When digital marketing is no longer producing the results you expect and desire, it is high time for an audit. Digital marketing audit, however, is easier said than done.
Digital marketing is a component of marketing that, in turn, has several components. It is an umbrella term that covers social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, etc.
Each of these components must be audited separately to determine how it contributes to the accomplishment of overall marketing goals. That is if the goals are achieved at all.
What is a digital marketing audit?
Digital marketing audit refers to a comprehensive investigation of the implemented digital marketing strategy. The process involves analyzing the performance of the tactics and practices to determine any digital gaps and loopholes.
Ultimately, the audit results in a set of recommendations. First, the tactics that should be retained because they perform ultimately, and, second, the tactics that must be tweaked in the right direction. The latter is only exhausting resources with nothing to show for it, warranting the need to replace them with other strategies or tactics.
What a digital marketing audit can do for your business?
A digital marketing audit:
- Provides a holistic view of the digital marketing effort
- Increases overall visibility on the Internet
- Brings more leads and business
- Boost conversions and, thus, ROI
- Fuels business growth
Bottom-line, the audit reinforces strategic marketing while also helping you accomplish your business goals. It would be easy to identify areas of improvement that may drive real business growth instead of wasting time, money, and energy.
Since it is digital, the purpose of the audit is to realign the performance of the chosen channel or platform. Not doing this may result in ranking lower in the result page, having lower click-through rate (CTR), or worse, being penalized by Google through de-indexation.
When this happened, you may not easily recover the returns on digital investment, recover very little or won’t recover at all.
Digital marketing audits to do now
Once you established that a digital marketing audit is necessary, the next best thing is to decide which audit is necessary for your business. Below are some of the most common audits.
Content audit is about doing an inventory of your website’s content including textual and visual content. Textual content includes the blog and landing pages while the visual content covers images, infographics, banners, and videos.
Not just the quality of the content, but also how it drives traffic and conversions to the website. These elements include title tags, meta descriptions, and other technical information. On the non-technical side, the audit aims to reveal if the content contains the information that the target audience is looking for to make an informed decision.
The goal of the content audit is to ensure the searchability and rankability of the pages. It results in recommendations to improve the content as well as the overall content strategy. This is more so when content gaps are discovered where updating the existing content or publishing new pieces of content are required.
SEO has technical and non-technical aspects that should be surveyed as well. SEO is divided into two broad categories: on-page and off-page. Nonetheless, because of the extent of technicality involved in SEO, the third category was created: technical SEO.
- On-page audit
On-page audit refers to the process of checking various elements within the website particularly those that impact the organic traffic.
These are titles, heading tags, meta descriptions, images, redirections, duplicates, internal links, indexation errors and not found errors.
- Off-page audit
Off-page audit is basically a link audit. Backlinks are good for SEO, but they can also harm your website without realizing it. Some websites manipulate backlinks, and they could be linking back to your website or your site is linking to them.
A link audit allows you to detect any harmful links or irrelevant anchor texts. With this, the process aims at building and maintaining a healthy link profile.
- Technical audit
A technical audit involves the review of how the website appears on the search engine result page (SERP). This is important because it drives the clickability of the result. If the result is not representative of the website, the users won’t bother clicking on it.
This audit also looks into whether the site is hit by a manual penalty. Other issues that are worth looking at are the existence of hidden texts, page loading, or unresponsiveness problems.
All these affect the performance of the website. That’s why a technical audit is necessary.
For paid SEO, the PPC (pay per click) audit is utilized to determine the current performance of the campaign. The audit, therefore, helps in enhancing such performance.
The audit goes through the settings and structure of the campaign and evaluates if the metrics are being met or not. Such evaluation includes the type of campaign, the appearance of the ads, and the time the ads are served, among others.
Through this, the client may know if the paid search campaign budget is being maximized, used wisely, or not.
Social media audit
Social media audit is the process of analyzing the social media footprint, and whether the campaign is achieving the goals it initially set. The creative style a well as the cross-platform performance of the campaign are some of the things investigated.
Other than the social content, the audit also includes community management and how effective the management task has been. Effectiveness is measured by the levels of engagement and other metrics, so these too are evaluated.
Nevertheless, the most important element is the movement from the top down to the bottom of the sales funnel. Social conversions are important, so these must be gauged as well.
A website audit is usually geared towards user experience (UX). It is about the function and features of the website. This audit is done manually and using some tools.
Web developers do everything they could to build a website that is highly functional. There are instances, however, where users get lost while browsing the website.
