Marketing and dieting are very similar in that you are setting goals and tracking your performance. You get pumped up to start a weight loss program to drop 20 pounds. You've started eating healthy, working out, and gave up alcohol (good luck with that third one). You are feeling great and your clothes are fitting looser. Tracking your progress throughout the program allows you to see how much weight you've lost. If you didn't audit your performance, how would you know if you were on track to hit your goal? Wouldn't you want to switch your workouts up to burn more calories if you're not dropping the pounds as you would like? Information is the key to success!
This same process needs to be followed when it comes to your digital marketing strategies. How would you know if you're trending in the right direction of hitting your marketing goals if you didn't conduct a performance audit? Sure, it can be time consuming and maybe even intimidating, but knowledge is power. Conducting an audit of your digital marketing campaigns is like a self-check routine that allows you to gain considerable understanding of how your programs are performing and allows you to gain insightful knowledge of what to do next to further improve your marketing efforts.
Why to Audit
Think of a marketing audit as a way of keeping in touch with your goals. Auditing the performance of your digital marketing strategies allows you to see what's working perfectly and to build on that as well as to see what areas need improvement. You may discover inefficiencies that you never knew existed. A marketing audit’s systematic and structured approach makes the whole process of developing a marketing strategy easier. In addition, performing an audit enables you to catch mistakes before they can cause serious damage.
When To Audit
Performance audits of your digital marketing strategies should be conducted frequently and regularly. Complete an audit before you develop new marketing strategies. You need to look at where you've been to determine where you need to go. Your findings can then be turned into new digital strategies that are aligned with your marketing goals. Once you have these new marketing strategies in place, it's imperative to do regular audits to unveil any major flaws in strategy and implementation. There’s no hard and fast rule as to how often you should schedule a marketing audit, the key here is pro-activity, not crisis management.
How to Audit
Now, I'll answer the question you are all asking - how the hell do I conduct a performance audit of my digital marketing strategies? The following are metrics you should focus on to establish a comprehensive gauge and assessment of the campaign’s overall performance.
1. Audit Your SEO
Search engine optimization is at the heart of every digital marketing strategy. Ranking high in search engines for your targeted keywords helps you to drive more traffic to your website. Do a keyword analysis to find what keywords people are searching for in your industry or niche and make sure those are on your site. Use a tool such as SEMrush to do an on-page optimization audit. This will help reveal if you have issues such as: missing page titles, missing or duplicate meta descriptions, content duplication, broken links, etc. You will also want to audit your off-page optimization. Check your backlinks. Are they from authoritative websites? Take the time to also add new backlinks.
2. Audit Your Content
We all know that content is king, but quality content is not enough. You need to make sure that you have content for all of your buyer personas and for every stage of the marketing funnel. Do an analysis to see what's missing and fill in the content gaps where necessary. Gauge what content is producing results and what is not performing as well. Go for quality content that will not only rank well with search engines but is consumed wholeheartedly by your targeted audiences. Remember, it's important to focus on both content creation and content marketing.
3. Audit Your Conversions
The main goal of digital marketers is to convert website traffic into leads and then into customers. An important success measure is how well your landing pages, offers, and CTAs are converting. If your conversion rates are low, make sure your landing pages and CTAs are following best practice. In addition, ensure the questions you are asking on your forms follow the perceived value of the offer.
4. Audit Your Social Media Platforms
No matter how popular social media sites may get, they don't mean anything if they're not performing well for your business. Look at referral traffic, engagement, and top performing posts. The goal is to find which platforms produced the best results, which platforms grew, which networks have potential, and which require more time and effort.
Take all of the conclusions from the performance audit of your digital marketing strategies and use them to refine and improve your marketing plan. The marketing audit is one of the most important investments you can make. Our team at Revenue River Marketing can help if your digital marketing strategies need an update.