Econsultancy's Digital Marketing Template Files are designed to provide practical tools for managing digital marketing, either by giving you reference material to sense check against or files that you can simply plug your own data/information in to.
In short, they help you look smart and save time, and since they were launched, over 38,000 people have downloaded them from the site.
I recently updated the template files for Econsultancy, introducing some new ones to the collection, including a whole new section on content marketing.
As these are some of the most downloaded content assets on Econsultancy, I thought it would be useful to give some insight into how these files can be used to benefit your business (and no this isn’t an egomania drive for self-publicity!).
Purpose of the template files
The main goal is to provide a series of reusable assets that help you reduce the amount of time spent doing day-to-day e-commerce and digital marketing activity.
E-commerce, though constantly evolving and highly innovative, has at its core a series of core processes. For example, when managing email marketing programs, you will need to write campaign briefs and produce campaign schedules.
Often companies start with a blank slate and have to create a series of internal documents themselves. That’s where our template files come in – you can use these to get the ball rolling, adapting them to suit the specific needs of your business. This can save the business time and money.
How to use the template files
Broadly speaking, there are two types of template file:
‘How to’ advice
These give you a framework for understanding specific e-commerce and digital marketing disciplines. They are intended to give you pointers and help you make decisions when planning projects.
You will also find some checklists – these are intended to help you ask the right questions of your business to help focus on good practice approaches to digital marketing.
A few of these 'how to' template files include:
Each of these is part of a larger bundle. For example, the SEO Performance Audit is part of the SEO Digital Marketing Template Files, which has six other files to help you with your marketing.
Image: excerpt from the SEO Performance Audit template
These are templates that you can plug your own data/information into instead of having to build your own templates from scratch. As well as standard documents, they also include Excel spreadsheets to help you calculate and track your progress against your digital marketing and e-commerce goals.
A few of these working documents include:
Image: excerpt from the PPC Weekly Report
These checklists and working documents have been given to use by some of the biggest players in the digital space, so you will have a headstart with your own digital marketing and e-commerce efforts.
Working example – SEO RFP Checklist
With over 50 template files available, to go through them all would take too long. Instead, I'll provide an example of one in particular to show you how you can gain value from these files.
What is it?
This document contains a recommended list of requirements to be included in an e-commerce platform RFP (Request for Proposal) document to help ensure the platform supports the SEO needs of the business.
What value does it add?
All e-commerce platforms are SEO friendly! But what does this really mean? What is 'SEO friendly' to a developer may not be an adequate definition for a digital marketing team.
In my experience, when a platform provider says ‘SEO friendly’ they basically mean the site coding is up to scratch and it’s easy for search engines to crawl and index.
This template provides a list of core features/functionality that in my experience are essential to ensure digital marketing teams can ‘do’ SEO, not just have a site that has been coded to be accessible and crawlable.
The key benefits:
- Save time by editing a ready-made list to fine tune for your bespoke requirements
- Learn what are the common requirements for SEO in an e-commerce RFP
- Ensure that key functionality in the CMS supports day-to-day SEO planning and execution.
- Save time and money by including requirements upfront instead of having to retrospectively engineer them post launch.
How can you use it?
As with any template, this is a guideline document. I’m not saying that this 100% covers your needs. Every business has a unique set of requirements, so you need to evaluate your SEO needs and then do a gap analysis with this document.
Once this is done, edit the content to suit requirements and then you can drop in to an existing RFP, or send this across separately to an agency for review.
A good example of a requirement that is often left out of RFPs are 301 redirects. I’ve seen many clients become frustrated because they have to put in support requests to their platform provider to have 301s set-up – they don’t have access via the CMS or direct to the htaccess file. Why should you pay to set-up a 301 redirect for a URL when you can easily do this via your CMS?
Hopefully this document will allow you to make sure some things are included on your RFP that will save you headaches later.
Image: excerpt from the SEO RFP Checklist
How are you using the Econsultancy template files?
We’d love to hear from people who have downloaded one or more of these templates and are actively using them. Let us know how you use them and what value they have added to your business. This will help others understand the relevance.
And if you have built your own templates, please let us know what you have built, why and how you are using them.
Please drop by with your comments and let us know what you think.