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Every business is used to financial audits, but perhaps not so accustomed to performing a digital marketing audit – or not as regularly as it should be done. The premise of ‘if it is not broken, don’t fix it’ does not apply here, as technology, consumer trends and markets change so quickly in the digital world, that without regular audits you may be pouring money into unproductive areas.
A regular digital marketing audit is therefore crucial to refine any digital marketing strategy, and to ensure that money is being spent in the best way possible by redirecting efforts where necessary.
When to conduct a digital marketing audit
A digital marketing audit should be a regularly scheduled activity, however it can also be triggered by certain events, such as the following:
- Decreasing website traffic
- Low social media engagement
- High bounce rate on website pages
- High marketing budget related to new sales
Such indicators should not be ignored, and may be reversed by simple tweaks identified through a digital marketing audit.
Auditing Website Content
You may be spending hours creating interesting content for your website and blog, but you also need to be sure that this content is performing. By undertaking an audit, you can identify which content performs best, and focus future efforts on building on that knowledge. A review of your blog posts can identify which have the most comments, shares to social media, or views, as well as identifying those without much interaction. You can remove outdated blog posts, or those with little interaction, but if you wish to keep old content, you can also edit and update it, check that the links still work and add new links to keep it fresh and relevant.
If the purpose of creating blog posts is to drive more traffic to your website, ensure that these posts are being shared on your social media platforms, and are engaging readers through views, likes, shares and link clicks. There are a few questions you can ask to find out if your blog post strategy is working:
- Has traffic to your website increased?
- Are you generating new visits vs repeat?
- How long are visitors staying on the website?
- Are your social media posts generating engagement?
- Have you generated leads through social media?
A digital marketing audit gives you the opportunity to review and refocus your content strategy, and refine your activities to generate more engagement. If the answer to any of the above questions is negative, your content strategy should be urgently reviewed and immediate action taken.
Another question to address within the audit is the use of hashtags. The hashtags used may be relevant to your business, and consistent throughout your blog and social media posts, but have you thought about including a different hashtag that receives greater visibility online? Twitter and Instagram are popular platforms for multiple use of hashtags, so conduct a search to see which of those regularly used are relevant to your business, and incorporate at least one or two in your future posts. This will serve to widen your audience and generate more potential views and engagement.
Search engines are adept at ignoring content that is over populated with keywords, or uses irrelevant keywords, but identifying the keywords of use to you and incorporating them into your blog posts and social media content can increase your engagement and improve your audience targeting. An audit of keywords used by your competitors can give you some pointers as to what to use, as well as which are negative keywords and thus to be avoided. In creating content, it is easy to ‘forget’ to incorporate relevant keywords, which is where an audit can identify the shortfall, as well as identifying an opportunity to update former blog posts with new keywords.
Creating a digital marketing strategy is the first step on the path towards online success, and ensuring that the strategy is regularly monitored and adjusted is simply part of the ongoing process. A regular digital marketing audit, with clear questions and goals, will help to keep your digital marketing strategy on the right path and support the growth and success of the entire business.