Remember that digital strategy document you wrote last year? Do you know where it is? The best laid plans don’t always happen – you may have underestimated resources (people, money), how long activities would take or you’ve not been quick enough to respond to unexpected external environment changes. I like to think of this as the iron triangle of planning: Achieving all three is difficult. Strategies and plans have to evolve but this doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be rewritten. We’ve outlined key areas to quickly check and understand how they should be adjusted.
AnalyticsThis can be your best friend (lots of lovely data) or your worst enemy (too much data). Overload of information is easy and the packages are becoming more sophisticated. If you’re producing regular reports on a website and social networks then you will already be familiar with performance but there are other aspects to check and questions to ask such as:
- Are the goals set up for the site still in line with our business objectives? (If you don’t have goals set up then you’re making one of the top 4 mistakes with Google Analytics) If not, then adjust them so reporting is more accurate and aligned with the company’s goals.
- Are there new reporting features that I’m not taking advantage of? Changes usually mean more efficiency and ease of use so you could be saving time by learning new features: - Last year Google Analytics introduced benchmark reports, overhauled the ecommerce code and launched an iPhone app - Twitter Analytics is now open to all users. Check out our short guide if you are not familiar with it.
SocialKey information to check is:
- Average number of views a tweet/post receives. If it’s low and you think the content is powerful, then you may need to do paid promotion to your followers.
- Who is following you and sharing your information? Are they the right people? There are a number of social media listening tools that can evaluate your followers and how influential they are, such as FollowerWonk.
- Profile – check that the description is up-to-date and that profile and banners images are correct.
SEOA good return from SEO means consistent and methodical activity to achieve rankings and conversions. However, algorithm changes as well as other external factors mean that keywords can fall from fashion.
Keyword trendsKeywords are not always for life – their popularity can wane over time and attract less traffic. Checking your core keywords in Google Trends will alert you to keywords that are diminishing. It will also suggest related keywords on the rise. For example, TomTom sat navs were a popular term until 2008 but started to become less searched for as smartphones developed the same functionality. If you do have keywords that are trending down, then you will need to decide if it should still be optimised for and if not, what keywords will take its place.
Webmaster toolsThis is an invaluable tool to show technical issues with a website. Key areas to check are:
- Crawl errors – any 404 errors should be redirected to the right page. Sitemap issues should also be addressed as it could be impacting rankings.
- Search queries – these are the terms the site appears for and how many clicks go through to the website. This helps plug the (not provided) gap in Google Analytics.
- Content keywords – how Google is viewing the website. If it is not correct, then it could indicate a wider keyword and content issue.
ContentUpcycling content can reduce the burden and cost of creating brand new content. As a first step look at content and decide:
- Was it good in the first place? If not, then leave it be.
- Is it still relevant? Topical content can lose its appeal quickly but core topics close to your audience’s heart are worth delving deeper into.
- Was it widely shared? If it was a hit with your followers, then an updated article is likely to attract them again.
- Did it attract visitors to the website? Analytics will tell you what content attracts visitors. Look at this content and see what other elements could be explored.
- Change the format of it – an article can be transformed into an infographic, presentation or video
- Update it – this is good for data-driven content
- Expand on it – this probably means creating new content but it’s more likely to do well if its predecessor did