When was the last time you performed a digital marketing audit? If it’s been a while—or worse, you’ve never conducted one—you may want to consider revisiting your digital marketing efforts. Let’s discuss why assessing your current marketing strategies is critical to the long-term growth and success of your business. To move forward, you must understand what a digital marketing audit is and how to perform one.
What Is Digital Marketing?
First, let’s start with the basics by defining digital marketing. Digital marketing is a crucial component of your company’s overall inbound strategy. It’s essentially the sum of all your online attempts to maintain your business’s visibility, viability, relevancy, and growth. To continue to move forward, you need to conduct an effective digital marketing audit that is comprehensive and focuses on these areas:
- Digital branding
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Social media
Why You Need to Perform a Digital Marketing Audit
Conducting a routine digital marketing audit will help you distinguish which specific initiatives are serving you and which ones require a different approach. It would be hard to know where your efforts could use a tune-up—or complete redirection for the sake of your ROI—if you do not frequently perform these checkups.
Regular reviews are great for creating positive change, seeing what’s working and what is not, and bolstering the weaker areas of your digital marketing strategy. If you are noticing drops in specific areas of your marketing initiatives, it isn’t a failure. Rather, it’s a digital marketing audit gone right—now you can strengthen those areas and, subsequently, your overall performance!
Areas to Analyze During a Digital Marketing Audit
Here are the ways we employ our digital marketing audit strategy for enhancement and growth. Don’t forget about any of these areas, as they are all important in their own way.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have ongoing reporting in place, and if so, do I know what KPIs I want to measure?
- Do I use online call tracking and reporting?
- What trends can be found from my online form submissions, website traffic, signed contracts, phone calls, generated revenue, live chat leads, click-through rates, and other data measurements?
- Am I tracking my overall average KPIs per marketing investment?
If you are not doing these things, doing them without knowledge of the purpose behind them, or confused about the data you’re collecting, you need to rethink your tactics. You won’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. This is why we track and measure—to get to our desired location.
You will also need a detailed plan if you don’t have one already. Greatness is seldom achieved without solid goals to help guide you. It’s not productive or efficient to start out without a roadmap to steer your activities.
Make sure you have defined objectives with measurable goals and KPIs in place, and that your KPIs are periodically evaluated and modified to reflect current market circumstances. Know how you’re going to get from point A to point B and have a way of checking off steps as you go. Keep in mind that you need to start with a big picture before you can create defined action items.
Your Existing Digital Strategy
Similar to the objectives section, your strategy will be about making a plan—and sticking to it. Making sure you have a comprehensive strategy that is created to meet your objectives within set budgets, resources, and time frames is a main component of any good digital marketing audit.
Again, you can’t map out the future if you don’t examine the past and present. Use what you’re currently doing as a springboard for your new tactics. Identify gaps during your analyses and decide how you are going to fill them with new initiatives.
Your Marketing Technology
It’s essential to also review existing technological systems that you have in place. You won’t get very far with inadequate tools or outdated, clunky applications—and we can assure you, your competition is already plotting out how they will enhance their technology to get ahead. To stay on the cutting edge, everything from your site and CRM to your advertising accounts must be assessed.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my business have the systems it requires to deliver on my digital strategy?
- Are my systems the best option to help me meet my goals?
- Are there other potential options that might present better advantages and capabilities?
- Are all of my systems integrated and working collectively?
- Are there automations in place to nurture leads and unify the sales process?
- Do my systems enable me to gather and report on all data and metrics to ensure that I am effectively reaching my goals?
For your marketing to be effective, your branding needs to be harmonious across your online social profiles, digital advertising, website, customer emails, and other forms of customer experience. Make sure people know who you are and can sense your strong, authentic brand identity. When brands don’t bother to set an image, it can be confusing to the customer and look careless. Your unique brand should speak to who you are as a company and what you stand for, maintain a certain aesthetic, and illustrate your mission.
You may be surprised how easily people can pick up on inconsistencies. And unfortunately, these impressions often stay with customers even longer than a positive impression. Stay on top of your brand so people associate your name with who you are and your mission.
Customers don’t want to see your brand go through an identity crisis—or worse, sense your dishonesty when you go against what you claim to believe. Your digital marketing audit will help you understand how your audience is feeling about your brand. You’ll be able to tell what you’re doing right in their eyes and what you’re doing “wrong”—or what could be improved.
Social media is extremely valuable to your audience. Your social pages are another opportunity to represent your brand and voice and set the tone for your customer relationships. Remember, people can be judgemental, so don’t give them a reason to be when they come to your page. It’s a balance—an art, even. You’ll want to hire an expert if you don’t already have one on the team.
