How to keep your website up to date

How to keep your website up to date

Some of my clients have only just set up their businesses, whilst others have been their own bosses for a number of years. However, what I often see in common across the board is that websites are built and then left. And this causes a huge problem as websites need to be kept up to date regularly.

It’s not just something that product-based businesses should be doing either. Service-based businesses need to pay just as much attention to their websites – if not more in most cases – to ensure that they are enticing visitors to return to their site.

Stale content = visitor apathy

Why would someone visit your site regularly if they know you’ve not changed anything for months? And why would a new visitor stick around if it looks like the last course you ran was way back in January 2019?

9 ways to keep your website up to date

So here is my quick checklist of 9 things that you can do to keep your website up to date:

  1. scan through your offerings to check and update prices (if you have them on your site)
  2. check that event/workshop/course dates are current and remove old course information
  3. add a blog post answering a question that you get asked most frequently
  4. place an announcement on the homepage linking to your next offering – with a link to book
  5. if you sell products, check that your postage rates are correct (prices have risen again)
  6. update your terms and conditions / privacy policy – these things seldom get attention!
  7. add an ‘Easter Egg’ to a page and ask people to find it*
  8. read through your copy and update anything that doesn’t read well
  9. link your Instagram account to your website – this will automatically keep it up to date

 

OK, so some of these aren’t glamorous or exciting, but by changing your content and adding new information regularly you will give visitors a reason to return and give search engines a clear signal that you are a business invested in keeping your website up to date.

Which of these do you think you can add to your schedule regularly?

For me it’s blogging that gets the thumbs up and I focus on, simply because it gives me material to use in social media posts and also somewhere to point my clients when they have questions, instead of repeating myself over and over again.

Whichever you choose, just make sure that you are updating your website at least once a month and if you check your website metrics (which you should be doing), you will start to see a difference in visitor numbers as you invest some time into your website.

 

* If you are wondering what an Easter egg is, this is something you sometimes find in video games, software or even movies that has no other purpose than to be an unexpected surprise when found. They are often buried deep in the program where users seldom look, so can be a great addition to a website for a special occasion or just to get visitors looking at pages they wouldn’t normally visit. You can give clues or just make them look – whatever you do, award a prize of some sort to make it worth their while!

Web Goddess

3 Reasons to Track your Competitors

3 Reasons to Track your Competitors

Do you track your competitors?

This is a question we ask our clients when they approach us for SEO services and one that is invariably answered with a ‘No’. And whilst we don’t recommend disappearing down the rabbit hole by constantly comparing yourself to your competitors, we do recommend tracking how they are performing online.

So, why is tracking your competitors important for your business?

#1 You see the True Picture

We often get asked by clients how their competitors are doing, and more often than not the picture that they have painted of their competition is not the true story.

For example, you may be convinced that a rival business is performing much better than your own but when you actually do the research it turns out that their website is not doing as well as your own. This is important because if you know that your competitor is getting more business than you, they are obviously employing other sales and marketing tactics.

Seeing real data allows you to create strategies based on the true picture rather than a hunch.

 

#2 Helps you Discover your Target Audience

When you first start your business, you may be tempted to say that your customer is ‘everyone’. This not only leads to poor website copy, but also a lack of focus on your actual target market.

When you sell to everyone, you’re selling to no-one. 

It is really important to design your website and offerings around your target market or niche as this is what will set you apart in the marketplace. For example, I have a client who focuses on female  fitness for pregnancy, new mums and menopause. Her target market is specific and it helps set her apart from other personal trainers.

Tracking how your competitors target their niche can help you to understand how to target your own. Whilst your market may look slightly different, you can learn what works and what doesn’t by researching other businesses.

 

#3 You can Utilise the same Keywords

Being able to see what keywords your competitors are using to get found on Google gives you the opportunity to include those in your own website content to improve your visibility.

It’s important to use keywords that reflect your own unique business, but you may find that there are some phrases you have never thought about. This kind of research gives you the opportunity to improve your own content and perhaps write more – blogging is something that I recommend for almost all businesses (especially serviced-based ones) to help you get your message out there and improve your SEO along the way.

So, there you have it. 3 simple reasons why you should start tracking your competitors if you don’t already do so. 

And remember:

“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” – Edwards Deming, Statistician

Check out the tool we use to track competitors for our clients below and give us a shout if you need help with your SEO… 

Is SEO really that difficult?

Is SEO really that difficult?

