Regardless of the business or industry you’re in, chances are it will experience an increase in website traffic, leads, and sales over the next several weeks. B2C will be riding the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general holiday rush. B2B will likely experience a pickup in traffic, leads, and sales from people taking advantage of end of year-end incentives offered to meet Q4 and end of year goals. Businesses will also be looking to get additional tax write-off before the end of the year.
Go through this pre-holiday checklist for marketers to make the most of your year-end efforts and take advantage of the resources we’ve included below.
Go through all of your campaigns to verify there are UTM tags on all of your campaign links. Here’s a guide to UTM parameters and best practices if you need a refresher. And here’s a great tool to create and track all of your UTM tags.
Places you can check include:
- Email campaign links
- PPC campaign ads
- Links to your site on affiliate or partner sites
- Links displayed at point-of-sale or other in-person locations (tip: use a URL shortening service like bit.ly to create an easy to remember URL)
- Landing pages
- Call-to-action buttons
If you don’t already have a dashboard set up in Google Analytics to monitor technical performance issues – do it now. Need some help? – You can use ours as a starting point. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
You can also use the standard Site Speed reports in Google Analytics under the Behavior tab.
A lot of email gets sent between now and the end of the year. Are you sending any emails to your prospects, customers and subscribers over the next four weeks? Here are a few things to check out:
- Are they rendering correctly on all email platforms, including mobile? There are continuous improvements and changes to email clients so it’s possible the template you’ve been using isn’t working like it’s supposed to anymore. Litmus is a great tool to do your email client testing.
- Check the landing pages you’re including in your emails to make sure they are active, render well on mobile devices, and the offer is aligned with the email copy.
- Make sure all of the links in your emails have UTM tags on them.
- If you use any kind of triggered emails, confirm the dependent events are firing as expected and customer attributes are populating correctly into whatever email system you’re using.
Pay-Per-Click and Advertising Campaigns
Whether you’re increasing ad spend at the end of the year or not, it’s a great time to review a few key components to get the best performance possible from your ad dollars. Among the items you should check are:
- Make sure your landing pages are loading properly. Are you seeing a theme here? Always use a landing page!
- Check that your conversions are recording correctly. If you aren’t recording conversions – well – do that first. The main methods used to record conversions are a thank you page URL or a conversion pixel. Virtually every advertising platform provides one of these methods to record a conversion so you can calculate your return on ad spend (ROAS).
- Demand for keywords will increase across many categories at the end of they year. Since the major ad platforms use an auction based system to determine keyword pricing, that means winning keyword bids will likely increase. It’s a good time to review your bids and make any necessary adjustments that will help drive the type of traffic you’re looking for.
Ready, Set, Go!
Chances are checking these things out will make for a quick review but that doesn’t make it unimportant. Take the time now to make the most of your year-end rush!
Did we miss something on your checklist? Let us know in the comments.