The vital elements that make up your year end marketing audit
A marketing audit is supposed to be an integral part of your marketing strategy which should be conducted several times a year. The most important of these audits happens at the end of the year – when you can effectively measure the success and results of your efforts throughout the year. However, despite the time of year, there are a certain set digital elements that should always be part of any marketing audit:
Search engine optimisation (SEO) analysis
Your search engine rankings don’t remain static throughout the year. Things like launching new products, making changes to existing offerings, offering promotions, optimising web copy or adding pages to your website all affects your rankings. The new pages you add to your site should also contain copy that is optimised for searches based on the relevant key phrases you choose to rank for. Monitoring the state of your SEO in your marketing audit gives you a better idea of whether your SEO efforts are effective and where you can improve.
This isn’t the only reason you should analyse your SEO though, as the way people search constantly changes. Studies show that consumers use completely new phrases to search for a product, and your marketing audit needs to identify this so that you can ensure your web pages are constantly relevant and current. While doing this, also monitor competitor websites and see what they’re ranking for and analyse how they achieve those rankings. Remember, if a competitor ranks higher than you, you’re already at a disadvantage.
Evaluation of content performance
Staying current involves a constant and conscientious effort to create and invest in original digital content. Use your marketing audit as an opportunity to have a critical look at the performance of that content and determine where there is room for improvement.
Also evaluate which pieces of content delivered the most traffic and lead to the most conversions. Compare this to the content that is least effective and identify reasons for the difference in performance. Often these reasons are dead giveaways as to what you can do to improve content.
Test how user-friendly your website is
Analysing your website’s usability means looking at whether your website is successfully converting visitors into known leads. This entails analysing top landing pages and top exit pages; if users are exiting your website from the same pages that they landed on, something is going very wrong.
Regardless of the amount of web traffic you generate, all your best efforts are futile if visitors simply leave immediately without converting. Ask yourself whether your calls to action are tailored to prompt conversions at different stages of the buying process? Are they prominent enough? Is the wording just right?
Social media channels and profiles review
Measure which social media networks are showing the most return on investment (ROI), and focus your efforts on those accounts. Do this by comparing views and click-throughs from your various social media profiles to how many of those people are actually converting into leads and customers.
Monitor your pay per click (PPC) budget
Bidding prices for PPC ads increases when several brands compete for a set of key phrases. If you are using up your PPC budget on expensive key phrases you should select more specific keywords or specify display regions, days and times for your ads.
Include Webmaster Tools in your marketing audit
These tools will give you insights into any problems that Google might be having when crawling your website, such as trying to index pages that don’t exist anymore or robots.txt files blocking certain pages. Also see whether your site is regarded as one whole site or more than one websites. For example, if you have both an http and https version of your website, you need to make sure that you are redirecting correctly. Redirecting incorrectly could wreak havoc with your search engine rankings.
After conducting your marketing audit, remember to use all of your findings to develop a strategic plan for the next year to deliver even better results. If you want your marketing efforts to pay off, adopt a month by month approach where you try different measures at the beginning of each month and conduct a marketing audit at the end of the month to determine the effectiveness of your efforts.
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