It’s been almost 5 years since I first posted about SEO (search engine optimisation) and gave you 5 Simple Steps to Improve your SEO. In that time, not surprisingly, things in the SEO world have moved on as technology has improved and the number of websites has increased exponentially. And along with it comes an explosion of SEO myths.

But what hasn’t changed is the constant diatribe of some so-called experts who want to keep the whole SEO world shrouded in mystery and would prefer to talk down to their clients and treat them like children, rather than actually explaining what SEO is and how THEY can make changes to improve their website ranking on search engines.

Is SEO difficult? If you believe these experts then yes it is.

Note: when I refer to so-called experts I am NOT referring to the real experts like Neil Patel who will gladly share resources online for all of us. I mean the thankfully small group of business owners who scare their clients into buying packages they don’t need so that when those customers come to me they are wary of SEO and feel that it is beyond them.

But, I want to bust some SEO myths once and for all so that you can take control of your online empire and feel empowered to manage your SEO with an understanding of it rather than a fear of it.

Here are my Top 5:

Myth #1 – SEO is hard

Attitude over Aptitude - Marie Forleo quote on technology

Listen, everything is hard when you don’t understand it or have no knowledge of how it works – and SEO is no different. If you are willing to dedicate some time learning what it is (and what it isn’t) and implementing even the simplest of steps, then it is just like anything else.

Don’t be put off by someone spouting technobabble at you – the key here is your ATTITUDE not your APTITUDE, as Marie Forleo so eloquently puts it…

 

Myth #2 – It costs thousands of pounds

Yes, you can spend lots of cash on the premium SEO plans – but that’s the same with any service. However, you don’t NEED to spend thousands of pounds on your SEO to see results.

Learn some of the basics or book an SEO Review where I explain SEO in plain English, and get on and do the work yourself. There are also plenty of free SEO tools online that you can use to perform a basic check of your site and go from there. My favourite is Neil Patel’s UberSuggest, but there are plenty of others.

 

Myth #3 – The free tools are crap

I’ve heard this one before and straight to my face – by someone trying to sell me a super expensive SEO package! Funny that…

Trust me, if you took action on all of the advice from the free tools your site would be performing better and that’s what this is all about. If you then find that you need extra support, by all means buy something more indepth, but I bet you’re not even making the most of what you have now…

 

Myth #4 – Focus on SEO above all else

Really? Yup. Heard this one recently too. Whilst I argue that SEO is important, trust me, if your website content, user experience, message and product or service aren’t up to scratch, all the SEO in the world isn’t going to bring you clients (or keep them).

Do what you can when you can and make sure you are putting as much effort into building professional relationships with people as you are into your SEO. In my own business, 90% of my clients come from recommendation and networking and only 10% as cold enquiries straight through my website. So, making sure that I am showing up in person and adding value as well as online is really important.

 

Myth #5 – SEO is a one time deal

Nope. SEO is not a one time thing. You can’t just add keywords to your site and then leave it forevermore. As with all technology, the online world is moving at supersonic speed, and SEO requires your regular attention. Every time you create a new page or write a blog post you need to have SEO at the forefront of your efforts.

But that doesn’t mean it will take hours of work. It just means that you need to think about your message and take the time to ensure the key points associated with SEO are addressed – such as keyphrases, metadata and structure. After all, why go to all the trouble of writing something if it’s just going to disappear into the internet void. You want people to read it right?

So, there you have it, 5 SEO Myths well and truly busted.

My advice is if you are interested and have the time then give it a try. Run your website through a free SEO tool and find out what needs to be improved and read up on SEO and become engaged in the success of your own website.

And if you would prefer someone to help you through it, give me a shout. Translating technobabble and empowering our clients is what we do best at Web Goddess.

Web Goddess

5 Reasons Why Websites Fail

5 Reasons Why Websites Fail

My client base consists of roughly 30% new website customers who have never had a website and 70% website rebuilds and rescues. And there is a common theme within that 70% that keeps repeating when I try to uncover what has gone wrong with the site they already have or had.

So, here are the 5 most common of those reasons why websites fail and how you can avoid the same happening to yours:

 

#1 – It doesn’t do what it’s meant to do…

Inarguably the most annoying reason I hear for a website not working is that it’s basically not fit for purpose and never has been. And because of this, businesses just leave it to rot because they cannot face going through the whole design process again.

If you want to hear exactly how painful this can be, check out this awesome video testimonial from Elspeth Alexandra about her previous website experience!

