Brand positioning takes both time and effort before it can come to fruition. To succeed, you need to incorporate both organic and paid digital marketing channels in your digital marketing strategy. Even when you have acquired a decent position online, you still need to work hard in order to stay on top of your game.
An audit of your digital marketing strategy can help you stay ahead of the curve. Still wondering why you need to conduct an audit of your digital marketing strategy?
Imagine working long hours to create a robust digital marketing strategy. Then you set everything into motion. You started building your digital media assets, creating social accounts, launching your online campaigns, researching keywords, and more. What comes next?
There are a number of reasons why auditing your digital marketing strategy is imperative. Perhaps your website traffic is low or your bounce rates are through the roof. Maybe the number of your social media following has reached a plateau. Or you are simply wondering why your efforts are not helping you hit the necessary sales target.
A digital marketing audit helps you understand the status and performance of your digital marketing efforts. Moreover, it assists in evaluating existing campaigns and digital assets, pointing out its weaknesses, and applying the insights to your strategy.
Digital Audit Frequency
When is the ideal time to conduct a digital marketing audit? It depends on many factors. Take a look at how many campaigns you are running. If you are running multiple campaigns across platforms, it will serve you well to audit the effectiveness of your strategy regularly. Most companies do it quarterly, bi-annually and yearly. Determine which schedule works best for you.
Of course, an audit is not to be confused with social media analytics, Google Analytics, website analytics and search engine optimization analytics which should be done more frequently.
A digital marketing audit is more comprehensive. It includes taking a closer look at your website health, social media marketing campaigns, conversion rates, email marketing, search engine optimization, and your paid advertising campaigns. You also check how you stack up against the competition.
Ideally, when you have completed your digital audit, you will come out with a better grasp of what works, what does not and create solutions to improve your strategy.
Benchmarking Your Digital Readiness
So what’s the first step? Establish benchmarks that will assist you in evaluating and rating the performance of your strategy. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Odds are, your business does not need to score 10/10 in all facets of digital media marketing. But the general rule is being par or better compared to your competitors.
More importantly, you should have a clear understanding of the key performance indicators and goals you have set for your overall digital marketing campaign. This will make it easy to measure your success and areas you need to focus on next.
Some of the metrics you should take into consideration are your reach, engagement and conversion.
Conducting A Digital Marketing Audit
Paid marketing campaigns help businesses generate leads inorganically at a much faster rate. This, however, requires a good handle on search engine marketing, copywriting and ad budgeting.
For many companies, a huge portion of the overall ad budget goes into Google Adwords. You need to be creative and analytic if you want your paid advertisements to keep your ad spend at bay.
These tips will help you optimize your paid ads and get the most out of it:
- Improve or completely rewrite ad copy for better click-through rates (CTR).
- Follow best practices in your banner designs and copy.
- Make sure your PPC campaign keywords work well with the keywords you utilize in your organic SEO efforts.
- Ensure each ad is both web and mobile-friendly.
- Run A/B testing when it comes to your ad placement to see which works best for you.
- Optimize your landing pages. Experiment with copy, design and call-to-action to see which converts best.
- A remarketing strategy may work well for you. Implement and identify if it is worth your ad spend.
Put emphasis on the following in crafting your paid advertising audit:
- Targeting: Are you reaching your target market? There are many options for targeting: demographics, geographic regions, device type and more. Keep your buyer persona in mind in using the range of features set by AdWords.
- Time: Understand the online behaviour of your target market. Do they work a 9 to 5 job? If so, do they commute or drive to work? When are they most active online? These can help you pinpoint the best time for you to run your ads. Not certain? Run several ads in different time segments and see which works best.
- Device: If you want to bid based on the device people are using when they search, separate keywords into individual ad groups. Remember: the more granular your ad groups, the easier it is to create specific bids for a specific keyword.
- Quality score: The relevancy of your ad is important to the success of your campaign. The quality score of your ad directly affects your CPC so be extra careful in crafting your ad. Take a look at your ad copy, landing page and CTR. Ensure that your URL and headline include your target keyword. The description should be catchy but not misleading. And as always, a clear CTA can improve your CTR.
- Landing Page: So you got your target market to click on your ad. Will they spend time on your landing page or exit immediately? You would not want your paid ad to just increase your bounce rate, right? So optimize your landing page according to best practices. The design, text, relevancy and CTA should all work together. Ensure that your message is clear and straightforward. Moreover, it should be relevant to everything you stated in your ad.
