The first step to launching a successful digital marketing strategy is carefully sitting down, planning it out, and putting it into place. However, the digital world practically moves at the speed of light. Tactics that worked three months ago may no longer be best-practice. Tactics that worked three years ago may actually be harming your efforts. In order to stay truly effective, you must regularly conduct a digital marketing audit to ensure that all aspects of your overall digital marketing strategy are cohesive and effective.
A digital marketing audit is a thorough process that you should handle regularly. Once per quarter is ideal, and once per year is the absolute longest you should go. Taking a look at all of your strategies lets you understand what’s working, identify what isn’t working, and should give you plenty of ideas as you work through the health check.
Below, we’ll lay out some of the key aspects of a successful digital marketing audit, going through the key strategies one-by-one. As you perform your digital marketing audit, keep in mind that every business is different. You need to check every single aspect of your overall digital marketing, whether it’s described below or not. The ultimate goal is to review everything you’re doing, understand if it’s working, and brainstorm how you can improve upon it.
1. Social Media
The first step of your social media audit is to take a quick look at your numbers. How many followers or page likes do you have? Have they grown over the past several months or year? You’ll also need to take a careful look at your engagement statistics. Five engaged users are much more valuable than ten times as many passive ones. Are your Tweets getting more favorites? Do your Facebook posts get more comments and likes? If your audience is growing but your engagement numbers are stagnant, it means that you’re probably not attracting the right type of audience.
Make sure to break it down by platform. If you see your audience or engagement numbers growing or lagging on a specific platform, consider why that is. Your content might not be as consistent on that platform, or perhaps it’s just not a good fit for your audience. If that’s the case, you may want to consider shutting it down in order to focus your time on a more engaged audience elsewhere. At the very least, you’ll want to rethink your strategy about how to use it.
Next, you’ll want to take a look at specific pieces of content. Which types of posts are getting the most engagement? That’s what you want to replicate and reuse on other platforms. Is anything not getting any reaction whatsoever? Pull back on those posts and create something else.
Finally, you’ll want to try and analyze what your social media presence is actually worth. Do people that come from your social media websites tend to generate revenue, or are they not really worth the trouble? Is there a specific type of valuable audience your social media tends to attract? The answers to this will help you understand exactly who you should target on your social media platforms, and how to convince them to convert and take the next step with your business.
2. Paid Digital Advertising
Pay-per-click audits are vital. If you’re not maintaining a healthy return on each click, why bother paying for them? Start off by making sure your conversions are tracking properly. If you can’t track conversions from your paid campaigns, you’ll never be able to truly understand if they’re working for you or not.
Next, take a couple of minutes to review your overall account and campaign settings. This should be fairly straightforward, but it’s worthwhile in case something was configured incorrectly. Take a look at the device, location, and time settings to make sure they make sense for your campaigns. Quickly review your overall budget. As long as everything looks as it should, it’s time to dive in deeper.
Review your ad groups. Your ads must be tailored to the right audience and the landing pages need to flow naturally. If any ad groups are performing particularly well, take a look and see what you should take away from them to use elsewhere. You should also consider allocating a larger portion of the budget. On the other hand, look at any groups that aren’t performing particularly well. Consider revamping them or simply cutting back your spending.
Lastly, it’s time to review your keywords. Make sure that you review them in the light of their ad groups. If a keyword isn’t performing well, you may simply need to use a different ad or landing page to accompany it. If any keywords are clearly not performing, it’s time to dump them and add them to your negative keyword list. Jot down your best-performing keywords and try to brainstorm other potential keywords you could take advantage of, too.
3. Search Engine Optimization
A comprehensive SEO audit consists of four separate types of analysis:
- Technical: a technical analysis essentially takes a look at whether or not your website is functioning as it should. If your website loads slowly, or doesn’t perform well on mobile, that now has a significant impact on your Google search rank. You’ll need to take a look to make sure that all pages are accessible to search engines and that your meta tags are properly built.
- On-page: this is where you’ll take a look at your website’s actual content and webpages. Do you have relevant content for the keywords you’re attacking? Are any of your links now outdated or broken? Make sure that your page titles have relevant keywords in them along with the URLs. If you have any shorter content, consider beefing it up, as long-form content tends to rank better.
- Competitive: here, you’ll look to see what your competition is doing that you could emulate. Type the keywords you’re aiming for in a search engine and look at the websites appearing ahead of you. What are they doing that you aren’t? Try to think of other niche keywords you can jump ahead of them quickly on.
- Off-page: finally, you’ll need to consider your off-page SEO strategy. Take a look at the websites linking back to you and make sure that the links are still working. If the content is outdated, considering working with your partners to have it updated. Identify new partners and niches that you need to work on generating additional outside links for. The more quality outside links you have, the better your search rank will be.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing audits are fairly straightforward but still incredibly important. Kick it off by taking a look at your most popular posts. Make sure you’re resharing them and repurposing them as best as you can. Update them for future use. If possible, recreate them into social media posts, white papers for landing pages, YouTube videos, or even advertisements.
Take a look at content from years past, too. If you had any good ideas that are now outdated, it’s time to bring them back. Or, if they’re evergreen, you can simply use them again on another platform.
Lastly, take a look at any gaps you might have. Are you covering one specific topic too often but ignoring another segment of your audience? Make sure to do this in line with your paid search and SEO audits, too. If there’s a specific keyword or group of keywords you’re targeting, lay out a plan to create lots of content that will appeal to them.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is still worth your time and needs to be audited as carefully as any of your other digital marketing strategies. After all, 99% of all consumers check their email at least once per day!
Start off by taking a look at the timing of your emails. Do any particular days of the week or times of the day perform better or worse than other times? Does it vary by the audience? The simplest way to improve your email marketing’s performance is by reaching out to people when they’re willing and able to check their messages.
You’ll also want to take a look at how each specific email domain is performing. If you develop a bad reputation with a single email provider, they’ll toss your emails to the junk folder, or even worse, block them entirely. If this is the case, you’ll need to build your reputation back up by sending a small but steady amount of emails to users that you know will open them. Transactional emails are great for that type of warm-up.
Lastly, simply take a look at the emails that perform very well. Look at the subject lines, copy, images, and CTAs. Use this to understand exactly what’s working with your email marketing and implement it throughout the rest of your email marketing strategy, and even your overall digital marketing strategy.
You’ll get as much out of your digital marketing audit as you put into it. By conducting a thorough review of all of your existing digital marketing strategies, you’ll come away with a thorough understanding of how it’s all working together and which areas could stand to improve a bit. Your next digital marketing audit will be much easier and hopefully generate even more actionable ideas!