Time To Evaluate Your Digital Performance?
Entering a new year is the ideal time to take stock of your digital marketing performance. During the whirlwind that was 2020, it’s likely your marketing tactics took a new direction. Perhaps you tried channels you hadn’t explored before or maybe you halted plans to experiment with a fresh approach in wake of global events.
No matter what last year threw your way, 2021 is a new year. Let’s evaluate what’s working, what’s not and where there’s room for improvement. After what we hope was a restful break, now is the time to look at your digital marketing with a fresh pair of eyes!
What were your goals?
To truly evaluate your performance, you need something to measure it against. Whether that’s 2019’s results, defined KPIs or smart objectives, how did you perform?
If you overachieved, take a deeper look to understand what led to this. Was it a particular strategy that worked well? Was it due to unexpected market demand and if so, will that continue? Don’t forget to celebrate the success you had and the goals you did meet. It’s all too easy to get hung up on what didn’t go right but we’re strong believers in always recognising and celebrating the victories!
Perhaps you fell short of one or two objectives – after all, hitting targets isn’t meant to be easy! But have you recognised this and put yourself on the right track now? Have you considered what could have been done to get you where you wanted to be?
Hopefully you didn’t completely sidestep your objectives altogether. But if you did, what can be learnt from that? Were your targets unachievable? Were they agreed as a result of stakeholder ambition and perhaps not realistic? Did the goal posts change? Did your proposition change? Or do you have COVID to thank?
Audit your channels
However last year unfolded for you, there are always learnings to acknowledge and assess. To get the new year off on the right foot, a good old audit of your marketing channels can really set the scene.
Over the years, SEO has evolved into a sophisticated, high performing route to business growth. However, as Google’s algorithms have significantly developed, the organic world has become a more complex and challenging one to navigate.
Conducting an SEO audit ensures your website is in shipshape for the year ahead. Consider the pointers below to help you get the most from your organic potential and boost visibility in the SERPs.
- Is your site technically optimised?
- Are you targeting the right keywords?
- What are you ranking well for?
- What are you not ranking for that you want to?
- What percentage of your traffic is organic driving for you? Has this increased over the last 12 months?
- What is your domain authority (DA)? Has it improved and how does it compare to your competitors?
- Do you have a strong back link profile?
- How does your link profile look compared to the competition?
SEO isn’t a quick fix but when done well it provides sustainable and significant results to your bottom line. Is it time to give your SEO strategy a little TLC ready for the year ahead?
When you’re paying for your ads by the click, it’s a must to get the most out of your available budget. Taking a look at how your paid media efforts have performed for you, here’s the questions you need to find the answers to:
- What is your Quality Score?
- What is your average CPC?
- What is your average CPA?
- What is your average conversion rate?
- What ROI are you achieving?
- Which campaigns were your best performing ones?
- Which campaigns hindered your efforts?
Determining which campaigns have performed well and which are providing a minimal ROI can help you determine investment in paid media going forward and hone your strategy.
The foundations to your SEO strategy, a key element of outreach and essentially what your website is built upon, content has been known as King for some time.
Yet many businesses fail to prioritise their content and content marketing forgetting to ensure it’s consistently updated, well optimised and effectively demonstrates their expertise. It could be time to give your content a shake up if it hasn’t been performing for you. Consider…
- Is your site content up to date?
- Is it well optimised with a clear structure that will support it ranking?
- Do users bounce away or delve deeper into your site?
- Are you following E-A-T guidelines where relevant to your content?
- How is the depth of your on-site content?
- Do you regularly add fresh content such as blogs and resources?
- Have you analysed which content is performing best for you?
- Are you reusing your top performers in other formats?
- Are you distributing your content effectively?
- Has your onsite content been written with SEO in mind?
Content is the building block for every marketing channel available to your business. It’s vital your content is working to strengthen your authority and that it engages your audience – the more targeted the better. While this is no easy feat, a detailed content audit can help you create an effective content strategy that reaches and captures your audiences’ interest.
Around 45 percent of people globally use social media in one form or another. Whether it’s to engage with others, find inspiration for products and services or to make a purchase, social feeds have become a colossal part of our lives.
Looking beyond follower count only, it’s important to consider if your engagement has improved and how you perform across various channels.
- How engaged are your community?
- How regularly do you post?
