What is a Digital Marketing Audit and Why Do You Need One?| Jennifer Begg
What is a Digital Marketing Audit?
A digital marketing audit is a comprehensive review of your organisation’s overall digital marketing performance. It is designed to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. The audit typically includes an analysis of your website, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and other digital channels. It also looks at the effectiveness of your current strategies and provides recommendations on how to improve them.
What’s Included in a Digital Marketing Audit?
A thorough audit begins with outlining all visible online touchpoints for your brand. For example:
- Social Media
- PPC Advertising
- Media Coverage
Each channel is then evaluated against your business objectives to determine how well they are performing individually and as part of a holistic digital marketing strategy.
The audit involves an in-depth review of your current digital marketing strategy, platform and channel usage, workflow process, objectives and goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), budget allocation and best practices. All of this information should be collected to provide a clear picture of the areas where improvements can be made as well as identify strengths that could be leveraged to achieve success. The audit should produce a detailed report providing insight on areas such as cost-effectiveness, customer acquisition strategies, lead generation tactics and more.
Additionally, during the audit process your business should be asking questions such as: What marketing channels are we using? Are they effective? Are they integrated with each other? How is our website structured and hosted? What content do we have and how often do you update it? These questions will ensure that all aspects of your digital marketing landscape have been addressed in the report. By answering these questions, you can identify areas for improvement or optimisation before making a final decision on how to move forward.
Why Do You Need to Undertake an Audit of Your Digital Channels?
Performing an audit of your digital channels helps provide an overall view of your online performance. It can be an extremely useful tool to measure your progress and successes, as well as identify areas that need improvement. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your digital presence, you can ensure your resources are allocated in the right places to maximise ROI in your marketing efforts. Specifically, an audit will give you an overview of the effectiveness of each digital area, including metrics such as conversion rate, engagement rates and website effectiveness, amongst others.
76% of businesses say that marketing analytics help them make better strategic decisions.(source: Salesforce)
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each digital channel will allow you to better assess future opportunities and strategies for improvement. By understanding key performance indicators across all your channels, you can make informed decisions about where best to invest resources for maximum ROI.
How to Analyse and Assess Your Digital Efforts?
A digital marketing audit looks beyond the numbers to really evaluate what the numbers represent. Each data point tells a story of customer interaction and user behaviour.
By looking at every digital touchpoint from the business and user perspective, you can contextualise the data and make informed, personalised decisions. For example, a data point like “website page views per session” can be read in a number of ways:
- High pages per session can mean that users are enjoying your content and want to read more – or it could mean that they can’t find what they’re looking for
- Low pages per session can mean users are not engaged with your content – or it could mean that you’ve done a great job of optimising your SEO to drive people to exactly the page they need
Looking at all your data in a holistic way ensures your audit has actionable insights that will have genuine impact on performance, resource and your brand reputation.
A high-level view of a digital audit
1. Analyse your current digital strategy: Take a look at the channels you’re currently using and assess how well they’re performing. Are they driving the desired results? Are there any areas where you could be doing better?
2. Identify opportunities for improvement: Once you’ve identified areas of weakness, it’s time to brainstorm ways to improve your digital strategy. Are there any new channels you could be using? Could you be doing more with the channels you’re already using?
3. Set measurable goals: Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, it’s important to set measurable goals so that you can track your progress and measure success.
4. Develop a plan of action: Now that you’ve identified areas for improvement and set measurable goals, it’s time to develop a plan of action. What steps will you take to reach your goals?
5. Monitor and adjust: As you implement your plan, monitor the results and adjust as needed. Are there any changes that need to be made? Are there any new opportunities that have arisen?
To audit your efforts effectively, it’s important to look at both performance metrics – like engagement rates, referral traffic and conversion rates – as well as more qualitative factors like content strategy, creative executions and customer experience. Additionally, an audit should consider broader context when evaluating performance – such as seasonal trends and industry benchmarks – to get a clearer picture of how effective each channel truly is. The audit should also consider the customer journey and how each channel contributes to it. This will help identify any gaps or opportunities for improvement in the overall customer experience. Finally, the audit should look at how well each channel is integrated with other channels, such as email or social media, to ensure a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints.
What Should You Do After An Audit?
After completing a digital marketing audit, you should have an accurate picture of your current performance and have identified opportunities for improvement.
Of course, any digital marketing audit must be followed up by action. Lead time to a successful strategy may vary, but implementing goals and strategies should be undertaken as quickly as possible.
The first step is to identify the areas of improvement and prioritize them. This could include updating website content, improving on-page SEO, creating a social media campaign, or developing an email marketing campaign. Once the goals are identified, it is important to create a timeline for implementation. Next, it’s essential to develop a budget for any necessary resources such as software or personnel. It may also be necessary to hire outside help such as a web developer or SEO specialist. Once the budget and timeline are in place, it is important to create a plan of action that outlines the steps needed to reach the goals. This could include researching keywords, creating content, optimizing images, or setting up tracking systems. Finally, it’s vital to monitor progress and adjust the plan as required. This could include analyzing website analytics, tracking conversions, or testing different strategies. Regularly reviewing the progress and making changes as needed will help ensure that the goals are met in a timely manner.
To make sure that you’ve identified true opportunities for success, focus on areas which need the most improvement first. Creating targeted objectives and tactics for these areas maximises the potential for a beneficial return, allowing other improvements to succeed too. Implementing these changes in effective ways ensures that your efforts continue long after completing the audit itself and provide tangible benefits.
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