When was the last time you did a digital audit for your brand? If it’s been too long or if you’ve never done it – it’s time to look into it! Let’s discuss how a digital audit can benefit your brand; however, before moving forward, you need to understand what a digital audit is and how you can carry out one.
What Is a Digital Audit?
A digital marketing audit is a thorough assessment of your brand to help you understand what is and isn’t working. The report is constructed to help you benefit from digital practices and meet your business goals.
During a digital marketing audit, you simply inspect all the strategies, outcomes, and techniques of your brand to understand its online presence.
An in-depth, comprehensive digital audit focuses on these areas:
- Social Media
- Digital Branding
Basically, it is the sum of every online attempt you make to maintain your brand’s online visibility. The digital assessments are critical components for your business growth and development.
Why Is a Digital Audit Important?
Businesses that are doing well often ask, “Why are digital audit assessments so important? Well, it’s important to do a marketing audit to refine your strategies and make them better.
Helps Businesses Thrive
Imagine you keep investing in your digital presence, but there are less to no results. This indicates it’s time to revisit your strategies and everything you’ve been doing for your brand.
You can use the old performance data to create new strategies that can help your business do better. Then, in the next phase, you can eliminate what’s not working and incorporate new strategies to help your business thrive.
Work On Your Strengths
A successful and comprehensive marketing strategy should revolve around your strengths. So when you witness a positive response to your online efforts, it’s wise to see what’s causing it and focus on it.
If you work on what works for your business, you’ll improve your ROI
Improves Website Performance
A digital audit includes a complete report on your website – how it’s doing, what the rank is, what users like, and how much ROI it’s generating.
It’s important to do a complete website audit during the marketing audit to ensure everything about your website is on point. For example, if there are any web pages that customers are abandoning, you can use the digital audit report to find out why that’s happening.
Identifies Weak Areas
Some businesses prefer working on their weak areas to maximize their profit margins – this is a good strategy. The goal behind this thinking is to strengthen all their weak areas to gain profits from everywhere.
How to Carry Out a Digital Audit?
When you start the audit, you need to examine all the aspects – content, website, social media, SEO, PPC, etc. But the question is, what are the steps for a digital audit?
Step #1: Determine Your Company Goals
The first step is to determine your company goals. When you started your business, what was your long-term goal? What did you want to achieve? How close are you to the goal?
Once you’ve revisited your goal, the next step is to pick a single metric that shows the current situation of your business – where it stands and how it ranks.
Step #2: Gather Performance Related Data
The second step is gathering relative data about your website and social media channels. Collect website performance, social media marketing, and email marketing data to contrast them with your goals. At this step, you’ll realize the reason you haven’t been able to reach your goals.
Step #3: Revisit Your Marketing Strategy
The third step is to revisit, rethink, and redesign your marketing strategy after you’ve collected the performance data. You need a strategy that fuels your long-term goals and brings you a few steps closer to them.
Step #4: Evaluate Your Competitors
Once the strategy is in place, the fourth step is to weigh your new strategy against what your competitors are doing. Understand what kind of metrics your competitors are using, their weaknesses, and how you can do it better.
Step #5: Examine Your Brand Message & Position
The final step is to examine your brand. When you look at your social media channels and website, do you see consistency? Is your brand message aligned with what your customers are searching for? Do you think you can make it better?
The next thing to analyze is the brand position. Are you clear about the value you offer your customers? Do your customers know why you’re unique and better?
When to Do a Digital Audit
When you think about running an audit, people often ask what the right time to do an audit is? I’ve listed down four different scenarios when an audit is absolutely necessary. Other than that, you can conduct an audit whenever you want.
Before Launching a New Business
When you’re about to launch a new business, a marketing audit is one of the crucial steps for you to take. It’ll help you evaluate what you can do for a successful launch and what kind of competition you’re up against.
The data will aid in positioning your brand, avail opportunities, and deploy your resources in the right way without losing your investment.
Before Introducing a New Product
Much like a new business, a marketing audit is a good idea before you can launch a new product. It’ll offer you insights on how to market your product, who your competitor is, and reveal marketing channels and techniques you should use to promote your product.
Before Merging with A New Business
When a company changes its operations and merges into another business, it’s the right time to conduct a digital audit to understand the new business. Being the new owner, it’s important you understand how the business works, what marketing activities they carry out, and how you can benefit from them.
Additionally, you can use the results to build on the brand’s previous successes and fill in gaps to improve performance. Either that or you can choose to rebrand – either way, an audit will help.
