What Is a Digital Marketing Audit?

So, you've funnelled money and resources into a marketing campaign. Although an influx of engagement, enquiries and sales was expected, the only reaction was a handful of website visitors.

Revising a campaign is the only way to recover, but what went wrong in the first place? That's where a digital marketing audit takes the spotlight.

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A digital audit is a deep dive into your marketing channels and activity, from social media to SEO. A thorough investigation into your current practices and performance will help to identify loopholes, uncover new growth opportunities and ultimately tell you what is and isn't working, in line with your business goals and objectives.

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Digital Elements That You Should Audit.

To achieve success, you must imagine your digital marketing strategy as one well-oiled machine, powered by many individual cogs.

Social Media Marketing, SEO, Paid Media and Content Marketing are vital elements of a wider mission. Each is as important as the last, and they all must work together if the marketing machine that is your website is to run effectively.

While you can pick ‘n’ mix what areas of your marketing efforts you would like us to audit, we prefer to be as meticulous as possible. To help fuel your digital efforts to their capacity, we recommend auditing the following components of your marketing campaign:

SEO Audit

Social Media Audit

Paid Media/PPC Audit

Content Audit

Web Performance

Core Vitals

Why You Need a Digital Media Audit.

A website is one of the most important investments a business owner can make, and visibility is priceless.

Regardless of the primary purpose of your website, meaningful campaigns should fuel its success and propel your brand into the limelight. What do you do if this is failing? You conduct a digital marketing audit.

Whether your goal is to increase sales, generate leads or raise awareness, a routine audit of your marketing plan can identify which initiatives support your objectives and which are a hindrance.

 

Without a digital marketing audit, you could waste months of precious time chasing your tail without any clear direction on where to make improvements or how to revive your key performance metrics.

Whether it's an upcoming website launch, refreshing an existing marketing strategy or plotting a future campaign, a digital audit provides you with a clear-cut and data-led approach to driving conversions and your digital presence to their maximum potential.

What Are the Main Benefits of a Full Digital Audit?

  1. Identify weaknesses in your activity
  2. Leverage your strengths
  3. Uncover fresh ideas and opportunities for growth
  4. Boost your return on investment
  5. Align with your business goals and values

Signs You Need a Digital Strategy Audit.

A digital audit identifies and recommends a data-first strategy to boost a business's online performance.

A business of any size, new or old, can reap the rewards of an audit even if they seem to be thriving. There is always room for improvement. However, there are some indicators that your current marketing strategy is decaying and that you would benefit from a thorough audit of your activity.

Ask yourself, have you noticed any of these telltale signs?:

  1. Decrease in web traffic, or it has plateaued
  2. Loss of Google rankings
  3. Lack of social media engagement
  4. Failing to generate sales, or they have plateaued
  5. Failing to meet goal conversions
  6. Click-through-rate is lacking

If the answer is yes, a systematic and detailed assessment of your strategies, goals and performance is what your company needs to fuel its digital success.

Common Scenarios for Running a Digital Audit.

We don't always perform audits for clients with a failing marketing strategy. Regular audits are often used as a preventative measure or a way of brainstorming fresh ideas and enhancing performance to avoid failure.

Here are some common scenarios for running a digital audit:

  1. You have started a new business
  2. You want to introduce a new campaign
  3. You are preparing to launch a new product
  4. You have taken over an existing business
  5. Your current strategy is failing to deliver

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Digital Audit Framework.

The framework of an audit changes drastically depending on the assets you are auditing. For example, your paid media activity requires a different investigation than your content marketing campaign.

A healthy digital marketing audit will inspect every inch of your operations to identify and advise a plan of action against any hurdles. However, three main components will be assessed in any sound digital audit; Reach, Strategy and Conversions.

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Reach

For your business to flourish online, visibility is crucial. Whether this is a social profile, a website or a paid ad, if you want your brand to grow you must reach the eyes of as many potential customers as possible. A substantial reach is measured differently for each digital channel, but without it, your marketing efforts are going to waste.

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Strategy

A marketing campaign cannot be successful without a meaningful strategy at its heart. It is a forward plan of all marketing activity, including content output, social activity, paid campaigns and beyond. A strategy refresh will inject a new lease of life into your marketing and excite potential customers.

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Conversions

Conversions are the most significant factor in your marketing efforts, and the biggest indicator of your success. If your work is not yielding results, it is a waste of investment, time and resources. Our digital audits allow you to pinpoint which strategies or outputs are working and where you should refocus your energy.

What's Included In Our Digital Audit Service...

Performance Analysis.


Investigate marketing activity or channels, and measure current performance against KPIs.

Audience Analysis.


Examine audience behaviour to learn how we can encourage higher engagement and conversions.

Competitor Research.


Review your competition, their activity and performance, and gauge your position in the marketplace.

Website Review.


Understand your website better, assessing core vitals, user experience and general performance.

Organic and Paid Positioning.


Review of all organic and paid activity, including on-page and off-page SEO, and how to better use paid budgets.

Valuable Recommendations.


Receive a defined list of data-led actions that will help to drive your marketing to the next level.

How to Tell a Good Audit from a Bad Audit.

An effective digital marketing audit doesn't take a one-size-fits-all approach, so it's tricky to determine specifics of a "good" or "bad" audit. Success will also look very different in the eyes of the auditor and the customer.

