Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Kick the Year Off with a Comprehensive Digital Marketing Audit

 From a fiscal perspective, most planners are now thinking 2014 and for most this means their budget is on the line. For many marketers their greatest challenge is assembling a solid strategy for the upcoming year—it’s a daunting task.

Our advice? You better check yourself before your wreck yourself!

The best way to know what you’re going to need in your 2014 plan is to review where you are and what’s worked (and what hasn’t). Bridgeline’s iSG Digital Services Team provides a Digital Marketing Audit to give clients a sense of strategic poise and direction. Our typical audit examines the following:

Competitive Analysis

We do not subscribe to coveting thy neighbor’s possessions, or stealing ideas, but we do believe it’s always good to (a) establish a competitive context for your website, and (b) know how a site stacks up against its competitors. In our competitive analysis we look at:

  • Content and Functionality: how does the content attract and engage visitors?
  • Marketing Message: does the content present a compelling experience?
  • Social Media Engagement: how often does the brand engage as opposed to promote?
  • Mobile Performance: what is their user experience in the mobile (smartphone) and portable (tablet) environment?

Content Engagement Analysis

For those who use email as a means of attracting and engaging visitors, we find that there’s always room for improvement; it’s an ongoing, cyclic process. We examine campaigns that worked well and ones that didn’t perform to expectation. We review a number of factors including:

  • Optimal Time for Send: are emails always going out at the same day? Same time?
  • Opens: is there a noticeable trend over time? 
  • Clicks: what seems to get the audience to engage?
  • Unsubscribes: how can we minimize attrition?
  • Subjects: are there any subjects that might flag as spam?
  • Body: how much content is presented? How are the Calls-To-Action (CTA)?
  • Images: are images suitable for the content? Are they compelling?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Analytics

The audit is by no means an analytics report, but we do use your analytics heavily in understanding your content and disposition in the eyes of search engines. We look at your digital footprint from several different perspectives. How are people finding you? What types of traffic are you getting? Which websites are sending visitors your way? 

As we analyze your SEO, we break it down into two distinctive groups. On-page analysis is based off your content strategy (keyword ranking, meta data, mobile trends). With our off-page analysis, we examine backlinks (volume, domains, and TLDs), referring websites, and anchor text.  

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

If you’re augmenting your search engine optimization efforts with PPC, we examine performance by looking at the following key performance indicators (KPI):

  • Impressions
  • Click-through Rate (CTR)
  • View-though Rate (VTR)
  • Conversion Rate (when available)
  • For e-commerce clients (average order value, revenue, number of transactions)

Opportunities and ROI

All of the examination listed above is important, but it has to establish a context from which a marketer can plan the year ahead. We break down the opportunities presented by the audit and explain the return on investment (or return on opportunity, as we call it) for pursuing our recommendations.

Conducting a Digital Audit places a marketer in the perfect position to get out of the gate in 2014 and hit the ground running. 

What is your website doing for you? Let us know on Twitter!

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