How to Go About Doing a Digital Marketing Audit for Your Website?

What is a Digital Marketing Audit?

If there is one many business owners love to avoid, it is a digital marketing audit. No one likes to hear their strategies are not as effective as they should be. But that shouldn’t stop you from performing a digital marketing audit on the website. It will help you identify the weak zones to come up with a better marketing strategy.
A digital marketing audit is a comprehensive, detailed, and in-depth process of analyzing your business's performance based on your short-term and long-term goals. It helps identify your internet marketing strategy's effectiveness and the various promotional plans you've invested in.
The audit report contains valuable insights. These insights are about market opportunities, competitors, and areas where the business can improve its marketing strategy. In a world where internet marketing is crucial for every business, not knowing whether the strategies deliver results can be costly.
Suppose you want to build a new business website, revamp the existing one, pursue a new channel for promotions, release a product/ service into the market, or make any significant business decisions. In that case, it is suggested to perform a digital marketing audit and then start planning based on the insights derived from the audit.
Of course, a complete audit is a time-consuming process. It involves various subcategories and elements. SEO audit is a subset of a digital marketing audit for a website. Similarly, content marketing, email marketing, website audit, etc., are performed as a part of the auditing process.
Besides doing it yourself, you can hire an agency to take up the task. The advantage of contacting a digital marketing agency is that you can use the services of experienced professionals who have access to various paid auditing tools in the market.

Steps to do Digital Marketing Audit for Your Website

1. Identify Metrics and Goals

The first step should always be about knowing what you want to measure and against which factors/ metrics. Start by identifying the KPIs and your goals. Make a note of at least the top three metrics that play a vital role in influencing the output. However, trying to measure too many metrics in one audit can be confusing and overwhelming.
Your goals should also be listed based on three parameters. The first one should the durations- short-term, mid-term, or long-term. The second should be your choice's marketing channel, and the third should be the market trends and competitors.
Making this list will not be enough, though. You should have vital aspects of measuring metrics.
You also need to collect data. In fact, that's the central part of a marketing audit for a website. That's where various SEO audit tools come into the picture. You can use the free and paid tools to gather information from the website, emails, social media, and other channels.

2. Assess the Current Marketing Strategy

Evaluating your current marketing strategy is the next step.

  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • How long have you been following it?
  • How much have you invested in the promotional campaigns?

The below-mentioned aspects are some factors you need to assess during the marketing audit:

  • Are you using the right keywords?
  • Has there been a noticeable growth in conversion rate or sales after including the latest set of keywords in your website content?
    Deploy tools like GA, Hotjar, or any CRMs track it.
  • Which specific type of content is suitable for your business? - The type depends on your business's industry and the kind of target audiences you are focusing on.
  • What kind of content would be good to increase brand awareness, generate organic backlinks, and build a brand reputation?
  • How effective are your distribution channels, and what are they?
  • How much are you investing in social media promotions?

The above-listed considerations should also be a part of a website audit as it'll tell you what amount of traffic your website is getting from social media posts.

3. Evaluate the Competitors and Market

No business exists in a vacuum. You are a part of this competitive market and have to keep an eye on your competitors. Did your website gain a better search engine rank than a particular competitor?
Why was it so easy for another business to get into the SERPs' top results while you are still struggling?
Similarly, you need to evaluate the market conditions or the change in laws affecting your sales. There could be things you don't know about, and a digital marketing audit is an excellent way to learn about the latest developments.

  • What tactics are your competitors employing, and can you follow the same to get similar results?
  • Are there are gaps your competitors haven’t filled? - Make the most of these and conquer the bases before your competitors can do so.
  • What digital marketing tools are your competitors using?
    Also, using tools, you can find the main competitors and opportunities to overtake them.
  • Have they hired the services of an SEO agency?

4. Analyze Your Campaigns

We have already evaluated your current marketing strategies, right? So, what's left? Here, our focus is on how well you are positioning your brand in the market. What kind of message are you sharing, and what are your target audiences receiving?
There have been many instances where the business owner's actual intention was lost in the process, and the customers received a completely different message. Such messages have resulted in reduced sales and profits. The factors you need to keep in mind are-

  • What is your business USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
    Hence, brands have to be creative to drive audience and sales. For example, Death Wish Coffee not only offers a subscription plan with discounts but also advertises a full refund if customers think it’s not “the strongest coffee” they ever had.
  • Are you highlighting it enough on your website?
  • What is your messaging strategy?
  • Are you following inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or both?
  • Who are your target audiences - B2C, B2B, or both?
  • How consistent are your efforts?
  • What is your value proposition?
  • Are you offering something your competitors don’t?
  • Are you able to communicate the benefits of your products/ services clearly with all your customers?

5. Checklist Technical SEO

The digital marketing audit for a website also includes technical SEO audit, content audit, local SEO audit, and more. We are now going to discuss the focus areas for each of these, starting with technical SEO.

