Tips to Perform Year-End Audit to Gain Future Insights
As much as it seemed impossible for businesses to survive, we have successfully made it to the end of this year. No doubt, it has been a “different” year for most of the search marketers.
Intriguing challenges cropped up, with many businesses having a narrowed budget or even modified strategies to succeed during the darkest days of the year.
In fact, some lucky businesses saw digital growth in particular vertical markets throughout the year, which actually granted them the ability to test out new concepts. So if anything, this year has actually compelled the search marketers to think differently.
This presents an excellent opportunity to analyze your digital campaigns and, in evasion of smugness, scrutinize your year to determine the success that might help you in the next year.
In this blog, we will go through the five areas that will help you obtain future insight.
Turn to Analytics to see a year-over-year view of your website traffic.
What transpired in the previous year, comparatively speaking, that you should get a load of?
- Did your typical site traffic seasonality shift because of the pandemic that you might need to take into consideration (as we may have to spend a few more months in this atmosphere)?
- Have you observed certain channels, whether or not in search, that has witnessed a negative or positive transient in user engagement and behavior with website touchpoints?
- On the whole, have particular landing or exit pages made extreme changes in the past year that might suggest a reexamination or improvement?
A technical site audit at the end of the year is at all times a best practice.
Usually, a lot is added to your site during a year, and very little is struck out.
Log in to your Google Analytics account, and from there, perform a year-over-year review comparison of page load speed.
You might notice some clear offenders that you need to reassess, especially for large file size image additions, invalid file references, and so on that should be updated.
- Analyze the development deployment calendar. How many tags have been manually added to your website? Are these tags still being used? Can you clear things up a little and deploy using a tag manager?
From both an organic and paid search point of view, check out the keyword volume trends over a period of time.
- The keywords that you have targeted throughout the year do they still present an expected search volume, or are they decreasing? Or perhaps the keyword family is expanding and should be prioritized in your next year’s content marketing strategy?
- Are there monthly discrepancies in your keywords that could signal extra paid search focus during the upcoming months next year?
Conduct a year-over-year analysis of the CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPCon (Cost Per Conversion) of your paid keywords.
You might have your conversion blinders on observing constant keyword success, but waning return on investment (ROI) as your competitor is building for a specific keyword.
You might want to spend more granularly around this keyword to find a similar searcher but at a relatively lower price.
Or, in the best-case scenario, you might discover terms with increasing CPCon (cost per conversion).
Find out which type of content resonated the most with your target audience?
Keep in mind; it is not always about the content that drove leads or even first-visit sales to your business.
Much of your content writing boosts brand awareness and satisfies informational seeking needs in probably pushing user engagement and conversion sooner or later.
- Which pieces of content used in this year’s content marketing strategy displayed the highest pages per visit as well as session duration on your site? Sometimes, marketers can be diverted because of CTR (click-through rate), which is regarded as a high success. At the probable expense of a high bounce rate, you should hunt those resources that helped facilitate someone to delve into your brand.
- What type of content improved the KPIs (key performance indicators) on your website? As we said before, do not expect your content to drive immediate sales. Instead, examine your indicators of mild user engagement.
- What types of content has resulted in a user subscribing to your blog, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading a PDF? These website touchpoints display that certain content builds enough trust among the visitors to be open to future content.
Perform an in-depth assessment of the analytical insights offered by social media platforms like Facebook Insights and LinkedIn Analytics.
While a lot of businesses might turn to advertising in these market verticals and appear puzzled when the site visits are not converting into sales, you need to consider the platform’s role. Therefore the best thing to do here is taking a look at your last year’s organic posts and try to find out:
- What type of content got the highest user engagement?
- What type of content on your website saw the most number of shares, comments, and other reactions?
This will help in making an audience of followers.
Even though these aren’t direct sales ways, in reality, you are setting up an outlet for the audience to enter your website, wander a little bit, perhaps sign up to your newsletter or download a free PDF, and ultimately convert someday sooner or later.
The most important thing here is that you need to discover the types of content from the last year that have resonated with your target audience well in the past and will result in more user journeys in the future.
In simple words, find out the type of inbound links that you have lost and the type of inbound links that you have earned.
This year has been the most challenging one for marketers who have depended on acquiring links through the usual methods. These modes involve taking part in conference events and panels and participation and sponsorship in live events.
While a lot of this faded away during the starting of this year only, it somewhat improved during the year with virtual communication.
There are several link profile review providers available in the market today. If you don’t already have access to one of them, get it right away.
- Analyze your competitive gap. It never harms to get a few tips from other people within your industry as they can give insights into what is working currently as well as what is most likely to work in the near term from an inbound link point of view.
- Carry out an analysis of the links that you have earned during the year. Are there any month(s) that stuck out? What were the types of these links? Generally, professionals perform this practice from a lost link technical standpoint to determine the issues with your website or the referring location that might be interrupting the link.
Try to find out the positive here.
As of now, all of us have become aware of the fact that it is quite a challenge to acquire “easy” links amidst this prevailing pandemic atmosphere we are living in. So the best thing we can do here is looking for the areas where we succeeded and what content helped bring that success.
Undoubtedly, as search marketers, most of us have had to step out of our comfort zones and strain our minds over the course of this year. We should not take this effort for granted as it has definitely made us savvier.
As we prepare ourselves to step into the new year, performing an in-depth analysis of this year will definitely make our next journey a bit easier as our new strategy will be based on our findings of what has already worked for us in the past.
While this pandemic might last for several more months, there is no need for businesses to suffer. The smart thing to do is be prepared for the future based on past experiences.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a Digital Marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, and Web Development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, Web Designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.