I’ve come across countless web design companies who simply never ask their clients what the actual purpose of their website is. A very simple question you may think, but THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION of them all.

In fact, one client had already been through two WordPress builds and had only ever been asked which template she preferred rather than any questions about her business goals for the website.

So, what can you do about it?

Make sure that when you are employing someone to build your website or you are building it yourself, you set clear goals and ask:

What does my website need to do for me and my company/brand/product/service?

This will then inform how it needs to be built and the flow and connections that need to be made between pages and calls to action on the site.

 

#2 – Outdated Technology

A common myth that I hear all too often is that once a website is built it will last forever.

Seriously, do you see how quickly technology is advancing? How often do you update your mobile phone and other tech? … websites are no different.

In my own business, I have been through 3 iterations of my business website in only 8 years and no doubt will go through more in the future (rebuild on the horizon as I type)…

I commonly rescue Drupal and WordPress websites that haven’t been updated for years.

So, what can you do about it?

Plan for the succession of your website just like you would for the people in your business or the other technology that you rely on. If you employ a company to build your site or have built it yourself, ask:

What maintentance or upkeep does my website need to keep it working optimally?

And then plan to look at your website at least monthly to perform updates and iron out any kinks. Even website builder websites need to be looked at, as their technology updates may mean you have to look at changing your template or updating some elements of your site from time to time.

 

#3 – You’ve been left Hanging

This happens all too often:

  • a company will offer a great package to create your website telling you that it’s easy for you to manage once built, but you find that it is anything but easy.
  • the company who coded your site using technology you don’t understand is no longer in business and you can’t change anything.
  • a friend built it for you as a favour, but doesn’t do that anymore…

So, what can you do about it?

Be involved from the start and ask questions like:

What access do I have to the site to update it?
Do you provide training to help me update my site?
What support do you provide if I get stuck?
What happens if you go out of business?
Can I move my website somewhere else?

You need to be involved in your website and learn a little about how it all works, rather than simply relying on someone else to do it all for you. And, remember your website is an investment and a business expense, so free is NOT best!

#4 – You don’t understand how to measure its success

Some websites are actually performing better than their owners believe they are because they have no interest in the analytics data that the site produces. You can give up too quickly on a website that you don’t feel is working unless you can see progress being made in terms of visitor numbers and engagement on your site.

I had a recent enquiry from someone complaining that their website was not bringing in any business but when I checked it had far more visitors than they knew about. These visitors did not turn into customers because the website didn’t actually make it easy for them to find what they came for (see Point 1 above!).

So, what can you do about it?

Check your figures! And if you don’t have access to the analytics on your site, make sure you ask your web design company:

What access do I have to my website statistics?
Has Google Analytics been set up for my site?
Do you provide training for these or manage them for me?

Take control of your data and learn where people are finding you, what’s working and what’s not and change your strategy accordingly. Your website won’t work unless you do.

And that brings me to my last point…

 

#5 – You don’t have a consistent website strategy

Websites are a living beast that require attention and love. You need to create a strategy that includes your website – and not just as an afterthought. Without your care and attention, your site will drop down the Google rankings, or stay languishing on a page that no-one ever visits.

Your website your responsibility! 

So, what can you do about it?

Make sure that you are blogging regularly and keeping the information on your site up-to-date – and if you have a WordPress website that your plugins and other technical data is updated regularly.

Regularly ask yourself:

What information is out of date?
What new content of value can I add to my website?
How can I make my website more appealing?
Where can I share my website for the greatest impact?


So, is your website failing you or are you failing it too?

Give me a yell if you would like some obligation free advice on the best way forward for you.

Web Goddess

 

 

Does My Business Really Need a Website?

Does My Business Really Need a Website?

OK, so as I’m a Web Designer you would be right in thinking that I believe that every business needs a website. Duh!

To be honest, I am actually amazed when people I meet ask me if they need a website at all. I guess I just figure that everyone accepts that they do – but that’s clearly not the case.

Yes, you can run your business just on social media, but for how long?

A website is a key marketing component that can’t always be measured by SEO or instant sales conversions. So, if you’ve already got one and don’t think it’s working for you, then this post may help you realise just how much your website is doing for you too.

So, here are my Top 5 Reasons your business needs a website:

 

#1 – YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE

Let’s put it this way, if I can’t find a website for a company I’m looking to work with, or to do work for me, then I usually don’t bother going any further. The website doesn’t even need to be fantastic. It just needs to tell me that the business is what it says it is. I go for honesty and the more detail the better. Links to social media are good too as it shows they are interested in communicating in real-time. It really frustrates me when I know a business can’t be bothered to have even a basic site.

