I love the holidays. Christmas music, Christmas lights, giving extra attention to loved ones, and focusing more on giving always makes me happy. Another thing I like about the holidays is that December is a great time for reflection, introspection, and planning. It is the time of year that many of us review our annual goals to see if we achieved them and create goals for the upcoming year.
With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to offer some recommendations on how to prepare your web presence for a successful 2021.
Start With Why
I like to read “nerd books” as my wife lovingly calls them. Non-fiction, business/self-improvement books are my jam. I’m currently a few chapters in on Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”. I’ve watched his Ted Talk and a few other interviews with him and am glad that I’ve finally reached the book on my list.
Although there is much to it and various layers and applications, the message is simple: Start with why. While reading, I have thought of many different aspects of my business and my daily/weekly/monthly routines. I am questioning everything. Why am I doing that? Why did we implement this process? What value does this provide to our target audience? What is the end goal?
I suggest that one of your first action items in planning for a successful 2021 should be to define your why’s. Why are you in business? Why do you offer the service or products that you offer? Why should potential customers choose you? What value are you providing? Knowing your why will help you identify what to do.
I’ve written before about the importance of identifying your target audience and defining your client avatar. Part of my introspection period each December includes reviewing the target audience for Devadigm and then reviewing the services we’re offering and value we’re providing. Ask yourself (and be really honest with yourself) – Are we on the right track? Are we offering the services or products that this target audience needs or wants? Are we exceeding quality and service expectations? It’s far too easy to get distracted with shiny new offerings and lose sight of what your audience needs and expects.
What is your Brand?
Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. We all have a brand. Regardless of whether you’re a sole proprietor who is Googling “What is a brand” or a corporation with a multi-million-dollar annual branding budget, you have a brand. Working consciously with intent by defining your “Why” and your Target Audience are important steps to identifying what your brand should be. The next step is to make sure your web presence represents your brand properly.
Security continues to be an important factor for all of us who manage any type of web presence. There are a few steps you should take to improve your security:
- Change all of your passwords. Yes, all of them. But especially the passwords for your business-related sites, such as your website, domain registration and hosting accounts, and all social media accounts. I strongly suggest that you use strong passwords and don’t use the same password on all sites. I am a big fan of Dashlane and find that using it helps improve efficiency and avoids frustration that is caused by forgetting passwords.
- Implement a website backup strategy if you don’t have one already.
- If your website in on WordPress, make sure that all software is updated, including core, themes, and plugins.
- Delete unnecessary Admin/Editor users.
Now it’s time to review your web presence. You have defined your “Why” and your target audience and ensured that everything is secure, so now it’s time to review your web presence and update accordingly.
- How does your target audience find the product or service that you offer? Are you in the right places online?
- Do you have analytics installed on your site?
- Do you know what keywords people are searching to find your content?
- Do you have an effective keyword strategy implemented?
- How is your site speed? Many users don’t wait around for a slow loading website.
Be the Customer
Put yourself in the mindset of your target audience. Assume they haven’t heard of you, but they need your product or service. How/where would they search to find it? What would their first impression of you be? Is it easy to find the most pertinent information? Reduce any friction points or frustrations and make the buying process as simple as possible. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, such as a retail shop or restaurant, it should take less than 5 seconds for a potential customer to find your hours of operation and your address. Improve what you have, and you will see positive results.
The new year is a great time to review your processes and procedures and make adjustments to your business that will better align you with your goals. It is a good practice to get in the habit of periodically reviewing your purpose and executions. It’s too easy to get sidetracked and put a lot of focus in the wrong areas.
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year and cheers to a successful 2021!