Back to Business – Post-vacation Website Checkup
The temperatures outside wouldn’t lead you to believe it is September, but for many people, summer vacation is over, and it is back to work. That means reacquainting yourself with the work process again, checking what is new, reading all the emails that have piled up, and the plethora of other things you may need to do after a vacation. It is not just the workers who need to get back into the rhythm of things, though. That is why we wanted to publish a more business-oriented blog post for the beginning of autumn. We will tell you about a few things you can do for your business and its website to help them shake off the sluggishness of summer. A back-to-business checkup!
It is no secret that things slow down for most businesses during summer. That can lead to missing or overlooked things, outdated advertisements and marketing strategies, or even losing touch with third-party partners. That is why we encourage you to read on, as we will discuss those exact things and give you some tips and advice on how to get your business and its website ready for the rest of the year.
Why Do a Checkup at All?
Before we go into more details about what you can do to kickstart your business into autumn, we wanted to clarify why even consider doing that. We fully understand that summer is not a vacation season for some companies, but for many others, it is. We are not writing this blog post solely for the businesses that experience more vacation days during summer, though. This blog post will help any business that experiences a slow-down at any point in time, not just summer.
With that said, we believe it is essential you check up on your business and its website after a period of vacations. During such a period, there may be fewer people working altogether, or the whole office might be out. However, time does not wait for that business to return from a holiday, and things keep moving. New software updates come out monthly, advertisement campaigns become outdated, and vendors and partners keep on working. Simply put, vacations cause things to slow down, and this time of the year is typically when that happens.
That is why a simple checkup of your business and website after a holiday can be great to get things back in order. Read on, and we will tell you what we think is vital to check after a vacation.
If your business has a website, maintaining it is of utmost importance. Some business owners assume a website is a fire-and-forget ordeal, but it is not. It is the exact opposite of that. Nowadays, a website is anything but a static, unchanging environment. Most modern websites receive frequent updates to many of their systems and content. That is because technology advances rapidly, and customers expect a certain level of presentation and professionalism. You cannot keep up with those with a stagnant website and will put off a lot of potential visitors.
Because of that, we want to advise you on how to get your website back into shape after a period of possible stagnation, vacations, or otherwise. Additionally, this might be an excellent opportunity to check for any outdated or non-functional third-party software (plugins, themes, etc.) or any API changes that may have occurred. Those can harm the functionality of your website if not taken care of. We will discuss three things you can do to your website after a holiday to revitalize it and prepare it for the upcoming months of business.
- Update Website Software – This is easily the most important thing you can do for your website. What we mean here is you should check the software your website was built with and see if any updates need to be applied. For instance, WordPress released its 6.3 version in early August this year. That means people might have missed that update due to their vacation. The same applies to any additional software your website might use, such as plugins, themes, modules, packages, and so on;
- Update Website Content – Next up is the actual content of your website. Check for outdated articles, products, blog posts, etc. You may have had a special summer collection that is no longer relevant, or some of your articles were written with a specific time frame in mind. Have a look through all the content on your website and edit or remove what you think is irrelevant;
- Optimize Website Performance – As the final piece of maintenance, we strongly recommend optimizing your website’s performance. It is always a good idea to do that after updating your website’s software or content on a larger scale, as you would do after a vacation. We have a tutorial about optimizing a WordPress website and several articles on tools and advice on how to speed up any website in general.
As you can see, these three things are very intuitive. However, a lot of people forget about them. In fact, these three steps are the most important ones you should take after returning to your business and website after a holiday. That is especially important for new websites.
Users expect consistency and dedication from website and business owners. A website can severely impact the customers a business receives daily, monthly, or even yearly, positively or negatively. Everyone nowadays checks the internet for any question or need they have, so it goes without saying that when someone wants to be a patron of your business, they will check out your online presence first. Now imagine yourself in the customers’ shoes, and think if you would go to a company with a shoddy website.
Keeping your website up-to-date and with fresh, relevant content is a necessity nowadays.
Update Ad Campaigns
Online ad campaigns are vital to a business’ operation. They go hand-in-hand with the business’ website: the ad campaigns invite users to the website and, therefore, to the business itself. If you have ad campaigns running for your website, consider when you last updated them. If it was months ago, then it is time you took a look at them.
The first thing to do here is to check if your ads have outdated or seasonal content. As we mentioned in the previous section, customers expect consistency. They won’t be excited about a summer sale that has ended because summer itself ended, for instance. Check the keywords the advertisement uses and change them if necessary.
If we look at this issue from a financial point of view, an outdated campaign is nothing more than a money sink. It does not provide relevant information to potential customers and, therefore, does not bring users to the website. What it does is it only wastes your money, charging you for views that do nothing for your website and your business.
