2018 is rapidly coming to a close and I find myself wondering “how is it already almost Christmas” and “how is it almost 2019?” Regardless of the fact that I’m in my third decade and still haven’t figured out how time – or a calendar- works, it must be noted that this year has absolutely flown by.

Each year our team has a goal-setting day where we sit down and discuss the essentials of our jobs: what went well, what went wrong, what we loved, what we didn’t, and how to make 2019 even better for each of us individually and as a team. If your team is like ours, you’ll probably take time to look at your marketing results for the year. What worked? What didn’t? What was expensive? What do you want to prioritize in 2019?

We wanted to take some time to give you some ideas to jumpstart your marketing discussions for 2019. Many times businesses simply don’t know the right questions to ask, so we wanted to provide an essential guide for evaluating your year-end marketing plans.

Analytics:

  • How did your website traffic perform in 2018? Did you have high’s and low’s or was it steady? How did it compare to 2017?
  • Did your organic traffic (Google searches) increase? Why or why not?
  • What referral sources brought in traffic to your site?
  • What is a measurable and attainable traffic goal for 2019?

Pay Per Click Traffic

  • Look at your click-through rate, cost per click, and conversion rates over time. Did CTR increase, CPC decrease, and conversion rate increase? Is there room for improvement?
  • Look at your change history. How often did you adjust or optimize your account? Can you increase this amount in 2019?
  • Are you tracking all available conversions with Google’s new interface?
  • Are you using other types of PPC or paid advertising traffic? Why or why not? Do you want to start diversifying more in 2019? Have you considered social ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn?
  • Are you running display, remarketing, video, or shopping ads? Should you add one (or more) of these?

Social Media

  • How often did you post on average?
  • What is your average engagement rate per post?
  • How much did your followership increase over the year? Do you want to see this number increase?
  • How many/which platforms are you currently using to post? Do you want to add another medium?
  • Have you incorporated video and real-time advertising components like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, or Boomerangs? Does it make sense for your customers?

Email Marketing

  • How many emails did you send in 2018?
  • What was your average open-rate? Click rate? How does that compare to the industry average?
  • Would you rather send more or less email next year?

Website

  • Is your site responsive/mobile friendly? If it isn’t that has to be priority #1 for next year.
  • When was the last time you updated your site? Does it need a refresh?
  • Is your content up-to-date?
  • Do you have a blog? If so, how often are you blogging?

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide a viable starting point from which to draw. We are also here to help you with some of those tough questions. We’re happy to go through your analytics with you and look at year-over-year performance, set SMART goals for the new year, and identify what new and emerging technology might be useful to you. We’re scheduling meetings throughout January with many of our clients, so give us a call, swing by our office, or send us a note to get on the schedule. We’re here to help and we love nothing more than showing you some of our incredible results. For example, if you could increase your website traffic more than 30%, would you? Our SEO clients average increases in organic traffic of 31% and appear on 44% more keyword searches on Google. If you want to bring that kind of traffic to your website, consider adding or increasing your SEO package with us.

I wish you all a safe and joy-filled holiday season and a productive and profitable new year.  Let’s crush our 2019 marketing goals together!