As we all slowly come out of our collective festive coma and return to the front line of growing your brand & business, you could be forgiven for wanting to crawl back on the couch with a bottle of Baileys. How do we blow off the cobwebs and begin to take stock? What’s not working? Or, better yet, how do we get things that are working, to the next level? Fear not, the tasks ahead are not that daunting as they first seem.
To ease the process, we at Dmac Media have pulled together a bullet point guide to getting back on track for 2020. Here are 20 simple things you should implement to get better insights, more traction and ultimately more revenue for your efforts online.
Without further ado and in no particular order here is our top 20 things you should do in Digital Marketing for 2020.
Review your Return of Investment (ROI) for 2019
Add up all the money spent on marketing efforts in the last year and compare the total value of sales in the same period. This gives you the gross figures for both money in and for money out. It gives you an idea of the average return on marketing spend. If you have the patience, or the data available, you can dig deeper and examine sales directly related to google ads or real-world initiatives and break these down also.
The ability to see what marketing spend creates, is a vital part of decision making and should always be a feature in future planning. Knowing how good, bad or indifferent last year’s return was, will give you the data you need to drive change or protect that marketing budget.
Audit your Resources/Skills
What tools or skills do you have at your disposal? How much time do you have for marketing activities? What kind of budget? Do you have all the skills you need or if not, have you partnered with reliable teams that can deliver on the skills you lack (cough cough…!!)
Getting a solid grasp of what you have available to you will allow you to reality check the expectations you have for the year. Yes, you might want to climb Everest but you need climbing gear and training in order to do that.
This audit will help in planning for growth and also help to identify areas where you may need to upskill.
Agree growth targets for 2020
This wins the award for most obvious suggestion, but we are always surprised by the lack of defined targets or goals when it comes to a company’s digital marketing strategy. For this reason, we felt we had to include it. Take one hour out of next week’s schedule and sit down with anyone in your business who has a stake in the outcome and define what success looks like for all of you in 2020.
Use this as a backdrop to inform your marketing objectives. It is a lot easier to move forward when you know where you are going.
Review your site content on mobile
We are all very familiar with the idea that mobile matters most for website performance, but a shocking number of us do not take the time to wander through our own website on a mobile device. Those carefully laid out and detailed desktop pages that wowed the leadership team may be causing real customers heartache on mobile devices.
Commit to reviewing all website changes on mobile first make sure that impact is what matters most.
Stalk some competition
Pick three competitors that irritate you most and talk a wander through their online presence (website, Facebook, etc.). Look specifically for things that they are doing better than you (be objective). Ask honest questions about how you compare. Are you still ahead of the competition? Try and identify any gaps and look at how to close them (Start using video, for example)
Check your website page speed – visit GTMetrix.com
Google has been focussing on site speed for several years now and we have all learned to pay it lip service now and then, but it is rare (in our experience) to find a company who holds web speed at the basis of its website strategy. Speed is sacrificed for images no one took time to optimise or for another slide on the home page that nobody reads or sadly, for the latest third-party plug-in that you were told was vital! (chat bots anybody?) Everything you add to your page impacts your speed. This needs to be taken seriously, particularly if Google does roll out it’s so called “Badge of Shame”
Start by taking control using free tools like GTMetrix.com to get an accurate assessment of where you are and what needs to be addressed.
Review and Renew your Google Analytics Goals
Whether you are an analytics addict or just a seasonal visitor, take the time to review the goals you have created and make sure they fit with current objectives. The ability to track events and outcomes is improving all the time, so if you have not updated your goals in the last year then you are not likely to be getting the most from the data you collect.
Set Up Hotjar
This is probably the tool that we recommended the most in 2019. Hotjar is still a firm favourite. Hotjar captures real time behaviour of visitors on your website. It shows where and how they click and can give insight into how they are interacting with your platform. It can be invaluable in tracking landing page behaviour as well as shopping behaviour (for you ecommerce types).
On the downside, it does impact on page load, so we recommend putting it in place for a short period to get the recordings and then take it off again. This platform has a basic free account level so it is a no brainer for use by the smart digital marketer (that’s you!)
Implement Search Term Tracking in Google Analytics
This is another essential and indispensable tool. Google Analytics enables search term tracking on your analytics and allows you to see the search terms people used to find content on your website. This can help identify previously hidden search phrases. It can also help add better internal navigation so that potential customers get to their desired content. Combining this with Hotjar can give you an invaluable insight into how your website works (or should work) for customers.
Check out The Top 5 Google Analytics Tools You’re Probably Not Using to find out how gain an insightful advantage over the competition.
Add Audiences to Your Google Ads Campaigns
You could be forgiven for thinking that Google Ads is just a blackhole for your budget but there are multiple ways to restrict where, when and who you spend your money on. Audiences are one of theses methods. You can create an audience based on multiple criteria (interests, habits, etc.) and then spend more serving your ads to those people. In effect it means showing more ads to those more likely to be genuinely interested in your product or service.
Start Using Google Shopping
On the off chance that you have not carried out a google search in the last 3 years, this is something you really need! Google shopping allows you to promote your products directly in search results. In comparison to the ever more confusing traditional search tactics, it is relatively straight forward to create a product file and to push your product directly. This can give useful feedback on your price competitiveness whilst also driving traffic directly to that all in important buy now page.
