Get Higher ROI with a Digital Marketing Audit
Unlock higher ROI with our comprehensive Digital Marketing Audit guide. Discover proven strategies, industry insights, and actionable tips for business success.
November 21, 2023
When you think of the word "audit," do you picture endless lists of problems with no solutions in sight?
If so, then it's time to change that perspective.
A digital marketing audit is a tool to uncover problems and provide solutions.
In this article, we'll explore the true power of digital marketing audits. I'll also share a framework you can use to conduct an in-house audit and take control of your company's growth.
What Is a Digital Marketing Audit and Why Is It Important?
A digital marketing audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a company's digital marketing campaigns, tactics, and performance. It helps identify areas for improvement and optimization, ensuring that marketing efforts are aligned with business goals and delivering the highest return on investment.
There are many ways to promote a business with online marketing. Among them are:
- A company website and landing pages
Content marketing strategy
Social media platforms
Paid advertising campaigns
Search engine optimization
As popular as digital marketing is, there’s only one problem: it can get expensive.
That’s why companies need a digital marketing audit. An audit assesses how well your digital marketing strategy is working. Based on the audit findings, the final report lists recommendations to improve your digital presence.
One of the most valuable reasons to get a digital marketing audit is to gain clarity. When your marketing goals are clear, the strategy becomes easier to manage.
Most marketing agencies offer free audits, such as SEO or website audits. The agency scans the company website and runs a report to do the audit. The report outlines SEO errors or technical issues on the client’s website. Then, the agency provides the client with a proposal to fix the problems for a fee.
Marketing agencies use free audits as tools to get branding or marketing services. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. But the audit itself doesn’t solve the client’s problems. It only highlights them.
However, a comprehensive digital marketing audit doesn’t just identify problems. It also provides solutions brands can leverage for growth.
Benefits of a Digital Marketing Audit
Many businesses contact us because they want better results from their online marketing activities. In our initial conversations, we find that nearly every one of them fits into one or both of these groups:
- They have experimented with different marketing strategies and campaigns, but none have worked.
- They have hired at least a few (in some cases, several) marketing agencies. But each one has taken a different approach. Results have been inconsistent. And they’ve run out of patience.
If this sounds familiar, it's time to break the cycle.
By conducting a digital marketing audit of your past and current strategies, you can identify the inconsistencies that have been hindering growth.
Digital Marketing Audit: Strategic Benefits
Of course, the primary purpose of a digital marketing audit is to improve ROI. Here’s how it will do that:
Improved User Experience (UX): An audit includes a review of UX factors like website navigation, page load times, and responsive design. A positive user experience can increase customer engagement, conversions, and retention.
Effective SEO Strategy: An audit includes an analysis of your SEO keyword strategy. The keyword strategy impacts a website’s SEO rankings and organic traffic growth.
Robust Social Media Presence: Improve target audience engagement on social media pages. The audit checks your content’s shareability and your brand’s level of social proof.
Improved Content Marketing: An audit reveals whether your content creation process works or if it needs revising.
Heightened Brand Awareness: A digital marketing audit can boost a company’s brand awareness. You’ll discover how potential customers find your brand and what they want from it.
How to Conduct a Digital Marketing Audit
In this section, we’ll go over each step of the digital marketing audit process.
Digital Marketing Audit Goals
Goals guide your entire audit project, keeping you focused and on track throughout the process.
The first step is to define what you want to achieve with the audit. For instance, you might aim to increase website traffic, boost conversion rates, or improve engagement metrics on social media channels.
Next, consider the metrics you'll use to track progress toward these goals. Common metrics include website bounce rate, page views, time spent on the site, and conversion rates. For social media, you might track likes, shares, and comments. These metrics will be your key performance indicators (KPIs) and help you gauge success.
Then, align your goals with your overall business objectives. If your business aims to increase brand awareness, your audit goals might involve optimizing your content and SEO strategies to reach more people.
Finally, document your goals and involve all stakeholders in the process. Keep everyone informed about what you want to achieve and why. This way, the entire team understands the purpose of the audit and can work together to reach these goals.
Remember to revisit and refine your goals periodically. Digital marketing is dynamic, and what works today might not work tomorrow.
Online Competitor Analysis
Performing competitor analysis is an integral part of a digital marketing audit. Doing so shows you which strategies within your industry are successful and which mistakes to avoid.
Start by identifying who your main competitors are. A good approach is to consider who your customers compare you to when making purchasing decisions. These competitors can be both direct (those who offer a similar product or service) or indirect (those who offer a different product or service that satisfies the same need).
Next, analyze their online presence. Review their website, blog content, social media channels, and any other digital platforms they use. What keywords are they targeting? What type of content are they producing? How often do they post? How engaged is their audience?
Use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to do a granular dive into each competitor's SEO strategy. Check their backlink profile, domain authority, keyword rankings, and on-page SEO tactics.
Also, evaluate their paid advertising campaigns. Platforms like SpyFu or SimilarWeb can provide insights into their keywords, ad copy, and cost per click for paid search campaigns.
Finally, assess their overall digital strategy performance. Are they successfully driving traffic to their website? Are they effectively converting visitors into leads or customers?
Competitor analysis should help you refine your own digital marketing strategy. Look for ways to exploit their weaknesses and learn from their strengths to improve your marketing.
Remember, competitor analysis is not a one-time activity. The digital landscape and your competitors' strategies are constantly evolving. Regularly monitoring your competitors can help you stay ahead of the curve.
Marketing analytics can be instrumental in setting benchmarks for your digital marketing strategy. These benchmarks serve as a standard or point of reference against which your performance can be measured and evaluated.
