Reviewing Marketing Goals and Easy Website Updates for 2024

A piece of paper with a goal review on it.

Are you ready to feel confident with and excited about your marketing efforts in 2024?

On this episode of Talk Copy to Me, you’ll hear edited versions of three previously published episodes — all about marketing goal setting and things you can do now to get your website in top shape before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2023.

If you listen in, you’ll discover how to review your marketing efforts over the past 12 months and use that data to set goals for the upcoming year. I also recommend a few easy website updates that you can quickly implement before the work year even begins.

Have 45 minutes available? Great, block some time off on your calendar now and I’ll guide you as you make the effort.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here’s what you should know about reviewing your current year’s marketing strategy

  • Why reviewing your marketing goals and strategies at the year is so important and how to go about actually doing it
  • The types of data to gather and use to strategically analyze your 2023 marketing strategies
  • What to do if you haven’t been collecting data throughout the year
  • Determining whether you are using the best social media platforms as part of your marketing efforts
  • The importance of reflecting on the challenges you faced during the year
  • Why celebrating accomplishments also helps when reviewing your marketing strategy and tactics
  • How to determine if your efforts are supporting your goals or if you’re wasting time and money
  • How to decide on what adjustments need to be made to your marketing strategy based on your findings

Here’s what you should know about preparing for your year end marketing goal setting

  • The three types of research you need to gather before doing any marketing goal setting
  • How prep work helps to to ensure that your marketing strategy aligns with future goals and feels attainable based on available resources and energy
  • How to approach competitor research so that you’re gaining inspiration but not doing any type of copying of their brand or marketing approaches
  • Understanding your own biases when it comes to client research and how to overcome them
  • Why blogging and SEO may be frontrunners in your marketing goal setting for 2023
  • How to prepare your analytics sourcing for the upcoming year

Here are three easy website updates you should do at the start of 2024

Let’s start with your website’s footer:

  • How to update the copyright year in your footer to 2024 manually or by automating it to update every year for you
  • How to remove any defunct pages and opt ins and update your language and messaging
  • Whether your Privacy Policy and any other legal notices, like a Terms & Conditions, Disclaimers, need updating. If so, do it — and don’t forget that your audience must be notified whenever you make changes. Don’t have them yet? There are links below to buy legal templates at two different price points.

Security updates:

  • The importance of updating your website password
  • Why you should check out the approved users or contributors to your website site and remove anyone who no longer needs access
  • Ensuring that your website SSL certificates are current and valid — especially if you’re selling anything on your site
  • Putting domain renewal dates on your calendar now and updating plugins that are no longer necessary

Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:

Oh, and I also told you I’d share instructions on how to update the copyright year in your footer:


WANT TO JOIN ME FOR SPRING CLEANING?

It’s almost time for the 2024 Spring Clean Your Website challenge Join the waitlist now to get a special discount code only available to people on the list!

The Contract Club and The Contract Shop have all the required website policy templates to help you protect your business and make your site compliant. Please note: these links are affiliate links as I’ve bought templates from both businesses, and I’ve been very pleased with all of my purchases.

quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes from this episode about website updates and maintenance

  • “You could have all of the qualitative and quantitative data in the world. But if you don’t understand how that information relates to why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing in your business or your short or your long term goals, you may not be able to actually interpret the data correctly, or you may not be able to make smart decisions based on what the data is already telling you.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Sometimes the goals we may set for ourselves are not really aligned with who we are or what we want to be doing.” – Erin Ollila

  • “If the people that are coming to that post will never click through your call to action because they are just not your ideal clients, that traffic is kind of useless.” – Erin Ollila

  • “You should never do any competitor research from the perspective of copying your competitors. Why? Well because plagiarism is a sleazy thing to do but also because you are two completely different businesses. Even if you are providing the same services to your clients. You are an individual, they are their own person or persons depending on the size of the business, and you come with different value propositions.” – Erin Ollila

  • “We forget that when clients do their shopping or begin to learn about what they need when it comes to working with our service providers, they’re actually in term searching for what they want, not what they need.” – Erin Ollila

  • “I highly suggest that you make SEO an entire year effort and not just something that you focus on for a quarter at a time.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Pre-pandemic, a lot of small businesses or medium businesses thought that there was no ROI in investing in online blog content..that could not have been further from the truth, and I think the pandemic proved that to us. Suddenly, we’re all at home and asking questions about so many things to Google, like ‘How do I make bread? And how do I do this? And how do I do that.’ And all of those posts that were already written were the ones that moved up the ranking immediately because they were questions that people had that were extremely relevant at the time.” – Erin Ollila

