That extra mince pie seemed like a good idea at the time…
But with a new year comes new promises and resolutions. Top of everyone’s list (before they get fed up in the second week of January) is usually a given – lose weight and detox.
It’s also one of the best times to plan ahead for your business. In fact, it’s the perfect time to evaluate the online arm of your brand and how it performed during the previous year.
How to give your site a thorough detox
2013 was possibly the biggest year the online advertising industry has faced thanks to Google’s cute-sounding but beastly updates Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
With the latter only being released as late as August we can guarantee that there will be a huge number of sites out there that need a full-on audit to maximise their presence online and to, well, pull a cracker for 2014.
But what fat should you be looking to trim on your site ready to attack 2014 head-on? As your personal trainers we’ve come up with some simple detox tips to get you started:
A full link evaluation
Don’t be fooled by any post-Penguin link hysteria. Backlinks to your site aren’t rankings poison, and are still one of the best ways for Google to evaluate your site and judge its authority.
But the need for high-quality, ethical links has never been more important. Take a look at the links your site earned over the last couple of years. Are they beneficial and likely to provide a boost to your brand?
If you’ve made a few linking mistakes over the years don’t worry, all is not lost. Bad links pointing to your site can be dealt with by requesting removal or with the disavow tool (though that can eat up a lot of your time).
A complete content audit
Visitors to your site are more likely to return if you offer creative content that entertains, is easy to digest, and can be shared with friends.
Take a look at the content channels on your site. Consistency is key when it comes to creating content. Can you honestly say you’ve been posting enough on your site with intelligent content that creates discussion?
Is it easy to read and share with friends and family? Can people comment on it without filling lots of forms? Are images clean, clear, and search optimised? Are you using video effectively?
An in-depth social assessment
Social media, like link building, is all about quality. Are you following the right people and connecting with influencers who could potentially share your content, though?
It’s also worth evaluating how effective and open you’ve been with people contacting you on your social channels. Have you given them the best representation of your brand possible?
Are your social channels also tying in with other aspects of your marketing strategy, sharing content and promoting the best deals and services you currently have on offer?
Pick apart your PPC
Pay Per Click investment is set to grow globally during 2014, especially in a post-Hummingbird world. There’s no doubting its benefits if done correctly, but are you making the most of your budget?
Check how effective some of your campaigns have been during 2013 and if certain keywords have produced the desired ROI and the click-through rates you deserve.
More importantly is your PPC campaign being complemented by your landing pages? Is your site easy to order from, are products well described, and are images crystal-clear?
All these factors and more can be crucial to the success of your site in 2014. Make sure that you start the year on the front foot by ensuring your online business has a clear strategy for the coming months.