There’s a good chance you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of the New Year’s impending arrival.
After all, there’s much to be done before then! And you’ve probably spent some time reflecting on the goals you did and didn’t accomplish over the past few months.
But no matter how you feel about it, the New Year is coming whether you like it or not. There’s really not much you can do except to get prepared. One of the things you need to do is to prep your website for the New Year.
To ensure you start the year off on the right foot, there are a few important tasks you should do when it comes to your site. These tasks will ensure your blog looks great, is running smoothly, and will help you grow your business in the months ahead.
5 Things to Do This Month to Prep Your Website for the New Year
So, what are the few essential tasks you need to do prep your website? These are my top five tasks, which you should easily be able to fit into the month of December. Then, you can enter the next year with the best website possible.
1. Give Your Website a Facelift (a Mini One or a Major One)
If you’ve been wanting to give your site a brand new look, there’s never been a better time to do so. A brand new year is just like a fresh start, both for you and your blog. And while you’re updating your wardrobe or giving yourself a new hairdo, you can give your blog a little facelift as well.
First, decide if your blog needs an entirely new look or if you just want to make a few small tweaks. If it’s a fully new design that you’re after, you’ll want to get started ASAP. You can begin looking for pre-made themes that suit your needs, which are easy to install all by yourself. I love themes from Restored 316 Designs and Coded Creative, both of which run on the Genesis Framework, so you’ll need to have that as well!
If you prefer a custom look, begin your search for the best designer to work with. Now, the odds are that you won’t be able to have a custom web design completed before January 1st. However, you can at least get the ball rolling on the project now!
2. Conduct an Audit of Your Most Important Pages
Are the top pages on your website actually giving visitors a good first impression? Or are they in need of some major updates? If these pages need fresh copy and new imagery, make sure you tackle that before the year begins.
You can start by taking a look at your About page. Is it clearly communicating how you serve your target market? If not, it’s time to make some changes. I love this article on how to write an About page, so definitely check it out if you need some help.
Then, you’ll want to look over any important landing pages on your site. Perhaps you have sales pages for some of your products or services or maybe one for your primary email opt-in. It may seem like a tedious task, but you want to make sure all of those popular pages look great and are getting the job done.
3. Review Your Analytics
I’m someone who doesn’t like to obsess over the numbers too much. For that reason, I only check my analytics once per month throughout the year. But when the year comes to a close, it’s a great opportunity to reflect over how things have grown. And you should do the same!
Compare this year’s page views to last years to see how much your traffic has increased. Have you seen a good amount of growth or has your traffic not been so hot this year? If things haven’t progressed the way you hoped, it can serve as a good motivator to step it up in the year ahead.
You can also see which pages and blog posts earned the most traffic. What keywords were people searching to land on your website and what did they search while on your page? This information can help you shape your editorial calendar in the months ahead. Your analytics hold a lot of valuable information, so put it to good use!
4. Set Goals & Make Some Plans
It wouldn’t be the New Year without setting a goal or two, right? So, don’t forget to write a few goals for your website as well. Perhaps you want to increase your traffic, get more comments, or even land some new collaborations! Or maybe your goal is to step-up how often you’re publishing new content.
Setting goals is important so you can be sure your blog is on the fast track to success in the year ahead. It’ll help motivate you and give you something to work towards. And that’s important in the long run! Think about what you want to achieve and make a plan to help you get there.
5. Get Your Editorial Calendar Ready
And my final tip to prep your website for the New Year is to start working on your editorial calendar. Use some of the information you pulled from your analytics to inspire you. You can also ask your audience what they’d like to see from you in the future. (A reader survey is great for this!)
Preparing your content in advance will make your blogging life so much easier. And if you need some help getting started, I have a blog post all about creating your blogging plan. While you’re at it, make an editorial calendar for your social media platforms too! It’ll make your content creation life less stressful and you’ll thank yourself for it later.