Sunday, January 24th, 2021

W Shopper Columns



2021 NEW YEAR'S WEBOLUTIONS




Because the web is always evolving, the new year is an excellent time to address things that may have changed over the last year and adjust your website accordingly.
 
One of the major things companies do in January is to assess how their website performed during the previous year. Our clients use tools that are built into their site that give them keyword searches and traffic reports to see how their site is performing.
   
The first thing they want to know is where they are coming up on search engines. This is usually where there have been the most changes. Many companies who were on page one last January are surprised that they are now on page three.
   
The reason for this is two-fold: Search engines adjust their ranking rules three to four times a year. Each time a change happens, their site may slide down. This could be for a reason as simple as keywords are repeated more or fewer times than the search engine now deems appropriate.
   
If content is not changed very often, or search engine positions are not checked regularly, it is very easy to slide right off the first page.
   
Searches prefer websites that keep making changes; that shows a company is involved in their web presence.
   
Suppose a site isn't updated for a long time. In that case, searches assume that the business is either not interested in their site or, especially after 2020, out of business—and the site will slide down.
  
If changes are being made regularly, any slips in search engine position are more likely to be spotted and fixed before it's too late.
   
Another thing companies need to be aware of is changes in technology. A lot can change in a year.
   
Every year sees huge leaps in mobile devices.  There are so many phones, tablets, and other smart devices—each with different sized screens.
 
Depending on how old your site is, it may not show up properly on some newer devices, and you could be losing many potential customers and search engine results.
   
The most important thing search engines look for is that your site shows up properly on the visitor's screen/device.  This is so important that the search engine robots look for mobile compatibility first.
   
Now is also an excellent time to check your site for outdated information, such as outdated 'news' items, staff, and even copyright dates. With many companies out of business in 2020, if your latest news is from 2019, and your site's copyright date is not current, many will assume that you've gone and not even try to call.



Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,
his computer programming and graphic design knowledge have kept his company
at the forefront of the latest technology in web development.