Do you need a digital marketing audit?
For most companies, online advertising is an essential part of any outreach strategy.
Around half of the planet’s population is active online. With the right promotional strategy, you can make sure that you’re reaching the right people, at the right times. Not only that but your digital content has the power to ripple through time, driving traffic, leads, and loyalty back to your brand for years to come.
The only caveat? You need to stay on top of your strategy. The campaigns that worked for you back in 2015 won’t work for you today. Creating regular digital marketing audit reports is how you identify the areas that are still driving results in your campaigns. It’s also how you figure out which parts of your business need more work.
Frequent audits set you up for success by giving you an insight into the past, present, and future. Use them correctly, and the results you get from your digital campaigns will improve in no time.
So, how do you start a successful audit?
What is a digital marketing audit report?
Let’s start simple.
It’s tough to build a digital marketing audit checklist when you have no idea what you’re doing. If you’ve never audited anything before, then you’ll need a strategy first.
Essentially, auditing is how you stop your marketing campaigns from going stagnant. When you’re busy running a business, it’s easy to choose a strategy, automate as much as you can, and forget all about it. Unfortunately, with every day that passes, there are new customers joining your community, new trends rising in your industry, and even updated algorithms to consider.
With a digital marketing audit template, you can inspect every aspect of your advertising practices, review your options, and overcome any potential roadblocks. 3 of the areas you’ll need to look at in any digital audit include:
For your brand to evolve and grow it needs to connect with as many potential customers as possible. That means that you need an impressive reach. Your digital marketing audit will show you whether you’re connecting with the right people through your SERP rankings, site activity, email click-throughs, and social follower counts.
It’s also a chance to discover whether your personality and advertising campaigns are drawing the right kind of customer your way. After all, you shouldn’t be trying to sell to everyone. Are your campaigns delivering the kind of leads that are right for you?
What kind of strategies are you using to connect with your audience? When you first got online, blogs and Facebook posts might have been the best way to grow your business. However, now, if you’re a highly visual company, you might find that Instagram and videos have value to offer too. Updating your strategy doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of old campaigns. However, it could mean adding new material to the mix.
Combining your weekly blog post with a regular podcast or videos on Instagram could be an excellent way to turbocharge your traffic and engage your existing customers.
While traffic, engagement, and even high search engine rankings are significant, you’ll also need to make sure that all of these things are having an impact on your bottom line. Thousands of visitors on your site doesn’t mean much if your advertising efforts aren’t leading to sales. A digital marketing audit gives you the chance to see which of your strategies are promoting the best results.
With insight into your conversions, you’ll be able to see where you should be focusing your advertising budget, and where you may be able to cut back.
The benefits of a regular digital marketing audit
A digital marketing audit doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems.
Its purpose is to provide a systematic and comprehensive way of examining the techniques, activities, and processes that your company uses to drive marketing results. The information gleaned from your audit will help to determine procedural or system inadequacies. As you learn, you’ll improve the value of your campaigns, and stop wasting money on strategies that don’t work.
If you’re wondering whether now’s the right time to start checking out digital marketing audit tools, there are a few red flags to look for. For example:
Your traffic is decreasing or unstable.
You’re not reaching your targets.
Your social following isn’t growing.
Your bounce rate is going up.
Your click-through-rate is struggling in your emails.
If any part of your digital campaign is failing, it’s a sign that you need to rethink your strategy. While it takes time for some methods, like SEO, content marketing, and social media to pay off – if you were receiving results, and now they’re dropping, that suggests that something has changed. Creating your own digital marketing audit report will:
Show you what you need to do differently: A digital marketing audit highlights what’s no longer working in your campaigns. Most marketing plans come with multiple working parts. Like a car, your online strategy needs a regular MOT to determine which elements need tuning up.
Save your business money: Seeing which parts of your strategy aren’t working will also allow you to get rid of any dead weight. If you stop spending money on methods that don’t work, you can begin putting more cash into the parts of your company that is driving measurable results.
Keep your business on track: Sometimes, a long hard look at your digital marketing audit checklist will remind you what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s easy to get side-tracked in a world where new trends and strategies are continually emerging. Think of your digital marketing audit as a way to get your team back on the road to success.
Provide insights into your competition: Auditing your marketing efforts doesn’t just have to mean looking at your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s also worth looking at the threats and opportunities posed by your competitors too. What are your foes doing that you aren’t? What can you do to outshine them?