 

#2 – 24/7 VISIBILITYWebsites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that - Paul Cookson

People surf the web at all hours. You never know when you customers are going to be online. What about shift-workers or insomniacs? Getting your message out 24/7 is one of the most powerful tools your business has if you use it correctly.

 

#3 – OWNERSHIP

Remember the great Facebook outage of 2021?? Social media is great but if a platform goes down, goes bust or changes its algorithm so no one sees your stuff anymore then you can’t do anything about it.

Your website is YOURS. You own it. You make the decisions you want to make about what it includes. Your website is your hub for all online interaction so it doesn’t matter what the next big platform is – you’ll have content to share with it.

Case Study: Mrs I.T. Fix IT

Debbie of Mrs I.T. Fix IT set up her own business in 2021. She started with the usual route of setting up on Facebook and was actually advised by her business mentor that having a website was ‘old fashioned’ and not required in today’s business world! I kid you not…
However, when she hosted a few talks with her target audience to speak about her services they all asked for her website address. It turns out that they didn’t use social media and therefore couldn’t connect with her online without one. This was the moment she realised that a website was definitely a wise business investment.

#4 – WEED OUT TIMEWASTERS

The best part about having your own website? You get to share the stuff that’s most important to you. Swear if you want to, use bright colours, share your personality. All of this gives your clients an insight into who you are and helps you weed out those who don’t. You may think that this cuts off your supply of potential clients but it is actually the opposite. If you create a website that you are proud of and it turns someone off then that’s great. You don’t need to waste time on people who don’t fit with you. Better to find out upfront than to be 3 months into a business relationship and find out that you really don’t jell.

 

#5 – IT GIVES YOU AN EDGE

There are plenty of businesses out there that still don’t have a website – and those that do but haven’t updated it for donkeys years. They don’t think it’s important or they are still living in the age of the Yellow Pages. Move with the times and get ahead of others in your industry. Create a website that people want to visit. If two businesses are up for a job and one doesn’t have a site or their site isn’t great then they are more likely to be dismissed without even knowing it. Your website gives you an edge that you may never really fully measure.

So, are you convinced yet? If you don’t have a website yet then please look at getting one with urgency if you want your business to succeed. And give me a yell if you would like some obligation free advice on the best way forward for you.

Web Goddess

 

 

6 Smart Habits to Help You Manage Your Email Inbox for Good

6 Smart Habits to Help You Manage Your Email Inbox for Good

As most of us have shifted to remote working setups, plus those who have joined the gig economy as home-based freelancers, emails have found a resurgence as a medium for correspondence. From online shopping updates to work notifications, the email inbox is probably more important now than before.

However, with the number of correspondences we have, your email inbox can easily transform from an update platform to your own logistical nightmare. To help you keep your hundreds, even thousands, of emails in an orderly fashion, here are six smart habits to help you manage your email inbox for good:

 

1. Set inbox filters

This is an underrated feature among most email service providers. Filters or inbox rules automatically filter and sort incoming email without you having to go through each of them. Take note that for most services, like Outlook or Gmail, filters only work on incoming messages after the filters have been set. Also, when someone replies to an older email that precedes a filter, the replies are now subject to the filter.

 

2. Delete emails that do not require user action

While keeping your inbox clean with zero content is far from possible, not to mention not recommended, you can minimize the volume of messages in your inbox. If a piece of correspondence doesn’t require an action from your end, like a reply, you can delete it right away. Work reminders past their due date or online shopping and social media notifications can go to the trash after you’ve read them. This lets you see incoming messages immediately and makes it easier for you to sift through your inbox should you need something.

This even applies to work emails. Freelancers who are done with a client can remove email correspondences, especially those containing small project updates. Just make sure to have a backup of all relevant documents like your drafts or invoices. Cleaning your emails from unneeded messages prevents your inbox from being swamped with unanswered, unread emails.

 

3. Unsubscribe to newsletters and promotions

It also works with subscriptions and newsletters. Sometimes you receive emails from subscriptions or promotional activities. If it’s still within your interest, of course, you can keep them. However, if you think you no longer need them, you can unsubscribe so you’d stop receiving emails from them.