In a digital marketing audit, you might look at metrics like site traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, and average time spent on your site. These metrics provide critical insights into how your audience interacts with your website and can help identify areas for improvement.
- Site Traffic: This metric measures the number of visits your site garners. You can set benchmarks for site traffic and aim for steady growth. For example, you might aim to increase your monthly site traffic by 10 percent.
- Conversion Rates: This measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your site, such as purchases, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. Again, you can set a benchmark for this metric and strive to improve it. For example, you might set a goal to improve your conversion rate from 2% to 3%.
- Bounce Rate: This refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page. A high bounce rate typically indicates that users aren't finding the information they sought, and you may need to improve your site's content, layout, or navigation.
- Average Time on Site: This metric provides user engagement and satisfaction insights. A higher average time on site can indicate that users find your content valuable and engaging.
Remember, your benchmarks should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Evaluate your metrics regularly and adjust your benchmarks as necessary to continue driving improvements in your digital marketing strategy.
Want to improve your marketing strategy? Marketing analytics consulting services provide data-driven insights and recommendations to optimize your campaigns.
A company’s website is its online headquarters. For that reason, a website audit is one of the most important pieces of your digital marketing audit.
To audit your website, look at on-page and off-page factors, such as:
The User Experience (UX): A website should be easy for visitors to use. UX is subjective, but best practices focus on:
- User needs (visitor goals)
Site structure (navigation, layout)
Test On-Page Links: Make sure all links on your website pages work. Broken links lead to nowhere and can be frustrating to users.
Mobile Friendliness: Your website should display correctly on mobile devices. A lot of us use our phones to browse the web these days. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is a tool that allows you to check mobile functionality.
User Flow: User flow tracks how users move around web pages. Google Analytics can show you how long they stay and where they go next. If they leave too soon, it might be because they aren’t interested. In this case, rethink the page. Does it give the visitor what they want?
Backlink Audit: This audit step reviews all the links that point to your website from other sites. Check each one to assess link quality. Remove low-quality links that could affect your site’s search engine rankings. You’ll need a tool to help with this step as well. We recommend Ahref’s backlink checker.
An SEO audit assesses how easy it is for search engines, like Google, to find your website. Here are the primary areas to cover in this step:
Site Visibility: Visibility refers to how often your site appears in search results. This metric is usually expressed as a percentage, like market share. The more keywords you rank for, the higher your site’s visibility will be. Moz offers a site visibility feature, but you must have a paid plan. There are other tools you can use as well.
Keyword research tools like SEMRush can help you identify high-value keywords and track their rankings over time.
Technical SEO: This is the behind-the-scenes data that can affect your web ranking. Your site should be accessible for search engines to crawl and index. Check to see if you have an up-to-date sitemap and correct any website errors. Screaming Frog has a popular free technical SEO audit tool you can use to check for errors.
Keep in mind that technical SEO can be complicated. If you need help, talk with your SEO specialist, or click here to contact us.
There are two parts to a content audit:
Content marketing (i.e., blog posts, social media posts)
On-Page Content: refers to the Home page and service (or product) pages. It's also a good idea to look at the About page and other pages you think website visitors will use.
As you go through each one, ask some key questions. Does it have a clear purpose? Is it providing valuable information to your audience? Is it engaging and easy to read or scan? It might need some work if it doesn’t meet these criteria.
Assess Page SEO Value: How much does each page help your SEO efforts? Are your keywords included in the content? Does the page title and description include keywords?
Social Media Marketing Audit
No online brand would be complete without a social media presence. That’s why a digital marketing audit should include a review of each social media channel.
Check Profile Content: Look at each social media profile. Is all the information filled out, like the About sections and business hours? Images (i.e., profile and cover photos) should align with your brand identity.
Assess Engagement: Review posts from the last 90-180 days. Note how often people interact with your posts. Engagement can be likes, comments, shares, or anything related to follower interactions. Reviewing these, consider how they can help you grow your business.
Paid Advertising Audit
Brands use several platforms to run paid ads, but the most common are:
Google Search ads
Google Display ads
Social media ads (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn)
Look at how well your ads perform now. How many people see, click on, and react to your ads? Tools like Google Ads and Facebook Ads Manager can provide these insights.
Every ad should have goals. Examples are more website visitors, sales, or email signups. Does each ad align with its goal? Are you targeting the right customer groups for each goal?
You often bid for ad space in digital advertising. If your bids are too high, you might be spending too much. If they’re too low, your ads might not be getting shown.
The ad creative is what the customer sees–the text, image, or video. Is it catchy? Does it get your point across?
Finally, determine if you use the best ad types to reach potential customers. For example, Google Display Network ads may be better for brand awareness. Google Search ads work best for direct selling.
Email Marketing Audit
It’s getting tougher to reach people via email. An email audit can help you improve your campaigns to make them as effective as possible.
Check Open Rates: This metric shows how many people open your emails. If the open rate is low, your subject lines aren’t compelling, or your emails go to the spam folder.
Look at Click-Through Rates: Click-through rate is the number of people who click on a link in your email. If this rate is low, improve your offer and call to action.
Assess Your Subject Lines: The subject headline is the first thing people see. It should be engaging and give a sense of what the email is about. If your open rates are low, try spicing up your subject lines.
Who Should Perform Your Digital Marketing Audit?
Choosing who to perform a digital marketing audit is an important decision. Here are some tips:
The Brand Auditors: A Unique Digital Marketing Audit
The Brand Auditors doesn't perform generic, one-size-fits-all audits. Nor do we perform audits to sell you branding or marketing services.
Want to know more? Click on the button below to connect with an auditor.
Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?
Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies optimize performance.
- Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
- Reduce marketing expenses.
- Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.
We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.
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