A new year is a great occasion to reflect on your goals and commit to reaching the next level in the upcoming year. This year, we’ve identified three new year’s marketing resolutions to help you reach your business goals in 2017.
Did you find it difficult to evaluate last year’s marketing performance? To ensure you’re making informed choices on your marketing channels, step up your metrics tracking in 2017.
- Choose KPIs based on your business goals. Interested in building awareness? Focus on engagement metrics (ex. Page views/sessions, time spent on website, email clicks). Interested in profitability? Look at your cost per lead on a channel basis to see which provides your best ROI.
- Look beyond a single lead source. Customers typically interact with your brand several times before making a purchase. Be sure you aren’t eliminating channels that appeal to customers at the beginning of the buying cycle.
Invest in Your Infrastructure
It’s easy to prioritize immediate results and ROI over long-term investment. In 2017, commit to investing in at least one tool or process, based on your business goals, that will make your marketing and sales teams’ lives life easier. Some recommendations include:
- Begin using a CRM, or upgrade your existing platform, to help your sales team keep track of leads and prospects.
- Invest in marketing automation or an email marketing platform to make it easier to stay in touch with contacts. Set up workflows for routine emails (such as Welcome emails), as well as for marketing campaigns. With automated emails, you can build one and let it run (with periodic updates, of course!).
We often say, “no plan survives the field”. Whether or not you have an annual marketing plan in place, it’s important to check up on your initiatives to ensure that they’re still creating impact. On a regular basis, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are we doing what we’re doing? Are our initiatives consistent with my business goals, and are they effective? What is the value in continuing down this path?
- Is there anything we should be doing that we aren’t?
Based on your answers to these questions, adjust your focus.
Keep these resolutions top of mind to help your marketing function more efficiently in 2017. Happy New Year!
Over time your website and its content will evolve. You will add pages and change the content of some pages in order to provide the most relevant information to your customers. Updating your SEO is just as important as updating your website content. Not doing so will result in a website with quality content that qualified visitors do not see.
To ensure that you are optimizing your SEO, we recommend scheduling a complete SEO audit on a quarterly basis. This will help you identify duplicate titles and meta-descriptions that can damage your Google rankings, identify pages where your SEO is missing altogether, and identify opportunities for improving your SEO.
Identifying missing and duplicate SEO – To identify pages where your SEO may be missing or incorrect, we recommend building a spreadsheet that includes key SEO information for each page. This should include the page title, URL, meta-description, and meta-keywords. This document may take some time to build depending on the size of your website, but it will be a valuable tool in helping you easily identify any pages with missing SEO or repeated titles, meta-descriptions, or meta-keywords.
Within this document, build meta-descriptions and meta-keywords for any pages with missing SEO. This will provide you with an up-to-date database and save you time when you complete the next quarterly audit.
Next, review the meta-keywords for each page to identify repeat keywords. Remember that pages using the same keywords compete with each other for Google rankings. If two pages on your site use the same keywords, it is more difficult for either of them to achieve a high page rank in Google search results. Replace any duplicate keywords to ensure that your web pages are not competing against one another. Repeat this process for meta-descriptions as well.
The result will be a spreadsheet with unique SEO information for each of your web pages. Work with your coder to implement the changes you have made.
Identifying opportunities to improve your SEO – In addition to identifying technical errors in your SEO, your quarterly audit is a good opportunity to understand where your SEO can be improved. You should use Google Analytics to review the results of your SEO frequently, but spend time during your quarterly audit to review each page one by one. We recommend focusing on two key metrics to identify pages that require improved SEO. These key metrics are:
- Average Position: Average position is a measure of where a page ranks in Google search results, on average. Google determines this position based on an algorithm that measures a page’s relevance. Pages with a low page rank (indicated by a higher number on Google Analytics), are often not clicked by users. To improve a web page’s average position, ensure that your SEO is relevant to your page content.
Review the page’s title, meta-description, and meta-keywords. Update them to match the content of the page. SEO that matches the content of the page will help Google deliver your page to qualified visitors.
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is a measure of how many visitors leave your website immediately upon entering it, compared to those who spend time on your website. A high bounce rate tells Google that visitors are not interested in the content of a webpage. Because Google’s objective is to provide relevant search results for users, they will reduce a page’s rank if they see a high bounce rate. Your page may have a high bounce rate if your keywords are not relevant to your page content. Consider replacing these keywords with keywords that are more applicable to the page content.
Auditing your SEO on a quarterly basis will ensure that your SEO remains complete and optimized, and that the right people are able to find your website.