Year-end is a good time to review your programs to get them ready for the next year. Typically, this time of year things slow down due to the holidays you might have some time to focus on the recommendations below.
It is critical that you develop a year-end recap and send it out to as many people as possible.
This will let then know your successes as well as challenges in the past year. You can use this to brag about the successes, which can lead to more support as well as budget.
In addition, by outlining the challenges you may be able to motivate others to help and or make appropriate changes within their teams that will help you prevent these problems.
Annual Traffic & Sales Review
Reviewing your inbound traffic and conversions across the year to look for trends or new phrases is a great opportunity to identify new markets, keywords or countries that may have been overlooked in the monthly reviews.
When you look at the trends over an entire year you can often find months that are higher or lower than normal and can adjust your annual or quarterly plans to maximize these spikes.
Often overlooked are company’s localization glossaries. These are master lists of word pairs that are used in machine translation and translation management tools.
Throughout the year,you may have done a lot of keyword research and modeling that may need to be added to the glossary as well as words replaced with those which have more demand or better match searcher’s intent.
If any new products were added this year, they should be added to the glossary as well to make sure that the most relevant versions are integrated.
Due the holidays at the end of the year, your workload may decrease giving time to review and clean up many of the common errors that accumulate in Google and Bing Webmaster tools.
New Year/New Tactics Lunch & Learn
Schedule a variety of lunch and learns with your various teams to update them on any new techniques and updates like avoiding Panda penalties. It is often good to update any new employees that were added in the past few moths on the best practices they may not be aware of.
End Of Life Products
Especially if you managing search for a large company you should meet with the product teams to identify products that are no longer sold. It is common in larger companies and especially in consumer electronics that as product reach their “end of life” for marketing they are removed from the site.
While they are no longer sold, they are still being used by consumers that will need replacement parts, services and hopefully upgrades. You can create a hybrid page that represents these options for consumers and replace the previous product page to allow you to continue to capture those still interested in your products.
Any of these can help find nuggets of opportunities that will help you look good in the first quarter. It will also help you to make budget justifications and support additional headcount or agency budgets for specific roles.
Most importantly, you should have a good idea of the overall progress and what opportunities you have for improvement in the new year.