Traditionally, the New Year is the time for a fresh start, a new broom, a clean sweep, opportunity to assess the past and set goals – you get the idea. And here at Alberon HQ we think that this tradition is the perfect motivator to freshen up your website and make sure it does the business for a prosperous and successful year.
We all need a bit of a nudge in encouragement to get certain tasks organised and done, so we have set out six months of nudges to keep your online presence successful and secure for 2018.
Start the new year as you mean to go on and make sure that you:
- Update your security and your CMS. You should do this as a matter of course on a regular basis. We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your website and email security systems up to date to prevent hacking and virus attacks. Likewise, CMS updates may fix bugs or add useful features and functionality. While you can update your CMS yourself, your server updates need to be done by your hosting provider. Good hosting providers will include regular server updates and CMS updates as part of the package. If you are unsure, it is worth checking what your hosting package includes.
- Plan your content. A good website must be kept up to date. Give it a good overhaul and delete old content, and then schedule a plan for content over the coming months. Try to plan for a year, but if that is too much for you, plan on a quarterly basis, but make sure that you update the content as often as possible.
- Check your analytics and SEO performance. Another regular job that can help to inform your content strategy and implementation plan. Use Google’s planner to help identify keywords and search terms that work for your sector and use them.
Things change, so don’t rest on your laurels and get complacent. Just because things have worked for you up to now, doesn’t mean they will continue to do so, so keep vigilant and pro-active.
- Do all the tasks outlined above.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Hopefully your organisation will have already made a start on changes required to meet the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules which will come into force on 25 May. If not, you still have some time to make the necessary changes.
The legislation will affect any organisation holding data on individuals and you will need to be compliant in how you obtain consent to store these details, how you process and store them, and ensure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach. For example:
- Do you have a list of all the data you control and process?
- Have you got a plan if someone requests all the data you hold for them?
- Do your monthly tasks.
- Spring Clean. Give your website a spring clean. Get rid of stale content, freshen up topics with new images, film and text. In particular, take stock of key information that is at the heart of your business and which is left static while you update the rest of the site.
- Take an objective look – is your site still performing as well as it could do?
- Ask someone unfamiliar with your site to test it and answer a few simple questions about your business – is your key messaging clear and simple?
- Check out the competition in your sector, are they doing anything different or better than you are?
- Look at trends – are you up to date?
If you would like us to give your website a health check and overhaul, let us know. We can help make improvements or with plans to develop a new site.
Don’t be an April Fool. Check back at January’s content action plan and make sure you are still on track – check for current up-to-date news and topics to tackle, and look for some fresh testimonials and case studies.
Don’t forget to cover all your regular tasks set out in January too.
Back to the GDPR. The new GDPR comes into force on 25 May. Make sure that you are compliant and that any changes to how you obtain consent to store personal data have been made. As ever, it is vital to ensure that all your security is in place and up to date to prevent any breaches.
Keep up the good work, and make sure all your regular updating work on CMS, analytics and SEO performance as well as content is completed.
Planning for summer. The changing seasons could mean changes to your work schedule to allow for holidays. Don’t let regular maintenance and updating of your site slip during the holiday period.
- Get ahead by preparing content in advance for any holidays and schedule in advance
- Consider staff training to help fill any gaps. Check if your web developer provides Content Management System (CMS) training for new starters or refresher training for existing team members to ensure everybody is confident using the system.
As ever, keep up with the monthly tasks and revisit your plans made in January to update.
Remember, we are here to help. If you need support or advice, experience any problems with security or would like to develop a new website, please get in touch.