Preparing Your Website for the New Year

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As the calendar turns to a new year, it's an ideal time to take stock, refresh and renew your online presence. Here’s a guide on preparing your site for the New Year.

Update Opening Hours and Contact Information:

The beginning of a new year can often bring changes in schedules and operations. It's essential to revise your opening hours to reflect any new timings. Whether you're extending hours for the holiday season or modifying them for winter, accurate information is key to avoid visitor confusion.

Also, verify that your contact details are up-to-date. If you have added new communication channels like a live chat or a customer service hotline, ensure these are prominently displayed.

Revitalise Your Homepage and Key Landing Pages:

Your homepage is the first impression many visitors have of your attraction. Make sure that it highlights any new attractions or events in the upcoming year, and consider a thematic makeover that aligns with the season or upcoming events.

Keeping your key landing pages vibrant and current can significantly enhance user engagement.

Content Calendar for the New Year:

A content calendar is a roadmap for all your online communication. Make sure key dates, such as holidays like Easter and half-terms are correct as these of course change every year. Plan blog posts, social media updates, and email newsletters around these dates.

Consistency in content delivery helps keep your audience engaged and informed, as well as appearing as a regularly updated website to search engines.

Ensure Mobile Responsiveness:

With the increasing use of smartphones for web browsing, your website must perform flawlessly on mobile devices. This means ensuring fast load times, easy-to-use menus, and responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes.

Regularly test your website on various devices to ensure a seamless user experience, as a mobile-friendly site is also more likely to rank higher in search engine results. The Christmas to New Year period can be a quiet time for businesses, including visitor attractions, making it a good time to carry out these kinds of tests.

Refresh Your Blog and News Section:

Keep your visitors engaged with regular updates in your blog and news sections. Share news about upcoming events, new attractions, or behind-the-scenes stories.

This not only keeps your content fresh but also helps in building a connection with your audience. Consistently updated sections signal to search engines that your site is active, aiding your SEO efforts.

Test and Improve Website Speed:

Website speed is a critical factor in user experience. Slow loading times can lead to high bounce rates. Use tools to test your website's speed and identify areas for improvement. This might include optimising images, reducing redirects, or upgrading your hosting solution.

A fast-loading site improves user experience and can positively impact your search engine rankings.

You may also have had a build up of internal redirects, or maybe even a few broken internal links that you just haven’t got to. Use this time to address these.

Review and Update FAQs:

Over time, visitor inquiries and interests may change. Review your FAQ section to ensure it addresses current visitor concerns and includes information relevant to the new year.

Clear, concise, and up-to-date FAQs can significantly enhance visitor satisfaction and reduce the workload on your customer service team.

Accessibility Updates:

Ensuring your website is accessible to all, including those with disabilities, is not only a best practice but often a legal requirement. Check for clear navigation, alt text for images, and compatibility with screen readers.

Regularly updating for accessibility widens your audience and improves overall user experience.

Gather Feedback:

Implementing a mechanism for visitor feedback, such as surveys or comment sections, can provide valuable insights into user experience and expectations.

Hotjar and Userfeel are good options in understanding user behaviour and their thoughts directly (and we can help set these up for you). This kind of vital information can guide future updates and improvements on your website.

If you’ve already been carrying out these surveys and have actions from these insights, now could be a good time to implement them.

Checklist for New Year Website Preparation:

  • Update Opening Hours and Contact Information
  • Revitalise Your Homepage and Key Landing Pages
  • Plan Content Calendar for the New Year
  • Ensure Mobile Responsiveness
  • Refresh Your Blog and News Section
  • Test and Improve Website Speed
  • Review and Update FAQs
  • Update for Accessibility
  • Gather Feedback

By following these steps, your attraction website will be well-prepared for the New Year, offering an updated, engaging, and accessible experience to your visitors.