How to Conduct a Digital Marketing Audit

By Sydney Wess / 4 October 2021

A digital marketing audit is necessary for businesses planning to improve their strategy and want to keep accurate tabs on their performance over time. An audit will give you insights into how your content is performing with your current audience and inform changes to your processes.

Professionals generally break digital marketing into seven broad categories

  1. SEO
  2. PPC
  3. Social media
  4. Content marketing
  5. Email marketing
  6. Mobile marketing
  7. Marketing analytics. 

That’s a lot to keep track of, and it can be even more challenging to attribute success to one process vs. another. 

A digital marketing audit is an exercise designed to dig deeply into your current marketing practices and performance. This helps you evaluate the effectiveness of each component of your digital marketing program, effectively attributing success to the correct factors. 

The benefits of these audits are vast, but they aren’t necessarily simple to achieve. A digital marketing audit must be set up logically. Conducting an audit is an extensive process that requires organization, analysis, and purpose. 

This guide will take you through the general phases of setting up a successful digital marketing audit for your company. 

Define the Scope of the Audit

Because there are so many different types of digital marketing, your digital marketing audit will take a unique form depending on which digital marketing practices your company executes. 

There are three major types of digital marketing audits: content, social media, and SEO audits. Each type of audit adds a distinct level of value. 

However, there’s no need to set up an audit for strategies that aren’t relevant to your operations. If your company doesn’t focus on social media strategy, there would be no need to conduct a social media audit. 

In sum, these three audits encompass the omnichannel nature of digital marketing and will help you take a holistic approach to elevate your business strategy.  

Content Audit

A content audit requires a content strategy team to examine the on-page performance of your written and multimedia content. This will involve you tracking key elements of page structure and performance against metrics. 

Content audit example
Source: SEJ

To complete a successful content audit, it’s best to create a spreadsheet that allows you to organize and analyze on-page performance quickly. Within your spreadsheet, it may be helpful to include the following elements in columns:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Content type (blog, white pages, FAQ, interview, infographic)
  • Goals and metrics (traffic, engagement, etc.)
  • Word count
  • Writer 
  • Keywords targeted  

You can use tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Analytics to learn about content performance throughout this type of audit. 

Social Media Audit

A social media audit deals exclusively with content posted to a social media platform and centers heavily on engagement metrics. 

Similar to content audits, there are plenty of social media monitoring tools that can streamline this process. 

Your social media audit will start with a search for all of your existing social media accounts. These probably include household names such as Instagram and Facebook, but there may be other accounts that have been set up by someone else at your company.

Next, you should aim to visually align each of the accounts that you plan to keep active. If you no longer want to continue using one of your accounts, be sure to deactivate them.

Social media solutions company Hootsuite addresses this by aligning profile pictures, handles, bio text, and the overall look and feel of the profiles themselves.

consistency with branding in a social media audit

Source: Hootsuite 

After aligning and confirming which accounts your company is using, identify top-performing posts and research any trends in engagement. This will help you learn more about what your audience enjoys about your social media presence. 

Additionally, examine your use of geotags and hashtags and their impact on content performance. Keep track of this information over time to inform your evolving social media strategy.  

SEO Audit

SEO audits involve searching for opportunities to improve both on- and off-page SEO. This is achieved through examining the current performance of your site architecture, content, and backlinking efforts.

A content audit can often be a supporting exercise in a more extensive SEO audit. Locating duplicate, thin, or outdated content happens during a content audit. However, that information can also benefit on-page SEO efforts if leveraged alongside effective keyword research and analysis. 

Tools such as Ahrefs can provide insights into your keyword performance while also suggesting new keywords to target. 

In addition to content analysis, you should also consider more technical SEO updates when conducting an SEO audit. These include:

  • Optimizing page speed
  • Making your site mobile friendly
  • Aligning page updates with Google algorithm updates
  • Addressing issues with 404 errors and redirects

Making SEO a priority will significantly benefit your overall digital marketing audit. 

Choose Metrics to Track

The metrics you choose to track during a digital marketing audit will depend on which types of auditing you decide to undertake. Don’t let the complex technicalities of audits overwhelm you — choosing metrics is straightforward so long as you understand your marketing goals. 

Think about the goals and core purpose of your digital marketing efforts. Is it generating conversions? Retaining customers? Engaging existing users for longer? This will vary from company to company. 

Despite the variance of goals and potential metrics, many companies turn to the same general metrics to inform them of digital marketing performance. These include the following:

  • Website traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Cost-per-lead
  • Cost-per-click
  • Bounce rate
  • The ratio of new and returning customers

Each of these metrics will communicate who is engaging with your content for how long. They will also help you evaluate whether this engagement is earning you money and if your activities are worth the investment. 

Represent Your Brand

Much of digital marketing depends on brand recognition. People must understand who you are as a business for best results making meaningful connections with customers. 

This means that your digital marketing audit should account for brand representation and consistency across platforms. For instance, a company should ensure that its brand colors, logos, and symbols are the same on its website and social media platforms.

Consistency is the first step in connecting with your audience and helping them understand your value. During your audit, be sure to note any brand assets that are out of date and change them to reflect your current brand identity

Making sure your brand is represented correctly across digital platforms can be a lot of work, but an audit will help you understand what needs to be addressed for consistency’s sake. 

A Digital Marketing Audit Promotes Understanding

Digital marketing audits foster a better understanding of your current digital marketing efforts and their respective effectiveness. Whether you’re conducting a content, social media, or SEO audit, they offer insights that will make your performance better in the long term.

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