7 Things To Do On Your Website Before The New Year

As the year draws to a close, it’s time for making preparations and plans for goals you want to achieve in 2017. But as you’re coming up with new strategies for your sports club, don’t forget about your most valuable asset: your website.

After all, your website is the hub of all your activities. It’s the place where your fans come to learn more about your club and stay up to date with all the latest happenings during the season. It’s also a place where they come to satisfy their sports’ cravings during the off season.

Knowing all that, it only makes sense to spend a little time getting your website ready for the New Year. Today, we want to share with you 7 things that will help you get your website ready for the upcoming year.

7 Essential Things to Put on Your To Do List and Get Your Website Ready For the New Year

1. Survey Your Fans

Keeping your fans happy is an integral part of a successful marketing strategy. It goes without saying that your fans want to know everything that’s going on with their favorite sports team but they also crave more content to keep them interested during the off season. If you have no idea what else you should be sharing on your website, go straight to the source. Consider creating a simple survey and ask your readers what other content they are interested in.

Knowing what your fans and audience wants will make it easier to come up with additional blog posts and social media updates that will keep them coming back for more.

2. Update Your Content

We’re pretty sure 2016 was an eventful year for your team. Whether you were on a winning streak all year long or had some losses in there too, make sure your website reflects everything that happened. Now is a good time to update your About and Team Players pages as well as individual team player bios. Some of your players might have moved on to a different team and you might have acquired some new players. Your fans will appreciate taking the time to keep them posted and to highlight the most important events of the year.

3. Refresh Your Design

Now is also the best time to refresh your website’s design, especially if your website hasn’t been updated in ages. Try looking at your website from a visitor’s point of view: can they easily access the most important information from your homepage? What is it that you want them to do first? Is the text easy to read? If you answered no to those questions, then it’s definitely a time for a redesign.

You can also consider adding more graphics to your pages to make the design more visually appealing. Clean up old pages you no longer need and review your menus to ensure your website is easy to navigate. In short, make sure your website has an appealing design and is easy to use. If you want an easy way to refresh your design, take a look at our themes made exclusively for sports teams or grab a copy of our SportsPress Pro plugin to give your site a new look.

4. Check Your Website’s Performance

Speaking of design, we can’t go without mentioning your website’s performance. Now is a good time to log into your analytics program and see how well your website performed in terms of monthly visits and page views. If your bounce rate is very high, take a look at the pages where visitors are leaving your website and consider what you can do to improve. Is the content outdated or irrelevant? Is the page difficult to follow?

You should also check the mobile version of your website and ensure it behaves properly on devices with smaller screens. Page loading times should also be taken into consideration as those two metrics can not only hurt your SEO but lead to poor user experience as well.

If you’re using a lot of images on your website, it’s a good idea to make sure they are not only optimized for web but that they also have meaningful names and ALT text to ensure they are optimized for the search engines.

Finally, use a plugin like Broken Link Checker to make sure the links on your website are working properly instead of pointing to pages or resources that no longer exist.

5. Backup Your Website

Backing up your website on a regular basis should be a part of your routine but if you have never performed a backup now is a great time to start. It’s not as hard as it seems, especially since there are many plugins out there that will do the job for you once you install and activate them. Make sure the backup includes not only your database but all the website’s files so that you can easily restore it in case something goes wrong.

Once your website is safely backed up, go back and update WordPress core if you need to as well as any themes and plugins you have on your site to minimize the risk of exposing your site to any potential security vulnerabilities.

6. Create an Editorial Calendar

As you plan out your marketing strategy for the next year, take a moment to create an editorial calendar not only for your blog but for your social media as well. Consider the important dates throughout the year and start your promotional posts to build excitement for the upcoming season well before it actually begins.

By planning your content to fit around important dates, you will be able to build hype and anticipation in your fans which will be sure to rush to the stadium on the first day of your big game.

7. Start an Email List

You might be thinking that in addition to your website and your social media accounts, you don’t need an email list. But the truth is, you do. And if you’ve been putting it off before, there is no better time to change that and get serious about starting an email list.

Not only are you in complete control over your email list, you will be able to establish a better relationship with your existing fans and encourage others to become interested in your team.

If you’re just starting out, use MailChimp to start growing your list and take advantage of their plugin to add email signup forms to your website.

Get Your Website Ready for the New Year

Getting your website ready for the New Year isn’t as hard as you may think. Aside from the tips mentioned above, take some time to set goals for the upcoming year. Having well-defined goals will help you increase your audience size, reach your fans, and promote your team successfully across various social media channels. Oh, and don’t forget to grab our checklist of things to do on your website to get it ready for 2017.

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