No matter what kind of business you have, there’s no doubt that the current COVID-19 crisis has impacted it… and probably not in a good way. Many that didn’t use their website or mailing lists much have had a crash course in online marketing the past three months. In any case, if you find yourself with more free time than you’d like, use it to do the website checkup that you put off before everything went crazy. Here’s a quick checklist of easy updates that will help get your website back into shape:
- Review all the pages of your site – and read them carefully. This seems to be too obvious to mention, but simply reading through the copy on your site will spark ideas and inspire you to add and edit information that probably changed since you originally wrote it. Is the copy clear? Is all the information accurate? Are you offering a new service that you just never got around to adding to your website?
- Check your Google Analytics stats. Another seemingly basic thing that few of us (me included) pay enough attention to. Do your basic stats make sense? Do you even have Google Analytics? Reviewing your reports will tell you a bit about what topic interest your audience, where they are and how they get there.
- Test all your contact and opt-in forms. Most websites only get a few form inquiries and opt-ins per day or week, so it’s very easy to overlook a form that’s not working as it should. When testing, use an email you don’t use normally… and review all messaging and autoresponders carefully. Are edits needed? Also check to see if autoresponder messages are slow, or end up in a spam folder. The most common problem with website forms is that they often use the web server’s mailing function to send messages, and these are often slow or unreliable. Consider working with a webmaster to implement a transactional email service to make sure your messages land in the in-box, with your domain brand.
- Do a basic security check. Simple things like improving login password strength (25+ random characters) will go a long way toward securing your site. Also, run a basic website scan at Sucuri.net just to see if there’s anything that requires fixing. Also – how long has it been since your site’s WordPress and plugins were updated? Outdated server software is the leading cause of website hacks.
- Review your hosting and related costs. The world of hosting has changed dramatically in the past few years. Does your site load quickly? Are you happy with the support? Does it include everything you need? Your hosting should absolutely include SSL and preferably a staging area. These days, SSL should be included in the hosting cost (looking at you, GoDaddy!). As for cost… you get what you pay for. For the budget-conscious and for low-traffic sites, SiteGround is an excellent choice that offers outstanding site loading speed and optimization. If you need 24/7 USA-based support and additional staging environments (recommended!), WP Engine is the go-to. ProVirtual Solutions is a WP Engine Agency partner and offers preferred pricing. Click here to learn more.
Of course, if you find that you need some guidance for all of this, I’m here to help! Click to schedule an introductory call and we’ll map a game plan.
Stay safe out there!