Indicators of an efficient audit include:

  • Insightful Learnings - A digital audit should uncover issues, concerns or approaches that you haven't previously noticed. It will bring new ideas to life and highlight hidden matters that are halting progress.
  • Multiple Data Sources - An audit collates data and insights to gauge how successful your assets are. You cannot be sure of the data's accuracy unless it's cross-compared with several sources.
  • Recommendations - Performing an audit is a waste of time unless the data forms recommendations and the client is presented with a clear route to improving their marketing activity.
  • Actionable - If the recommendations are not reasonably actionable, the client may feel overwhelmed with the advised to-do list. You should bring all concerns to the client's attention, but recommendations should be practical.
  • A Willingness to Work - This is from the perspective of the auditor and the client. As we mentioned above, some of the actions required to fire up your marketing might be significant. The client must be willing to invest their time or finances into actioning the findings, and the auditor should offer up their assistance if they have the facilities to do so.
  • A Focus on Customer Goals - If the customer's goals or objectives are not at the forefront of the task, the assessment is irrelevant and the audit won't have the impact they expect.

How to Do a Digital Audit.

How to perform an audit in six steps:

  1. Question Everything.

    The first step on your mission to success is choosing the metrics that you want to measure. These metrics will then form the heart of your audit and will help navigate the research and analysis that you carry out.
    Whether you realise it or not, every website will have hundreds of measurables, so trying to include them all will be overwhelming.

    Choose a select few that showcase your businesses main aim, for better or worse.
    Spend some time determining the most worthwhile metrics before you jump in the deep end. If you are struggling, consider your quarterly or yearly business goals, or your goals for each channel or media output.

  2. Data Collection.

    Your metrics are decided, now it's time to start collecting the performance data of your business website, social channels and email marketing.

    Measure statistics such as page speed, click-through rates, bounce rates, conversions, goal completions, sales data, social engagements, email subscribers and unsubscribers. You can also go beyond website performance and analyse matters such as customer feedback, survey responses, internal observations, for example.

  3. Highlight Key Issues.

    After collecting and evaluating the data found in step two, you should think about what you are or are not doing well, and highlight the key issues that stem from these findings.

    It's not all bad though, for the most accurate overview of your business, underline any positives that stand out, too.

  4. Competitor Analysis.

    After your evaluation exercise and you know where your own business is sitting, it's time to analyse the market around you. While you can't influence your competitors' next steps, you can use their performance to enhance your own and leap ahead of the game.Choose the big 10 competitors from your industry or those targeting the same market, and analyse:

    What is or isn't working for them?
    What is their current market share, what gaps have you spotted and how can you exploit them?
    How have they differentiated themselves from the rest of the market? What makes them unique from you?
    What is their marketing strategy and what marketing channels are they utilising?
    What tools are they currently using?
    Evaluate their company culture, including employee satisfaction.
    Analyse their customer reviews, both positive and negative, for an accurate insight into the business.
    How do you rate the user experience of their website?

  5. Review Your Strategy.

    Step 5, go back and review your marketing strategy.

    The previous exercises will have made you aware of issues, strengths and weaknesses you wouldn't have known about when you were planning your current strategy. You might realise it's no longer aligned to your goals and can't propel your business forward in the way you once thought.

    With these new insights, review your strategy for:

    Content Types: What content works for your business, and what is lacking
    Content Distribution: what channels do you use for distribution, and how effective after they for encouraging engagements or boosting conversion rate
    Keywords: Are you targeting the best keywords and phrases?
    SEO: What on-page and off-page SEO do you have in place, and how does this boost your content?
    Social Media: How engaged is your social audience, and would you benefit from paid social?
    Buyer Journey: Does your strategy accurately reflect the buyer’s journey of your target audience?
    Post-Journey Plans: What plans do you have in place after your customer's purchase is complete

  6. Summarise Your Findings.

    It is time to summarise your findings.

    These conclusions will help you to identify weaknesses or gaps in your strategy, make room to ditch anything that isn't bolstering your marketing and brainstorm fresh ideas that will continue to accelerate your digital presence.

What Audit Tools Are Available.

The key to nurturing your digital marketing through an audit is collecting real-life performance data, measuring against your mission and KPIs, and converting this assessment into impactful recommendations.

To gather this data, you need to form a trusted band of reliable auditing tools. Our experts have spent years scoping and trialling countless tools, exploring the good, the bad and the ugly. If you plan to perform the digital audit yourself, we have assembled a go-to list of tools to help you power your way through the project:

  • Google Analytics: Track your ROI and measure insights such as web traffic, content performance, audience behaviour and paid media activity.
  • Google Search Console: Measure your website organic performance in Google search engine results, identify and fix issues.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Carry out keyword research, review average monthly searches and find the best words or phrases to boost your website's organic performance.
  • SEMRush: Conduct competitor analysis, keyword research and gain valuable insights into your website's organic performance and Google positioning.
  • Screaming Frog: Crawl your web pages to detect issues with your website's content or technical SEO errors.
  • Ahrefs: Assess link building and web rankings, and conduct keyword research, competitor analysis and site audits.
  • Majestic: Develop link building strategies based on data such as Trust Flow, Citation Flow and Topical Trust Flow.
  • Moz: Improve SEO visibility with keyword, competitor, link explorer and ranking insights.

When exercising the right tools, you can save hours on gathering data that you would otherwise have to do manually. While some of our top-pick tools are free to use, some have a fee, but it's worth weighing up the financial investment versus the time saved.