Let’s face it. Audits have a scary reputation. Say the word “audit” in a room full of business owners and they will start nervously eyeing each other while casually looking for an exit. Most people like them about as much as a tooth being pulled.
Before you run away screaming just take a moment and breathe. Ok. Feel better now? We have some good news — a digital marketing audit is an opportunity. Forging full steam ahead in your marketing without a backward glance may seem tempting but that isn’t how your business will get stronger. You need to know what is happening so you can make better decisions.
Now that the panic has passed let’s dig into successful strategies for a digital marketing audit.
What is a digital marketing audit anyway?
A digital marketing audit let’s you get a big picture view of your current digital marketing efforts and pinpoint how to improve results. At the end of your work, you’ll have a strategy plan that tells you what you have going for you, what is working against you and next steps to take. That doesn’t sound bad does it?
Really, you’re a detective
So you think you are mentally ready to build a successful digital marketing plan? Then it’s time to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and follow the clues:
- focus on your goals and see if your marketing strategy is aligned
- discover what’s working and what’s not by looking at the metrics of your different channels
- evaluate your channels to see if there is anything you need to revive, repurpose, or shut down
- uncover new opportunities to grow and engage your audience
Not knowing what is going on in your marketing means you are probably missing leads and customers = stunted business growth. Embracing a system will mean less anxiety about your digital marketing and more sustainability = more profits. Uh, yes, please.
What are your marketing goals?
A good detective knows that the big-picture is just as important as the details. You can’t skip a step. And knowing your marketing goals is always the first place to start. Goals keep you off the hamster wheel of unfocused work and get you into hyper focused growth. We all know we should be SMART but do we practice it? (We see you. Be honest.)
So let’s say you have a marketing goal to build brand awareness through Instagram over the next 6 months. Pretty specific. How are you going to do that? Do you have an Instagram account? What are you doing on it now? What is working? What isn’t? How does this goal work together with your other digital marketing campaigns?
Your digital marketing strategy is your north star, keeping you from straying off the path and helping you know what your ROI is every step of the way.
Discover what works (and what doesn’t)
Break out your magnifying glass (metaphorically speaking) and let’s put a big eye onto your current strategy. Every good detective worth their deerstalker hat really scrutinizes the data. You can use a digital marketing checklist to make sure you don’t miss any details.
Pro tip: this isn’t the time to find things out by accident –> you need a method to keep from going crazy. And really, you should expect to do an audit more than just once in your business life. It is very important that you make this a regular thing. We all know that having a method tames the madness (translation: makes your life easier – win!)
Asking good questions is the best way to find out what’s what. Here are a few to get you started:
- Which digital marketing metric shows the health or sickness of my business?
This means whittling down your questions to key things you need to know at a glance:
- What is important to know about my website performance?
- What are my social media click-through rates?
- How are my email campaigns open rates?
- Is my website even converting people?
- What is actually happening on my digital marketing channels?
Letting your digital marketing channels figure themselves out is a recipe for sure disaster. You need to be paying regular attention to:
- Website performance – bounce rates, sessions, page load times, goal completions
- Email performance – open rates, click-throughs and unsubscribes
- Social media performance – channel performance, paid ad reach, likes and shares
- How is your digital content performing?
It is time to get past the awkward teen years of digital marketing and become a mature adult. Crazy as it might seem, only 41% of B2B brands have a documented content marketing strategy. You should be one of them.
- Keywords – are you targeting the right keywords?
- Channels – are the places your content lives reaching your ideal audience effectively?
- SEO – Is your on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO on point? How is your site’s user experience? Are people lingering or bouncing off right away? Is your SEO even working?
- Links – are there any broken, spammy, or links from irrelevant sites?
- Social media – are people engaging with your organic or paid social media? Are they turning into leads? Are you even on the right social media channels?
And don’t forget these important questions:
- Is your messaging consistent or confusing across digital channels?
- Does your content speak to your customers’ needs?
If your digital content isn’t delighting readers (and the proof is in the data, isn’t it?) then it is time to level up your game.
Want a Free Checklist to See How your Digital Marketing Scores?
The tools of a digital marketing detective
Every job needs the right tools and a digital marketing audit is no different. We got you.
- Google Analytics and Google Search Console for traffic and website insights.
- Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest for keyword choice and scrutiny.
- Google Page Insights and GTmetrix for page speed calculation and troubleshooting.
- Screamingfrog for a technical SEO audit.
- Content Analysis Tool for deep content analysis.
- Awario, Brand Search, and Hootsuite for knowing what people are saying about your brand.
- Ahrefs and SEMrush for comprehensive SEO.
- Spyfu for analyzing your competitors’ most profitable keywords.
Putting your digital marketing plan together
You did it – your comprehensive digital marketing audit is done — well, almost. Your work isn’t quite done yet. We think this is the fun part. Pull your team together, grab a whiteboard and brainstorm. You know what your business goals are and have discovered what works (and what doesn’t). Now it is time for you to eliminate weaknesses, build on your strengths and work on fresh ideas.
- Summary of your goals for the next 6 to 12 months
- Who are your ideal customers? Have they changed?
- Are you and your products memorable?
- Do you have any gaps in your digital marketing?
- How are you going to increase visibility on your platforms?
- Are your marketing materials up to date? Do they tell the same story?
- How can you create better content for your customers?
- Who is in charge of what on your team?
- What is your marketing budget? What do you need your marketing ROI to be?
Smart business owners are constantly checking in on their digital marketing and making tweaks along the way to improve. Taking the time to make a comprehensive digital marketing audit will help you keep little problems from becoming big ones. And that equals business success.
Ready to get started?
Struggling with your digital marketing? Drop us a line. We’re here to help walk you through all of this so that you don’t have to do it alone.