Ah, spring, time of renewal, time of hope, time to power wash those keywords, Carnauba wax that website, steel wool that online reputation and generally refresh and revive your marketing tools and campaigns. So put on your yellow rubber gloves and let’s clean some house with these five tips.
Clean up your search advertising keywords
Your search engine ads account: An orderly filing cabinet or the basement you haven’t peeked into for months? You or your search ad agency should make a spot check of your keywords to determine what is or isn’t converting and shut down or remove the non-performers.
Do a check on your search queries to determine if there’s anything you need to add to the account either as new terms to run traffic on or as negative keywords to keep unprofitable traffic away. Google and Bing provide “search term performance” reports to tell the story on your existing terms and “keyword planners” to discover new terms.
Clean up your email lists
Over the long cold winter, some of your email subscribers will change email accounts and not tell you or just plain lose interest in your messages. Prune them before your overall “open rate” falls off and the email service providers flag you as spam and stop delivering your messages. Identify these inactive subscribers, put them on a separate list and send them “win back” messages; if they still don’t respond, drop them by summer.
Clean up your social media connections
End Twitter clutter this spring—consider unfollowing the Twitter accounts that don’t follow you back, haven’t tweeted in a month or tweet too much. But take it on a case by case basis: They may not follow you but still could provide worthy tweets. Use a tool like ManageFlitter (free trial) to identify and unfollow. Then assess who is following you on social and whom you ought to follow back, such as other local businesses you could partner with or influential tweeters.
Clean up your online reputation
Hundreds of sites across the web list your company contact information—and may have it wrong. Try our free tool to check how your business appears on major sites, as a start. You may need to hire a reputation management service to go out and correct the wrong or missing information everywhere.
And then there are the social media and review sites where chatter and ratings seriously affect your sales for better or worse. At least set up Google Alerts for your business name and regularly check the review sites for your type of business. Again, a reputation management service will keep watch across these sites and alert you to what’s new and where you should respond.
Clean up your website
A tidy and well run website: “It’s a good thing,” as Martha Stewart would say. You or your webmaster can check for broken pages and broken links with a “spider” like Xenu Link Sleuth (free download) or Screaming Frog, which also checks the search engine optimization (SEO) elements on your pages (page titles, descriptions, etc.) to make sure you present your best face to the search engines.
Check page speed, that is how fast your site downloads; according to Google 40% of searchers abandon a site that takes three seconds to load. Google offers a free page load speedometer.
And update the content on your site; the search engines like to see fresh material, even on existing pages. Make sure that your most important pages focus on your most important keywords. Also, update any deals or special offers, especially on the landing pages that your search engine ads link to.