of the year can be busy as you’re rushing to finish up last minute projects, book projects for the new year, and plan for the new year as well.
You can set yourself up for success, though, by taking that extra time to update your website and make sure everything is working for you – not against you – before the new year rolls around.