Carrying out frequent digital audits is extremely worthwhile if you want to achieve your digital marketing strategy goals. It’s even more essential that your audit gives you value for money. But what does that mean? And what is a digital audit?
In a nutshell, a digital audit is a customised and comprehensive report that will help your business to use digital marketing channels to their full potential.
They should be deeply personalised to your business’ industry, strategic goals, and history. Audits should go deep into your digital data to work out what has and has not worked well for your company. This data is then used to provide you with recommendations of actions to take to improve your digital marketing strategy.
Why should I use a digital audit?
An audit will help you to meet your digital marketing goals. Without an audit, it can be difficult to pin down what steps you need to take to achieve your goals, or how to prioritise these actions.
You could think of a digital audit as being like cleaning a house. If you leave things to fester for a long time, you can expect to find a build-up of dirt when you come back. A digital audit will prevent problems with your digital strategy from building up and getting in the way of your goals.
What should a digital audit include?
While every agency carries out digital audits in their own way, there are some basic features that all digital audits should include.
At the core of every audit, there should be a quantitive analysis of your digital marketing strategy. This means using metrics and analytics to evaluate how your digital content is performing. This will include Google Analytics data, ad reports, social media metrics, and historic SEO rank tracking data.
Auditing SEO is especially important, as Google is constantly updating their search algorithm, which can lead to sudden falls in your rankings if you do not adapt to these changes. SEO strategy is something that needs constant review for it to be successful.
Another crucial part of the audit is a critical analysis of your digital portfolio. This should investigate how effectively your content is performing, from email marketing to Instagram posts. To examine how effectively your content is performing, a digital audit will look at the following:
- Website design: is your website easy to navigate, well designed, and quick to load?
- Brand image: does your brand have a cohesive online image across different channels, including consistent graphics?
- Social media content: are your posts reaching your intended audience, and more importantly are they leading to website engagement and sales?
- Email design and effectiveness: are your email campaigns designed well, and are your customers opening them?
- E-commerce performance: if you have an online shop, how good is the user experience?
A website crawl is another key feature, as there are plenty of free or cheap services online that will crawl your website and provide feedback on technical issues. However, a thorough digital audit will go beyond offering this automated information.
Basic issues like broken links and poor site performance are easy enough to identify. But once you have this information you need to know what actions to take. So, a proper digital audit will provide you not only with context for these issues but with a strategy of how to fix them, with an order of priority.
You can expect the audit to break down this data by channel, to provide a picture of your overall digital performance.
What are the next steps after a digital audit?
A digital audit should come complete with recommendations based on its findings. This is something that all agencies should include because without actionable steps, the data findings are of little use.
So, by the end of your audit, you should have an understanding of how you can build on the successful elements of your digital marketing. You should also understand how you can improve in areas that aren’t performing as well as they could be. In short, you should now have a solid idea of how you can meet your goals. This might include a timeline of when you should invest in things like a website redesign. Tactics should be specific to your main digital marketing channels.
One of our clients, a national vegan food supplier, wanted to increase their wholesale success. Our digital audit found website errors that were getting in the way of wholesalers reaching out to them. Within six months of them implementing our action plan, they had achieved a 15% increase in wholesaler enquiries, of which 70% converted into sales.