It also saves you from a false sense of productivity. Instead of giving you a bunch of emails to delete during your routine cleanup, why not stop it at the source. Also, unsubscribing manually from their mailing list might sound like a tedious task but it’s something that pays off in the long run. If you’re looking to use an unsubscribe app or platform, remember that most of these services actually sell your email address to other marketers to keep their business going.

 

4. Synchronize mail with calendar

Some emails are one-off instances while others require follow-up. If you feel swamped and at risk of forgetting a deferred or scheduled reply, you can use filters as suggested above and make a note in your device calendar to remind you about this. This way, you can focus on the current task at hand and be reminded with an alert once the time comes for you to respond to a specific email. You can also use it to tie in tasks or projects and set their deadlines with the calendar app.

For Android devices, you can synchronize Gmail with Google Calendar. For Microsoft Outlook, which has its own calendar, you can simply use the “Create Event” function. If you’re using other platforms, you can manually set an alarm with the reminder and the location of the concerned email.

 

5. Turn off email notifications, or set them in batches

Your inbox causing your phone or your laptop to ring every now and then could steal precious time that could otherwise be used for more productive activities. Worse, it can even throw you off your momentum and affect your work. To avoid this, you can turn off email notifications to prevent new messages from distracting you from work. This works especially for employees who can allot a specific schedule for checking and responding to emails.

If you find turning off notifications altogether unappealing, you can try using third-party tools like the BatchedInbox plugin. This is one of the Gmail add-ons that lets you receive emails in batches. The plugin blocks emails from entering your inbox until the set schedule you’ve put in.

 

6. Use the Preview feature

Also known as the reading pane, this lets you see what an email is all about without having to click or open them in a separate window. This is a feature also available in most email services. However, there are instances where it’s not available by default, such as in Gmail or Outlook. You can simply enable this feature from their respective Inbox Settings windows.

By seeing the first few lines of an email, you can immediately determine whether you need to read it more, respond, or outright delete it–saving you time and the effort of opening a new mail.

 

Conclusion

Small practices can yield great benefits for you and your work, and the same goes for managing your email inbox. With these smart practices, you can start saying goodbye to the days of diving into a heap of unread, unopened, or unreplied emails. You no longer have to dread visiting your inbox that used to be filled with emails you no longer remember the contents of. A streamlined mailing inbox reduces stress and the unproductive time you can otherwise spend on more fruitful activities.

 

Kat Sarmiento

Guest Author

Kat writes articles with the hopes of reaching out to more people. Her writing is focused on lifestyle, science, and smart hacks, that will definitely (well, hopefully) be useful to her readers.

Why we’re increasing our prices in 2022

Why we’re increasing our prices in 2022

2022 is here and as with every New Year, I sit down and work out just how I want Web Goddess to grow over the coming 12 months.

This involves looking at which services I want to focus my energy on and the types of clients I love working with, and also on what we are going to charge.

Now, pricing is always difficult. Pretty much every small business I know struggles with how to price their services. It’s something we talk about often in the Web Goddess Academy and I am not immune to the struggle either! It is easier to give advice than take it after all, right?!

 

But first, why do we struggle so much to raise our prices?

Here’s the thing. How much have you seen prices increase across the High Street, or in the supermarket lately? Do you see these big businesses justifying why they the price of butter has gone up by 60% in the past 3 years or why fuel is skyrocketing again?

Nope.

Big businesses and corporations simply do it. Yes, I understand that they have products and services that we simply cannot live without, but they also find it easier to raise their prices.

The smaller guys out there – you and me – find it more difficult.

Perhaps that’s because we believe in doing good over profit, in being of service or because we have a product or service that is a luxury not a neccesity.

Whatever excuse we give ourselves, it is important for the wider economy that our small businesses continue to succeed.

Why?

Because according to the Federation of Small Businesses:

At the start of 2021 there were 5.5 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.2% of the total business. SMEs account for 99.9% of the business population (5.6 million businesses). SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector.

We owe it to our staff and our clients to continue to provide excellent products and services and not only keep afloat but to grow and thrive.

So, here are the three main reasons that we are increasing our prices from 1st January 2022:

 

#1 Our Website service is more than just Design

When Web Goddess was founded back in 2014, simple web design was all that I did. It was literally just me sitting at my computer putting client content into a simple website and publishing it.

OK, there was a little more to it than that, but the complexity of actually designing a site and my knowledge and understanding have grown immensely over the past 8 years.

Now, our website design includes extensive research, strategy calls, user experience (UX), and SEO readiness as standard because we know that building a website is just one part of your bigger business picture.

