Every organisation should, at some point, look to an independent digital audit undertaken. Its very easy to get stuck in a rut with digital and not see where the weak areas are. Audits can help highlight the good, the bad and ugly – but they can be instrumental in providing a solid direction to work with your agency, or agencies, to better improve your digital footprint. Here are 8 key fact areas every digital audit should cover as a minimum.
1. Quantitative analysis
The core of a digital audit looks at the available data across your digital landscape.
- Analytics data
- Paid ads reports
- Social media metrics
- SEO tracking data
- CRM data
- Conversion funnel data
2. Qualitative analysis
A critical look at your digital landscape will highlight how a user views your digital offerings.
- Design and user experience
- Calls to action on your digital real estate
- Cross channel brand messages
- Cross channel brand messaging
- Social media messaging
- Email and messaging effectiveness
- Lead generation
- Conversion information and experience
3. Website crawl
Utilise a number of services (most of them will offer free tools) to crawl your website. This will give an overview from a number of angles – highlighting the key areas that need addressing. The issues should be prioritised into a RAG (red, amber green) action list. Links up to the outputs from the Qualitative analysis.
4. Brief competitive analysis
Keeping an eye on competitors, certainly in your geo location, is important to find out how they are performing. There are many observations that a competitor analysis reveals, including areas that might be competitive advantages in the future. Knowing what competitors are doing is healthy, but you shouldn’t get hung up on there every move and more importantly you shouldn’t try and copy everything they do.
5. Channel breakdown
Expect a digital audit to break down your digital marketing efforts by channel.
- Social media engagement
- Paid social media
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
- Content Marketing
- Local Marketing
- Reviews and complaints management
- PR / Media coverage
6. Recommendations and strategy
The report should make recommendations based on the audit findings.
The report and audit detail should give you some understanding of next steps you can take and prioritise those steps. The level of detail in the recommendations should be the inflection point for the quality and cost of your audit. The best audits give you a framework for maximising digital to grow your business, ideas that go beyond channels and tactics.
Strategic recommendations (as opposed to tactical ones) take a more holistic approach to your digital strategy, so make sure they are included in your digital audit.
7. Channel specific
The overarching digital strategy should be supported by recommendations for your digital marketing channels such as:
- Keywords and intents to target with organic search
- Content recommendations – video, imagery, tools/applications
- Content type recommendations – educational, promotional
- Targeting for paid ads – demographics, geography, interests, etc.
- Website plan
- Calls to action website plan
- Email plan
An audit will offer a high-level timeline for the next couple of years. This timeline gives recommendations on when you should make investments (for example, a website redesign or a product campaign) in different areas of your digital marketing mix. This is a great value-add, as you can use the data alongside your business goals and budgets to strategically map out the next few years of your digital campaigns and initiatives.
An audit should be carried out, ideally, every couple of years. As the digital landscape changes globally your offering needs to keep pace with those changes. But commercially it is not always viable to change direction every few months so having a strategy that covers 24 months allows you to keep pace with the market whilst also being agile enough to adapt as you go.
To find out more about having a Digital Audit – happy to chat over a coffee