It’s that time of year where everyone is reflecting on 2016 and making resolutions for 2017. In that vein, here are six New Year’s resolutions that marketers should consider making their own.
- Update all standard text ads in AdWords to Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) before January 31, 2017. Google announced in mid-2016 that ETAs were here to stay. They’ve upped the ante by announcing that standard text ads are being phased out entirely. As of February 1, 2017, you will no longer be able to create new, or edit existing, standard text ads. Existing ads will continue to be served, but marketers should still upgrade the ads before the deadline. Especially since ETAs have a much higher click-through-rate and allow for 60 additional characters.
- Switch the slowest loading landing pages to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). Mobile has taken over desktop searches and Google has taken notice by making mobile page speed a ranking factor. AMP was created in 2016 in order to speed up mobile sites. What is AMP? It’s “an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere”. The theory behind this is that if content loads instantly, users are less likely to bounce and engagement with the site will increase. Both of which are excellent reasons to upgrade slow landing pages.
- A/B test everything, and only A/B test—no A/B/C/D/E/F/G testing allowed! Too often clients (and marketers) are so eager to hone in on the perfect mix of messaging, creative, and targeting that everything gets tested at once. This really does zero good. With so many variables it’s impossible to tell exactly why one thing outperformed another. This year, let’s vow to control the eagerness and only test one thing at a time. AND, most importantly, let the data speak for itself.
- If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. Speaking of data, marketers need to stop throwing money at marketing efforts were KPIs cannot be measured. There are many different analytics programs and tactics that can be used to measure performance—use them. It’s time to stop “trusting your gut” and use data to make sound decisions.
- Expand mobile strategies to account for the mobile first world. As mentioned in resolutions #2, mobile use has surpassed desktop, and it’s only going to increase. One of the questions we ask every new client is “what’s your mobile strategy?” sadly, it’s very rare that they have one at all. Companies that do not compete in the mobile space, will not be able to compete in their industry for much longer.
- Never stop learning. The digital landscape changes daily. What worked last month may not work this month. To stay competitive, marketers need to be aware of the industry’s changes. Webinars, newsletters, and whitepapers are a great way to stay up to date and hone your skills. This doesn’t have to be a big expense either, so no excuses! Here are some great resources that we recommend:
- Checking Eventbrite and Meetup for free, or very affordable, workshops in your area.
- Ad Week has some fantastic free webinars on a variety of digital topics.
- Signup for Google’s Think with Google newsletter to get weekly thought starters, case studies, infographics and more directly from Google.
- And, of course, signup for Anvil’s This Week in Marketing newsletter where we gather the week’s most relevant marketing articles from across the web in one place and deliver it to your inbox.
Let’s make 2017 a great year!