When we hand over a website we also provide user training to empower our clients to understand and manage their own sites instead of having to rely on us for small changes.

We pride ourselves on our services that help you really take control of your own online world.

 

#2 We Invest in the Latest Technology

We are always looking for the best innovations to use for our websites and SEO services and that means investing in the technology that drives your websites as well as that which helps us streamline our business.

Our SEO clients are now benefiting from upgraded SEO reporting and our WordPress clients all get lifetime access to the Divi theme included in their packages.

We pride ourselves on keeping abreast of the lastest technology and knowing which of these will suit our clients’ needs best.

And as these techonologies increase their prices year on year, we do too to ensure we can continue to provide the service we are renowned for.

 

#3 We Invest in our Staff

Web Goddess grew in 2021 with our very first employee and it was always my intention to be the best employer I could be.

Heck, I left the corporate world in 2003 because I hated my own bosses!!

A huge part of being a boss is to empower my staff to learn and grow in the way that best suits them. So, training is always available and encouraged for them and myself whether that be online or in-person programs that increase our skill set or support our mental health.

It would also be amazing to grow the business again in 2022 by bringing on some more wonderful staff, and increasing prices will help fund that growth and give our clients an even greater breadth of skills to rely on.

 

So, why are we telling you all this?

Because part of the Web Goddess mission is to be transparent and honest with our pricing and our business. As part of the ethical move, we promise to make selling less icky and to change the way we market our business.

It’s not a justification of our pricing, nor is it an invitation to comment on how you can do it cheaper. We’re really happy with the value and experience we provide for our customers and realise that we will be too expensive for some people and yet far too cheap for others.

We’re telling you this because we believe it is the right thing to do in line with how we run our business.

 

Can we still offer you a cheaper option?

Sure thing! If you’d like to build your site yourself and just need us to hold your hand for you, then why not join the Web Goddess Academy?

We love helping small businesses get up and running and as a member, you’ll get exclusive access to my ‘Wix Website in a Week’ Course as well as help on SEO, blogging, email marketing and social media – everything you need to get your small business seen online.

Web Goddess Academy

However, if you’d like us to build your website for you there are no shortcuts or discounts. We offer a tailormade service that we are super proud of and look forward to welcoming you to our growing community of Web Goddess clients.

 

Our Promise to You

Along with our price transparency, we always promise to:

  • Deliver exceptional service – we’ll deliver when we say we will and will always keep in touch
  • Build and maintain excellent websites – websites that give you the best chance of building your business
  • Give clear and transparent advice – even if that advice is that we can’t offer you the service you need
  • Always speak in plain English – we’ll never try and baffle you with technobabble!

Here’s to working with you in 2022 to build the website your business deserves!

Web Goddess

 

Is your Website ready for 2022?

Is your Website ready for 2022?

I love the New Year with all of the promise that the 12 months to come brings! And it’s the perfect time to ensure that your website is up to scratch and ready for the world to see.

So, here are my Top 10 tips to make sure that your website is up to date for 2022…

#1 Copyright Date

A quick win to start with – update your copyright date in the footer of your website to 2022.

If you don’t already have a copyright date set, then now is the perfect date to add one. You can simply add the current year, or to protect all of your content from the time you launched the site, I recommend adding a span of years to your site (e.g. © 2014 – 2022) to ensure that content is protected from the start date of your site. And don’t forget to add in your company or trading name too!

#2 Check for Errors

Is your website working correctly? Do you know how to check for errors?

Keeping on top of errors on your site is really important and I recommend repeating this task monthly, but the New Year is a great time to check for website errors to ensure that you don’t have any broken links or old content that is no longer relevant.

You can manually go through your site if you only have a few pages, or use an online error checking tool such as Google Webmaster Tools. Whichever method you use, you should ensure that your check includes:

  • broken internal and external links
  • site speed
  • mobile responsivity
  • SEO errors (see point 6 for more details on this)

Each time you update your website and fix some errors, make sure you run another report and see what needs to be fixed next as your website will never be perfect but you can improve it every time!

#3 Update Products & Services

Are you offering something new for 2022?

The New Year is a great time to go through your website and update, tweak or remove your products and services to match your 2022 goals.

#4 Update your Prices

Similar to Point 3 above, if you list your prices on your website, make sure that you update these for 2022.

