2015 On-Site Marketing Checklist
By now, most marketing heads have their digital strategy and budgets set for the forthcoming new year or if not, they should. Our clients have been busy evaluating the highs and lows of the current year, fine-tuning campaign activity whilst closely monitoring their customers’ behaviour. The overriding objective is how the chosen activity is going to meet or surpass revenue forecasts set for the year and how each line worked bottom-up will achieve this. The usual metrics apply – direct, organic, referral, bookmarked, pre and post email, social, display, affiliate – all important traffic generators to consider. Bounce-rate and other acquisition information prevails with conversion – in the main – acting as the focal point for most P&L holders.
UX is not a one-off exercise
Beyond extrapolating and deducing trends from analytics, UX somehow falls behind and with that, simply evaluating the user journey or purchasing path seems an obvious area to test and test again. User-variant or A/B testing can only improve the customer experience and with that an uplift in conversion will follow. Legacy sites have had to pull themselves into the modern-day era, driven by crushing ongoing development costs and the exponential surge of mobile usage (and therefore the need to be responsive), so there’s little excuse in not providing budget or support to improve this important discipline.
The other obvious component to consider is on-page content; its tone, voice, effectiveness, optimisation, and alliance with brand strengths and assets. As referred to in my previous post about defining content marketing the importance of skilfully creating and delivering content that serves a meaningful purpose is too often forgotten. My fear and loathing of the ‘story-telling’ term remains and clearly, the aftermath of Google’s Panda has forced marketers or site-guardians to think carefully about the content and context of copy used. On-site copy needn’t be lavish nor economical – it should say what it needs to say but in a way that resonates with its audience whilst fulfilling its purpose. Whether it’s sales or information-led, producing high-quality content generation is obvious but it needs to circle back to the overall objectives of the site and the company’s commercial goals.
This is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but the following stages need to be considered when planning ahead:
- Site Audit – health-checking the website to ensure it’s fully optimised and working as hard as it can.
- Backlink Audit – quality not quantity, disavow where necessary
- Content Audit – consistency, tonality and effectiveness
- Keyword Research – harness the hummingbird and chase semantic terms
- UX – assess and reassess the journey. Get unbiased but quality feedback, test and re-test
- Research and Analyse – understand your audience and move in the right circles
- Utilise all Resource – capture content, experiences and feedback from your people – telesales and counter staff, customer relations, operations, sales and marketing, in-market representation – all are equally valid.
- Campaign Creation – devise the right tactics that will meet those targets
- Track and Evaluate – ensure all measures are in place to monitor performance