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12 Months of Web Optimization

August 11, 2020

This blog is a follow-up to a post from January 23, 2015 on web analytics and SEO tools.

Keeping your site up-to-date is a task in itself, especially when you add on increased traffic, security vulnerabilities/updates and making it user-friendly to your visitors. We want to help ease your mind with our 12 month web bliss process to break down each step and stay on top of your site's performance:


Gather data

It's vital to know who is using your site and what they are looking at. You'll be able to make informed decisions on what content needs improvement, what you should continue doing, and what is no longer working. Hook a tool like Google Analytics to your site for user tracking. Research tools like Google Webmasters Portal to improve site performance and testing tools. Sign up for SEO tools like Moz and StatCounter to make improvements for a higher ranking on search sites.


Early spring cleaning

Now you understand where visitors are coming from, it's time to make sure to resolve any errors they might experience. This is a good time to review your logs for errors. Tools like Sentry or New Relic are easy to install to be proactive by providing notifications when new problems arise. 


Get ready for more traffic

With errors resolved, your site needs to be quick - visitors don't want to sit around and wait for your content to load. You can improve your site performance with caching, using a CDN, or even optimizing your page loads. The faster the visitor can see your content, the more likely they will remain on your website and continue searching for more information rather than going to your competitor.


Focus on the user experience

Moz and StatCounter have a few months' worth of data, so April is a great time to check out the numbers. How many visitors are you getting from mobile devices? It's probably more than you expect. Having a responsive site makes browsing on mobile a much easier experience, and keeps user retention high. 


Improve your SEO ranking

Tools like Moz will run weekly checks to see where your site's SEO is ranking among major search sites. By canonicalizing your URLs you'll be able to reduce duplicate content issues and highlight important pages in search results.

If you're retiring old pages, don't delete them just yet! Search engines will still try to find them, and deleting them can cause issues with your ranking. We recommend setting up redirects to your new content or a landing page when cleaning up old pages.


Drive visitors to your site(s)

Having engaging and fresh content is a great way to encourage visitors to regularly visit your site. An online editorial calendar is a great place to start to plan your content and schedule new posts. Tools like Loomly or Hootsuite making scheduling quick and easy to give you more time to go back to your clients and projects.


Monitor and adjust

You should see an increase in traffic with more content, so keeping an eye on your uptime and issue response time should be a priority. Pingdom is a great tool for several different kinds of monitoring, and Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a great place to start.


Maintain your system

By August, your content is in order and your site has stats on visitors. This is a good time to check and ensure your database is packed regularly and your logs are rotated. You can also take things a step further by reviewing your RAM and CPU usage. Being proactive this month will greatly pay off in the log run maintenance of your system.



It's never a good time to lose all of the hard work you've put into improving your site. Take time this month to ensure your web assets are backed up, and backed up effectively in case of an issue or if you need to restore. Tools like CrashPlan and Tarsnap are great for keeping your data safe. It's worth testing these systems heavily, so we recommend testing their recoverability before you lose the luxury of testing.


Check your resiliency

Quality Assurance is a step that can't be stress-tested enough. With your backups in place and tested, try failing your site over and over again. Press all of the buttons, submit the forms, click through the links, try all of the browsers, and simply try to make something break. Don't just take your tech team's word for it. 


Stay vigilant

Make sure you are running the latest vulnerability patches to avoid any interruptions in service or user security. Another steps is to sign up for the security mailing lists for the software applications you use. These will keep you in the know about any upcoming updates and issues to be aware of so you are not blindsided by the news.


Keep up

Get ready for the holidays, and get ready to repeat this process next year. Sign up for and read Six Feet Up's newsletter to stay up to date on web trends, tools and security updates.

With all of these pieces in place each month, your team should be in a good place to stay on top of security patches, updates, and keep in top-shape for site visitors. 

Do you have questions? We’re happy to help. 

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