It’s the end of December, and in a couple more days, we will be telling the year 2013 to “take a hike” and welcoming the new, younger, hotter year 2014 into our arms. As the new year approaches, we start to think about all of the things that a new year means. It’s a time to look back at all that we have accomplished and to bring closure to the past 365 days. It’s a time to start fresh, looking toward the future and all of the possibilities it contains. And for your website, it’s a time of resolution…and revitalization.

We present to you the 5 New Year’s Resolutions for your website in 2014. These 5 handy-dandy tips will help you make your website go from weak to wow, from derp to dynamite, from the past….to the future!

#1 – Optimize Your Titles and Meta Tags

Ranking higher on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can translate to increased traffic and increased conversions on your site. Make it easier for search engines to crawl your site and know what each page is about by optimizing your titles and meta tags. This will assist in your ranking for the subjects and keywords that your pages are trying to target. This can be done manually or with the assistance of plug-ins like All in One SEO or WordPress SEO by Yoast .

#2 – Increase Your Speed

Page speed (how fast your site first loads when someone visits that URL) is a factor in how Google ranks your site in their search results. Not to mention, potential visitors to your site expect it to load quickly, and they often won’t wait more than a few seconds before moving on to a site that will load more quickly. Head over to Google’s Page Speed Insights and type your site’s URL into the field to have Google conduct a quick page speed audit on your site. Google will most likely come up with a list of some worthwhile updates that you can make to your site, such as setting up file compression or eliminating render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content. These updates can be made to the mobile and desktop versions of your site to optimize the user experience. Which brings us to the next resolution…

#3 – Optimize Your Site for Mobile

Depending on where you are in the world, mobile devices now account for anywhere between 20% (in the US) to 60% (in India) of Internet traffic. While that is a large range, it is safe to say that access from mobile and tablet devices will only continue to increase. If your site hasn’t been optimized for a mobile or tablet device, you are providing a poor user experience for a large chunk of your customer base.

Start by testing your site on several different mobile and tablet platforms. Depending on the complexity of your site, it may be advisable to create a mobile version of your site that simplifies the content and user experience to make mobile conversions quick and easy for the user.

Mobile and tablet screens also have increasingly sharper resolutions. Because images are being stretched over more pixels, you may want to go through and increase the size/pixels of the images so that they are better suited for display on these devices.

#4 – Social Media Integration

Roughly 3 out of 4 Internet users use some form of social networking, so if you aren’t creating content that is optimized and easy to share on social media, then 2014 is the year to start. Videos, infographics, blog posts, and other content should all include nearby “share” buttons that make it simple for the user to post to the major social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, and Google +). These buttons can be built manually, or you can utilize a tool like ShareThis to integrate them in your site. Keep in mind, as well, that social sharing of content from your site factors somewhat into how Google ranks you in their search results.

#5 – Convert Your Site

If you aren’t on them already, convert your site into PHP or WordPress. These systems are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for brand-new sites, as well as leading many sites to convert over to them. This is mainly because they offer some distinct advantages over other systems, such as .asp. For starters, it takes much less code to program a site in PHP than ASP. This makes for faster and easier maintenance, which, in turn, saves you time and money. These systems also run on any kind of server, as opposed to ASP, which is built to only run on a Windows server.

January 1st is a great time to get your site sleek and sexy for 2014. Start your new year off right by taking on (and sticking with) these 5 resolutions to whip your site into shape!

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