  • “If you do this work now, yes, it might take a bit of effort. But you won’t have to do as much of it later on.” – Erin Ollila

  • “A disclaimer is very important in some industries, like the coaching or mental health industry, to disclaim things like, ‘you are not a mental health counselor’ and ‘you are not providing them mental health services by the education that you have on your site.'” – Erin Ollila

  • “If there is something that’s wrong that you need to adjust, just make a note of it to fix later. You do not need to fix it right this moment. Do not let the actual work hold you back from doing this quick exercise.” – Erin Ollila

  • “If you don’t renew your website — if it isn’t set to automatically renew for you and it’s a manual thing —you lose your URL. Can you imagine that all of the hard work that you’ve done — whether it’s a DIY website, or all of the money that you’ve spent in website design, and in copywriting — only to lose it all simply because you didn’t pay your website URL bill? – Erin Ollila

  • “Look at the plugins that you have on your site…you wanna make sure that you’re actually using the plugins that you have so your site security is always at the level that you want it to be.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Set it in your calendar so you know when it’s going to get done and give yourself a check-in to make sure you’ve done this. If this is the very first time that you’re doing these things at the beginning of the year, just remember, it’s gonna be so much easier moving forward, and you’re gonna be able to do all of this work in a short period of time.” – Erin Ollila

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Read the entire transcript of episode 045. in which Erin shares some easy website updates for your footer and site security

