Our Business Owners Digital Checklist for 2018

Most of us are back in the fold after a fortnight off with too much turkey and chocolate. To ensure that 2018 is even better than 2017, here is our list of things all business owners should check now on their Digital platforms.

1 – Domain names

ITC Whois Lookup
Yes – we are registered.

Your domain name is the most important part of your digital presence.  Without a functioning domain name, you will have no website, no working email and Google will start to de-rank your website.  This least-cost aspect of a website is often overlooked, yet the management of domain names is vital.  Even if you outsource your domain name registration to another company, it only takes a few minutes to double check your domain names are working and valid.  For each of your domains, visit whois.domaintools.com and look them up.  Make sure that the expiry date is in the future, the registration details look correct (either yourselves or your IT company) and there are no warnings.  Do this for every domain you hold, you may have more than one.  Business owners often only find out domains have expired after the event when their services stop working.

2 – Website Hosting

intodns invalid records
What you don’t want to see…

Check the status and health of your website hosting using simple, non-technical tools.  You can check that your website works correctly on any mobile or tablet devices you have to hand.  intodns.com is a great website to check the health of your online presence – simply enter your website address and look out for any red entries in the “WWW” and “MX” sections.  GT Metrix will allow you to run a website speed check to see how well your website loads, which in turns affects users and your SEO.  If you have any questions then ask your current provider, or contact us for an informal discussion.

3 – Email Blacklists

email blacklist checker
The 0 you’d hope to see

The sanctuary and safety of your email is paramount to the operation of your business.  Ensuring timely delivery of your emails is essential.  Often you aren’t aware of email issues – if someone sends you an email and you never received it, how would you know?  MX Toolbox is a great site which gives owners useful information about their email hosting.  We suggest using the Blacklist checker to confirm that your email server is not listed on any spam lists.  This is the most common hidden reason why emails aren’t being received from external sources.

4 – Website References

Now is a great time to go through the pages on your website and make sure that your information is up to date.  Apart from checking the simple elements – dates, prices and years – make sure what you say is relevant to today’s market.  Your references to Blackberrys and Windows XP may no longer apply!  One thing often forgotten are accreditations and certificates – they can expire and need renewing.  Sometimes bodies change their name (for example Corgi is now Gas Safe) and some providers issue annual certificates for qualifications, or insurance cover as examples.  It may be a legal requirement in some cases to ensure your site’s content is up to date.  Finally check that any links to external websites are still valid.  Often when a domain name expires, they are taken over by cybersquatters or spam marketing companies, and you could end up linking your customers to foul websites.

5 – Analytics and Webmaster Tools

Finally, why not take the time to review your website’s statistics.  If you have access, take a few minutes to go through the information provided by your analytics tool – usually Google Analytics.  You’ve invested in a website so make sure you know how it is being used.  If you haven’t access to an analytics tool, contact your current providers and ask them to grant you access.  Set up a report so that you are emailed the relevant information on a weekly or monthly basis.  There are also other Webmaster tools which you or your providers may have such as Google Search Console.  Valuable information can be had from these services; protecting and enhancing your Digital investment.

If you’d like to gain insight into your current website presence for 2018 and make the most of Digital, why not get in touch for a friendly, informal chat with our team?