As we all know, the whole world is in lockdown because of COVID-19, There are many small and medium business owners who are worried about their business. We really can’t do anything much at this moment, rather than worrying about the current situation, you can utilise this time to rethink & rework on your sales and marketing performances, audit your marketing activities.
Find out what’s working and what’s not working for your business, which marketing strategies give you maximum ROI and which ones are burning your money. How you can improve non-performing marketing strategies.
Getting the best results from your marketing team, agency or strategies means devoting yourself to a process of constant analysis and optimization which helps you in driving stronger business growth. As a business owner, you should be aware about marketing strategies and key metrics to track and monitor the performances.
What is a marketing audit?
Before understanding about marketing audit, you need to know about marketing goals.
Your marketing goals are a very specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound metric that drives every marketing effort to help you to achieve your business goals.
A marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic analysis of the marketing activities, efforts, budget and strategies to identify the problems or area of opportunity to improve the performances and recommend a course of action that best suits the current needs of the business goals.
Why marketing audit is important?
- It builds strong foundations for your future marketing decisions
- Remind you of your business goals
- Give you a better understanding of your customers, what they want and how you can address your customers
- It provides in-depth knowledge about how your marketing strategies planned, implemented and managed
- Formulate performance targets and how to measure ROI
- Uncover the problems to address and prioritize for action
- Adjust your marketing budgets based on the performances
Marketing audit process
You can create your own marketing audit process and documentation depending on the nature of your business and what goal you are trying to achieve. Before you start analysing your data, make a complete list of marketing channels & strategies you use for your business.
The great marketing audits cover every touchpoint your business has with your customers from your website to social media marketing. The more you learn from your audit, the faster and successful your business will grow. Here is the simple process to conduct your marketing audit.
Step 1: Setting your goals
Great marketing plans are built on a foundation of your most pressing business goals.
By looking at your current long term and short term business goals, find out how your marketing efforts are helping you to achieve it. You need to find out the answers like how much your marketing efforts generate revenue, new vs existing business revenue break-up, Marketing spend vs generated revenue from each marketing channel. How x marketing channels help you in building brand or engaging customers.
Please note that every marketing strategy’s purpose will be different, they might not drive direct sales but they play their important roles to support in your sales process, you need to implement an attribution model. Differentiate your business like goals, it’s importance and how it helps your business goals.
Examples of Common Business Goals
Macro Goals: Increasing sales would be your most ultimate objective for all your marketing efforts and that will be your macro goals.
Micro Goals: You need to track more real-time measurement that shows earlier in the sales cycle of marketing effectiveness, you can call these are micro goals or KPI’s or SMART goals.
- Lead Generation: You need to define your leads quality like marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs) to avoid declaring success of the campaigns based on generating a number of unqualified leads.
- Acquire new customers
- Up-sell and cross-sell
- Improve awareness
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Re-brand or re-position
- Increase web traffic
- Increase engagement rate
- Customer retention strategy
Step 2: Collecting your data
Data is the most important part of this exercise, you need to collect the most accurate, as much as relevant data to get accurate results. Collect your SMART goals or KPIs metrics from every marketing channel. They may not be direct sales related but they play a major role in your sales process.
Step 3: Compare your data with your goals.
Once you have all your marketing data in hand, start analysing it. You can compare numbers with business goals, previous year data, with your competitors, industry benchmarks and also to compare other your marketing channels. To find out what’s working and what’s not working. Where you need to put more money and effort to achieve your business goals.
Step 4: Plan your next marketing strategy
Based on your data analysis, now you should have a good understanding about what’s working and what’s not, so plan your next move carefully. You’ll be able to make data driven decisions, smartly plan your marketing strategies, budget distributions, tools & resources required.
Digital Marketing KPIs need to track & measure for channel level audit
1) SEO Audit
SEO audit is one of the most important parts of your marketing audit, you need to do this exercise regularly in order to make sure that your SEO strategy is up-to-date according to google updates like algorithms changes, webmaster’s guidelines for long-term success of your website’s performance.