Hang on to best practices when it comes to paid advertising. Meanwhile, tread carefully when trying out new features and tricks.
Search Engine Optimization Audit
When done right, your SEO could greatly improve your search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your website. There is no question that consumers tend to use search engines to find out more about a product before making a decision. As such, if you want to be discovered, your marketing strategy should include SEO at its core.
Keep your eyes peeled for updates on search engine algorithms. Also, watch what your competitors are doing well in terms of SEO. Both of these can impact your rankings. Performing an audit can help keep your SEO strategy competitive.
On-Page Optimization: The common issues in on-page optimization include missing or duplicate Page Title, missing or duplicate meta description, page loading time, broken links, internal linking, content duplication, and poor internal linking.
Off-Page Optimization: How does your backlink profile look? Do you have any backlinks from spam websites? Do you have backlinks from websites with high authority? Make sure you are following Google guidelines in building good backlinks. There are many ways you can earn good, authoritative backlinks. So disavow bad backlinks that could hurt your site.
Mobile Responsiveness: Optimizing a website for mobile ensures that visitors who access your site using a mobile device can have a smooth browsing experience. Improve your page loading speed and creat a responsive web design for mobile users. Eliminate elements like pop-ups that may encourage your visitors to just close the page.
Social Media Audit
Time and again, we underscore the importance of having a social media presence. Why? First of all, it improves the discoverability of your brand. It helps you reach out to your target audience, allows you to understand your ideal consumer better, lets you build a relationship with them and establish loyalty.
Choosing Social Platforms: Knowing where you should establish your presence should be your priority. Find out which platform your audience is most active in and start building a presence there.
Social Media Management: Be active on social media and maintain your presence. Establish your brand voice and make sure that your target market can find all the information they need—contact details, website address, services offered and more.
Unique Selling Proposition: Why should people follow your social media accounts? Highlight what makes you stand out from your competitors. Give users value by sharing quality content relevant to your niche that others are not providing. Find out the kind of information they need and deliver.
Here are a few questions you should ask:
- What social media platforms are you using?
- What are your competitors doing right on social media?
- What kind of posting are you posting? Does your intended audience find it engaging?
- How much traffic does your social media efforts drive to your website?
- Are your social ads performing well?
Make future social media audits easier by maintaining a spreadsheet with the following information: social platform, url, login information, date created.
- Keep things fresh by updating cover photos and backgrounds every now and then.
- Make sure each platform has a short but cohesive description.
- Add a link to your website or a webpage you want to highlight.
- Keep a list of relevant hashtags that you can use to improve visibility.
- Social media automation works. But make an effort in engaging your followers.
- Measure the traffic your social media accounts brings to your website. You can do this through Google Analytics. If the performance is poor, running social ads is an effective way of getting more eyeballs to your content.
- Evaluate your content mix and frequency of posts. Find the best time to post content and incorporate more visuals in your editorial calendar.
- Identify the influencers in your niche. Decide whether a social influencer campaign can elevate your social media campaigns.
Content Marketing Audit
Content encompasses all facets of your digital marketing strategy. It is king of any kind of marketing campaigns. Hence, pay close attention to how you are utilizing it.
For one, a content audit will allow you to refresh your old blog posts and link to relevant, fresh articles. Remember: search engines love fresh and up-to-date content.
Conducting a content audit is not just about SEO though. Every now and then, checking if your messaging is consistent across all platforms and campaigns is vital. Your branding should be strongly represented in every piece of content across all channels.
Among the key benefits of auditing your content regularly is keeping up with new buyer personas. This will give you a unique opportunity to create content for customer profiles that you have not previously targeted.
The main goals for a content audit include the following:
- Identify how you can improve organic search through content marketing
- Determine which content performed best
- Revamp or repurpose old content
- Eliminate content that does not reflect your niche or brand voice. Remove pages with overlapping content
- Improve pages with low conversions
- Generate data-backed content ideas
- Find out gaps in your content strategy
Here are a few questions you should ask:
- What kind of content resonates more with your target market?
- What topics do your customers engage more with?
- What are your best performing posts?
- Which content is outdated and can be revamped?
In the end, the most important thing is optimizing your content for both your target audience and search engines. Know what your target market needs and apply SEO best practices in delivering it for optimum results.