Another reason to check your ad campaigns is to see if they are running at all. A lot of campaigns have a set duration after which they expire. An outdated advertisement is bad, but a non-existent one is worse. If you notice a drop in unique users, an expired ad campaign might be the reason.
Finally, an outdated or expired campaign can have a negative impact on your website when it comes to SEO and SERP. Ad campaigns function mainly on keywords, so outdated or missing keywords in an ad campaign will show your content to the incorrect people, which leads to fewer clicks and conversions, which leads to lower credibility, and it snowballs from there. Keep your ad campaigns updated!
Refresh Your Marketing Strategy
This part goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Aside from online ads, there are other ways to market your business. Those include, but are not limited to, social media, blog posts, SEO, and so on. Like with the ad campaign we discussed above, your marketing strategy may have stagnated a bit because of summer vacations, so now is the perfect time to refresh it. There are still several more months until the end of the year, so having a solid marketing strategy in place for those months is a great idea.
That is why we wanted to discuss a few things you could include in the strategy when updating it to be more current after your summer holiday. Let’s begin.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Probably the most essential part of any marketing strategy. SEO is imperative to the success of a website nowadays because it directly affects the ranking of your website when specific keywords are searched for. It dictates the placement of your website in the search engine results. If you have yet to do any search engine optimization for your website, then now is a great time to do so. We have several blog posts on the topic, and we strongly recommend you read through them to understand better what SEO is and how to do it. If you already have SEO tactics in place, then make sure you look over them once more. The summer vacation may have caused some keywords to be less popular than others or even fallen out of use. Aside from checking your ad campaigns, ensure that your pages use the most optimal keywords in their metadata. We previously mentioned you should keep your content up to date in general, which is a great time to update the pages’ SEO. Don’t change it just for the upcoming month, though. Ensure you have a plan for the rest of the year, especially in the USA. Holidays are coming until the end of the year, and you don’t want your SEO to stagnate;
- Email Marketing – If you are running email marketing campaigns, ensure they are up-to-date and ready for the remainder of the year. Holidays are coming, so don’t scramble at the last possible moment to try and come up with relevant emails. Put together your marketing campaign now for the rest of the year, or at least devise a solid plan with deadlines. That way, you will have plenty of time to react to whatever holidays may be coming your way, and things will continue running smoothly even if vacations hit the office again;
- Blog Posts – Get a plan together for your upcoming blog posts. Blog posts have long been a part of marketing campaigns online, so if you don’t have a blog for your business, we suggest you consider it. It is a great way to offer content to your customers in a more long-form format. If you are blogging, though make sure you are aware of the coming months and the holidays they have. Put together a plan of action for them. There is likely no need to get the blog posts put together right now, so have an idea of what kinds of blog posts you want to write. That way, you can start them when the time comes without wasting time figuring out the best topic;
- Social Media – Social media permeates our lives, and there is no escaping it. That is why many businesses use it to advertise themselves. If you are not taking advantage of that, now is the perfect time to add social media to your marketing strategy. We know it might seem overwhelming to start, but as long as you are consistent and regular with your posts, you will do just fine! A social media account will benefit your business, and you only stand to gain from it. You can advertise, connect to your customers on a more casual level, and network, just to name a few. If you already have a social media presence for your business, check up on it after a long vacation. Have a look at how people react to your posts and what the comments are, and plan for the future. A well-structured post is far better than a rushed one.
Much more can be said about laying out a solid marketing strategy for your business. Still, these four will be a sufficient starting point. Begin with these four things, refine them, and make concrete plans for each. That should set you up for the remainder of the year. Remember, though, this is not a one-time thing. You will have to keep an eye on your marketing strategy and all of its elements. That way you can ensure it is always up-to-date and, in periods of stagnation, is revised as soon as possible.
Catch Up With Third Parties
Businesses rarely stand alone and, more often than not, are involved with third parties in one way or another. Perhaps your company has a provider or an external department. Whatever the case, checking in with third parties involved with your business after a vacation should be on your list. That does not apply only to third parties that provide your business with a service. If you are a third party to another company, check in with them after a holiday. Ensure they have everything they need from you.
You should do what we discuss in this part of the post for several reasons. The more important reason is that you will learn if anything has changed in your contract with said third party. Most of the time, you should receive notification of such occurrences. Still, it is a good idea to ask about any updates to the terms and conditions of your mutual agreements.
Secondly, such an interaction should build trust and credibility between everyone involved. Showing interest like that tells the other party you are genuinely engaged in the product or service they provide. Or that you provide for them. That builds a good relationship between provider and customer. That is why you should do a checkup after a long vacation to ensure everything is in order.
Summer may be coming to an end, but work never stops. If you have taken a break from work during the summer, consider the advice discussed in this blog post. It will help you get back to business smoothly and kickstart the remainder of your work year.
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