Start Of Year Website Checklist

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

With the start of the new year freshly upon us, now is the perfect time to go over your web projects and do a little housekeeping. Sometimes things get out of date or pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, so it’s worth exerting a little effort to be able to begin 2014 with a clean slate and a good platform for SEO. Lots of these tasks are quite simple and once out of the way, will leave room for new growth.

  • Update your CMS and Plugins. Most people using WordPress will be guilty of letting it lapse for a few versions, which is understandable – updates can cause functionality problems with existing content and plugins, so they can be a bit of a hassle. However this means you’re missing out on upgraded security and functionality, so it’s usually a matter of taking the time to sit down and get everything working with the latest version.
  • Fix Webmaster errors. Webmasters offers a comprehensive analysis of the status of your website, allowing you to see it through the eyes of a search engine. Most of the time it will be technical errors such as missing pages or broken links, but it will also alert you to more worrying problems such as malware or compromised pages. These can drastically affect whether your site is displayed to searchers or not, so it’s definitely wise to tidy these up for the new year.
  • Review your backlinks. The fact that major search engines dislike poor quality or spammy links is no secret, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that you have them. Use a backlink profiler such as WebCEO to build up a list of sites linking to you, and analyse them to see if they’re worth the connection. Getting links removed can be a tricky business, but with increasing penalties for bad links it’s worth it in the long run.
  • Speed up your website. Page speed might not affect rankings, but it certainly affects how users interact with your site once they’re there. Google provides a tool offering insights on how your site loads, and from there you can implement strategies to tighten up and improve loading times.

If you’ve let your website lapse a bit, now’s the right time to tidy up loose ends and comb through your content to give yourself the best advantage possible for the new year.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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