Holidays are right around the corner, so we wanted to put together a quick-and-easy checklist for paid advertisers to review before sales kick into high-gear. While not applicable for all advertisers, each item on this list should at least be considered before mid-November.
By no means is this an exhaustive list. However, improvements in these areas could help your business see a noticeable lift in visibility, visits, and ultimately sales.
Site speed can literally make or break your holiday season.
According to Google, 53% of mobile visitors leave a website or page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. As of late 2018, nearly all business owners understand it is important to have a fast website. However, it continues to be undervalued in terms of the impact it can have on your bottom line.
These are WTM Digital’s favorite tools to check for site speed issues:
- WebPageTest: https://www.webpagetest.org/
- Google PageSpeed Tools: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
We prefer these tools over others, purely because they give actionable insights into the elements of your site which should be prioritized.
Fix Website Issues
Allocate time for your Web Development Team to do an audit of technical aspects of your website. Similar to site speed, a poorly configured website will impact your bottom line, as well as your organic SEO efforts.
Tools like Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, and Copyscape will give your team insights into areas which can be improved.
These issues are traditionally viewed as “technical” or “SEO” efforts, however, they’re of high importance for each-and-every advertiser. If you would like more information on how to use these tools, or guidance on best practices, please reach out to Ray Carboni, Manager of Technical and Analytics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Errors/Assets to Check:
- Error pages: 400s and 500s
- Robots.txt file and robots tag (are your pages indexed)
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- H1 tags
- Canonical tags
- Check broken links (both internal and external)
- Check for 302 redirects
- Low word count
- Duplicate content
- XML sitemap (present, clean, up-to-date)
- Does the website function and display properly on mobile
Google Ads: Feed Optimization
For e-commerce clients utilizing Google PLAs, optimizing your feed may be the single-most important thing you do this holiday season. There are dozens of elements which can be optimized, but focus your time and efforts on the following:
- Product Titles: Conduct keyword research and check your search term reports for product title ideas. Optimize the high-volume SKUs to the best of your ability. You could see a huge lift in Impressions, Search Impression Share, as well as click-through-rate over the course of a few weeks.
- GTIN (UPC Codes): Check your “products” tab in your Google Merchant Center account. Here you should be able to find all issues which may be preventing your PLAs from showing. Fix the items with the red ! mark before you focus on the items marked in yellow. The less products you have disapproved, the greater your potential for revenue. For any SKUs missing GTINs, reach out to the manufacturer or your seller. You’ll want to get these in place ASAP.
Social and Directory Profiles
Take an hour out of your day to ensure that the following profiles have up-to-date hours, websites, links, promotions, addresses, etc.
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
- Waze (via Waze Map Editor)
- Any other social profiles or directories which generate either foot or referral traffic
Google Ads: Location Extensions
Whether your website is e-commerce or focused on lead generation, it’s best practice to have location extensions linked within your account. The possible exception to this is for nation-wide or international e-commerce websites where the location of the business is not of importance.
In the screenshot below, you will see the address of the the business listed within the Google Ad. Similar to “Local Inventory Ads” (which we discuss in the next section), having Location Extensions enabled can help increase click-through-rate, as well as help drive in-store traffic.
Google Ads: Local Inventory Ads
Local Inventory Ads allow PLA advertisers to showcase their in-store inventory to people searching nearby. Not only does this help your ad stand out on the search engine result page, but it can also contribute to actual foot traffic and sales at your retail location.
This specific item on our checklist will take the longest to implement. Even if there isn’t enough time to get this completed before the holidays, put this project in your queue, as we have seen our clients experience an uptick in sales after implementation.
Google Ads: Responsive Text Ads
The new Google Responsive Text Ads are helping our clients achieve higher click-through-rates and improved Ad Ranks. We do not yet know the full impact and/or the metrics of the lift we’re seeing across all accounts, yet we’re certain ads are improving. Before mid-November, attempt to get at least one Responsive Text Ad in each Ad Group.