If like me you’re a planner you’ll know only too well that successful projects are based on strong foundations with a clear plan of where you are now and where you want to be in the future. The same is true when it comes to managing your digital presence; we all know that the digital sphere is a hugely competitive one so staying one step ahead of the curve will give you that all important competitive edge.
This is why undertaking a regular digital audit is so important; understanding what’s working and what’s not will shape future digital objectives and your overall digital strategy.
So what elements make up a successful digital audit?
Start by analysing the external or macro environment.
The macro environment of an organisation consists of all those external elements that we largely have no control over but affect us nonetheless. The classic use of PESTEL (as we marketers know only too well) is still very appropriate however keep in mind this is purely based on digital activity. To recap, here you need to look at how Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors will affect your digital strategy. A good example of impending digital challenges on everyone’s minds at the moment is of course the impact of Brexit and the GDPR directive that will be coming into force on 25th May 2018 regulating data protection and consumer privacy.
Next review the internal or micro environment.
Analysing your micro environment brings your audit closer to home as you look at;
Online customers – their demographics, buyer behaviour, persona's, influencers and life cycle. A wealth of data on your customers is available from many sources including website analytics, email and social analytics and mobile analytics to name but a few. Making sense of this data will then help shape decisions surrounding your website, e-commerce, mobile commerce, SEO, keywords and digital marketing campaigns.
Brand - does your brand translate well online? Are the images you’re using the best ones to reflect your brand? Are you telling the brand story online in a compelling way?
Internal resource and capabilities – is your digital marketing team up to date with the latest developments and well trained to get the most out of your CMS solution? If gaps are identified then this is a good time to enrol in training workshops and learning courses. Also, do all of your systems talk to each other facilitating the sharing of information? How will GDPR affect this? And by this I mean sharing data held on your CRM that’s been captured via many data collection points which is then used to personalise content on your website.
Website – take time to review your website analytics to determine if your website working well in terms of navigation, speed, SEO, keywords, link building, data capture, marketing automation, personalisation, content marketing, customer engagement. What’s driving customers to your website, what are the most read pages, where are you capturing data and where are customers exiting the most?
Social analytics – are you using the correct channels to communicate with your audience? Is social advertising working for you?
Mobile analytics - how is your mobile marketing performing? Are there any significant trends you can identify in the way customers shop via their mobile device? What opportunities are there for you to optimise your mobile app?
Digital marketing campaigns – is email marketing still the way forward? Or are customers more receptive to mobile or video marketing?
And of course once you’ve carried out this audit on yourself, it’s important to understand what your competitors are doing, how they react to external influences and how they undertake their digital marketing communications.
Armed with all this knowledge the next step is to bring all the information together in a SWOT or similar to highlight areas where your digital is working well and where improvements need to be made taking into account external factors and customer behaviour. Once this is complete you're then in a far better position to set achievable and realistic objectives before you launch your strategic digital plan.
If you’re looking to undertake a digital audit we can help by taking a look at your website. Simply request our free audit, tell us your website address and we'll get to work on providing you with our tips and advice on what is working, quick wins, potential errors and what could be improved. It's completely free of charge and it's a great way to gain some new insight and fresh ideas.