Spring has sprung. The birds are in the trees, the heavy winter clothes are gone. People are up in their attics or out in their garages piling up their old unwanted junk to sell to their neighbors and to make room for the new junk that they’ll be buying from their neighbors.
Why not take this time to take a fresh look at your site and the success of your marketing efforts?
Sometimes you can be so deep into the inner workings of your site that you can forget some of the smaller items that you looked at 18 months ago and decided to fix "later," and sometimes you just don’t notice the little things that have crept in over time.
For example, when was the last time you actually did some searches for your key terms? Do you see what you expect?
Not a great advertisement for the official site for the top league in the top sport in the UK. Now, Hull were relegated from the Premier League several seasons ago, and the page currently throws up errors when you visit it, so it’s obviously not as well maintained as the pages for those teams that are actively in the Premier League.
However, it still ranks for the key term “Hull City”, and based on the promotion/relegation system in place they may make it back there in the near future, so there’s no need to remove it (a 302 may perhaps be an option, but 3-50 years may be too long to realistically have one in place). That said, the errors on the page and in the description need to be fixed (indeed between writing and publication the description has been corrected, although the on page errors remain).
What about for your actual brand terms? Are your sitelinks still relevant? Has some minor page incorrectly surfaced in the sitelinks? Or has something more sinister happened?
How about the suggestions in Google Instant? What’s showing up around your brand? Is it something that you maybe need to address? I have to say that I was concerned when I did a search for a hotel I was planning on staying at in NYC and saw the following.
That made me look closer at the results for that search to see whether I really wanted to stay there. The results all stated that there wasn’t a problem at that hotel, and after staying there I have to concur. But one wonders how much business the hotel potentially lost due to that suggestion being displayed so prominently for the time it was.
What could/should they have done? Perhaps a PPC campaign targeted to that specific phrase that went to a bed bugs and the hotel landing page that showed some certification or a clean bill of health from a regulatory body would have been enough to assuage any waverers concerned with the suggested search term.
Eat Your Own Dog Food
When was the last time you went through your purchase process or your registration process from beginning to end? In other words: Do you regularly consume your own products? Or are you waiting on users, or perhaps a drop in sales figures to inform you of issues?
Inspect Yourself Regularly
When was the last time you re-audited your site from top to bottom? Because you fixed things a year ago, do you assume that they’re still fixed now? That no developer has removed something that you put in place because they weren’t aware of its value? Do you re-evaluate your templates? Are you keeping on top of your broken links and redirection errors?
Online marketing is by no means a ‘set it and forget it’ endeavor. The landscape is one of shifting sands that requires a steady hand to ensure that the strategic foundations remain sound.
While it’s great to be able to focus on new and exciting projects to expand your reach, just remember every now and again to lift your head up, and take a look around to see what junk you’ve accumulated that you can get rid of now.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!