We often associate the word “audit” with tax season – it’s not really a subject we enjoy thinking about. But in reality, there are so many audits that marketers can benefit from
This is especially important for your marketing strategy, to ensure you are actually delivering your marketing objectives and allocating budgets wisely.
Unfortunately, the majority of marketing teams are not closely tracking the results of their efforts. A survey from LinkedIn found that just 39% of B2B marketers were confident that their ROI measurements were accurate!
By conducting marketing strategy audits, your team can effectively assess their efforts, find current weak spots, and discover solutions for better results in the upcoming year.
But which types of audits are necessary to properly evaluate your strategy and improve it for the future?
One major mistake that many marketing teams make is conducting deep keyword research once - then using that list as part of their permanent SEO strategy. However, Google is constantly changing its algorithms - and consumer search behavior is changing as well. Using one set list of keywords and incorporating them into all of your content is not really an effective SEO strategy in the long run.
Companies should regularly conduct SEO Audits for keyword optimization to ensure their strategies are up to date with current search trends. One good starting point is to take a look at your content marketing ROI to see just how well your targeted keywords are actually performing.
According to The 2020 Content Marketing Survey from CMI, only half of B2B marketers track search rankings - and tend to focus more on engagement, traffic, and conversions. While these metrics are important to measure, growing your search rankings will help you build more engagement and drive in conversions, as you will be gaining more visibility on the SERPs.
Be sure to go through and see how well your content assets are performing and notice which keywords are related to higher traffic numbers. You should also update your previous keyword research to see if important numbers like search volume, competition, and difficulty have changed.
Think of your website as a car engine. When you first drive the car off of the lot (or launch a site), typically everything is performing at optimal efficiency. But over time, oil starts to build up and pieces get worn down, so you take your car in to get repaired and clean out the engine.
The same is true of your website. While you probably did a thorough check when your site was first launched to be sure it included the proper content and was working correctly, over time, things can start to break down.
This is especially true if you are consistently adding new features and pages to your site, such as publishing articles on your blog or adding new product pages.
Conducting a website audit will help you to pinpoint all of the tiny mistakes that could be hurting the user experience. Not only are issues like broken links and slow loading speeds annoying to visitors, but they can also hurt your site’s ranking signals.
There are some tools that can help you get started on this process. For instance, MozBar will check your page’s loading time while giving you some SEO tips and letting you know a page’s domain authority scores.
HubSpot’s Website Grader and SEMrush’s Site Audit tool are also great for identifying errors, measuring overall performance, and providing solutions for multiple types of issues.
Although the majority of marketing these days is conducted digitally, it is not just your strategies that need to be audited – your team should be assessing their own performance. An internal business audit can make sure productivity levels are up to par and to see where improvement needs to be made.
One area to pay particular attention to is your team’s utilization of technology. Becoming a business that is versatile to adopt new digital systems can have an impressive impact on marketing results.
Marketing teams should look to see where they could improve their strategies by implementing emerging technology, like AI. This can help to improve productivity by automating monotonous processes - while also ensuring that all decisions are based on data.
One report found that companies that embraced AI marketing automation saw an overwhelming increase in lead generation and improved ad targeting. Marketing teams need to be honestly assessing their own practices to see where things could be improved.
Your website design team and marketing should work together to conduct a compliance audit to ensure that your business’s website is operating in WCAG regulations for accessibility.
Although business-owned websites are not legally required to provide accessibility features, many businesses have been sued and lost major lawsuits for not meeting ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliancy standards.
Most recently, Domino’s Pizza was sued as their website and mobile app was not designed to be used by visually impaired customers. The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the pizza chain was not adhering to compliance standards since the customer was not able to use screen-reading software on their site or app.
To protect your business from any potential issues and to ensure all visitors can use your site regardless of disabilities, you will need to check its accessibility. There are numerous tools to help you do this, including WAVE and AChecker, which will show you how to construct a more accessible site.
The reason why your marketing team needs to be involved is because so many aspects of accessibility are directly related to content and media. For instance, all images need to have descriptive tags for screen-readers. Further, video content needs to include captioning and designs need to have readable fonts and certain contrasts to meet accessibility standards.
Marketing is constantly changing – you cannot expect that the strategies you used last year will be just as effective the next. You need to be continuously assessing just how well your marketing efforts are doing, while ensuring that there are no other matters (like website problems or accessibility issues) that could be hindering your success.
Conducting these types of audits and staying on top of ROI measurements throughout the year can help any business streamline their marketing success and avoid issues before it is too late.