Bill Grunau

13 Digital Marketing resolutions that will make 2013 your best year ever!

New Years Resolution ListIt’s tradition at the beginning of a new year to reflect on the past year, make resolutions for what we will do different in the new year and set goals.  The same applies to organizations; new budgets have either been set or are in work, sales goals are being set, and marketing plans are being developed.  Here’s our list of Digital Marketing resolutions and tips to create a great 2013.  

Most lists start with Set Goals, we our started list with a SWOT analysis and Analytics, why?  Before setting goals it is imperative that you know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as well as the real numbers for your organization’s performance.  In conducting a frank self assessment and reviewing performance data goals will come to mind and when you set them you will have baseline of actual data to base them on. 

13 New Years Digital Marketing Resolutions for 2013

Before you charge off to conquer the world and create a list of how you are going to do it take sometime to reflect on how 2012 turned out, what went well, what didn’t work out so well, and most importantly take a look at the real numbers to see how you really did.  Below we are focused on digital marketing, your website and social media; but you can apply this to the financial and operational side of your business as well.  

  1. SWOT Analysis (template here):  Review Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) for your organization.  Be honest in your assessment, don’t sugarcoat it and glaze over your real weaknesses or threats and likewise, don’t sell your self short on strengths and opportunities.  An honest and concise self assessment will make your goal setting in #3 easier and more meaningful.      
  2. Analytics and Metrics:  It may be tempting to jump straight to goals, but wait a minute, first you need to have a very clear understanding of what your actual performance was; then you can set goals based on what actually happened and where the organization is actually at.  We have gone into a lot of detail here and it may be more than what many care to review.  We encourage you to at least review the basic top level data so you clearly understand what is really going on with your website and social media.  
    To fully understand how your website is performing you need to have Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools installed on your site.  Without these too tools you are flying blind.  If you don’t have Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools installed on your site then this is your first To Do for the new year.  If you have it installed but don’t know how to get this data ask your Webmaster or SEO consultant to create a year end report with this data.  Esotech provides bi-weekly metrics to all of our clients, however the list below is  more comprehensive than most monthly reports and is really more of a website analysis-review.  
    Here are the essential metrics we recommend you review.  
    • Website Traffic Comparison:  We created this simple tool to compare the Alexa and Compete Traffic Rank of your website to your competitors along with the Google Page rank.  
    • Google Analytics
      • Traffic Sources Overview: what are your traffic trends, where is your traffic coming from? 
      • Search Engine Optimization Queries: what are the keywords driving traffic to your site? Are they the right ones, are important words/phrases missing? 
      • In Page Analytics: this is a great tool that shows how visitors are interacting on each page and what they are clicking on. In case you are familiar with this tool we wrote a blog on How to Use Google In Page Analytics with examples.  
      • Visitor Flow: Visitor Flow is the companion to In Page Analytics.  This tool shows how users flow through your website and what paths they take.  It is a great way to see how users surf through your site.  We also wrote a blog on How to Use Google Visitor Flow with examples of good flow and poor flow.  
    • Webmaster Tools: This tool is often overlooked in favor of Google Analytics but there is different data here and it provides a lot of insight as to how your website is performing. 
      •  Optimization, Content Keywords: This tells you what Google thinks your website is about and what keywords Google thinks are most relevant on your site. This can be very insightful. 
      • Traffic, Search Queries: This shows actual search queries that drove traffic to your site, how many clicks, your CTR (click through ratio) and average position.  This is how people are finding your site in search.  
      • Traffic, Links to Site, more (shows all): This lists the external links to your website along with how many domains are linking to each page shown.  If you want to rank well this is still a vital metric. 
      • Health, Index Status: this shows how many pages have been indexed by Google. If a page is not indexed then as far as Google is concerned it either does not exist or it is not relevant. Content is absolutely vital to the success of your website.  