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SUMMARY KEYWORDS seo, work, website, data, episode, goals, research, clients, review, marketing, set, update, marketing strategy, business, competitor, year, months, content, site, check SPEAKERS Erin Ollila Erin Ollila 00:00 Hey friend and Happy New Year quick reminder that this is an edited repeat of actually a couple podcast episodes from last year. Today’s episode I’m combining wait for it three different episodes from the end of our first season. And they are all about how to review your previous years marketing efforts. So in this case, your 2023 marketing efforts, how to plan for the year ahead, which would be 2024. And then a few easy website updates that you can do right now to make sure your website is in a good place once the clock strikes midnight on January 1 2024. So enjoy these episodes. And I will recommend a few more really good ones at the end of this episode, if you’re ready to binge the podcast, or just check the show notes. And you can click right on over to those episodes and keep listening. I hope that you are enjoying your downtime if you’re able to take it and that you are you know really looking forward to the year ahead because I see all great things in your future. No, I am not a fortune teller. I am just someone who is really hopeful that 2024 is going to be kind and generous to you. Keep on listening so you can get your marketing in the space that you want it to be to start this new year. Hey friends, welcome to the Top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. I’m so excited to be bringing you an episode that walks you through the steps that I take when it comes to reviewing my year before I do anything when it like setting new goals for the upcoming year. Now I think when most people start to review their year, or at least what many people that I talk to do is they jump right into the data and analytics that they have. And this is something that I do not do at least until maybe the third or fourth step. See what I do is I start with my why. So I don’t look at any data. I don’t do any journaling. I don’t answer any questions that I found in a business book, I sit down and I asked myself, Why am I doing this? Why did I create this business? Why am I offering the specific things that I’m offering, because here’s the thing, you could have all of the qualitative and quantitative data in the world. But if you don’t understand how that information relates to why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing, and your business, or your short, or your long term goals, you may not be able to actually interpret the data correctly. Or you may not be able to make smart decisions based on what the data is already telling you. So I sit down, I really review, you know, why I’m doing this, how I want to feel within my business. And then I do a quick review of the goals that I set early in the year. So I go back to all the goals that I listed out in either December of the year before or January of the year. And I review them because I want to know, you know, did they matter to me one did I achieve them? Of course, that’s one thing we all want to know like, I set these goals did I achieve them? Did I forget about them. But I think that we want to take it a step further. Now that we’re past these 12 months after we’ve already set the goals. Take a second and ask yourself like what are these goals matter to you anymore? I think we get so trapped in this world of like setting these lofty, huge goals, and always having to achieve achieve achieve within our business that sometimes the goals we may set for ourselves are not really aligned with who we are or what we want to be doing. So now that we have the time and the distance of, you know, setting the goals to now reviewing the goals, we’re able to say, you know, yes, these do matter in my business. Yes, I’m still passionate about these things, or no, like these goals were created. Because maybe let’s say you’re getting advice from a coach or a business friend about what they were doing in their business and you thought that you should also be doing something similar. Or maybe they just don’t matter anymore because you’ve pivoted slightly and that’s really important to know when it comes to your marketing because then later you’re going to be looking at your numbers and you’re going to want them make decisions around the pivot, not around what happened before the pivot. You don’t have to spend a lot of time here. I mean, really, you’re just going to review the goals and ask yourself, like whether they still fit, still work or potentially do any of that those goals need to continue into this new year and 2023 for us right now. So now that you remember what those goals are, that you set for yourself, I want you to look at your marketing strategy, the one that maybe you predetermined in the beginning of 2022, or the one that you’ve kind of just went along with because it became a habit when I say marketing strategy. What I mean here is where are you spending your time or your contractor or employees times? When it comes to the content you’ve created? Or the ads you’re paying for? Or anything that is marketing related? Whether it’s lead acquisition, whether it is copier related, SEO related? How is that time being spent? Did it support your goals? Erin Ollila 06:04 Are you wasting your time or you know, specifically, are you wasting your money here, maybe you’ll determine that you should spend more time in a specific part of your marketing strategy. And that will be an eye opener for you. But before you look at the numbers, again, start looking at what you’re doing and determine whether the firm is giving you any return on your time or financial investment. All right now, you are probably being driven crazy by the fact that I keep saying don’t look at the data, don’t look at the data, it is finally time to look at the data friends, you have reviewed your why you have done a quick review of the original goals that you set in the beginning of the year. And you’ve looked at your marketing strategy to start to make some observations or decisions on what’s working and what’s not. So you’re going to take all of that, and you’re going to bring it to the data that you have. If you’re listening and you’re like well, Aaron, what data is that I surely hope that you have been tracking some KPIs and gathering analytics throughout the year. If you haven’t, I’ll pause in a second and tell you a few things that you can do. So you can have some information to look at. But for example, some of the KPIs that I track are how many podcast episodes that I have produced, how many times I’ve been a guest interviewed on podcasts or within business communities, how many stages I’ve spoken on? What does my SEO data tell me? What does my Google Analytics tell me about things that I’m not even doing, but maybe, let’s say attracting clients to my site. So those are just some KPIs that I potentially focus on. And again, like I said, hopefully there are things that you’re doing in your business that you can look at that those numbers to analyze what they’re telling you. Now, what happens if you’re in the situation where you