As such, the audit can disclose how information should be arranged on the website to maximize the interactions between the users and the site itself.
If this is your first time reading or hearing about conversion audit, conversion audit refers to dissecting the elements on the website, channel, or page that offer an opportunity to convert.
A fully optimized digital marketing channel goes beyond asking the users to fill out the contact us form. If the website, for instance, receives a high volume of traffic and yet only 5 to 10% converts, then there is something wrong with the website.
A clear conversion path that should flow through the buyer’s journey is critical. The audit asserts if there are any conversion points on the page and at different stages of the funnel and if the call to action buttons are in their right places.
Google Analytics audit
This is not always implemented by other digital marketing agencies. However, tracking code implementation is sometimes the culprit that the nontechnical fails to check.
The audit tells you if you are tracking the right parameters that you should be tracking in the first place. Look into the validity of the collected data because your decisions will be based on such. This includes anything broken and should be fixed.
If you should be tracking parameters that you should not be tracking, then the audit may also reveal this information.
Tips in conducting a digital marketing audit
A digital marketing audit should be conducted on a regular basis. There are many ways to make the process easier such as below.
Set SMART goals
SMART stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound goals. A digital marketing strategy must set clear goals with which to conduct the audit.
With clear goals, you may evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy. On the other hand, the audit can be a part of the strategy, so this too should be goal-oriented. For instance, you may want to conduct the audit at least every quarter.
Track the right metrics
The right metrics align with your strategic goals. Several metrics impact the progress towards achieving a business goal. For instance, if you are doing a PPC audit, check impressions, ad positions, cost per click, cost per lead, CTR, and more.
Create brand consistency
The marketing collateral is based on your brand identity, which means that it should be consistent regardless of the digital marketing platform you use. Over time, inconsistencies may appear that ruins brand identity and reputation.
It helps to have a branding style guide from the slogan to logo design and photo styles. The visual content is a vital element wherein color schemes and variations are consistently used. Otherwise, it will ruin spontaneity.
Simplify the message
Speaking of the brand voice, tone and message, it should be simplified as well. This means that the value proposition is concise and consistent so it won’t get lost in the already-noisy digital media.
When doing this, you may focus on the details and the underlying message at the same time. This should be consistent across the platforms where your brand has a presence.
Ensure content quality
Content quality is like an extension of your brand, so don’t take this lightly. If you want to ensure quality content every time you publish one, create a checklist that you consult retrospectively.
Content must be both informative and compelling. It must include the headline, hook, visuals, punch, dot points, formats, stats, metaphors, stories, optimization, and calls to action. You can also add more, depending on the needs of your target audience.
Optimize for search engine
And the readers too!
When you optimize for both, you left no chance to guesstimates. There are several things to optimize for including keywords, links, and technical elements.
Conversion assessment is necessary every time you build a crucial page on your website such as a landing page.
It may be difficult to notice conversion gaps that prevent users from progressing towards the end of the buyer’s journey. A conversion checklist may help you with this that may cover the presence of a call to action button above the fold, lead magnet, value proposition, customer acquisition points, etc.
Again, the technical side cannot be deliberately ignored. There should be functional elements with no broken links, missing images, or untappable buttons. Instead, the site must be easy to navigate and load quickly.
Evaluate the plan
Since you have a digital marketing plan, part of your responsibility is to assess it. Establish whether the plan is still working or not.
Of course, it’s a different matter when the team is not sticking to the plan, rendering it ineffective as well. The digital marketing plan held the team accountable. So if there’s no plan, it will be chaotic.
Assess the workflow and processes
To continue with the above, the common pitfall is investing in tools that the team may not use. That’s because a needs analysis whatsoever was not conducted, and this is fundamental to digital marketing planning.
In assessing workflow, processes, and systems, you’d gauge how efficient the team is in handling resources such as cost and time. If the team isn’t collaborating or being productive, then it’s time to change the direction of the plan.
In implementing a digital marketing strategy or even an audit, there should be team guidelines. These guidelines outline the expectations about the work and responsibilities of each team member.
The guidelines change along with the movements in resources.
In sum, the phrase digital marketing is no longer the buzzword that we keep on hearing during networking events—it is here to stay.
However, you need to have a deeper understanding of where your business or brand stands when it comes to digital marketing. Quality digital marketing practices benefit both the business and the target market.
This is possible through a comprehensive audit of each digital marketing strategy that you implement. Business success is not contingent on implementing a strategy. You also need to conduct a reality check regularly through audits.