Digital Marketing Audit
Chances of success in digital marketing? Let’s do the math. Little details, if overlooked can cost you thousands if not millions of visitors. Your marketing efforts can be pin-sharp targeted to your ideal client at the right time, in the right place, in the right context, and in the right form, if done right. Our Digital Marketing Audit dives carefully into an examination of various aspects of online marketing and more.
Digital Marketing Audit: Conducting A Digital Audit to Reduce Waste and Boost Results
Here’s how to boost your digital marketing plan by spending less money on fruitless marketing strategies and investing more on strategies that guarantee higher ROI.
What is a Digital Marketing Audit and what has it got to do with anything?
You probably have reached the decision as well.
Digital marketing is like a marathon and not a sprint. While it can take just weeks to start seeing your online marketing plan start to yield positive results, it can also take years and still show no ideal results.
Now think of a digital marketing audit as the several water stands in a marathon’s trail. Conducting a digital business audit ensures you “refresh” and get the “vitality” to push on for the rest of the marathon every time you conduct one.
A digital marketing audit, like any auditing effort, seeks to help you find your digital marketing strategy strengths and weak links. Think of it as a SWOT Analysis for your online marketing plan. But on steroids.
The aim is to strike out what no longer works and use what works for your business. That way you can cut unnecessary costs immediately and invest more resources into strategies that are working or show promise.
In this digital marketing audit guide, we’ll take you through the intricacies of conducting a thorough digital auditing process in an actionable way. You can then decide if you want the technical bits of it, and choose to download the in-depth (and techier) e-book later.
What Are the Components of a Comprehensive Digital Marketing Audit?
First, here is something important to keep in mind.
We have noticed a familiar mentality among digital brands over time. The approach extends to some digital marketing companies or agencies too.
The thinking that a digital marketing audit involves only the following is flawed:
- Content Marketing Audit
- SEO Audit
- Social Media Marketing Audit
- Email Marketing Audit
- SEM & PPC Audit
- Measurement and Recommending Improvements
There is more to a detailed audit than this.
Here are the components of a thorough digital marketing audit process that we use for client’s digital marketing consulting needs.
Here is the step-by-step lowdown:
- Digital Marketing Team
- Competitor Review
- Vendor/Partner/ Digital Marketing Agency Review
How about we break these crucial steps down.
Component #1: Strategy
You do not want to start out blindly. Instead, you’ll want to invest time into auditing your digital marketing strategy before you can implement it.
Who is your target audience, are they online and how can you reach out to them? Also, how do you audit a strategy that you have not even kickstarted?
The first step is to be clear on what you intend to accomplish online. Ask what is your “Why” for digitizing your business.
That way you can set SMART marketing objectives to give you a sense of focused direction.
Setting specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound objectives will help you get a better direction and control. Then you can start evaluating how to begin right from the start to achieve your target in time.
But, of course, to decide where to invest your online marketing budget there are a number of factors to consider. Taking a social media element of the strategy example, you might want to ask:
- What is the best social media platform for your brand identity and brand voice?
- Which social media network does your target audience use most and why?
- How does the social media strategy align with your digital strategy, marketing strategy, and overall corporate goals?
- What are social media channels your competitors using to engage their customers and prospects (competitive benchmarking)?
This social media approach is just one example of how you can sketch out an element of your SMART digital marketing strategy.
The whole idea is to align your digital plan with your customer personas.
Questions to ask:
- Would your customers prefer it more if you provided customer service via Facebook Messenger or Telegram?
- Would your customers prefer to learn more about your product or service via video tutorials or webinars (and can you afford it)?
- Are you planning on growing your reach and brand engagement, and what constitutes to useful, interesting and enchanting content to your target audience and in which form should you deliver?
You get the idea. These are some fundamentals you can use to create your digital marketing strategy.
Component #2: Infrastructure & Applications
Once you have decided what you want to accomplish online, it is time to analyze and lay the infrastructure to help apply your marketing strategy in real use cases.
Data management, Computer Hardware, Telecommunication, Operating Systems Internet Platforms are all part of the infrastructure. Website and its hosting is a part of the infrastructure too.
A good digital marketing audit will consist of a thorough infrastructure review to see if it supports your business as it should.
To further reap the benefits of digital infrastructure, you’ll need the right applications for the right use cases.
Some relevant questions to ask during the Audit, having your goals in mind:
- Which applications do you need to install on your e-commerce site to encourage conversions and follow up?
- How to manage a customer database better?
- Which marketing automation tools could help you and at what point?
- What marketing technology to use to capture customer behavior for personalization purposes?
Let’s take an example of starting a campaign that involves automated email sending with the appropriate tagging upon conversion and consequent SMS outreach to a customer with questions about the user experience.
In such case, an advanced marketing automation solution needs to be utilized and the staff needs to the trained. The required software and hardware needs to be installed, tested and launched.
One of the major question involves your data management, including the storage and quality of emails in the database. Do you have the right tools for the database cleanse? We know companies with over 10 million emails in the database and over 80% email bounce rate upon every campaign. To work with Big Data the infrastructure and right applications are crucial for successful execution.
