The New Year means a fresh start for us all! Whether you made a formal resolution list or not, there’s something refreshing about hitting the reset button. While we have our own areas in which we would like to grow as individuals and as a business, since we’re a digital agency, we figured our advice on website growth might be more beneficial to share. To help, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and applied them to websites.
Get More Organized
A classic New Year’s resolution is to get more organized. The beauty of this resolution is that it can be applied to any aspect of one’s life– whether it be organizing their closet, desk, or their business. In 2022, get more organized by creating a social media calendar for your organization. These days, everything and everyone is online, so maintaining a constant social media presence is key for brand awareness. Start making social media posts a priority by planning in advance, establishing a long-term strategy, and by creating new content for your platforms. There are also plenty of social media management tools like HootSuite out there to help you plan, create, and schedule the perfect post. Not only will you save time and money by scheduling posts ahead of time, but you’ll have a constant stream of new content ready throughout the year.
Another important New Year’s resolution that we should all be implementing in our daily lives is a healthy diet. While this may look different person to person, websites on the other hand favor a balanced diet of keywords in their content, including short-tail and long-tail keywords. In terms of a diet breakdown, long-tail keywords are akin to fruits and vegetables in their “nutritional” benefits to websites, while short-tail keywords are better compared to fats, oils, and sweets– while still essential to any diet, they’re best consumed sparingly.
Short-tail keywords are broad search terms that typically include only one or two words, and have high volume, but also high competition. This makes them less desirable, as they are often difficult to rank for, and can create less qualified traffic. Long-tail keywords on the other hand tend to have more words in their search terms and lower search volume, but less competition– making them ideal for smaller and more localized businesses. They offer businesses a better ROI than short-tail keywords, as well as the opportunity to rank higher in search results, meaning that websites should include a higher proportion of long-tail keywords in their diets for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
Improving physical performance, or getting in shape, is often at the top of many New Year’s resolutions lists. When it comes to your website’s peak performance, there are a number of factors to keep track of in order to make your website faster and stronger. These factors include improving your site speed, checking your core web vitals, as well as updating your plugins and content management system (CMS) on a regular basis. There are multiple things you can do to help improve your site speed, including reducing the number of redirects on your website, enabling browser caching, and optimizing your images. To further see how page speed and other factors affect user experience on your website, be sure to also check your core web vitals using Google Search Console’s Core Web Vitals report. This report highlights your pages’ performance using real-world data, and will give you a breakdown by device type. To ensure your website stays strong, make sure to also stay on top of new updates for your CMS or any plugins your website may be using. With new software updates often come bug and security fixes, making updates essential in order to help protect your website from cyber attacks, such as with the recent Apache Log4j vulnerability.
Prioritize Personal Safety
Personal safety should always be a priority, both in everyday life and online. In 2022, take the next step to secure your website by making sure that your SSL/TLS certificate is valid. An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a security protocol that protects sensitive user information via data encryption. It’s what makes a URL go from “http” to “https”, and is what ensures your credit card number won’t get stolen when placing an online order. As Cloudflare mentions in an article, other benefits of having a valid SSL certificate include the authentication of web servers and the prevention of data tampering. Making sure your SSL certificate is up to date also builds trust with your customers, and improves user experience by eliminating any warnings on the user’s end about your site being not secure. To check to make sure your SSL certificate is still valid, simply click the padlock located in your address bar, which will alert you to your website’s security status as well as your SSL certificate’s expiration date.
Spend More Time With Friends & Family
Another common New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with friends and family, also known as your foundation or support system. In the website world, this translates to spending more time with your analytics, as they are the foundation for your marketing strategy and for making informed, data-driven decisions. Google Analytics provides you with valuable insights regarding your website’s traffic, including volume of users, time on page, bounce rate, traffic type, demographic information, and more. Google Analytics also has the power to seamlessly connect with your Google Ads account, making it easy to analyze traffic from your paid search campaigns as well. In 2022, be sure to set aside some time each month to regularly check in with your analytics, and then use the subsequent information to help inform your marketing strategy.
Perhaps one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions of all time is losing weight. Although losing weight can be challenging for us humans, it is thankfully easier to shed any excess pages, content, and plugins weighing down our websites. Deleting or removing excess pages and content from your website can actually benefit your website’s SEO, and decrease index bloat. Index bloat occurs when search engines spend an excessive amount of time crawling duplicate or low-quality pages on a website, thus decreasing your site speed and relevance in search engines’ eyes. Thankfully, you can easily reduce your website’s potential for index bloat by removing pages from search engine’s indexes using noindex tags, a 410 status code, or canonical URLs.
Another best practice is to remove any unused plugins cluttering your CMS’s dashboard. According to WP Engine, unused plugins can increase load times and create opportunities for vulnerability on your website, especially if you haven’t kept up with their updates. Uninstalling any plugins not currently being used on your website reduces this risk.
Ask For Help More Often
New Year’s resolutions are hard to maintain alone! Surrounding yourself with a solid support system is the key to your success. If you need help with your website, don’t be afraid to reach out. For assistance with the more technical aspects of your website, call or email our support team at [email protected].
We wish everyone the best of luck with their New Year’s resolutions, and hope that everyone has a wonderful 2022!