One word of caution. Google wants to push the most competitive prices for products so if you are not careful about what products you spend budget on, there is a possibility that you will be pushing your lowest price / lowest margin products. Make sure you are only spending on product that provide a good margin for you.
Implement Video Tracking on your Website
Video is the most engaging form of content that you can give your users, but it is often difficult to gauge the level of that engagement or the full return on this content. If you are not tracking interactions correctly, then you are losing valuable insights. It is useful to calculate just how much of your video content is being watched end to end. This video will provide a nice step by step to this end, using Google Tag Manager.
Review your Performance Stats in Google Search Console
Possibly one of the most underused resources in a marketer’s arsenal, Google Search Console offers incredible insight into your websites performance in Google Search. After a quick and easy verification process, you can start to learn things like how many impressions your website gains in search, what search queries your website is showing for and what countries are your users coming from.
These are just a number of very useful tools available in Google’s Search Console. If you’ve never used Search Console before, head over to Google Search Console now and start optimising your websites performance
Optimise for Voice Search
The way people utilise search engines continues to change, thanks to the prominence of voice search. Smart devices now come with a built-in voice assistant designed to make users lives much easier. Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Ok Google are changing the way potential clients search. As a result, searches have become more relaxed and conversational in tone, and often produce geographically local search results. ‘Pharmacist near me’ etc. This means that rather than the 3- or 4-word searches that have been the norm over the past number of years, we are now seeing extreme long tail searches, sometimes upwards of 7 words being used.
Firstly, it is imperative to get an understanding of how people use voice search. Check out some blogs to examine how users interact with voice assistants. Once you have an understanding, it is time to optimise your web content to accommodate some of these long tail search terms. (Top Tip: Google Search Console can help you identify these terms.) You should also ensure you have claimed and optimised your Google My Business page, and that this is kept up to date.
Check the User Location Report in Google Ads (Don’t serve ads to people in Brazil)
One of the pitfalls we’ve seen numerous business fall into while managing their own Google Ads campaigns is unknowingly and unwillingly advertise to far off shores through the platform. A single, often overlooked setting during campaign set up can lead to higher than necessary costs as well as clicks and impressions from users very unlikely to buy your products and services, or worse still in a country that your company can’t deliver to.
To check if you are advertising to the far distant shores of Brazil, visit the user’s location report in your Google Ads account. This can be found under the Locations tab when logged into your Google Ads account.
Start Remarketing to your Website Visitors
Remarketing lets you target spend and exposure to people who have already visited your website. The click through and conversion rates tend to be stronger and the cost is considerably lower. In order for remarketing to work you need to achieve a critical mass of website visits after you enable it. You can use simple Google Ads campaigns again to create this volume in a very short period of time.
Once you have critical mass, you can combine multiple other factors (location, interests, etc) to maximise conversions from your spend.
Set up A Facebook Catalogue
Facebook continues to be one of the most visited websites in the world and despite the controversy surrounding the management of user data, we are all still actively using Facebook. By using Facebooks product catalogue you are able to deploy your products directly on Facebook and increase the chances of a qualified clickthrough. If you have already set up a Google Shopping Feed it does not take much to customise this to suit Facebooks criteria.
With a product catalogue in place you can utilise the Facebook pixel to run remarketing on products so the customer that was browsing for that dress or shirt will find that same product showing up in their Facebook feed.
Continue your Business Story through Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising as annoying as some may find it (you’re not alone!) is still one of the most popular ways to advertise for the complete novice. Not only is it easy to do it’s definitely one of the more economical versions of advertising, a simple branding campaign can start from as little as one euro per day. Now, let’s be clear, you’re not going to reach all of Ireland for that amount, but with some clever geographical and demographic targeting you can reach your ideal customer and spread brand awareness for a reasonable budget. If you want to learn more on the topic Facebook has some excellent resources here: Facebook Blueprint
Start Using Reviews
Trust remains one of the major factors in converting visitors to customers. Independent review platforms like Trust Pilot, Feefo or Googles own reviews (GPFB) provide authorative feedback on how your company’s products or services perform for real people. A high volume of reviews on authorative sites (somewhere north of 150) can help boost your organic ranking and impact on PPC costs.
Many companies are wary of reviews and fear that it will bring out a disproportionate amount of keyboard warriors with nothing better to do than to have a pop at your brand, but again the answer here is volume. Your users will look at the average rating for your reviews so getting a high volume of good reviews diminishes the impact of the one or two with a chip on their shoulder.
Did You Know: We’ve spoken about The Trust Stack and What It Means for eCommerce websites before.
And it has to be said that, if you are getting mostly bad reviews maybe it is time to start listening to your customers and fixing the issues.
The internet is an information resource like no other and if you want to compete in the space there is no substitute for creating unique and useful content for your users. Over the last decade, countless customer’s content has proven time and time again to be the best return on investment for any business. You do not have to write a novel, but you should be creating new content each month and posting it to your website. This same content can be used on your social channels and further enhance your authority.
Simple things like creating a list of content that you can create and making dates in your diary to do just that will help you stay consistent. That completes our whistle-stop guide to 20 things to do in 2020. Here is a bonus one as a reward for reading this far. If you are a marketing professional and are concerned, confused or scared of any of the above we have a team of experts on hand that are happy to give you free advice on any of it. Just tell them Dave said so. Lift the phone or drop us a line here and we can start a conversation.