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Kickstart your digital New Year

Your website is your shop window – and increasingly how most new customers will find you. So making sure it is kept up to date is vital if you want to look professional and keep your customers coming back.

The quieter weeks in January are the perfect time to do a quick audit and ensure everything is ready for the year ahead. Below are a few things you, or someone from your team, should be doing now to ensure you are ready:


Is your website and social media cover shot appropriate?

Santa ho-ho-hoing all over your homepage might have been a brilliant touch in December but the day after 12th Night your whole site suddenly looks very out of date. Cover images should be changed regularly anyway, with the seasons at the very least, so make sure this is added to your regular digital to do list as well.


Are you still showing Christmas events/menus?

Make sure your What’s Happening pages are up to date – Christmas is over so let’s not be advertising the Christmas quiz that took place on 19th December. Likewise get rid of those Christmas Menus – and make a note of when your 2019 ones will be ready so you can add those in to begin your marketing push.


What’s coming up?

While you’re tidying up the old events, make sure you start listing events you’ve got happening over the next few months. Sports you might be showing, key dates like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the Easter weekend, and dates for regular events like your quiz, wine nights or other charity evenings.

All these events, and others that you’re hosting in between, should be on your website now to help customers plan their social diaries. Also make a note in your diary six weeks before each event or special date so you can begin your social media push for ticket sales and flag any special promotions. 


Check the dreaded reviews!

You’ve got a bit of extra time in January so make a point of searching for your pub on all the key review sites – and try and reply to each comment, both good and bad, in a measured way. Also make a note of any recurring issues in the reviews so you can raise them with your team when you have your next team meeting – most issues are incredibly easy to solve with some simply re-training or a reminder of your processes.


Have a look at your analytics

Using Google analytics and similar options on all the social media sites you can see who visited your site and social media feeds, and what posts or parts of your site got the most response from your customers. This should help you improve your digital window for 2019 – note your most popular posts and how customers were using your site and discuss this with your team. Make sure you regularly look at your results and adapt what you do according to how your customers react.

You can also use a service like ‘Tweetdeck’ which enables you to view all your social media feeds in one place so you can see what posts are getting the most traction. A service like this will also help you to understand when most of your customers are online and viewing your posts and this can help inform the ‘owners’ of each media channel about the best times for them to post.


See your business through your customers’ eyes

Once you’re happy everything is up to date, Google your pub. Check all the details that come up are correct – address, number etc – and note where your own website comes in the list of Google results. Click on your website and give yourself a few simply tasks – for example booking a table, finding a map of where the pub is, finding out what’s on at the pub for Mother’s Day and finding out if the pub does vegan main courses. How easy was it to get that information? If it took for than a couple of clicks you might consider changing your homepage or navigation to make it simpler.

Likewise, search for your social media feeds and see what your latest posts look like – if you haven’t posted since New Year’s Eve then get your feed going with some New Year menu inspiration, and start a conversation with your followers about the year ahead. They might have some ideas for your events schedule you’ve not considered!