Related : Best Technical SEO Tools Used By Top SEO Companies

This deals with the layout, design, and development of the website. Do you have a responsive website? Is it an eCommerce website? What security layers have you included? Is it easy for the search engine crawls (spiders) to index your website?

  • The sitemap should contain a list of all indexable pages on the website.
  • Identify broken links, 404 error pages, and fix them.
  • Add canonical tags to highlight original and duplicate pages.
  • Is the website mobile-friendly?
  • Can the website loading speed be improved?
  • Create a robot.txt file for the website if you haven't done it already. Double-check to see that crucial webpages are not being blocked or hidden in the process.
  • Is the website date structured the right way?

6. Content Management on the Website

Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, etc., are effective (and free) tools to measure the content's impact on your website in attracting organic traffic. These tools give in-depth insights about each page on the website.
You should also measure the conversion rate as part of a content management audit for the website.

  • Are the keywords you picked bringing the volume of traffic you expected?
  • Which webpages are ranking better than the rest, and why?
  • Do you have any poor-quality content on the website? Can you update and rewrite the existing content to get better results?
  • What is the percentage of traffic your website gets from brand searches? How can you improve it?
  • What are the session durations and bounce rates for the webpages with higher rankings?
  • Is your content on the same level as your competitors? What are they doing differently from you?
  • How can the existing content be used to promote the business on social media and other communication channels?

7. Off-Page SEO- Link Building, Social Media, Email Marketing

Off-page optimization is as crucial as on-page optimization. Your digital marketing audit should measure your success and failure in making the most of various off-page SEO strategies. The audit report includes recommendations to fix the issues and increase your website rank. We already know that getting backlinks from dubious websites can cause more harm than gain.
Identifying such sources and getting the links removed is essential if you want to bring more credibility to your website.
Additionally, you have to keep a check on quality links being lost and reclaim them immediately.
Google’s Penguin algorithm update is rather strict about link farms and manipulative link-building strategies. The sooner you get rid of such backlinks, the better it’ll be for your website.
Ahrefs has a fantastic backlink checker tool that lets you get a detailed report on your backlinks' sources. You can check the sources' domain ratings, identify the harmful ones, and take the necessary steps to prevent these from hurting your website rank.

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8. Auditing Local SEO

Local SEO is a process to optimize the website for local audiences. Though it includes elements from on-page and off-page SEO, other factors focus exclusively on how well the website has been optimized to show up in the local search results.
The digital marketing audit for a website should cover local SEO to evaluate the effectiveness of using local keywords, the impact of GMB profile, citations, directories, local listings, and more.

  • Are the NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) details consistent and up to date across all platforms?
  • Is your Google My Business Profile linked to your website?
    Have you mentioned precise working hours?
  • Is your business a part of genuine local directories?
  • Are you listed on the famous aggregator sites?
  • Are the location and regional webpages optimized for the right keywords? Are the keywords generating the expected volume of traffic?
  • Have you embedded Google Maps into the website to show the exact location of the business?

9. Tracking the Performance

One thing many business owners don't emphasize is continuous tracking of the website's performance. But it is essential to keep track of how the website is doing the search engines. The tracking will also save you from investing time, money, and effort to perform a full-fledged digital marketing audit.
Regular tracking and analytics will give you a clear idea of the positives and negatives of the website. It will provide recommendations to solve the problems before they cause more trouble. You can track them on the search console or other premium SEO tools.
At the same time, you need to monitor your business's performance on social media platforms and marketing channels you use.
If you rely on PPC campaigns or social media ads, you need to be very sure that the keywords you chose generate enough traffic and are worth the investment. Continuous tracking will help you understand what ticks the customers and how you can use it increases the conversion rate.

Helpful Tools to Perform Digital Marketing Audit

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool offered by the search engine giant. It is beneficial in analyzing the insights for a website. Google Analytics collects data about visitors who visit your website and helps you understand their purchase behavior.
The date offered by GA is considered the most accurate.
It is also one of the most straightforward tools in the market, a must-have for every website owner, and considered one of the best in the market.
You can run a digital marketing audit using this tool by setting up tracking code on the webpages, GA settings, and the marketing channel (the source of Google Analytics to gather data).

2. Google Keyword Planner

Google offers various free tools to assist website owners to work on their digital marketing strategies. Google Keyword Planner is one such tool that lets you search for the best keywords for your website to rank higher on the search engines.
Google no longer lets you see the monthly search volumes unless you create an Ad campaign. That, of course, costs money. However, it gives an approximate search volume for free.
But you can bypass this part by checking out this guide on Ahrefs. Once you set up your account, you can use the keyword planner and get the exact monthly search volume for the keywords you choose.

3. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest has been taken over by Neil Patel and has since then become a much better SEO tool. It is used for keyword search and analysis. The new feature lets you enter the domain name of your competitor to get even better keyword suggestions. It shows keywords trending in different locations along with the search volumes.
It will show you what's trending and offers ideas for engaging content.
It also provides backlink data so that you can see which type of content the sites are linking to and ask them to link back to your webpages with similar data. Ubersuggest works for content audit as well as off-page SEO audit (link building).

