Welcome to Part 4 of my Biz Audit Series:
Wake-Up Your Website
In Part 1 Get Your Inbox in-Check, I had you go through your email list and weed through all your emails. I had included an email folder outline so you could sort through your current emails and put them in strategically named folders. This way you can be more efficient and purposeful in your email process.
During Part 2: Declutter Your Downloads, I guided you in sorting through all of those digital goodies that you had received through opt-ins or content upgrades. I mean, what good are they to you if you can’t get to them to use?
Then in Part 3: Tame Your Tools, we went through all those apps and tools that you have signed up for. Saved the links, usernames, and passwords and you were to start utilizing these tools to see if they are actually helping your blog/biz.
Finally, in Part 4: Wake-Up Your Website, we will be going thru your website. I want to ensure that you have all the tools needed in order to make sure your website is up to date in order for it to look professional for incoming traffic.
When you started your blog, you probably had done a ton of research or had taken courses to figure out the steps to set it up. I know, I certainly did. I was so nervous to publish or make my site live until I had thought it was perfect. For a long time though, I just continued to add posts without updating any other aspects of my blog, such as the sidebar, header or footer. In fact, I didn’t realize that I could make changes to the header or footer. Now, many moons later, I am more comfortable with making theme and style changes to all aspects of my blog. I want you to be as well.
Well, that is why I am here.
Let’s get started!
I use Siteground as my web host and WordPress for my site. So I will be speaking from a WordPress standpoint, but I’m sure that a lot of the things I will be going over will be pretty universal to other websites. The first thing you will want to do is update your plugins.
Once you sign in to WordPress, you will be alerted to any plug-in updates that will need to be completed. Go to Plug-ins from the left side of your screen and select all plug-in, go to the drop-down where it says “bulk action” and select update, then select apply.
The updates will take a few minutes. Once they are done, you will want to go through your plugins and deactivate or delete the plugins that you don’t use. Too many plugins will slow your site down, so make sure that you aren’t hoarding them and only have what you will use on a regular basis. Here is a list of some really great plugins for WordPress.
Next, you will want to go to your comments. Are there ones that you haven’t read yet? If so, on the left sidebar, there will be a yellow circle with a number in it. This means that you have unread comments. So click on comments.
Read over your new comments, delete ones that are obviously spam, approve the others, then bulk select your comments and select the button that says check for spam.
Once that is done, make sure to reply to the comments that you have approved. You want your readers to know that you are active on your blog and you appreciate them leaving comments.
Website Home Page:
Your homepage will be the page that your visitors will land on when going to your site. This page will typically include a sidebar, header, footer, and reading area.
Before you go any further, check your site to ensure that the colors, graphics, and fonts are all the same. You want your site to look uniform and branded. This will be visually appealing to your visitors and help them to remember you once they start seeing your pins, facebook posts and blog posts that include all the same branding.
On to your sidebar. Depending on which type of blog you have, you want to ensure that you have the proper widgets on your sidebar.
- Social Follow icons
- Search Bar
- Related Posts
- Affiliate Ad
- Social Media Platform
Sidebars have changed since I started blogging 2 years ago. I don’t see as many ads on sidebars as I used to. Before when I would go to sites, the sidebar would be cluttered with several different types of ads, but now, there are very few, if any. So make sure to promote yourself in your sidebar first, then include one affiliate link type of ad.
Social icons, search area, and related posts are very important to have in the sidebar as well as an opt-in to increase your email subscribers. You may also want to choose a widget to promote your favorite or most active social media platform. If you are proud of one of your Pinterest boards, use that, or you can have your twitter feed, Facebook posts, or Instagram board. There are plugins that allow you to choose which account you want to be displayed, but it gives your readers an extra incentive to follow you.
You want to keep your header simple and clean looking. It is a small area, so the more stuff you try to include in it, the smaller the font will get and the more cluttered it will look. I recommend only having your blog name or logo, your subheading about the purpose of your blog, a subscriber area, and the menu.
You can change what you have in your header by going to Appearance on the left sidebar, then customize. Once you get to the customization screen, you can select and/or change what you have in your header.
I didn’t touch what was in my footer for the longest time. For the most part, I wasn’t one to scroll all the way down to the footer on someone else’s page and expect it to have anything helpful. It was just an endpoint for me to scroll back up or exit their page.
However, since people do scroll down to the footer, you need to take advantage of that space and give your visitors another chance to stay on your page. Here are some things that you will want to include in your footer:
- Related Posts
- Social Icons
- Subscriber area
- Contact area
Just like your header area, you can go to Appearance and customize, in order to change what is in your Footer area. You will add widgets, just like you do for your Sidebar. To ensure that the footer is equally filled out from left to right, make sure that you put widgets in each footer area, on my theme, there are 3 footer areas. So I put a widget in each footer area to keep it evenly spaced out.
You will want to take the time to update old posts. So you don’t get overwhelmed, don’t try and fix all of your old posts in one sitting. Choose 5 of your lowest performing posts and start with those. Here is a list of things that you will want to do to those posts:
- Check SEO
- Update dated content
- Add Opt-in
- Delete if not in niche
- Check for broken links
- Add new graphics/links to newer content
- Check tags/categories
Once you have done those 5 posts, continue working your way up from lowest performing post to highest performing. Your highest performing posts may not need much work done to them, but you will want to ensure that you have updated links and graphics. Also, make sure that you have an opt-in form somewhere within or below your post to give your readers another chance to join your email list. Here is a spreadsheet to keep track of your post updates.
Now that you have these tips, go and utilize them.
Missed other posts in the series?