If you’re posting the wrong messaging, posting too little, or not posting enough, it can rub potential clients the wrong way. Test the content you’re sharing. Only keep the type of posts that your audience has proven they like to see. Data will guide you in creating social content that encourages your ideal buyers to interact with your pages.
Check to see if you’re receiving high-quality traffic from social sites to your website and whether your social presence is producing engagement. Explore how your social media channels might be performing with certain key performance indicators, such as audience growth, engagement, and link clicks. Are your social media channels integrated with the rest of your marketing assets? Are your channels accessible on your website, and are you consistently sharing the content you make on various social media platforms? Your social media should be seamlessly integrated with your overall marketing strategy.
SEO should be the core of your digital marketing strategy. Your SEO efforts should be tested frequently as part of your regularly conducted digital marketing audit. SEO enhances your ranking in search engines and directs high-quality traffic to your site so you can be found by potential buyers. If you’re not doing all you can to make the most of what SEO has to offer, you could be missing countless opportunities.
Something you should be aware of is the difference between organic search and paid search. Both can work wonders by way of driving people to your business. However, if you want to spend less money and still see impressive growth, you can try your hand at organic SEO efforts. This, too, is an art form. To start, you should have an understanding of how your brand is currently ranking organically on a search engine like Google. See to it that your website is maintaining SEO value in the following areas:
- Page speed
- Number of indexed pages
- Broken links
- Internal links
- Image alt text
- Meta descriptions
- Website imagery and media
Additionally, analyze how well you rank organically for your target keyword phrases. See how your competitors are ranking in comparison. If they are ranking higher than you, check out their content and see if you can figure out why. This is not cheating, but rather a smart method and something plenty of other businesses are doing. In fact, there are many tools available today created for checking out the competition and planning future content. It’s strategic spying, and it’s encouraged—these tools are even designed to keep your snooping anonymous.
Content is one of the most efficient ways to captivate your audience. To provide value to your historical and potential consumers, you need to develop content that is in line with their interests. Your digital marketing audit will help you identify what those interests are in a way that buyer persona research alone may not have been able to do if you conducted it at the beginning of your marketing efforts.
That is not to say that buyer personas are not still valuable, but they may change. You need to keep up and revitalize your results as time goes on. People and trends tend to adapt as time goes on. Your content must be tailored and delivered to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
Look over your current funnel and see whether you have content that fulfills each of the three stages: awareness (TOFU), consideration (MOFU), and decision (BOFU). If there are gaps, fill them in with new content. If you find something you wrote a while back is no longer relevant (or does not rank well), feel free to update. Don’t be afraid to delete content! This strategic cleanup is part of an effective digital marketing audit.
Now that you’ve read about organic marketing, it’s time to talk about paid digital advertising. Paid media is another great way to attract customers online and boost your lead generation and customer acquisition efforts. To do so, you must evaluate each digital marketing channel you are using individually to understand the purpose they’re serving in your overall digital marketing strategy.
Ensure you are always evaluating the effectiveness of your campaigns in each channel and keeping abreast of which campaigns are active, as well as which channels they are currently active in. Be aware of your assets to make sure you’re not wasting resources but rather allocating them to the best places. When it comes to PPC, look at your digital marketing audit as your chance to trim the fat from your marketing plan.
What are the KPIs of each campaign, and how are you evaluating their success? Are you able to understand the number of leads or customers you’re producing, plus your traffic-to-lead and lead-to-customer conversion rates? Do you have all the necessary pixels on your website, and are you optimizing for the conversion points that align with the campaign’s specific offer? Identifying the strengths and weaknesses within your PPC strategy can help you redistribute and optimize your ad budget.
Now that you have a better idea of why a digital marketing audit is important and some of the key components of conducting a comprehensive audit, you can begin to plan your own!
Perform Your Own Digital Marketing Audit
In short, you need to hold you and your team accountable to ask the right questions. If your answer to many of the questions we asked throughout this article was “no,” it’s likely you’re due for a digital marketing audit. It will help you improve your marketing efforts and ensure you never fall behind. In the world of business, it is a race for consumer attention. With so many distractions saturating individuals’ screens in today’s world, getting—and keeping—someone’s attention is tougher than ever.
Luckily, with our advice, you’re in a good position to rise above the noise and stay at the forefront of your ideal buyer’s mind. If you need help, we are always here for you. Simply request an assessment so we can get you started on a custom audit for you and help you enhance your digital marketing efforts.