    • Social Media
      • Facebook Insights: from your Facebook Page click on Insights, then See All.  Review the demographics, and Likes trend for your page. 
      • Google Plus: there aren’t really any metrics available for Google Plus yet, so review the following on your personal profile and organization page: Profile/About, posts, Circles, +1’s.   
      • Twitter: Sadly Twitter does not offer any metrics directly unless you are an advertiser. You can get Twitter metrics from third party apps if you are using one. If you don’t have a third party app then take a look at your Friends and Followers, Mentions, and messages and do a self assessment. 
      • LinkedIn: No real meaningful metrics on LinkedIn either, so take a look at your personal profile and company page and do a self assessment of your content, posts, and activity. 
  3. Set Goals: Now that you have gone through the painful but enlightening process of the SWOT Analysis and reviewing all that data you are ready to set goals.  Use this handy Digital Marketing Goal Setting Template to get started and change it to suit your needs. 
  4. Start a Blog or Improve your Blog: If you don’t have a blog for your organization then this should be at top of your list, ditto if you have a blog and it has been idle and ignored.  Your blog is 
  5. Review CTAs (Call to Action):  Review the CTA on your website and subpages, are you asking the visitors to do anything?  Are you providing an easy way for visitors to contact you, order, ask questions, subscribe?  Is your phone number prominent and easy to read and find? 
  6. Update Mail Lists and CRM:  Now is a great time to clean up your email list and CRM system.  Review your list; add people that are missing and update records.  Don’t have an email list or CRM, well now is a great time to resolve to set them up!  We recommend and use Constant Contact for our mass email campaign solution.  
  7. Social Communities:  Do you have an active presence on the major social networks?  Again, we have a blog to help you develop a n effective social media campaign.  
    At a minimum you should have company pages on:
    • Facebook Page for your organization
    • Google Plus Page for your organization
    • LinkedIn profile for ALL key staff members 
    • LinkedIn Company Page for your organization (make sure it is complete)
    • Twitter for your organization and possibly for key staff
      Other Social Networks to Consider:
    • Pinterest
    • Tumblr
    • Squiddo
    • Digg
  8. Update Social Networks and Participate – Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn:  In case you skipped over the previous suggestion because you already have a strong social network presence, visit your social pages and make sure they are up to date, consider updating your banners and page graphics, and most importantly make sure your organization is actively involved and participating not just posting and running.  Check out our blog on Simple and Effective Community Management for tips on how to manage your social networks.  
  9. Great Content:  Great content is vital to the success of your digital marketing campaign.  Review your website, blog, and social network posts – are you delivering useful and informative content that your users want?  Is your content interesting and engaging or is it a veiled or worse direct sales pitch to hawk your goods and services.  Take an honest look at your content and then resolve to do it bigger and better this year! 
  10. Mobile Friendly:  In case you missed the memo, it’s all about mobile now!  Is your site mobile friendly?  Can visitors navigate your site easily on a Droid, iPhone, iPad or tablet?  Take a look for yourself, visit your site via several mobile devices and you decide how the experience is.  
  11. Website Face-lift:  When was the last time you updated your website?  Is it time for a new look or new content?  A new website or face-lift for is a great idea, BUT make sure you keep SEO in mind and don’t inadvertently hurt the search rankings you worked so hard for by doing it wrong.  
  12. Lead Nurturing:  This is an area most organization fall short, cultivating leads after the initial inquiry.  The most common practice is a single contact or perhaps an automated response and then wait for an order.  Oddly many companies also say they want to improve the lead capture rate.  Lead nurturing involves setting up a stream of follow up emails to deliver useful information and develop a relationship over the long term.  Constant Contact has a Auto-Response feature (poorly named, it is much more that just auto-response if used right) that will deliver a stream of emails (drip campaign) on a predetermined schedule.  
  13. Have Fun! – OK this may seem trite, but resolve to have fun and make it fun for everyone, you will get better results, you will enjoy it more and so will your staff and customers.