Building your digital marketing audit template
By now you (hopefully) know why a digital marketing audit is so critical.
However, like most things in the brand-building world, it’s rarely a one-size-fits-all process. Following a step-by-step digital marketing audit checklist that tells you how to manage your PPC campaigns and strategize on social media doesn’t help if you’re focused on content marketing and SEO.
The good news? You can build your own template based on what you know about your company and its goals. Here, we’re going to look at some of the elements that might go into your digital marketing audit template. Feel free to pick and choose the parts that apply to your brand.
Auditing content marketing
Content is one of the most valuable things in any digital marketing strategy. However, as SEO algorithms continue to change, and customer demands evolve, it’s essential to ensure you’re still producing the material your people want. Look at:
Which are your highest-performing articles? (Consider click-through rate, conversion rate, likes and shares on social media, time spent on page).
What is your lowest-performing content? (Look at bounce rate, negative comments, or lack of attention).
Is your content still in date? If there are any irrelevant articles on your blog, now might be the time to update them, or remove them completely.
Consider what kind of content you’ve been producing too. If you’ve focused almost exclusively on blogs and articles up until now, is there a reason? Would it be helpful to branch out into videos and podcasts as well? What are your competitors doing, and how are your target audience responding to different media?
Auditing social media performance
Social media has emerged as a vital component of online promotion. Most digital marketing audit checklists will include at least some insight into social media – even if you’re only active on a single channel. Consider:
Which channels you’re active on and why? Is there a new platform that would appeal to your target audience?
Has the traffic for your social media pages gone up? Are you regularly earning new followers, or is your community diminishing?
How much engagement are you getting? (likes, shares, comments, etc.). Which posts drive the most engagement, and which lead to the least?
How much traffic are you getting from your social media pages? How frequently do people send their friends back to your website?
Auditing search engine optimisation
Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that content marketing audits and SEO audits are the same. However, there’s a lot more to SEO than you might think, including technical strategies like back-end descriptions and metadata. SEO audits are useful because they ensure that you’re responding to the needs of the search engines, not just the expectations of your customers.
As Google continues to update its algorithms, remember to check things like:
Your ranking potential for specific keywords and phrases.
The best-performing keywords on your website.
Your technical SEO strategy.
Any changes you need to make to your SEO plans.
New keywords that may benefit your site.
Auditing your website
Speaking of looking at the backend of your website, remember that your site also needs a regular update too. Auditing your website is a great way to make sure that your digital marketing efforts don’t suffer because they’re leading people back to an outdated online environment.
A website that hasn’t been regularly checked and updated can lead to bad user experiences and problems with your SEO ranking. In extreme cases, rebuilding your website from scratch is the best option. Look at:
Whether the links (external and internal) are performing properly.
Do the pictures and formatting load properly?
Is the website design still appealing?
Is the meta-data crisp and cohesive?
Is all your information up to date?
Auditing your email campaigns
Another common component to include in your digital marketing audit template is your email campaigns. The chances are that you have an email list you can use to keep track of customers and subscribers. As you’re performing your audit, make sure that you spend some time checking out your email strategy. Look at:
What days and times perform best for you when sending emails? Emails are frequently very time sensitive.
What kind of open-rates and click-throughs are you getting? You can check this with most email marketing tools.
Are any particular email domains performing better than others? Why might that be?
What kind of subject lines and templates get the best results?
Do you need to remove anyone from your email list?
Auditing your paid / search advertising
Finally, not all digital marketing audits revolve entirely around content and SEO. There are also plenty of companies out there that still rely on AdWords and PPC advertising to drive conversions. As with most strategies affected by the search engines; however, it’s important to keep track of your PPC campaigns, as the algorithms and rules regularly change. Check:
What kind of advertising copy and marketing strategies lead to the best results?
Which keywords are you ranking best for?
Where are most of your customers coming from?
What’s the best time and day to post your content?
Who are your biggest competitors, and what are they doing that you aren’t?
As you add each of the above elements into your digital marketing audit checklist, remember to take stock of how your business is evolving. Remember, data doesn’t lie. If you’re not happy with the results that you’re getting, then now’s the time to make a change. The good news is that with your digital marketing audit to guide you, it will be easier to see which path you should take.
Your digital marketing audit checklist: 3 steps to success
Regardless of how you feel about it, marketing isn’t a part of your business strategy that you can afford to cut corners with. Your promotional efforts need to evolve and change as your brand grows. They also need to consider the expectations and preferences of your target audience. Without an effective marketing strategy, you’re just shouting into the void.
