Any website rebuild or new launch project is an involved process with many moving parts.
Whilst a clear set of commercial objectives should be at the core of any such investment, there are a number of additional opportunities that present themselves at the juncture of old to new.
One factor that can often get left to the last minute or even worse, missed out entirely is the opportunity to to tidy up and reset a number of paid media related items.
If you’re working on a large web development project then it’s not always immediately clear as to what paid media related tasks should be on the list. To help out we’ve put together this checklist of items to factor into your next web project.
This is all about taking advantage of the opportunity to get your house in order and getting all the technical elements of your advertising setup exactly as you need them.
Audit your tracking
Over time, tracking can become a bit of a tangled mess of pixels firing left right and centre.
Different suppliers may have placed tracking which hasn’t been removed. Triggers may have been fiddled with, certain data points may no longer be being collected correctly. All sorts of things could have happened!
As a very simple checklist, take the time to run through the following as a bare minimum:
What tracking do we actually need / what can be removed?
If using GTM (Google Tag Manager), are all your triggers firing correctly? Are your variables collecting data as you need?
Do you have just one analytics property & GTM container firing on your site? If not, which one can you remove?
Is any tracking missing that should be added?
Facebook domain verification
Since the rollout of iOS14 earlier this year, Facebook introduced a number of technical steps that advertisers now need to follow.
On the surface these may look complicated, but they are actually very simple to complete. The main steps are as follows:
Verify your domain within your ad account
Prioritise your 8 events
Ensure you only have one pixel per domain
Although easy to execute, the list above can become complicated for larger websites who may be working across multiple markets (with separate ad accounts & pixels) or who might be engaged with multiple agencies.
When this is the case it becomes a bit of a logistical challenge to reduce pixels and prioritise your eight events.
It sounds like a very obvious point to make, but when re-working your website it makes a lot of sense to review exactly what conversion points you need to be tracking.
Again, with larger organisations this can be a bit harder. What can happen over time is that different stakeholders all have different requirements for conversion reporting, meaning your Google Analytics property ends up with a vast amount of goals.
You’d be surprised at how many businesses we speak to where no one really knows what a particular goal is actually tracking.
The reason a rebuild project is a great time to review this is because once you’ve refreshed your plans, you can brief any required goal tracking into the development effort. Obviously not all conversions will require development time, but some will, so take advantage of the opportunity!
If you are running Google Shopping or catalogue campaigns on Facebook, you’ll be aware of how important a well functioning and optimised feed is to your campaign performance.
Do you have a wish list of new additions to the feed structure that you haven’t been able to get completed? Now’s the time to request them.
If you are migrating to another platform then you may need to be planning for entirely new feeds, but if so the same principle applies. Take advantage of the opportunity and get everything you need in your new feeds!
Although not directly related to any development work, if you’re having any element of design work done then you are likely to be getting some new assets / collateral.
If that’s the case then make sure you are getting in early to brief in all required dimensions for all the platforms and placements you plan to run ads on.
As many people will testify, it’s far easier to brief in early than try to request what you need retrospectively.
A well thought out and accurate Google Analytics implementation is fundamental to understanding and making future decisions on your investment in marketing.
There are three main elements to consider and plan for here:
Migrating tracking – if your plan is to continue using the same property and achieve a ‘like for like’ implementation, you will need to plan carefully for the switch over and also ensure that all existing conversions can still be tracked correctly on the new website.
Implementation issues (accuracy) – now is the perfect time to address any issues with your implementation. Technical issues with your tracking code, errors in the dataLayer and more can all lead to inaccurate data. Your first priority should be 100% confidence in your data. If you’re unsure, get an expert to sense check your implementation and highlight any issues.
Missing features – whilst an ‘out of the box’ Google Analytics implementation is useful, an implementation that takes care of all relevant features is extremely powerful. Step back and ask yourself what you really need to understand as a business, then check to see if you have the right data and depth of data available in Google Analytics.
You can run the best campaigns in the world, but if you are sending traffic to terrible landing pages then you’re going to struggle to get any success.
Hopefully you’ll know the importance of this already, and hopefully you will also have some historic data and learnings to show what style and structure of landing pages convert best for your business.
Whilst you are briefing in new page templates, make sure you also include a set of landing pages for your paid media campaigns. Ideally these templates will have a degree of flexibility to allow for future learnings to be applied in a streamlined fashion.
This final point is more of an item to keep a close eye on.
Everyone knows and understands the importance of site speed when it comes to improving user experience and conversion rates. However, there are direct benefits for paid media too.
Anyone running PPC will be familiar with quality score in Google Ads and the weighting of landing page experience within this. Whilst this includes a number of factors, having a fast loading website will help to make good improvements on the landing page portion of your quality score.
So, not only will you convert more traffic, the traffic will be cheaper in the first place. Everyone should be watching out for site speed, but keep a close eye on it and always be on the watch for new improvements that can be made.
Hopefully this list is useful for anyone planning their next big development project! As always, feel free to drop us an email with any questions.