have no data. Now, I would say my best advice here is to think about what data would influence your business. Now, I mentioned podcasting as being one of the KPIs that I tracked. And I just think that’s a really easy example. So I’ll stay with it here for a second. If you are a podcaster. And you have not been collecting any data yourself from your podcast, I would say look back on how many episodes that you produced, what was the cadence or consistency of those episodes, then whatever tool that you’re using to publish the podcast, I would say look at that to see how many listens you’re getting, how many people started the episode, and then stopped listening, because that’s important as well, you want to know your drop off rate. So all of that data should already be collected there for you. You just have to manually go in and get it. If you are focusing on SEO, let’s say let’s say you put in some effort on SEO this year, and you are thinking to yourself, well, I know I put in the SEO effort, Aaron, but I really don’t even know how to interpret this and I haven’t collected data. Let me just let you know, you’re okay. As long as you have Google Search Console already turned on and set up. They’re collecting data for you. So just head on over to your Google Search Console account and look at what’s kind of been happening in the past year. You can change the date ranges to get data. You can even use your Google Analytics, the universal account to tell you a little bit about SEO when it comes to your website. That being said, if you’re looking for things like keywords, or how many impressions versus how many clicks certain words and keyword phrases got you want to use Google Search Console. So those are just a few ways that like first I would say determine what data you want to look at what will help you make future marketing decisions. And what will tell you if the marketing decisions you’ve been making throughout the year have actually been successful, figure out what those things are, and then go back and manually collect that data. So just some other things to think about when we talk about data. What were some of your top performing channels and tactics, right? I’ve mentioned SEO and podcasting a few times, but social media, if you are investing your time, energy, or your finances in it, is something that you want to understand. Are you on the right platforms? Are you reaching the right people on those platforms? Are you communicating in a way with them, that they’re receptive enough to purchase your products or learn more about you? Or buy your services, look at all of the data that you have, and then determine where is the best return on investment, it might not be what you think it is, I think a lot of people have misconceptions that they expect certain things are going to have performed well, because they have short time data, right? Like maybe you did a launch, for example, and you knew that Facebook ads worked really well for you during the launch? Well, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean your ad budget is the best ROI on a Holy Year. So you’re gonna want to look at all of those channels, all of those tactics, all of the strategy, and start making some decisions about the ROI. And you can’t just stop observing the data, you need to interpret that data. So I’ve talked about this a few times. And I don’t want to sound like I’m lecturing you here or that you are not intelligent enough to understand that. But I forget to do this sometimes. And I know a lot of the times when my clients will come to me with a data, they’ll give me data, that’s an observation, but they don’t necessarily know how to then interpret it. Remember how I suggested to consider your why, or maybe the goals and the marketing strategies? Well, this influences the interpretation. There’s no real data out there that’s going to tell you Oh, yes, Aaron, you put this much of your finances, or you put this many hours of work into, you know, this project that you did, it was an absolutely smart investment, right, you have to look at the data that you’re given, and then determine whether the investment yourself was smart. So this is where I really want you to spend the bulk of your time, I want you to look at the data and keep bringing it back to the why in your business, the goals that you set. So for just as an example, using SEO, if you are focusing on maybe going back into all of your previously written blog posts or podcast, show notes, and then SEO, bring them up, because it is something you have never focused on before. And let’s just say that, I said that in the present tense, but let’s just say that’s what you did in all of 2022. Well, now you are beginning to get some data on those episodes on those blog posts, look at them, and then you’ll be able to start making decisions. Okay, it seems like my audience likes this. Oh, okay. It seems as if people are coming to content that is either more informational, or more educational. Another thing that you want to consider just using this as an example is the content you’ve created, does it have a call to action, right? So like, if you are doing educational content, but you do not want DIY or DIY clients, then you want to redo these things, right. So it doesn’t make a difference. If you get a ton of traffic to an educational post, if the people that are coming to that post will never click through your call to action, because they are just not your ideal clients, that traffic is kind of useless, right? So that’s how we interpret data. We know what our goals are, we know our why. And we can look at each small piece of data to make a decision on whether or not there is a return there and whether or not it was a good time or financial decision. So then, after all of this, after all of this data analyzation I look at how I can optimize, improve, or just remove things from my marketing strategy in the upcoming year. I’ve already started making decisions as I go through this about what’s working and what needs improvement. So all I really am doing here is taking paper to pen and using it to kind of get my thoughts out because it’s great to analyze data. It is great to interpret data but if you don’t then make a plan or if you don’t then make notes. You can’t look back on that same information a year from now to be able to do the same thing you’re doing right now right like to be able to analyze what’s working and what’s not. So sit down, jot down what it is you want to remove from your Your marketing strategy, what it is that needs improvement that maybe you want to have within your strategy, but you did not see the return that you were hoping for on this year. And also talk about like, what’s working? What can you spend more time on? What can you spend more money on? Erin Ollila 15:18 What can you optimize, because you enjoy doing, because we really need to focus more on what we actually enjoy in our business. That’s something I hear talked about so frequently, like everyone is frustrated with certain aspects of their business or their marketing. Okay, we’ll stop doing those things. Let’s focus on what it is that we’re good at what it is we find joy in. And that’s a really key thing to