An online presence is absolutely critical to the health, wealth and longevity of your business. In our increasingly digital world, businesses who exist without a strategic and intentional online footprint might as well not exist at all – and there’s a significant chance that they won’t for long.
That being said, simply having an online presence isn’t enough if it’s not designed in a way that appeals to your target audience and search algorithms alike. This brings up one major question: How do you determine which of your online marketing efforts are working, and which are floundering? Simply guessing isn’t effective, and probably isn’t going to give you an accurate overview of the vitality of your marketing campaign. What will, however, is a comprehensive digital marketing audit.
What is a Digital Marketing Audit?
A digital marketing audit is a thorough inspection of the practices and outcomes of your company’s digital marketing efforts. This includes your website, your social media accounts, the pay-per-click ads you run, and so on. The goal of a digital marketing campaign is to determine which elements of your marketing strategy are or aren’t successful in order to improve your processes.
You might ask yourself “What’s the point of auditing my own business if I know what our digital marketing strategy looks like?” While you might know what your company is putting out, there’s a good chance you aren’t fully aware of what you are (or aren’t) getting in return. Evaluating each individual element of your digital marketing efforts enables you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign. Having this tangible information available to you is a critical puzzle piece you will need to streamline your processes, generate more conversions and set smarter goals.
Speaking of “smarter goals,” this doesn’t just refer to intelligent ones – this includes SMART goals, too. SMART goals are:
Without first identifying these attributes, there’s no way to truly determine if your digital marketing audit was successful or not. Let’s take conversions, for example. If you set a SMART goal to increase your conversion rate by 15% in 90 days and your digital marketing audit revealed it only increased by 7%, you would know to focus your marketing efforts on conversion rate optimization moving forward. Without having this SMART goal in place, a digital marketing audit would provide little benefit or insight into whether or not your efforts are on track for the projected trajectory of your business.
Signs You Might Need a Digital Marketing Audit
Generally speaking, any business of any size in any industry could benefit from a digital marketing audit. There’s always room for improvement, no matter how successful a business might be already. That being said, there are some telltale signs that your current marketing strategy is suffering. If you’re unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are we meeting our sales goals?
- Are our social media followers engaging with our posts?
- Is our click-through rate where we want it to be?
- Has our web traffic dropped or plateaued?
- Do we need to bolster our marketing efforts before expanding our business?
If you answered yes to any of the above, a digital marketing audit could be exactly what your business needs to identify problem areas and create a solution that will enable you to accomplish your goals.
Even if you answered no and feel as though your business is in good shape, you still might want to consider auditing your marketing strategy for confirmation. Think about a digital marketing audit like an annual wellness exam at your doctor’s office. Your doctor could confirm that you’re perfectly healthy, or they could pick up on an underlying issue that wouldn’t have been identified without an examination. The risk-to-reward ratio skews heavily in your favor when it comes to a digital marketing audit, so it’s worth it to take the time to uncover which elements of your marketing strategy are doing well and which could use some fine-tuning.
Elements of Your Business Worth Auditing:
If you have to ask yourself “When was the last time I measured that portion of my digital marketing campaign?” – chances are, it’s time for an audit. While a digital marketing audit can benefit every aspect of your business, there are certain elements you should pay close attention to in order to truly maximize your marketing efforts in a way that will have the highest impact. Here are a few of the heavy hitters in your marketing campaign worth auditing:
What It Is: An SEO audit examines the degree to which your website is search engine friendly. The goal of an SEO audit is to evaluate the weak points of your current SEO strategy in order to increase the likelihood of your website ranking towards the top of the first page of a Google search. There are a number of reasons your website might not be ranking well, whether that be due to an algorithm update, flimsy marketing strategy or another unknown root cause. A thorough SEO audit will identify these issues for you and provide you with the roadmap needed to get your search engine optimization efforts back on track.
Why You Need It: SEO changes constantly. What was considered a best practice today could get you penalized by search engines tomorrow, even if you had no idea a change in the algorithm had taken place. An SEO audit might be exactly what your business needs if you’ve experienced a sudden drop in your web traffic, a lower SERP (search engine results page) placement, or a Google penalty.
Points to Measure: Here are a few quick and easy elements of an SEO audit you can measure yourself:
- Google Penalties: To determine if your website has been penalized, take a look at your company’s Google Search Console. Click on the Security & Manual Actions tab, then click on Manual Actions. If you see a penalty notification there, you’ve likely found the cause of your SEO slip. If there is no notification, it’s time to troubleshoot other potential causes.
- Ranking: Comparing your website’s ranking for a variety of keywords is the most surefire way to determine whether or not your SEO is struggling. Search for several keywords that your business is trying to rank for and see how far back your website comes up as a result. Then, compare this placement to previous placements if you have them available to you. If you’re ranking lower than before, something is off with your SEO strategy.