I’m a huge advocate of having prices listed on your website because it helps visitors decide whether they are the right fit for your business before they even get in touch. Yes, it will put some people off if they see you as ‘too expensive’ but they are not your ideal client so that’s a bonus!

#5 Publish a Blog Post

Whether you are new to blogging or an old hand, adding new posts to your website regularly is a great way to keep your website up to date without changing other content.

Think about the questions you get asked about most often and write regular posts addressing those common problems – it’s a great way to keep visitors returning to your site and gives you more scope for adding keywords and useful information to your website, and also creates a resource of posts for you to share on your social media channels!

Here are 2 of my latest posts as an example of the topics that I write about…

How to keep your website up to date

How to keep your website up to date

Some of my clients have only just set up their businesses, whilst others have been their own bosses for a number of years. However, what I often see in common across the board is that websites are built and then left. And this causes a huge problem as websites need to...

3 Reasons to Track your Competitors

3 Reasons to Track your Competitors

Do you track your competitors? This is a question we ask our clients when they approach us for SEO services and one that is invariably answered with a 'No'. And whilst we don't recommend disappearing down the rabbit hole by constantly comparing yourself to your...

#6 SEO Check & Update

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a task that really should be on your monthly list for website updates as you need to ensure that you keep an eye on your keywords and what’s actually 

Depending on the platform you host your website on, this will be a slightly different process. But it’s important to keep on top of SEO tasks and make sure you go back through your website. 

#7 Google Tools

Not really an update as such, but as with SEO, keeping an eye on your Google tools will help you to understand where visitors are coming from and how they are finding your website.

Check Google Analytics and Google Search Console and make sure these are connected correctly to your site – and if you haven’t installed or used these free tools before, make 2022 the year that you get to grips with them and add them to your website.

I also recommend creating a Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) account if you don’t have one, or updating it with new information about your products and/or services for 2022. It’s great for local businesses, but don’t discount it if you have a service area rather than a physical location as it can be useful for all small businesses.

You can read more about Google Business Profile in my blog post here.

bonus tip – create a monthly action plan 

OK, so it’s not an actual website update, but planning dates for your updates each month NOW is a great way to ensure that you keep on top of all of your website tasks throughout the year.

I generally plan these for the middle of each month for my own website as my end/start of month is really busy with client work, but do whatever works best for you. Make sure you diarise the changes and check on your SEO, website content and blog posts at least once a month to keep on top of them throughout the year.

So, is your website ready for the New Year?

Web Goddess

 

Want to Learn how to implement these changes?

Join the Web Goddess Academy to learn all about website design, SEO, blogging, and email marketing – and how to keep all of your tech dots connected!

Why You Need a Mailing List

Why You Need a Mailing List

Do you have a mailing list?

If not, I can’t stress enough how important it is to start one NOW!

A few weeks ago Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all just stopped working. It was only a 6 hour ‘blip’ but for some businesses who rely on these platforms solely for their marketing, it felt like a lot longer. And it raised the question of what to do when you don’t have access to your clients!

Remember, you don’t own the information on social media so this will happen again and most of the time your message just gets lost in the constant flow of information bombarding people’s news feeds.

The benefits of having your own list

Almost everyone has an email address (or five) these days and most of those people log on and check their emails multiple times each day. If you have someone’s email address, you have access to that inbox whenever you want it. Your message will land straight in front of your customer without being lost somewhere in the far reaches of the social media interweb.

• once your email is in their inbox they can save it to read later
• Social media limits your reach so not everyone will see it
• Emails can be personalised and are delivered straight to everyone
• People on your list have chosen to be there
• Email newsletters can improve your SEO by driving visitors back to your website to read new content

How to manage your mailing list

Whatever way you choose to manage a mailing list, I simply recommend that you don’t do it manually. Keeping a list on your PC in Excel or Outlook Contacts might seem like a good idea, but that information can quickly go out of date and isn’t the easiest to manage. Personally, I use Mailerlite for my business and recommend it to my clients too. And here’s why:

  • it’s free up to 1000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month
  • it allows you to give access to other people, so your PA or colleagues can all help manage your list
  • subscribe/unsubscribe options are standard
  • the templates are simple and all ready for you to use
  • your email is sent to every recipient separately (so no more ‘To’ field disasters!!)
  • your message can be personalised with your recipient’s name
  • reports let you see which campaigns work and which don’t
  • you can group your subscribers based on their interests

There are other online options out there but they all cost money from the start and include AWeber (from £16pm) and Active Campaign (from USD $15pm).