think about when we review our year, not just what the numbers tell us, but how we feel. So the final step in all of this is really just some reflection questions. A few of the questions I asked myself are things like, what am I most proud of that I did this year, and it doesn’t have to be an accomplishment. I mean, it can be, of course, it can be an accomplishment. But it could be that you put in a ton of effort into something that kind of failed. Or it could be that you just were consistent with something that you were never consistent at before. So look at your marketing and think about what you’re proud of, maybe it’s the content you created. And that will help guide you to create more content like that in the future, you’re also going to want to look at things like how do you want to feel I talked about this. So your energy, how do you want to feel over the next 12 months? How can you be better supported in the next 12 months? Because one of the things I keep saying is time or finances, right? So things like contractors, whether they are website designers, writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, those are all things that we can have a financial investment in to make us do things that we feel better about to give us more energy in other parts of our business. Some other things I think about is what are the challenges that you have faced in the year? Did you overcome them? If so how, and if you didn’t overcome them, where you need to work on things a little bit, so that way you can start to see improvement. The next time those challenges come up in your business in your life and your marketing. Now, I know that this is not a sit down. And here are the eight steps. And once you complete these exact eight steps, you will have a full review of your marketing because it really depends on you, your business, your marketing strategy, your why. But I hope that this reflection that I’ve shared with you on how I do my end of year review will help you sit down and review the end of your year. I really think this is one of the things that gets skipped so often. But it’s one of the most important things that we can do for our business and for our marketing. Because if you don’t know what worked, what didn’t, what you can optimize and what you can like improve on or stop doing, you’re going to just set goals. That could be some of those things that didn’t work well, that could be some of the things you want to remove. And you’re not going to factor in all of this information you’ve gleaned over the past 12 months. Me again, Erin Ollila 18:24 now that we’ve talked about how to review all of the marketing effort that you put into 2023, I’m going to have you jump into actually setting marketing goals and making plans for the year ahead. Don’t miss this quick episode, we’re going to talk about doing all the prep work to make sure your 2023 marketing strategy is aligned with the future goals you set, that it feels good. And then it’s also attainable based on your bandwidth, interest and energy. Doing this will help make sure that you are working with intention over the next 12 months. And not just aimlessly trying to accomplish goals that you set with a no direction for yourself. So this is all to say we aren’t setting goals in this episode. As I did my own goal planning this week, I realized there’s actually a lot of work that happens after the review and before the goal setting. And that work consists of new research, confirming all research, and realigning some of the things that the data I’ve interpreted from my 2022 review told me so I thought we should focus this end of the year episode on just that the prep work required before you focus on goal setting or content ideation. Now we’re going to jump into the research phase of both reviewing and planning, specifically client company editor and SEO research. If you’ve done any of this in the past, that’s awesome, you are one step ahead of the game, you can simply and quickly review and update as necessary. If you haven’t, well, it’s really time to sit down and do some basic client competitor and SEO research. Regardless of what two categories you fall in, like whether you have it or whether you don’t. Here are some of the things you want to cover when it comes to these three main categories. Let’s start with competitor research. Do you know who some of your closest competitors are? If not, now’s the time to find out. First, look at some of the names you see frequently popping up in Facebook groups on Instagram or on podcast you may listen to that do similar work as you do. Another way to do competitor research, especially if you have quality website content or data and you’ve invested in SEO is to use one of the SEO tools to find out who your competitors are based on similar website data. I won’t go too far into how to do competitor research and this episode, we’ll save that for an episode in the future. Hey there future Aaron again, jumping in to say I actually just recorded this episode, it went live December 7 2023. It’s probably two or three episodes ago. And I definitely recommend you listen to it when you’re done with this episode. Those are just two starting points for you to get an idea of who your competitors are. If you are starting at square one here. Once you know who they are, you’ll want to start your research. You can make this as simple or as detailed as you’d like. A simple review would be just a peek at their socials and their website and take a few notes on one to three things that you like and dislike. A detailed review could include SEO Research website page by page audits, doing a pros and cons list as to how their message is being received. And so many other things, I absolutely want to point out that you should never do any competitor research from the perspective of copying your competitors. Why? Well, because plagiarism is a sleazy thing to do. But also because you are two completely different businesses. Even if you are providing the same services to your clients, you are an individual, they are their own person or persons depending on the size of the business. And you come with different value props. So when we do competitor research, we really want to look at them and how they’re running their business as a starting place a jump off and inspiration, not anything that we should be doing the same thing for. So after you’ve completed all your competitor research, what you’ll want are notes on things that your competitors are doing well. So you can spark ideas on how you can also improve different aspects of your own business. Again, no copying here, just inspiration and ideation. You’ll want to note things that you dislike too. And this is something that my clients are always anxious about, right? Like it’s difficult to indicate who your competitors are to start with. But when you start picking apart what you don’t like a lot of people will hold back. Well, there’s a reason we want to look at our competitors to determine what it is we dislike the same reason as why we look at what we like for inspiration and ideation. You may see things here where you could improve your own marketing, things that you also might want to stop doing in your