- How has your following grown?
- What type of content performs best for you? Is it video? High quality imagery?
- What type of content performs the worst?
- Do certain channels perform better for you than others?
- How do your feeds and content compare to your competitors?
- Are you using user generated content (UGC) if it’s relevant to your business?
Over the last year, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest became more than just social media channels. They became a method of staying in touch with one another while human interaction was limited, a safe haven to be inspired by what’s to come when the world returns to some normality and a space to engage with the brands we love most.
With a whole community at your fingertips, a strong social media strategy is a must-have for the year ahead.
Understand your attribution
To truly understand how your marketing channels are working together to support you in meeting your goals, you need to understand attribution.
How is your brand being discovered? Which channel is driving the most revenue for your business? Is it through social? Search? Display? Which keywords are driving relevant traffic? Even if the majority of your traffic comes direct, you can bet your bottom dollar your other channels will have supported you in raising brand awareness beforehand.
Having a firm grasp on the role each channel plays and, even better, each keyword, in driving traffic that converts is key to deciding where to allocate your budget, where to invest more and where to invest less.
More often than not, users will encounter numerous touchpoints before they convert. By understanding the customer journey, you can credit each of your marketing channels accurately, enabling you to further invest or reallocate budget where it will perform best.
Attributing your marketing successes is likely to be a key part of justifying any budget increases you require to hit your 2021 objectives and, as such, is a hugely worthwhile task.
Today’s online users face vast choice. Between direct competitor websites, news outlets, blogs, media publications and informational resources – there are a lot of online rivals out there!
If we asked who your top competition is, there’s no doubt you will be able to list a number of businesses off the top of your head. But it’s important to keep up to speed with what may have changed within your market. After all, 2020 was hardly a stagnant year!
Do you sit somewhere different in the market now compared to where you did at the start of 2020? Do you have new competition? If so, what opportunities does this uncover?
High quality content and link building are two key strands of an effective SEO strategy. But so too is a clear understanding of your competition. Undertaking a competitor analysis can shed light on many different areas including:
- Understanding the market and where you are placed
- Your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
- Learning about your competitors’ performance to aid you in making better, more informed decisions
Using the expertise of our SEO specialists, we developed our very own SEO competitor analysis tool used to form the benchmark of your organic strategy. From this analysis, you will gain insight into who your real online competitors are, which of your web pages need urgent optimisation, the health of your site such as page indexing and site speed and how many phrases you rank for on the first page of Google.
Set clear goals for the year ahead
Fingers crossed, after all this auditing and analysis, you’ll find you’ve made great progress over the last year.
So, what’s next?
What are your objectives for the year ahead? When defining these, it’s important to consider how your business has evolved over the past 12 months. Has your product set grown? Have you had a change in your target market? Where is the market opportunity? Does this new opportunity align with your existing website and digital efforts?
Perhaps you hit all your objectives on the head and now it’s on to phase two of the grand plan. Above all, consider what success looks like for you in 2021 because this will be key to achieving it.
Tips for setting your digital marketing goals
- First and foremost, understand your business goals
- Always tie your marketing goals back to these business goals
- Make sure your goals are measurable
- Make sure your goals are ambitious but not unrealistic
- Prioritise your goals and remain focused on them
- Don’t set too many goals – you could spread yourself too thinly and not achieve any!
- Define who is accountable for each goal
- Ensure stakeholder buy in
- Don’t just plan – do!
Review your strategy
You are now armed with a firm grasp on your goals for the year ahead alongside a detailed understanding of how your current digital strategy and each channel is performing. Taking all that you’ve learned, you’re in a prime position to review whether or not you’ve got the right strategy in place.
Perhaps you’re already working with a digital agency. If not, maybe now is the time to. With a reputation for technical excellence combined with our commercially minded edge, we know how to drive impressive digital marketing results. Our proven approach and experienced team keep their sights firmly fixed on delivering an ROI for your business.
Working with a wide variety of clients, we have driven impactful results for many including increasing organic leads by 124 percent for renowned fitted furniture brand, Hammonds, and a 93% conversion rate increase for Oxford Open Learning through paid media.
All the data you’ve scrutinised and insight you’ve gained from the previous year will help you hone your efforts. Working with us, we can help you forge a strategy that will achieve these goals and hit your objectives in 2021. Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve even more this year.