Audit: An official inspection of an individual's or organization's accounts, typically by an independent body.
Many people cringe when they hear the term "audit," thanks largely to the IRS. But having a third party (like us!) come in and take stock of your online presence, assets, or goals can be the impetus you need to move your business forward with a new perspective.
For business conducted online there are a vast number of digital assets that can be audited: website code, website design, website content, competitive landscape, email programs, data and analytics systems, paid search accounts, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) methods, etc. And each of these categories likely contains sub-set areas that could be audited as well.
But there’s no need to dive into the entire thing all at once. Instead, start by auditing one or two of those areas, and see how the results shape up.
As a working example, let’s consider a website SEO audit. At a minimum, an SEO audit should cover the following:
Code-level structure (HTML basics)
Server error codes
Site load speed
External link overview
(Note: Links alone could merit a separate audit. The SEO analysis should be able to determine if a separate link audit is worth the effort.)
Website SEO audits can uncover painful truths about your site’s code and content, but once you have an audit in hand you can give the results to your in-house web team (or web agency) to make the necessary corrections. We have performed audits that uncovered missing fundamental SEO elements, which, when corrected, caused dramatic increases in the client’s rankings and site traffic. Sometimes in just a matter of weeks. This is one of the many ways that we can optimize conversion rates for your site.
What About Other Types of Audits?
Another audit that we do regularly is a competitive landscape analysis. This is an audit that compares other companies’ online marketing efforts to your own, and should be performed on a semi-annual or annual basis to determine how you stack up against your competitors. Identifying the advantages and disadvantages that you have against these companies can be a valuable tool to guide your marketing efforts, helping you differentiate from and rise above the competition.
The topic of a competitive landscape analysis is broad enough that we will post more about it soon.
In the meantime, we’d be glad to hear your experience with any online marketing audits you’ve had performed. Did you find them insightful? Did you learn things about your business that needed correction, or find confirmation that your efforts have been on target? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences.