A digital marketing audit is where you should start if you want to ensure you have a comprehensive strategy that will deliver results. An audit will tell you exactly what’s working and what isn’t so you can have a prioritised roadmap for taking action.
If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy that is delivering results against your business objectives then start with an audit.
An audit will look at key areas that affect your digital marketing and will identify quick wins as well as opportunities but most importantly it will inform the priorities at each stage of your strategy.
Examples of Issues an Audit Can Reveal
Site Speed: For example if your site pages load slowly this will be affecting your user’s experience and impacting your ranking positions and ad performance. Improving your site speed would be a priority because the benefit from undertaking this work would have a positive knock on effect.
Facebook Ads: If you are doing Facebook advertising but not split testing ad sets then you are missing an opportunity to improve the return on your investment through this channel.
Content Strategy: If you aren’t consistently creating content that satisfies your target audiences at each stage of the buying process then you
Social Media Channels: If you are not using the same social media channels that your target audience are using then your competitors are likely to be engaging with the people you want to reach. You don’t necessarily need to be on all channels, its better to do some fewer channels well than all channels badly.
Resourcing your Strategy: an audit will uncover the good the bad and the ugly but its important to appreciate what is realistic and achievable based on the budgets and resources available. An audit should involve blue sky thinking but deliver real world recommendations.
What Should an Audit Cover?
Review of Digital Marketing & Business Objectives
Understanding the business objectives in order to ensure the digital marketing objectives are aligned.
Understanding the Target Audience
Are key audiences clearly identified and informing the content strategy, promotion & outreach strategies and paid advertising.
Traffic/channel Performance Audit
What is working, what isn’t & what opportunities are there to be maximised.
Technical SEO issues & recommended fixes
Site crawl and indexing, site speed, https, mobile-friendly, redirects & 404s, on-page optimisation, site architecture, internal linking, duplicate content.
Review of the current phrases being targeted and keyword research to see if there are new and/or better phrases to be targeted for quick wins around the buying cycle and searcher intent.
Which sites are getting the ranking positions your site is targeting and why. What links do competitors have that could be targeted and what are their approaches to content and social media that we can learn from.
Page Level Analysis
To ensure that important landing pages are optimised effectively and have appropriate calls to action. Recognise the role that pages play in the buying process, are there gaps and can they be improved.
To identify strengths and weaknesses in your link profile and propose a strategy for earning links to strengthen your link profile.
To determine whether or not the current content strategy is working. And, what needs to be improved to support your ongoing digital marketing strategy.
Social Media and Promotion
Are the right social media channels being used to reach your target audience. Do you have clear goals for your social channels and are they performing they way you want they to. Are you using them effectively for promotion of your content.
User Experience Analysis
To see how well users are interacting with your content and website as a whole and what could be done to improve the user experience. Identify opportunities for testing.
Citation Analysis (where local listings are important)
To see whether information is consistent across listings. And, to identify business and sector specific directories that should have a listing.
Measures of Success & Data Driven Insights
Reviewing analytics to ensure useful metrics are being tracked accurately (including KPIs) so that dashboards and reports can provide insight to action improvements.
My approach to audits is to start with the technical issues that affect the website and tracking so you can have confidence or not in any data available. I like to follow my nose in terms of issues I uncover rater than stick strictly to working through a list. Gut feel and instinct based on years of working with different businesses and conducting hundreds of audits since 2003 means I will focus on uncovering issues that will have the most impact for the management team in the short and long term.
The best outcome of an audit is a clear roadmap of actions that need to be completed, their priorities, who will be responsible and how long the action will take.
You can undertake an audit yourself by following a checklist and there are many available online however you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are not experienced with auditing for digital marketing it may be worth enlisting help with this stage.
In my experience as a consultant I have found that conducting the audit and then working with the team on a very part-time basis such as a day a week for 3 months means that I’m not just handing over a document but I’m supporting, with training and mentoring, the team (including agencies) who need to action the recommendations.
This approach generally means I can step back as the business become confident in their daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activities. They have the data they need at their fingertips, the ability to draw their own insights and the confidence to make the right decisions to affect positive change. Its a win-win.