The Business Isn’t Performing
It’s okay to admit that your business is falling behind and you need help or rather a digital audit that will help you identify the problem. However, when you know your marketing efforts have been consistent, it’s time to examine them for shortfalls.
An audit will uncover solutions you can use to tie knots and help your business prosper.
The Types of Digital Audit Assessments
Digital audits are a way to examine a brand’s social media activity and website performance. Audits play a major role in the success of your business because they reveal your pain points and offer you directions to resolve those issues.
Let’s identify the eight types of digital audits you need to perform during a complete marketing audit.
Customer Experience Audit
What is a customer experience audit? A customer experience audit is a complete examination of how a customer interacts with your business. First, it’s documentation of what a user does to get their desired outcome. Second, it highlights the issues customers face, their feedback, and how each customer experience varies. Basically, it’s a study of human behavior.
When to do a customer experience audit? The audit should be done when you have multiple touchpoints, and you need your customers to understand the experience you’re offering as a brand. The audit reveals customer pain points, wants, motivations, and expectations at each step of the customer journey.
Why is it useful? The audit is useful when you want to understand the customer interaction with your business. For example, if you want to make your brand more consumer-centric, the audit will help you understand your target market and develop a customer-friendly brand and experience.
Social Media Analysis
What is a social media analysis? The social media analysis is an assessment of everything you’ve been doing on social media channels. It’s documentation of your social media strategy on different channels and helps you compare their performance against competitors. In addition, you can examine organic social media content to understand what’s working.
When to do a social media analysis? Carrying out a social media analysis is a good idea when you can’t see any leads through organic social media content. The purpose of your social media channels is to direct traffic towards your website for lead generation. If you’ve been noticing stagnant growth or downfall, it’s time to assess the performance of your social media strategy.
Why is it useful? A social media assessment is useful when you want to understand the gaps in your marketing strategy and want to fill them. In addition, the audit will help you understand how to better leverage your social media channels and tools for effective, desired results.
Brand Voice and Message Audit
What is the brand voice and message audit? The brand voice and message or the storytelling audit examines your brand’s presence on the website and social media. It looks for consistency in your brand voice and message on every front and sets a benchmark against competitors.
When to do a brand voice and message audit? The storytelling audit is great when you don’t have a cohesive guide for your team to follow. The audit helps align the web and social media executives are different teams – the audit will help create one guide for them to follow, which will align the brand voice and message on all fronts. If your brand voice and message are inconsistent, it can confuse your customers.
Why is it useful? The brand voice and message audit help you find where you lack and reveals how you can remove the lapses on all customer touchpoints. You can use it to strengthen your consistency and create a long-term impression. You can measure your brand voice with your competitors and use their strategies to do it better.
Website On-Site Assessment
What is a website audit? The website audit is exactly what it sounds like – documentation and evaluation of your website. It helps a brand evaluate its website performance, website quality, and user experience. You examine everything from functionality to readability layout – a complete rundown of your website.
When to do a website audit? The website audit is the one you should do quite regularly because the assessment highlights the issues your customers face using your website and why they choose your competitors over you.
Why is it useful? The audit helps you realize where you lack, and you can quickly overcome those mistakes to improve your website’s UI/UX design. It highlights pages with broken code, missing links, or web pages that are missing images or could use more tweaking. You stack up against your website against your competitors and eliminate as many flaws as possible.
User Interface Assessment
What is a user interface audit? The website audit and user interface assessment are more or less the same; however, there’s one difference. During a website audit, you check everything on your website and all the backend coding. During the user interface assessment, you evaluate your website user experience against the user interface guidelines and principles. The audit includes evaluation of but is not limited to Performance, Form Behavior, Search, and Visual Design.
When to do a user interface audit? The user interface assessment should be done to evaluate the current website and app to determine the quality standards. It helps you understand where your website and app stand against the user expectations and how you can quickly rectify the errors.
Why is it useful? The assessment allows you to make your UI/UX design better for users and customer retention by in-depth website and app evaluation. However, note that the audit doesn’t show customer behavior and feedback.
What is an SEO analysis? The SEO assessment is the evaluation of your website’s search engine ranking using organic practices. During the assessment, the HTML structure, website crawlers, and SEO keywords are closely monitored to understand the current content strategy on the website.
When to do an SEO analysis? The assessment should be done to understand the quality of your web pages. It reveals the ranking, content quality, and performance. You can easily recognize why your website isn’t ranking and what is negatively impacting your search engine results. One of the most useful elements the audit reveals is your web page metadata responsible for your search performance.