Here are the few SEO SMART goals you should be tracking
- ROI from SEO
- No of leads or business generated
- Organic traffic by geo, devices
- Keyword ranking analysis
- What kind of keywords generating maximum business
- Leads or business by locations, devices
- Comparative analysis with your competitors
I strongly recommend you should take SEO expert’s help to audit technical aspects of SEO like technical infrastructure of your website, On-page & off-page, usability & conversion rate but for a business owner, you should be tracking these metrics and these are a good to know these terms which help you to deal your SEO agency or team.
Technical SEO audit checklist:
- Impression, CTR per page and keyword level
- Run a detailed technical audit to check sitemap.xml, robots.txt files, tags, missing ALT text, external & internal links, load time, speed, responsive design crawling errors, broken links etc..
- Existing search engine bans or penalties
- Duplicate content
- Proper use of 301s and 302s redirects
- H tags (1-6) present on website pages
- ALT attributes
- no missing or duplicate titles on website
- Anchor text distribution for links to each page
- Toxic backlinks
2) Paid Campaign Audit (Google Ads Audit)
You will be paying for every click or impression on google ads, facebook, LinkedIn Ads, so you must be auditing your campaigns regularly. The best thing about digital ad platforms is that you can take total control like what kind of audience you want to attract, what action you want visitors to take once they land on your landing page.
Every change you make on the campaigns can make or break your performance. So need to carefully monitor your campaigns. Social media ad platforms are a pretty simple process and easy to understand and target but Google Ads are a very advanced and complex platform. If you are not a Google Ads expert then ask any google ads consultant to audit your campaigns on a regular basis.
Here are a few things you can track and monitor metrics.
- ROI from paid campaigns
- Budget distribution by solutions or products
- Maximum ROI from solution sor products, Geo, Device
- Avg CPC (cost per click) CPM (cost per impression) CPA (cost per acquisition)
- Quality score
- Impression shared and lost due to budget and quality score
- Which campaign, ads & keywords giving you maximum ROI and which are the the burning your money
- Audit the conversion by location, devices and bidding type
To get maximum benefits from paid campaigns, make sure that you conversion tracking is working fine and you must link your Google ad account with your CRM (Read Why To Link Google Adwords Conversions To Salesforce and Pardot)
3) Social Media Audit
Social media platforms are playing a major role in all types of businesses. It serves many purposes like to attract, engage, announce, convert as a customer, provide customer support etc and each social media platform plays a different role, as their purpose is also different from each other. For example there is a huge difference between facebook and linkedIn users and its purpose. So it’s important to define different KPIs for different social media channels.
Social media audit checklist
- Company goals alignment with your social media strategy
- Social media listening – Monitor what people are talking about your brand
- Audience Insights – Look closely at the demographics of each social media channel. What are your followers’ locations, gender, interests and who are they?
- Content Performance Review – What kind of posts are actually driving the kind of traffic that will affect your top, mid bottom sales funnel.
- Analyse, how your social media audience is behaving on your website or app in terms of visits, page views, bounce rate, conversions
- Are you using hashtags effectively to maximize reach?
- Review your activities on your social networks
- Reach & engagement rate
4) Content Marketing Audit
Content marketing is a backbone of the inbound marketing strategy, It’s hard truth about content that generates good amounts of traffic but not leads. You need to identify what kind of content is giving you quality leads and which one is driving traffic.
In your content marketing strategy you must be creating a content plan which addresses your customers pain points and touching every part of your sales funnel.
Content Marketing Audit checklist
- Type of content generating quality leads or business
- What topics does your audience most connect & convert most
- To determine how your audience is responding to each content piece you have produced, you need to track and measure these metrics like visits, avg time of the page, bounce rate, social shares engagement on the social media.
- Highlight pages with high impressions, but low conversions
- Measure your content’s quality like word count, word length, Topic relevance, target keyword.
5) Website Performance Audit
Your website is developed to encourage visitors to navigate through a certain way. With a behavior flow report, you will understand a lot of things about your visitors’ behaviors on each URLs, like how visitors navigate your website, most visited URLs, time spent, bounce rate, percentage of people who leave after a certain page.
Website performance audit checklist
- Website speed and Load time, here are the top best Website Speed Test Tools
- Google page speed insight tool, GT Metrix, Pingdom
- Avg time spent on the page
- Check Responsive design
- Cross browsing performance check