How do I get people to sign up?

The easiest way to begin with is to ask people! You could add your existing contacts too but send an initial email to them to ask if they want to stay on your list or not.

Once you have your list up and running, it can be a good idea to offer subscribers something that they can only get by signing up to your list. It doesn’t have to be huge, but a 10% discount off their first order, a free e-book, or offer some tips that you have are all good to start with.

You can also include signup boxes on your website and in your blog posts to make it easy for people to subscribe.

Final points

Whatever method you choose, let your subscribers know what to expect when they sign up then they should stick around! If you’re going to send out a weekly email it’s best to let them know so they don’t feel bombarded. And remember to make your content interesting or useful (and preferably both!) to be successful.

Web Goddess

Google Business Profile – why you need to use it NOW!

Google Business Profile – why you need to use it NOW!

One of the most common questions I get asked when it comes to SEO is:

What can I do to get found on Google?

I would love to answer ‘How long is a piece of string?’ as there really is no ONE answer to that question. But there is a tool that if used correctly can immediately boost your visibility on Google.

GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

Now, you may have heard of Google My Business (now renamed to Google Business Profile) and even listed your business there, but chances are you are not making the most of this powerful free resource.

So, first things first. If you don’t already have a Google Business Profile Listing – GET ONE HERE!

They are free to apply for, you just have to confirm that you are at the address where you say you are. This is usually done via postcard that Google will send to you in the mail. Verify using the code and you’re set to go.

THEN WHAT?

Once you have verified that your business is at your address, it’s time to ensure that you set up your account correctly.

LOCATION OR SERVICE AREA

It is really important that Google Business Profile lists your business correctly. If you work from home but visit customers (e.g. heating engineer, locksmith, gardener, etc) setting a service area rather than a single location for your business is vital. You want to ensure that people can find you and know the areas that you service.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Ensure that you fill in all the relevant details about your business including office hours, your website, your products (if you have them) and your services. The more information you can include here the better. Remember, not everyone has social media so you need to use your listing to advertise your business as fully as possible.

Top Tip: Don’t simply copy and paste details from your website. Write unique content for Google Business Profile and for any other listing on the internet – search engines hate duplicates!

BRANDING

Spend some time uploading your company logo, cover image and some images of your brand. It is important to make your brand consistent across the web.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Now, this is where most people stop. They believe that simply adding a listing to Google Business Profile is sufficient to be found. While it is better than nothing, you can really ensure that you are the first person someone calls when they need you by doing the following…

REGULARLY ADD POSTS & PHOTOS

Just like a social network, Google Business Profile allows you to add Posts and Photos to your profile and encourages you to do so. In fact, Google estimates that businesses with photos receive ten times more visits than those without.

However, unlike social media, users do not need an account to see your listing, so adding regular posts (one a week is ideal) is a great way to reach those who detest social platforms.

ADD PRODUCTS & SERVICES

You can add listings for your individual products and services to Google Business Profile and include prices (either exact or in a price range). Not only does this help with transparency from a business point of view, it also weeds out those prospective customers who may already have a price in mind that you don’t match.

USE KEYWORDS

When describing your business in the general section or adding posts, ensure that you use the keywords and phrases that you would like to be found for. This ensures that people searching for those keywords in your area find you more easily.

COLLECT REVIEWS

It’s no good having all your reviews stuck on Facebook if people can’t see them. So, actively ask your customers for a Google Business Profile review. You can share the link straight from your dashboard on both PC and mobile and the more reviews you have, the higher your listing will appear on Google Maps.

YOUR GOAL

GET IN THE 3 PACK

The Google 3 Pack is the Top 3 listings that appear for a local business search on Google Maps. This is ultimately where you want your business to appear.

As you can see below, Web Goddess currently sits at the top of that 3 Pack when you search for Web Design Uttoxeter. Not only that but with 20 reviews AND actual links to my website (unlike one of the web design listings below) I am more likely to receive clicks through to my listing and website.

 

Google My Business - Web design Uttoxeter 3 Pack

This is the whole point of listing your business on Google Business Profile – to make it easier for people to find you. And when people can find you and they visit your website, you are improving your ranking through more visits, longer visitor time spent on your site and appearing for more relevant keywords.

It’s a Win-Win-Win!!

If you need help with your Google Business Profile, check out the Web Goddess Academy, my monthly membership for newbie entrepreneurs and small businesses to help you get ahead online.

Web Goddess

 

 

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