Why is it useful? The assessment helps you analyze the problems when you think your website visibility rate is low. For example, it shows you the metadata your website might be missing, broken links in your content, or keywords you can use to improve your website ranking.
What is an SEM analysis? The SEM analysis evaluates the performance of your website’s SEM strategy. It cross-examines your keywords with the competitor’s paid digital marketing strategy, then offers an in-depth keyword analysis and compares your SEM spend with your competitor’s. The assessment helps you with drafting your online paid marketing strategies.
When to do an SEM analysis? The assessment is your best choice when you want to understand your user’s search intent and queries. It helps you find the keywords right for your brand – the ones you should target for paid and organic online marketing. It evaluates your website’s content quality and offers a comparison between your current website and your competitor’s.
Why is it useful? If your website isn’t ranking on the keywords you invested in and want to increase traffic; the SEM assessment can help. It will also help you plan the right search and content strategy.
What is a technical assessment? With this assessment, you analyze and evaluate the architecture of your website. The assessment allows you to find out what architecture the competitor websites are built on. You can also gather user behavior analysis and ecommerce data to create flawless ecommerce strategies.
When to do a technical assessment? The analysis should be done when you’re wondering how your website’s architecture performs against your competitors. The assessment is best for business owners who outsourced their website development to understand their website’s technical side better and add additional tools if they want to perform website maintenance.
Why is it useful? If you understand a website’s technical aspects and you want to know your competitors’ architecture, this assessment is beneficial. You can also use this assessment to resolve performance-related issues of your website and mobile app.
The 6 Components of Digital Audit
In order to help your business grow, you need to allocate your resources better, and to do that, you need to reevaluate your existing digital marketing efforts. One way you can do this is by doing a digital audit using the six components to study your brand’s digital image. The six components are Conversion, Architecture, Content, Integration, Reach, and Measurement.
The conversion aspect relates to everything you do to increase conversions on your website. Here are some things you should check:
- Is your sales funnel designed based on increasing conversion rates?
- The functionality of the forms on your website.
- Do you have a social media log-in integrated?
- Are the website CTAs clear and clickable?
- Do the CTAs directly to the right link?
The architecture aspect relates to everything about website and app development for your business. However, some things you need to cross-check are:
- The website usability and functionality rate.
- Presentation of content and visual aid.
- The quality of page speed, loading time, link integrity, and navigation control.
- Are your social media channels linked to your website and mobile app?
- The quality of your brand’s mobile app.
The content aspect highlights everything related to each piece of content created for your business. Here’s what you’ll be looking at for content:
- Is the current content strategy working?
- Does the brand tone on your website, mobile app, and social media align content-wise?
- What mechanisms do you have to measure content quality?
- Is the content created on time and shared on time?
- Are the content assets creating an impact?
- Do you have equal text-based, video-based, and photo-based on all websites, mobile app, and social media?
The integration aspect concerns with all the touchpoints you’ve created for your customers. Here’s what you should keep a check on:
- Can users access your social media channels from your website?
- Are all your social media linked with each other?
- Are your social media channels linked with your website?
- Do your offline activities fuel your digital presence?
The reach aspect relates to how well your website reaches your customers. Here’s what you need to do to understand your reach.
- Measure how well your website is ranked organically through keywords on major search engines like Google.
- The performance of your email marketing efforts.
- Your audience reaches on social media channels and engagement on posts.
- The PPC and SEM impact your online brand image.
The measurement aspect is where you compare your website, mobile app, and social media metrics with your long-term goals. Here’s a list of things you need to cross-check:
- Is your team aligned with your objectives?
- Are your efforts fueling business growth?
- Are you creating enough awareness and engagement?
- What metrics are you utilizing to measure brand performance?
- Do you have reporting protocols?
- How frequently do you monitor and report?
- Do you check your feedback?
- Do you take frequent action on the reports and feedback?
In summary, a digital audit is a lot of work, but if you conduct and follow the feedback, you can yield long-term, fruitful results. It might seem lengthy, but once you start, you need to focus on three aspects:
- Identify the gaps and flaws in your current strategy.
- Leave behind what doesn’t work and embrace what does to improve on it.
- Brainstorm new ideas by monetizing your strengths.
A timely audit will help boost your ROI and encourage growth. If you need help with a thorough digital audit, the CydoMedia team can help you with a successful audit!