marketing. Or maybe you might indicate where there are messaging, terms, messaging ideas that you could adjust because they’re missing the mark. So you use the subject as an inspiration, but speak more directly to your ideal clients wants, needs and desires. And speaking of the ideal client, let’s transition from competitor research into client research. If you have client research from things you’ve done in the past, like voc interviews, which is voice of customer interviews, case study interviews, or anything like that, pull them out now. First, ask yourself, are they current? Are there any other marketing and messaging insights that you can draw from these interviews and use in your new marketing in the upcoming year? Maybe there’s Something that you haven’t covered much in the past that is really salient for your business at this time. Once that’s done, think about how you can add to the client research you already have. Can you invite 2022 clients to case study interviews with you in quarter one of 2023. Or maybe your voc research is older and it needs to be updated in the coming year. If so, those two things themselves can transition into goals for 2023. But if you’re listening and thinking that you don’t even have any client research to begin with, we’ll consider getting that done in 2023 is one of your main goals. I’ll actually take a pause here to remind you that this is actually something I can help you with as part of a VIP intensive. If you need help with voc research or any type of client research, we can work together to complete it, it isn’t something you need to do on your own. Future Aaron here again, I have two great episodes about voice of customer research, I’d love to recommend to you. The first one is a great overall episode that teaches you what voice of customer research is and how to go about gathering and using it. It was episode 22 with Melissa pain, and there was also an episode that just went live a few weeks ago that I did with Nadine neath array of can do content about website specific voice of customer research. So that was episode 22. To hear me talk with Melissa pain and episode 101. With Nadine about website Erin Ollila 26:36 voc. All right back to the episode. But even if you have no data, and you want to make this 2023 quarter one goal, I want you to take a few notes yourself now. So grab a pen and paper and ask yourself some of the following questions. What type of transformation? Do I offer my clients? Who needs that type of transformation? Who do I like working with? What’s holding these people back from working with me? What are these leads? needs? Before working with me? How do I help my clients during our time together? What do my clients often share with me after we’re done working together? And why is it that you would like working with the type of clients you’ve identified working with in the form of questions that I asked. So these questions, they’re not a complete way to get client research. Because we have our own blinders on when it comes to our business. We may know what our clients need. But we forget that when clients do their shopping or begin to learn about what they need, when it comes to working with our service providers, they’re actually in term searching for what they want, not what they need. So just as an example, when it comes to things like SEO, sometimes people will come to me and just let me know that they really want more leads coming into their business. And then SEO is the end result. So they may not come to me looking for SEO Help. They may just come to me because they need leads. So it’s important to remember that answering all those questions and knowing what your clients need are actually coming from the perspective of your own perception. So I will plug the importance of voice of customer research again, because it really is vital to getting your clients own words and insights to strategically inform your messaging. Okay, we’ve covered client research, we’ve covered competitor research. And I mentioned I really did want to talk about SEO research here because I want you to be thinking of that. How are people using your website? What keywords and keyword phrases? Are you ranking for? If any? And are they relevant to your business? If you have been working on SEO in the past year, then you’ve already have more data to work with some review what’s worked, what hasn’t? How you can optimize what is working and how you can improve on what isn’t. I highly suggest focusing on SEO in 2023. You know, blogging is not dead. And I think pre pandemic, a lot of small businesses or medium businesses thought that there was no ROI in investing in online blog content. And that could not have been further from the truth. And I think the pandemic prove that to us. Suddenly, we’re all at home and asking questions about so many things to Google, like how do I make bread and how do I do this? And how do I do that? And all of those posts that were already written were the ones that moved up the ranking immediately because they were questions that People had that were extremely relevant at the time. So with all this talk about the economy in 2023, which I won’t get into in detail here, because I think that many online marketers use this conversation as a bit of a scare tactic. But I will simply address it because there may be an economic shift that many marketing experts are addressing. But they’re also recommending spending on SEO and 2023 as a smart strategy. And I wholeheartedly agree, in fact, I highly suggest that you make SEO an entire year effort and not just something that you focus on for a quarter at a time. Future Aaron, again, you’re sick of me yet. I know right now you’re hearing 2023 numbers, but I want to confirm that blogging and SEO is going to be just as if not more important than 2024. So don’t sleep on this. If you’re curious about how I could help you with SEO in 2023, I do have a few ways that we can work together, I have two SEO packages that may help you, the superhero and the sidekick. And they act as jumping off points in your for your website pages, your post and any future editorial calendar you’re building. But finally, we can work together if you’ve already amassed a lot of content because I see this happening very often. Podcast hosts, for example, write a ton of show notes. And they’re not considering SEO when it comes to the shownotes. Or businesses have written really great educational blogs, but they haven’t factored in SEO when it comes to their writing. So they’ve amassed content. And now they’re looking at it as how can it perform better for me. So in a situation like that, I would recommend a customized VIP day to update. You know those previously written blog post those case studies that you have shownotes so that you can follow SEO best practices, and really begin ranking for all of the hard work you’ve already done. All right, friends, that’s really it. That is your end of the year post review, but pre goal setting framework. The one quick thing I want to say before ending this episode and sending you on your merry way is that if you do this work now. And yes, it might take a bit of effort, you won’t have to do as much of it