Online marketing is an essential part of your outreach strategy. It is the sum total of your online efforts to keep your company visible, viable, relevant, and attracting the new business you need in order to keep growing. It’s a continuous effort that rewards the faithful, providing results that can’t be achieved any other way and proving its ROI through quantifiable results. To do this effectively, a digital marketing audit is in order.
Performing regular digital marketing audits will help you identify the areas that are working and which ones need your attention.
Your Digital Marketing Audit: Getting it Right
When you’re finally on top of the search engines and your digital marketing is bringing in quality leads, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you will simply remain there for posterity. There will always be a disruptor, a new service, or an updated technique poised to derail your progress. Getting your digital marketing audit right is the key to staying on top.
In order to avoid constantly having to play catch-up in order to stay on top—not only of the search engines but also in the minds of your target audience—you need to remain vigilant with your marketing strategies and know exactly how each initiative is performing. If you make an effort to be aware of these metrics it will be much easier to adjust as needed.
Not sure where to start? First, let’s dive into why you might decide to conduct a digital marketing audit. Before you begin, it’s important for you to fully understand the concepts, the processes, and the results you should expect.
Why conduct a digital marketing audit?
If your digital marketing results are lackluster or if some channels have shown a marked drop, it’s a clear indication that a digital marketing audit is in order. Some of the issues you may notice could include:
- Your current digital marketing efforts are not generating any new leads
- You are not meeting your sales goals
- You have noticed a recent drop in sales
- Your web traffic has decreased or has flatlined
- Your social media audience is disengaged
- You need to build your social media presence
- The click-through rate on your outbound marketing is lagging
- You are in the process of scaling up and need to define a strategy to support it
A digital marketing audit will give you insights into how each of your channels is performing so you can define and design a solution that will deliver the results you want.
Performing an SEO Audit
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the core principles of digital marketing. It is an organic (unpaid) method of driving traffic to your website and more importantly, it is how search engines, like Google, rank you amongst your competition.
For optimization purposes, your SEO is a combination of several strategies:
Keywords are just one of the ways a search engine finds you. If the content on your site does not contain relevant keywords, there’s less chance of search engines finding you. Use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner to research what are the optimum keywords for your niche and then work them naturally into your content. Be sure not to overdo it, however – Google penalizes sites that “stuff” too many keywords. Use a good balance of your primary and secondary keywords and ensure that they flow naturally with your content for best results.
On-page Optimization Audit
An on-page audit entails a crawl through your site to identify issues such as duplicate headings, duplicate content, duplicate meta descriptions, missing page titles, not enough content on the page (each page should contain a minimum of 300 words, but longer tends to rank better), long page load times, broken links, or too many redirects. To audit your on-page SEO, use a crawler tool such as Google Search Console, Webbee Web Spider, or Moz Pro Site Crawl Test.
Off-page Optimization Audit
Your off-page SEO relates directly to your backlinks. It’s good to periodically check that these links are from authoritative sites that aren’t spammy. Quality backlinks are something you should strive for as they will increase your own authority and boost your ranking. If you aren’t linking out to other sites, include this in your strategy going forward.
If your website is not mobile responsive you will lose search engine ranking, it’s as simple as that. Consider that the majority of searches these days are conducted on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your site is not mobile-friendly, your visitors are not likely to stay on your site or be able to view it as you intended. Mobile-friendly, responsive sites are prioritized by search engines, so it’s in your best interest to get on board.
Plus, Google will penalize pages that have low page speed score.
Other technical issues
Check your website on a regular basis to ensure all web apps, forms, buttons, and links are functional and do what they are intended to do. Other technical issues might include how your site loads on different browsers – does your site look as it should in every possible browser configuration? If it doesn’t, you could be losing valuable traffic.
It may also be time to redesign your website as a whole in order to achieve your business goals.
Content Marketing Audit
Content is one of the most effective ways to engage and entertain your audience. The higher the quality of your content is, the more mileage you’re going to get out of it. Simply marketing content isn’t the answer, either. In order to provide your past, present, and potential customers with value, you need to produce content they actually want to read – and this means you will have to put some effort into content creation.
Define your audience
Before you begin to market to your audience, put some effort into defining who they are. Research where your current customers are coming from, how they access your services, their demographics, and so on. Segment your audience and create customer personas to gain a deeper understanding of who they really are. Knowing who your audience is makes it easier to target content towards them
Create content that delivers quality and value
Quality content positions you as an authority in your niche. It’s your calling card, something that shows your personality and your brand’s voice as well as your expertise. Ensure that your content isn’t overly sales-y. In a world that is increasingly bombarded with advertising and cleverly crafter “click bait”, people have learned to tune out a lot of the noise. Falling into that trap leaves you ignored. Offer content that delivers value, either through helpful tips your followers will appreciate or by entertaining them.