- Budget: An SEO audit won’t reveal an ideal budget for you, but it will reveal if the budget you have set is generating the kind of results you are looking for. If your SEO audit reveals a relatively healthy campaign, it might be time to consider increasing your SEO budget to elevate your marketing strategy to a level higher than currently possible
What It Is: A content audit is an evaluation of the content on your website as it relates to its intended purpose within your marketing goals. This includes your blogs, page copy, ebooks and other written elements on your website. The goal of a content audit is to determine how successful your existing content is at encouraging website visitors to take a desired action, such as visiting a product page, clicking on a call-to-action button or simply spending more time exploring your website.
Why You Need It: Content creation requires a great amount of time. Between planning out each quarter, building out a content calendar and writing the content itself, you want to make sure every element of your content marketing strategy is going to be impactful before you dedicate that much effort to a time-consuming process. That being said, even expertly written and wholly informative content isn’t going to be effective if it doesn’t resonate with your target audience base. If your conversion rates are down and your content isn’t being engaged with, a content audit could help you reveal where the problem lies.
Points to Measure: Here are a few quick and easy elements of a content audit you can measure yourself:
- Bounce Rate: A bounce rate represents the percentage of internet users who visit your website and leave after viewing one page. Of course, this isn’t the goal: You want your visitors to visit your product page from your homepage, click on a service page from a related blog, and so on. If you have a high bounce rate, it could be a sign that something about your content isn’t necessarily resonating with your website visitors.
- Topics: Sure your business might have specialties, and it makes sense to focus on creating content based around what your business does best. However, what benefit does this serve if it’s content your audience isn’t interested in, or if you’re neglecting other profitable sectors of your business? Audit your content by organizing each page into sections in order to determine which ones you may be too heavy-handed with and which you have been neglecting.
- Word Count: Google loves long content full of relevant keywords, appropriate headers and optimized photos. Thankfully, so do your readers! Take a look at the word count on your website pages that are underperforming – if they are 600 words or less, that could be part of your problem.
Social Media Audit
What It Is: A social media audit is a process of identifying which elements of your current social media strategy are working, which aren’t, and which can be improved upon. The factor that makes a social media audit more complex than audits for other sectors of your digital marketing strategy is the variety of different types of apps available. For this reason, it’s important to have a clearly defined social media marketing strategy in place for each individual platform.
Why You Need It: Each social media platform comes with its own set of rules, guidelines and best practices. Not only that, but each platform also has its own unique algorithm that will affect your rank and visibility. The strategies that take off on one social media app could bury your post on another. A social media audit will reveal which types of posts generate the highest impact on each platform – and which could be causing your reach to sink.
What to Measure: Here are a few quick and easy elements of a social media audit you can measure yourself:
- Cost Per Click: If you’ve ever run paid advertising in a social media campaign, you’re probably familiar with cost per click, or the amount of money spent on each click generated on a paid post. The goal is to get your cost per click as low as possible, but factors such as audience size, budget and campaign length can all affect the overall cost. For example, if your audience is too specific when trying to win the bid for the click on Facebook, it might drive up the cost per click. Inspecting these metrics with a social media audit will provide insight into if it would benefit you to adjust your audience size, demographics, campaign type and/or budget to get the best cost per click.
- Followers: A drop in followership is one of the easiest ways to identify that there is a sore spot somewhere in your social media marketing strategy. Whether your follower acquisition has simply slowed down or you’ve experienced a sudden, sharp decline seemingly overnight, a social media audit will help you determine if there was a probable cause on your end that has made your audience diminish. That being said, having a large follower sound does not serve you much benefit if they do not engage with your posts. On that note…
- Top Posts: Take a look at your analytics for each social media platform and identify your most popular posts. See if there are any similarities: Did your top posts use similar hashtags? Did they include photos or videos, if any graphics at all? Did your caption make a statement or pose a question to your followers? All of these elements can clue you in on what is driving organic engagement for each audience on each app.
Should You DIY Your Digital Marketing Audit?
If you haven’t gathered already, conducting a comprehensive digital marketing audit is a lengthy and complex process. While you could do it yourself theoretically, you probably won’t get the payoff you’re looking for without the tools and time investment needed to conduct a thorough inspection of your current digital marketing strategy. Conducting a surface-level digital marketing audit is a lot like putting together a puzzle with missing pieces: You’ll probably be able to make out what you’re looking out, but you won’t be able to see the details of the full picture.
For this reason, your best option might be working with an external digital marketing agency who can conduct your audit for you. Luckily, digital marketing audits happen to be one of our specialties here at Creative Click Media. Reach out to our team to learn more about how a comprehensive digital marketing audit could improve your strategy, streamline your processes and improve your bottom line.