Every digital marketer aspires for optimal return on their marketing investment, yet few take the time to properly review their assets and diagnose key issues properly.

Whether your 2014 Digital Marketing strategy incorporates Search Engine Optimisation, Paid Search, Email Marketing or a Content strategy; one simply cannot formulate a strategy unless you have done a thorough review of your strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats. Anyone can analyse the source of traffic, but few take the time to properly track what happens beyond the click.

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7 key audits that every digital marketer should conduct before formulating their digital marketing strategy:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Audit

Every website wants to rank number one on Google, however few take the time to properly diagnose the key issues that might be preventing them from achieving this goal, and they often end up investing in the wrong tactics, getting little return.

The SEO audit will analyse the website’s on and off-page position benchmarked against its 3 leading competitors. A detailed report will outline the websites strengths, while also identifying any critical issues that might prevent the website from achieving optimal search rankings and user engagement. Read more about the SEO Audit.

Content Audit

Many companies spend substantial sums of money generating new content – after all, content is king right? We agree that content is king, but the quality of the content is far more important than having lots and lots of pages.

Before investing in generating new content for your website you need to evaluate the assets that you currently have first. Some content just needs a little tweaking to make it more engaging, while other, more redundant content, might be better off being consolidated with other more valuable assets or removed entirely.

The Content audit includes a Quantitative and Qualitative review of your website inventory. The content audit takes stock of your entire site’s content and analyses the hierarchical structure of your website to ensure that you have sufficient authoritative content about your topic. This audit helps identify your leading assets and helps you to better understand any gaps and opportunities as benchmarked against the rest of your industry. Read more about the Content Audit.

Usability Analysis

Getting loads of traffic to your website is not a measure of digital marketing success if this traffic isn’t turning into a valuable lead or potential customer. While your tactics to get the user might have worked, this does not mean that the user has been captured.

The purpose of driving traffic to your website is to get them to convert (whatever that conversion might mean to your business). Unless you understand where and why you are losing your visitors throughout the conversion funnel, you are effectively wasting your digital marketing budget.

A usability audit will analyse your website’s core landing pages in terms of trust, credibility, navigation, speed, presentation, user Interaction and quality of content, while providing detailed recommendations on those areas that could be enhanced in order to increase conversions and user engagement signals to boost SEO rankings. Read more about the Usability Analysis.

Social Media Audit

Every second company wants to have a social media presence, however most don’t have a clearly defined purpose for their social media strategy. Many companies simply jump head first into every available social networking platform, without goal or purpose, only to find out that the time invested in the social media buzz yielded little to no results.

While social media is an incredibly powerful platform in which to engage with customers and potential customers, you need to first identify where your target audience is, how they are engaging on the respective platforms, and how your competitors or industry is utilizing the various social media platforms to get results.

The Social Media Audit involves assessing all social media channels as well as additional marketing channels to ensure that there is effective integration between the various platforms with a specific focus on the brand’s perception, influence, engagement, implementation and compliance with, rules, guidelines and legislation. Contact us for more information about the Social Media Audit and what it entails.

Google AdWords Account Review

Google AdWords is a powerful digital marketing tool, as it gets you right to the audience at the very moment where your message matters to them most. AdWords is relevant, cost-effective and highly measurable; while providing the largest possible reach online.

On the flip-side, if set-up and managed incorrectly, AdWords can result in high costs per click and little conversions. AdWords is a very competitive space, and unless you know how to cut through the clutter and get to the top of Google at the lowest possible cost – you may find your cost-per-conversion rising and your return on investment dropping.

The Google AdWords Review will analyse the company’s current Google AdWords strategy, and identify opportunities to optimise its performance and increase its visibility, impression share and conversions. Contact us for more information about the Google AdWords Review and what it entails.

Google Penalty Assessment

If you have noticed a significant drop in your organic rankings and search traffic but don’t know exactly why; or if you suspect that your website might have been penalised by Google for any reason, then this assessment is a must!

This in-depth penalty assessment includes an analysis for your sites entire linking profile to identify any links causing problems (Linking Domain, Linking Page, Target Page & Link Text) as well as the pages and search terms most affected by the Google penalty.

Before investing another cent on your website, or in search marketing, you must first resolve any penalty issues through either cleaning up your links, pruning your pages or – in more extreme cases – moving your site. Contact us for more information on the Penalty Assessment and Recovery Process.

Email Marketing – POPI Compliance Audit

The long-awaited Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) was finally approved by the President on 27 November 2013, giving companies approximately 18 months to become POPI compliant. Companies who are not compliant stand to face a number of serious consequences such as imprisonment of between 12 months to 10 years for violations (depending on the severity of the crime), or at the very least hefty fines that could severely harm the business.

For any company doing any form of email marketing (newsletters, promotions, etc.) this audit is vital. Companies must review how they collect, process and manage their email marketing databases, while reviewing all of the conditions under with their email marketing strategy is carried out – including relationships with any 3rd party services providers who may act on their behalf. Contact us to learn more about becoming compliant with the Protection of Personal Information Bill.

The data provided in all of these audits offers incredibly valuable insight into better understanding your market and how you can perform better within the digital marketing environment. By conducting these audits before you formulate your digital marketing strategy you will be far better equipped to present your strategy to your executives with confidence!