Optimize your content
Your content needs to be optimized for both your audience and search engines. For the audience, this means creating skimmable articles that are separated into bite-sized chunks by H1, H2, and H3 headlines that address the issues that the article raises.
Headings also make it easier for search engines to index your content. The body of your article, as well as its headings, should contain relevant keywords. Include these keywords so that the article flows naturally and does not appear spammy or keyword-stuffed.
Optimizing your content in this way will not only delight your audience but it will help your search engine rankings. Check out this blog optimization checklist to help keep your content on track.
Social Media Marketing Audit
Social media is very important to your audience. Your social pages portray your brand image and voice and set the tone for your customer relationships. In many cases, social media pages are an indication of your reputation, too. Studies show that the vast majority of people (95 percent) between the ages of 18 and 34 follow brands they are interested in on social media. Social media activity, as well as ratings and reviews, continue to have a profound influence on their buying decisions.
To ensure you are coming across to your audience in a way that delivers value, a social media marketing audit is important.
What social networks should you be on?
There is no one social media platform that is more important than another in business. You should maintain a presence on the major players: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Depending on what type of business you conduct, you may want to also invest some time and effort into Pinterest, YouTube, or Google+.
Some stats you should be aware of where social media is concerned:
- Visual content (videos, images, infographics) are 40 times more likely to be shared
- Instagram engagement is exponentially higher than any other platform
- 90 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 35
- Tweets with links account for more than 90 percent of Twitter engagements
- The vast majority of social engagement comes from mobile devices
Staying active on social media
Simply having social media business accounts is not enough. If you are not actively posting, potential followers will likely move on to your competitors. Post regularly and post content that is relevant to your niche or interesting to your followers in some way.
What to post and how often
Avoid posting sales-related content too often – one product or service related offer to every three or four non-sales posts is a good balance, especially on Facebook. Posting intervals differ wildly from platform to platform. Twitter is where you can get away with repeating yourself – it’s a short-attention-span audience that consumes information in real-time, so you can safely post at hourly intervals and even recycle your most popular tweets to repeat your results.
Facebook, on the other hand, requires a much more tempered approach. Posting once daily is usually sufficient, but up to three times a day – if you have solid, relevant, non-sales-y content – is fine. Be sure to include an image with all of your posts, as visually compelling posts always elicit the most response.
Share your content
Share content from your website on your social accounts. This is an excellent way to drive traffic back to your site and get more mileage out of the content you create.
Keep your profiles up to date
Maintaining up-to-date, accurate information on your social profiles is very important as, in many cases, this is how customers find you. Ensure all your info is correct: address, phone number, hours of operation, and any other information you feel is relevant.
Take control of your online presence
Find out how many places your business shows up on profiles that you did not actually create. Ratings and reviews sites such as Bing, Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor contain business profiles generated as a result of user reviews – but you can take control of these profiles and use them to your advantage.
Each of these sites has its own process for claiming ownership of a listing. Once you own your listing, you may be able to optimize it with photographs, logos, and more accurate descriptions of what you offer. It’s also a great way to engage with the people who are actually using your product or service.
Do a Google search of your business every so often to see what comes up. Keeping the sum total of your online presence streamlined and on-message is a very important component of digital marketing.
Paid Digital Ads Audit
Paid digital advertising is a way to capture business on the web, but it can be costly. If you are going to dedicate resources to paid digital ads, make sure you are being strategic so you aren’t wasting your money.
Keyword analysis is key to a successful Google AdWords campaign. Without the appropriate keywords, you may be paying too much to put your ad in front of the wrong people. Check into what keywords your competitors are using, and be sure your bid is affordable.
Optimize your landing pages
Ensure that your landing pages are optimized to gain the maximum value from your ad. If the landing page is poorly designed or doesn’t deliver the answer your potential customer is looking for, you stand to lose the click you’ve already paid for.
Your page should be relevant to the ad, easy to navigate and provide the user with instant access to the product or service the ad is targeted to. Always include a clear call-to-action (CTA) so that your potential buyer can complete the action you want them to take.
Are you ready for your digital marketing audit?
It’s a new year, and there’s no better time to start fresh: with these handy tips, you should be well on your way to optimizing your digital marketing strategy to attract more business in 2018 and beyond.
In the event you find yourself running out content ideas or lead generation tricks, listen to the best podcasts for digital marketers to keep you inspired.