Related : Importance of SEO Data for Your Business

4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is one of the advanced SEO suite tools that we have access to. It crawls websites of all sizes and gets data in very little time.
The tool is free to use, though there is a paid version if you want to crawl more than 500 URLs. A small business owner will find it convenient to use the free version, especially since it is efficient and fast. It also helps find and resolve issues on your website and increases the website rank on the search engines.

5. SEMRush

SEMRush is a well-known SEO platform that shares valuable articles and blogs about various aspects of digital marketing. The platform also offers tools to perform a website audit. You can either use individual tools like the content audit tool or opt for the all-in-one suite with access to various digital marketing audit tools provided by them.
The free plan allows up to 10 searches per month. SEO, PPC, SSM, keyword search, PR, content marketing, competitive research, campaign management, etc., are other SEMRush tools (part of the suite) you can use to audit your website for digital marketing performance.

6. Ahrefs

Many of you would know about Ahrefs. We’ve mentioned it earlier, too, right? It is a famous SEO platform and offers SEO site audit tools to help you understand what’s stopping your website from ranking high on the search engines.
Site Audit crawls all the webpages and collects data to give you the site's overall SEO score. (After this line: “The report is presented in charts and graphs to make it easier to understand.”) Below the graphs, you can find more detailed information.
It also highlights the potential issues you need to fix to optimize your website for search engines. The report is presented in charts and graphs to make it easier to understand. The tool also offers recommendations to fix the issue. That's cool, isn't it?

7. Spyfu

As the name suggests, Spyfu is a competitor audit tool. It’s one of the most sought after tools by SEOs in the world.
This one focuses on analyzing your competitors who have better website rank than yours. According to Spyfu, this audit takes just 10 minutes. Awesome, right? You can get a list of 10 competitors in various aspects of digital marketing such as SEO, PPC, social media presence, etc.
Spyfu lets you analyze and understand the content on their sites to see where you need to improve your site. You can also identify the weak spots in the strategies and fix them before your competitors get to work on theirs.

8. Hootsuite

Hootsuite focuses on the social media aspect of digital marketing. Besides letting you connect your accounts to schedule posts, it also has a social media audit tool. The audit tool enables you to evaluate your current social media marketing strategy to see what's working and what's not.
The company offers a free audit template as a trial version. You can download it from the website and follow the instructions to perform the audit. Apart from that, the company also provides detailed guides on how to audit each social media platform. They also recommend performing social media audit once every three months.

Digital Marketing Audit FAQs

1. Why Should I Perform a Digital Marketing Audit for My Website?

An audit lets you understand precisely where you stand.
A digital marketing audit is aimed at giving you an in-depth insight into whether your marketing strategies are aligned with your KPIs to deliver the expected resulted or not.
You will know which loopholes to fix, which strategies to change, which campaigns to continue and discontinue. You can reduce your investments and increase your returns. It will keep you at the top of your game.

2. What Are the Benefits of Digital Marketing Audits for Startups?

The following are some of the benefits of digital marketing audit for startup businesses-

  • It lets you optimize your website for local SEO
  • It helps in generating leads to increase the conversion rate
  • It helps in increasing your revenue through digital marketing strategies
  • You can get closer to your customers and followers by having an active presence on social media
  • It increases brand visibility and awareness on the internet

3. Is a Digital Marketing Audit Expensive?

Yes and no. A digital marketing audit is not expensive if you use the free tools available in the market. Naturally, if you hire an SEO agency's services, you will have to pay them for it. That said, this audit doesn’t have to be expensive. Most SEO agencies offer audit services for affordable prices, depending on what elements you want to include. Just make sure you contact a reputed agency.

Related : Important Things to Consider Before Hiring a Marketing Firm for Your Ecommerce Business

4. Are SEO Analysis and SEO Audit the Same or Different? Do I Need Both to Measure the Performance of My Website?

SEO analysis is where you examine your website to understand whether it is well-optimized to bring organic traffic or not.
SEO audit is a detailed evaluation of the website to identify issues that need to be fixed so that your site gains better visibility on the search engines.
SEO analysis and audit are interlinked and are usually a part of the process. SEO audit is more complex and offers recommendations to fix website issues.

5. Should I Perform a Digital Marketing Audit to Change My Marketing Strategy?

Yes. If you want to revamp your digital marketing strategy and invest money into promoting your business, you need to know where, when, and how much to invest. Instead of going by instincts or floundering in the dark, you will have concrete data support for your decisions.
Focus on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to understand how to implement the digital marketing audit report's recommendations.

6. What Should I Consider Before Doing a Digital Marketing Audit of My Website?

The following are some factors you need to consider before performing a digital marketing audit for your website-

  • Weak spots in the website and your marketing strategy
  • Any differences and inadequacies in your business procedures
  • Gaps in your digital strategies
  • Website audit - local SEO, technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO
  • Social media marketing audit
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) audit
  • Content marketing audit

If you are looking for a team of digital marketing experts to prepare your digital marketing audit, contact our team at Haitna.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.