Unfortunately, creating your marketing plan without a digital marketing audit to guide you, could mean that you invest in unnecessary strategies and campaigns that don’t work. While it’s true that auditing can be a time-consuming and daunting process, it’s also the only way to make sure that your company is moving in the right direction.
The following 3 steps will help you to build a digital marketing audit template that works for you.
1. Start with your “big picture” questions
One way to look at a digital marketing audit is as research into your business’s promotional strategy. When you research anything, it’s best to start with an idea of the questions that you want to answer. With that in mind, try and set up some goals for your audit before you begin, using “SMART” principles. Think about:
Where your business is now and where you want to be in the next (so many) months.
How your marketing strategy is affecting your business – how much have you grown in percentages? How many customers have you lost?
What business goals are you trying to achieve overall? Do you want to boost brand awareness by 20% in the next 6 months? How will you measure this?
What do your customers look like today? What’s their lifetime value? Are you targeting the right people? Do you need to move into a different niche?
By thinking carefully about what “success” looks like for your brand, and how your marketing efforts can contribute to that success, you ensure you’re taking the right steps for long-term growth. When you’re moving through your digital marketing audit checklist, you won’t just be collecting information; you’ll be answering crucial questions about your present, and future potential.
2. Make sure you’re collecting plenty of data
In today’s digital world, data makes the world go around. You can only make sure that you have the right strategies in place if you’ve got enough information to guide you. Think of conducting your digital marketing audit like painting a picture. The more sources you collect data from, the more colours you have access to. Each colour gives more depth and scope to the image you get at the end of your painting session.
The good news is that there are plenty of digital marketing audit tools out there to help you get as much detail as possible about your campaigns. Depending on the kind of information you need, you can look at things like:
Social networks and social media monitoring tools: Most social networks come with their own basic analytics tools. If your digital marketing strategy uses a lot of social media, you can also access listening and monitoring tools for extra insights.
Google analytics and AdWords: Google analytics is one of the best tools on the web for learning how well your pages are performing. You’ll be able to use this to guide your content and SEO strategies.
Keyword tools: If you need help figuring out what to rank for, then keyword tools can help. They even help you to track your performance against your competition.
Email marketing tools: Many email marketing platforms come with access to analytics. These tools show you your click-through rates, bounce rates, conversions and more.
3. Concentrate on brand consistency
Marketers generally publish a lot of content and marketing campaigns, so that they can spread their brand image as far and wide as possible. The more you experiment with new digital strategies, the more likely it is that you’ll accidentally slip up and create an inconsistency in how your brand appears to your target audience.
However, one of the best things you can do as a growing brand is make sure that you’re delivering a consistent image. The more you stick to the same personality and presence on every platform, the more memorable you become.
As you make your way through your digital marketing audit checklist, ensure that every touchpoint you have with your customers delivers a similar experience. If it helps, you can even consider creating a brand style guide to help you and your team going forward. This guide may include information like:
Your company name and how to spell it.
Your logo and brand colours.
Your personality and tone of voice.
Image and photo styles.
Slogans and taglines.
Values and brand mission.
Typography and fonts.
Do you need a digital marketing audit?
Being so deeply involved in your online marketing campaigns every day often makes it difficult to figure out where you stand from an objective point of view. A digital marketing audit is how you can regularly take a step back and evaluate both where you are now, and where you’re going in the future.
In today’s ever-evolving digital world, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of both your campaigns and your brand strategy. The more time you dedicate to making sure you’re on the right path, the less likely you are to make mistakes that cost you money and reputation points.
Remember, just because you’ve finally gotten on top of the search engines, and your digital marketing campaigns are bringing in quality leads doesn’t mean that the success will last forever. There’s always disruptive new trends to think about, competitors to battle against, and updated techniques that can derail your progress. Getting your digital marketing audit checklist on point is how you ensure you can stay on top.
Since it’s easier to roll with the punches than play catch up, setting aside some time for a digital marketing audit every six to twelve months is usually a good idea. Remaining vigilant with your research and business insights will give you a better overview of how all of your initiatives are performing. This will also mean that you can adjust as needed, rather than going back and making intensive changes.
Need help with digital marketing, branding, or any other part of building your business identity? Fabrik is here for you. Reach out to our friendly team today for advice on how we can support your digital strategy.
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