later. This prep work can simply be something that you review and update next year. So if you have the opportunity now, don’t overlook doing this. So you can reap the rewards of all of your hard work next year when you sit down to review and plan for 2020 for future Aaron again. Okay, here is our final episode. And we’re going to focus on what website updates you can make right now. So Erin Ollila 32:53 your site is well performing in the beginning of 2024. Happy New Year friends, I purposely use this time off of work to do some small behind the scenes business tasks. And one thing I always schedule is a quick one hour or less New Year’s website update. Now I’m going to preface this whole episode by explaining why I keep it to an hour or less. And at this point, it really only actually takes me about 15 to 20 minutes, because I’ve done it for so many years. But there’s a reason why I don’t spend hours and hours of time doing this. And that’s because I actually spend a lot of time doing website work during the month of March, every single year and this year is included. I do a spring clean your website challenge. And I do the work on my own website right alongside the participants. So this exercise of New Year edits that I’m about to explain to you right now, of course is important to do in the beginning of the year. But it’s only a very quick review. And a solid website audit updates and improvements come during the month of March for me at least. And I would say for you too, because I mean it’s spring here in the northern hemisphere and spring is the best for me at least. Everything gets better when spring rolls around. So we might as well use that same momentum and motivation to make our websites better at the same time. If you are at all interested in joining me in the spring clean your site challenge this year, you can sign up for the waitlist now and I’ll email out a coupon code that is exclusive to the waitlist before signups begin in the beginning of March. Okay back to the point of this episode. There are a few easy to update things that you can do to set your website up for success. Let’s start with something simple and easily that you have probably already Even on social media, it is the day in your website footer, you should have a copyright date listed in your footer. And you want to make sure that it’s current for this year. This is the easiest, quickest thing to change. But I highly suggest that you actually automate this. Now, if you haven’t done that yet, see, I still check on mine every year to quickly make sure that the change actually did happen. But because I’ve automated it in the past, it’s actually all set up tech wise for me, so I never have to do anything. Now you might be listening and being like, well, what the heck Aaron, how do I actually automate this, of course, I don’t want to do it on my own, but I don’t really know how to change it. Now, there’s different ways for different sites. Right now I’m using Elementor Pro to run my website, and I have a field in there in the footer. That is for the current date, time. So those three words, that’s actually what the field is called. And it makes my year always update to the current year. Before using Elementor Pro, I had an easy peasy custom code and my footer, that also worked in the same exact way to update the year to the current year. If I can find the link in my bookmarks that explained how to do it, I’ll make sure to add that to the show notes for you. So you can add that custom code to your website. If you don’t already have an option like one that’s built into Elementor Pro. So while you’re there, take a peek at your entire footer. After you’ve made the changes to the year to make sure that everything there is actually like current, nothing is out of date. And if there is something that’s wrong that you need to adjust, just make a note of it to fix later, you do not need to fix it right this moment. Do not let the actual work hold you back from doing this quick new year’s exercise. Simply make the note that it has to be done and add it to your to do list for a later date and time. You want to keep this as easy as possible for yourself to review things and make yourself a To Do lists. But let’s stay in the footer for a second. While you’re there, you’ve looked for the date, meaning the year, you’ve looked to see if there’s any content in there that’s out of date that needs updating. But I also want you to stay there and see if you have the required or at least suggested legal stuff that you need. And that is a privacy policy, a terms of ease of use. But then some other industries need other things like a disclaimer specifically, if you’re in the coaching, mental health industries or any other type of industry where the FTC is regulating, like what you say to the people and to give you the the protection to disclaim things like you are not a mental health counselor, for example. And you are not providing them mental health services by the education that you have on your site. Or for example, if you’re a legal website, you’re explaining that you are not providing legal services to the end user of your websites, you’re just providing information. So a disclaimer is very important in some industries. The other things you want to consider is are you selling any type of courses or products? Do you have any type of legal terms within your terms of use that explain your terms of purchase, explain your terms of the program, because those are other important terms that you want to have listed. And quite often, these are all found in your website footer. So if it’s not there, just make a note that these are things you really want to make a move on. And you really want to get done. The two people I always recommend, or the two companies I always recommend, for example, is a Braden Drake’s contract club and you get in there, it’s $30 for all of those types of contracts. I think that’s really been huge for so many people to be able to get themselves set up with contracts in their business. And another company that I recommend is the contract shop, they have templates that you can purchase as either a bundle or one off products and I will make sure I put the links to both of those businesses in the shownotes so you can head on over there and buy from them. I will disclaim I’ve actually purchased from both and both of them are affiliate links because I’ve been very pleased with both of my purchases. Alright, so let’s move past the footer for a second. And let’s talk about site security. This can’t wait until March. The first thing you want to check are your website users. Is there anyone that needs to be removed from the backend of your website. So for example, if you hired a VA, or if you had someone doing content content for you, or SEO for you that you’ve given them access to the back end of your website, and they’re not using it anymore, they need to be removed right away. If not, consider updating, if not, and if actually consider updating your passwords to be more secure, I guarantee that you haven’t thought about updating the password for your website login in for ever. So if you’re already in your website, just take a second to do it right now. And then