As the weather warms, there’s a natural drive to want to “clear out the cobwebs” of winter and let in some fresh air. After an intense e-commerce Christmas holiday season, early spring is a great time for a site review and cleanup. And since no one has time to revisit every aspect of their online store every day (or week or month or sometimes year), these time-saving broad strokes will help you identify what needs attention.
Here are some very efficient e-commerce Spring Cleaning tips to get you started:
- Revisit Site Speed – Google PageSpeed Insights is probably the fastest, simplest way to get a quick read on the health of your site speed. Take the ratings with a grain of salt, but for the 30 second investment of time, you can find out if the speed improvements you worked so hard on in November are still intact.
- Analytics/Tracking – Running a site without analytics is like driving a car without a speedometer… it only works for a short while, and it’s a really bad idea. But arguably even worse is basing real-money decisions off bad analytic data. It’s time for a quick check.
Run a revenue and traffic report from your e-comm platform for your busiest day of the holiday season, your slowest day after the holiday season, and one day from the current week. Compare the stats to your analytics (probably Google Analytics) results for the same days and see how much they diverge for a quick read about whether your analytics is in good shape or leaking.
- User Flow – During the holiday months, special landing pages, gift guides and promotions are more common than during the rest of the year. Your PPC ads, site navigation and on-site banners will all be funneling your site visitors down different paths than business-as-usual. As a part of your e-commerce Spring Cleaning, now is a good time to make sure that visitors are being driven where you want them to go on your site for the other 3/4 of the year.
Use your analytics to see some of the typical user journeys on the site, and go through those paths yourself. Have your PPC team confirm that ads are all pointing to the right landing pages, and not a leftover holiday link. And if you really want to see how your visitors are using your site, install Mouseflow or Hotjar to record visitor screen sessions and get some over-the-shoulder insights.
- SEO – Homepage, category pages, content pages, recent blog posts and 10 random product pages (at a minimum). Click, review rankings, check metadata and visible content. Are the HP images still being alt tagged properly? Are blog posts still being optimized for keyword relevance? Now is the right time of year for a little SEO Spring Cleaning, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a major production.
- Email List Performance – Remember all those emails you sent a few months ago with the best deals of the year, or your greatest new product launches just in time for the holidays? If you have someone on your email list who hasn’t opened a message in the past 6 months through all of that, they are probably dead weight on your list. It’s time for a list cleaning. No opens in 6 months is a safe indicator of zero engagement, even for wary list managers.
- The Win List – There’s a reason why cultures around the world have celebrated Spring for millennia, and you should, too. Now that we have a little distance away from the mad rush of holiday sales, look back and list out what worked… the Win List. Start this year’s holiday plan with these items to build on success and momentum. It’s much easier to put together the Win List now than it will be in 6 months, and what better way to celebrate Spring than by building on your wins?
There are hundreds of items you can check and clean up on any site or online store, so Spring Cleaning is definitely not a substitute for regular site check-ups and occasional deep-dives. Just like going to the dentist, it’s better to fix issues when they’re small, and a little e-commerce Spring Cleaning never hurt anyone.