And an additional important question arises regarding the tools for measuring the campaign results. What are the KPIs?
These are some of the basic questions to answer when considering what apps to use to grow your business online.
Component #3: Creative/Design
Often, the main goal of conducting a digital marketing audit of your creative/design aspects is to evaluate and enhance your branding strategy. Design plays a huge role in branding. It helps your target audience to visualize your brand identity, making you memorable to them.
How you design your digital assets helps your prospects and customers make long-term depictions of your brand mission and vision, values, uniqueness and creative flair.
The design affects user experiences and brand engagement. And this is what matters a lot!
Here’s an example:
Think of what you conceive to be a brand’s identity when you browse the website.
- Do the graphics have a lasting impression on you?
- How easy does the desktop website or mobile version layout make it to find the information you need, and how does that make you feel?
- The colors, illustrations, and brand voice, are they easy to identify anywhere online or on just on various social media platforms?
- Is Design consistent?
A design audit will help improve your creative/design elements so you can visually engage your target audience. That way, you can help them form a strong emotional bond with your brand personality.
A design/branding audit can help you achieve milestones such as:
- Create an effective visual communication strategy
- Create and use only designs that resonate with your preferred brand identity
- Ensure your digital assets help visualize a consistent message across multiple online channels
- Ensure your brand logo, color theme and topography are consistent throughout your website and social media platforms
That brings us to perhaps the most popular component of a digital marketing audit.
Component #4: Campaigns
Campaigns are basically the digital marketing aspects of a digital marketing plan. And there are many types of digital marketing campaigns.
Each has both its strengths and drawbacks depending on your business goals. Some are better suited for some marketing drives than others.
Here they are with a brief explanation:
· Auditing your Content Strategy, Content and Content Marketing
You want to know if you are creating the right content for the right target audience.
Here are examples resourceful questions to consider:
- Who is your target audience and is the content appropriate to them?
- Decide what you want your blogs, social media posts, and guest blogs to achieve for your business.
- Do you want to educate, boost brand engagement, build authority, convert more readers to buyers, all of the above and so on?
- Is your content messaging clear and highlighting your unique value proposition (USP) at the right stage of the buyer’s journey?
- Do you really understand the user intent at each stage of the buyer’s journey?
- Does your content bring out your brand identity as it should?
- Is your brand voice consistent across multiple marketing campaigns?
- Are you creating share-worthy content to grow your reach?
- Are you guest-posting on authority websites to enhance your backlinking strategy?
- What are the best assets (video, text, images, infographics etc.) to use for your content marketing at different stages of your funnel?
Your goal will help you decide what quality content looks and feels like to your readers. That way, you can create it and offer them the value they expect at a given stage of the buyer’s journey. Of course, you can also ask your selected readers to let you know what they’d like you to communicate with them via survey tools.
These are some of the questions you can use to determine how to create a blog strategy. When you have conducted an audience evaluation and content strategy audit, you can then switch to content optimization.
· Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit
SEO is the long-term investment that empowers your content to show up on a search engine and be available to ever growing audience. The aim is to make the content visible to interested readers and provide true value. These readers are also referred to as organic search traffic.
The higher up you appear on search results, the higher your chances of receiving more traffic that can convert to sales.
If you have quality content posted on your webpages, and still can’t seem to get a high enough CTR (Click-Through Rate) and a decent number of views, shares, likes, and comments on your content, it might be time for an SEO audit.
Auditing your SEO Strategy involves several undertakings:
- Keywords Research and Analysis: Finding the right keywords for your goals to help you become visible to a specific audience in the right channel.
- On-page SEO auditing: Auditing for internal site issues that need fixing such as duplicate content, slow page load times, mobile responsiveness, redirecting errors, page title and meta description, Headings and Schema Markup, and many more factors. Some website errors can lead to low rankings in search results and need to be addressed immediately.
- Off-page SEO auditing: Finding and fixing concerns such as backlinks issues. For example, spammy link-building is a black hat SEO technique that can get your site de-ranked—or ranked poorly on search engines.
The focus here is to make your content discoverable to as many interested readers as possible, having in mind a user intent always.
· Auditing your Email Marketing Campaign
Also crucial to any digital marketing auditing process is finding how your email marketing strategy is working out for you.
Here are some indicators you’ll want to watch out for when conducting an email marketing review:
- Is your email copy clearly communicating your USP?
- And is the copy persuasive without being pitchy?
- How good is design?
- Are your emails sent at the right time?
- Are you using strong calls-to-action (CTAs) and subject lines?
- Are your emails read by your recipients (open rates)?
- What is the relation between the open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates?
- Have you A/B/X tested your messages enough?
- Is your email marketing campaign well positioned in your marketing funnel?
- How well do you follow up on leads that do not convert immediately?
Those are just a few questions you can answer.
· Social Media Marketing Audit
Again, this campaign method is a big influencer on visibility, engagement, conversion and sales. You might want to start by seeing if you continue to build your social media influence by increasing followers and page likes with the right audience. Because if not, you might want to rethink your social media marketing strategy.