you’ll know that every year you’ll update your password to your website to just make it that much more secure. When you’re done with this, you’re going to want to check to make sure your SSL certificates are still valid and current, because they expire approximately every 12 to 13 months. But even though I say that I want to point out something else with my previous website host, they actually expired every 90 days. Granted, they automatically renewed at that time for me. So I got an email every three months that just let me know that my SSL certificate expired and was renewed at the exact same time. But it is important to make sure that it’s done. Because you want to know that your site is secure. If you check the SSL certificate, you’re going to want to do that by visiting your hosting site. And if you’re there, why don’t you double check on any renewal dates listed there. So for example, I’m currently using SiteGround. That’s who has my certificates, when I go to check the dates that they’re valid until I can stay in my account and make sure I check on the renewal dates of my URLs, you want to make sure that you put them on there on your calendar now, even if they don’t renew until April, even if they don’t renew until November so that you don’t miss any important renewal dates. Why? Because if you don’t renew your website, if it isn’t set to automatically renew for you, and it’s a manual thing, you lose your URL. Can you imagine that all of the hard work that you’ve done, whether it’s a DIY website, or all of the money that you’ve spent in website design, and in copywriting, only to lose it all simply because you didn’t pay your website URL bill. So of course, I obviously recommend to make sure that this is set to automatically be billed and paid for when it’s due. But just take a second and throw it in your calendar because this date will never change. The only way it would really change is if you change the website host and then the date of the switch over from bringing one domain into the new website host might be a different date. But if you’re not changing host and for example, I was on my last host for 12 years I didn’t change at all, that day is always going to be the same. So just throw it in your calendar and set it to be a reoccurring task that comes up every year just so you can double check to make sure that you actually have paid for your website. And here’s here’s where I can bring it back to why this is so quick for me now. These are all things that I already have set up. I know when my SSL certificates are valid until I know when my website renews. So all it takes is for me to quickly check into my you know host and go to my account area to just double check that those numbers that I assume them to be are correct that I don’t even have to think of it. I don’t have to write anything in my calendar at this point. It’s already there. So for me, this all gets done in no time at all, because I’ve done the work originally. Let’s continue with what’s happening within your website. Look at the plugins that you have on your site. For example, if you’re in WordPress, you know who are you what type of plugins are you giving access to your website, you constantly want to check on this because you want to make sure that you’re actually using the plugins that you have. So your site security is always at the level that you want it to be and you’re not weighing down your site with plugins that don’t need to be there. You should be having it set up that you are constantly updating your plugins or updating your theme or any of these things on your site. And I’m going to assume that’s how your website is set up. If it is not though, you want to make sure everything is updated. You do not want to wait and do this once a year. So either set it so that way it’s something that you check in regularly on or put something in your calendar. Now that kind of gives you like an indicator that okay, I haven’t checked my plugins this month. Let me go in and make sure that they’re all updated because updated plugins are making sure that your site is secure. If your plugin is not updated, there could be potential chances for hackers or security issues or just broken links broken plugins that affect the design of your site. So definitely looking on that while you’re using your website. Could I continue now and share a bunch of other things that you could do to make sure that your website is updated and ready for 2023, of course, but I’m not going to do that. Because I really want you to just take action on those things that I’ve mentioned today, we’ll look at your footer, make sure everything is correct there, look at the security of your site and make sure that everything is correct there. And then once you have this list of any to dues that you need to do, add them to your calendar right away. It’s so easy, at least for me, it is so easy to make a to do list or a later list and never take action on it. So because we only reviewed a few key vital things that need to be done at the beginning of the year, I want you to take those items and pencil them in throughout the month. Maybe you do one a week, right? Maybe you just take like the tiniest task, and you do one a week, maybe you do one a day, maybe you spend an entire weekend in the month of January, just making sure everything is updated. However you want to approach it is fine. But set it in your calendar. So you know when it’s gonna get done. And give yourself like a check in to make sure that you’ve done this. If this is the very first time that you’re doing these things at the beginning of the year, just remember, it’s going to be so much easier moving forward. And you’re going to be able to do all of this work in a short period of time. Right now, it might take a little bit of time, but you’re setting yourself up for success in the future. And that is what is key about having these indicators within our schedule, that the work that we do on our website will be transferred into the future and make everything in the future so much easier for us. So again, I hope this episode was helpful for you that this could be an annual tradition of things that you do on your own website. And that you you know, enact every year and make sure everything is set up correctly and how you want it to be future Erin Erin Ollila 47:02 again here for the final time. Thank you so much for staying for this long episode. If you’ve been interested in what we’re talking about today. We have quite a few great episodes to recommend that were done in the beginning of 2023. One of my favorites is maintaining momentum and marketing business and life with Diane Wenger. That was episode 46. And it went live on January 11 of 2023. And the other is understanding mindsets in messaging and marketing with Linda Perry that went live two weeks later on January 25 2023. It was episode 48. And both will be linked in the show notes. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and we will see you back here next week for the third season of talk copyediting Happy New Year. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at @ErinOllila Until next time friends
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