Spring cleaning has different a meaning for each of us. As digital marketers, it’s a great time for new beginnings. For this post, we asked our entire team to share their thoughts. Enjoy!
If you’re as OCD as I am and you care about your twitter follower ratio, you’re going to love this tip. You know how as each season passes, you clean through your drawers and closet and pick through all the clothes that you no longer wear to make space for new ones? Well imagine doing the same for all those twitter folks you once followed and no longer have use for. The ones who don’t post updates, have left twitter or whose relationship just feels like that old yellow sweater you no longer wear – cleaning them up using Social Bro is a great place to start. Simply load up your followers into the tool, set your filter options (I usually start with ‘Time Since Last Tweet’) and start cleaning!
Update your WordPress plugins! It sounds so simple – and it is – but I can’t count how many times I’ve logged into a WordPress site and seen that little “Update” icon with a double-digit number next to it. Those updates are important – you get new features, better functionality and, most importantly, security fixes. Update early and often!
Spring is in the air, which obviously means you should NAP. No, not take a nap but clean up your NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number. Combined, these are three critical identifiers for your business. Unfortunately, due to the large number of aggregators and directories out there, it is likely that somewhere along the lines one of your listings is incorrect. This can mean bad news for customers trying to reach you. It can also wreak havoc on your local SEO efforts. Spring is the time to clean it up. Pull together all of your business listings (be on a look out for misspellings of your business name!) and begin the arduous but worthwhile task of clearing up the errors.
It would seem that Google has gone through and removed most of my custom columns in the Adwords UI; therefore my big Spring Cleaning task will be to go through my accounts and add them all back in again!
Now that Google’s mobile update has rolled out (although it hardly earned the label “Mobilegeddon”), anyone who hasn’t already upgraded their mobile compatibility should use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see how mobile-friendly Google thinks the site is, and apply as many of their recommendations as possible. This is especially true if Google sent a “Fix Mobile Usability Issues” warning in Webmaster Tools.
Additionally, run sites through Google’s PageSpeed Insights and applying their mobile speed recommendations. You can find a similar list of recommendations to the ones in PageSpeed Insights in Webmaster Tools, under Search Traffic –> Mobile Usability.
Google tools offer great insight. Even if your site isn’t perfect for mobile, passing the test and knowing that Google *thinks* your site is mobile friendly offers some piece of mind. However, your work isn’t done until you’ve checked Google Webmaster Tools for Feature Phone crawl errors and have had those fixed as well.
Finally, the real Mobile Friendly test is to check in Google Analytics to see what your users are saying about the quality of your mobile traffic. If, like in the example below, user behavior metrics such as bounce rate, pages visited per session, and average session duration are much poorer with mobile users, this is a clear sign that their experience keeping up with those using the desktop version.
As you go, be sure to annotate all changes in Google Analytics, and measure user behavior month-over-month to see if you’re improving the experience. If you run a separate mobile site, add a link to the desktop version for users to click on, and track the clicks with an event. Are users flocking from the mobile site to the desktop version? That’s a strong sign that your mobile site is not successful.
Spring cleaning means getting in those corners and crevices that typically get ignored; cleaning on top of the refrigerator, behind the couch, under the oven. It’s time to go beyond what is on the surface and see what needs to get swept up and tossed into the garbage. Dig into your analytics, see what is really working for you. Are you wasting time on activities that have become the status quo, but aren’t moving the needle? Are you spending time on several social channels but only one of them is helping your achieve your goals? Are you seeing traffic from a source that you aren’t even active on or a referring site that you have no relationship with? Are you just churning out content without any thought to who is reading it? Don’t let the cobwebs of your previous activities make you lose focus, get them out of the way so you can build a clear, well-informed strategy.
Clean up 0 search volume keywords in your AdWords account to reduce clutter. Clean up your remarketing audiences to make sure they are still aligned with your goals and target markets – e.g. segment customers vs non-customers if possible. Clean up your Google Analytics goals and event tracking, i.e. goals that don’t apply to your site anymore because of changes to URLs or conversion activities such as a form no longer being available.
One of the most important things you can do in any PPC account is clean up keywords that are either spending unnecessary dollars, or weighing down your account with poor quality score. Go through your account as often as you can, making sure you aren’t spending money on keywords not living up to the KPI’s you need them to. Cleaning out the keywords giving you no results and having bad quality scores can improve the health of your campaign and help with important metrics such as average position.
People are inspired by the arrival of nice weather. Even if your products or services are not directly tied to the seasons, take advantage of this. Review your home page and your core pages to examine how you can “refresh” them with the inspiration of a new beginning. Change your images/graphics, update your copy, clean-up forms by removing fields that are not necessary for the initial contact. Spring is a good time to make the changes that you’ve been wanting to implement.
Spring is the time to clean your head. Think of all the things you might be doing that need to be re-thought and refreshed. Try new things, experiment and push the limits. Get rid of strategies and tactics that are so last year. While you are giving your brain a scrub, delete the entire contents of your overstuffed supersized email inbox!
Please, please, for the love of all that is good – crawl your website and fix all errors and internally redirecting links. Download your sitemap and crawl that too. Update it based on what you learn. Clear out Webmaster Tools errors and keep at it, don’t let them build. Lastly, that cool thing that you wanted to test but always run out of time? Book yourself for a four hour meeting in two weeks and get it done.
Jannette Wing Pazer
Do you have blog posts on your website that are full of evergreen content but have some out-of-date or clearly time-sensitive information included in it? Update those old blog posts with new content and clean out the dated material so it can be reused. It’s easier than writing something completely new.
Spring cleaning is a great time to get your CRM cleaned and up to speed. Maybe you never entered that attribution data you meant to in Q1, or perhaps you never closed out the leads you never heard back from. This is the point in the year where, if you don’t do it now, you’ll be in for a rough EOY sales report.
What are you cleaning up this spring? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.