- Are you using the appropriate social media platform for your target audience?
- Has your brand engagement improved recently? If yes, what are the posts that have helped in that regard? Find them. They might be what your target audience really cares to know from you.
- Have you reached out to a social media influencer in your niche before to help boost your brand visibility and credibility, and at what point should you reach out to one?
- Is your brand identity consistent across all your social media channels?
· Mobile Marketing Audit
Since 2016, more online visitors access the web through a mobile device than they use a desktop. In fact, 52% of them will not buy from you if you do not have a mobile-responsive website.
What does this mean to you?
A digital marketing audit can show you how this trend is affecting your reach, customer experience, conversion rate and sales. Are your desktop conversions dropping? It is definitely time to use a mobile-responsive or mobile platform that works to attract more sales.
· Paid Search/Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Audit
Paid search can yield impressive results when implemented well. But it can also turn out to be a short-lived, expensive affair. That is if you are not sure how to deploy ads, measure performance and implement continuous improvement to drive a healthy return on investment (ROI).
A digital marketing audit can help you decide the ratio between the paid search and organic search depending on what you want to accomplish in a given time.
You must learn important indicators such as your campaigns’ cost-of-acquisition per customer and various conversion rates. With PPC you learn about your buyer’s reaction to your digital efforts in real time. This is a priceless information for your SEO strategy adjustment.
You can also conduct a digital advertising audit to evaluate precisely how you use your online marketing budget. So you can see where you are losing money and figure out which alternative avenues to use to optimize costs and maximize ROI.
Component #5: Analytics
The immediate purpose of conducting a digital marketing audit is to measure the performance of your digital assets. Collecting and using data to understand the important metrics to watch out for is essential here.
You can use data from your website’s analytics dashboard. You can also conduct an e-commerce conversion audit with heat maps. Still, you can collect feedback customer surveys, client case studies, and so on. There are countless tools for analytics these days.
Performance analysis is imperative because you get to measure what has been working, how well, and what has been failing.
That way you can understand where to lay more effort and where to reduce investment. The point is to avoid flogging dead horses to only feed productive horses that get you bottom-line brimming with highest ROMI possible.
Some details to flesh out in digital metrics auditing:
- Do you have the right marketing automation tools set up correctly? And if so, what quantitative results are you getting from them?
- Are you using the right business reporting processes and tools?
- How is your conversion tracking?
Using data to analyze performance results helps eliminate the guesswork from selecting the best digital marketing campaign type for your target audience.
Component #6: Competitor Review
Gathering business intelligence on what your competitors are doing can help you to stay a step ahead. Competitive benchmarking is also a fantastic opportunity to understand what works for your rival and what doesn’t.
Also, you can use the intel to see what tools, goals, and platforms your competition is currently using and where they are planning to shift to in future.
That way, you can improvise on standard practice in your industry to satisfy more ideal customers, gain new and repeat business, and stay competitive.
So use your digital metrics audit to:
- Conduct a digital review of your top competitors for practical benchmarking
- Conduct thorough reviews of your competitors’ digital assets and performance
- Benchmark your USP and call-to-actions with your top competitors
- Find out their future plans and whether that is a way you would like to go
- Discover how much info your competition might also have on your business to stay ahead
Component #7: Digital Marketing Team
It is easy to miss this step when conducting a quick digital marketing audit for your digital brand. But whether your company has knowledgeable in-house digital marketeering team is crucial to sustaining long-term digital success.
You might want to team up with a digital marketing consulting agency to help you build the talent pool needed to sustain new-found online marketing success.
Ask if yourself:
- Have the right set of skills in your digital marketing team to conduct a thorough digital audit and derive accurate conclusions?
- Is your team well-skilled to use the right metrics and recommend resourceful and actionable improvements?
- Need to train new talent, hire an expert employee or hire a digital marketing consultant?
Component #8: Vendor/Partner/Digital Marketing Agency Review
By hiring a digital auditing partner, you are paying for services. And you want to see returns on your investment. So how thorough and results-driven a vendor performs an audit is important.
It is not uncommon for some digital marketing companies to claim a “campaign” based digital marketing audit is good-enough. But in a holistic digital marketing audit the campaigns are just one of eight components of an exhaustive review.
A thoroughly performed Digital Marketing Audit that draws the right conclusions can boost your growth. Therefore, a choice of the right partner for your firm is of an utmost importance.
Your Online Marketing Audit: Conclusion
Getting a digital marketing audit report will help you to pinpoint what works and what does not for your business. The immediate benefit you get is you can eliminate cash-holes and invest in strategy that works for you. In the long-term, you will increase your online traffic, engagement, visibility, conversions and sales.
So you can save costs as you switch to the right means to boost your growth.
Any other technique you use to create a comprehensive digital audit report that works? We invite you to share your hacks in the comments.
Or would you want more details on how to conduct a digital marketing audit to boost your ROMI?
Contact Us and request your FREE brief Online Marketing Audit.