The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming, spring is here! In the spirit of rebirth and renewal that comes with spring, let’s not only spring clean our homes, but also clean up our digital marketing. Here at AdVision, we recommend regular assessments of your marketing channels, to ensure you are maximizing your efforts, and keeping each current. What better way to do this than with audits? Here are five audits we conduct to keep our marketing efforts sparkling and fresh:
1. Social Audit:
A social audit is a look at of all of your social media platforms, to identify opportunities to improve your engagement and results. Important things to look at include:
- Branding, bios, profile/cover pictures: Are they updated? Are they consistent with your image? Does your bio include relevant keywords and/or phrases? It’s important that these are accurate and timely: it’s the first image of your business users see!
- 80/20 rule: The rule of thumb when it comes to sharing valuable content and self-promotion is that 80% of your updates should be interesting to your audience to help it grow and promote engagement, and 20% of your updates should be self-promotional for your business.
- Response time: Speed of response is extremely important! If you can respond while users are still in the app, you can often keep the engagement going. Use tools such as Facebook’s automatic replies on Messenger to ensure you are quick to respond.
- Engagement: Are users engaging with your content? Beyond liking a post, are they commenting or sharing? Are you doing what you can to help this? Contests are always engaging, but it can be as simple as asking your followers questions. Mix it up and have fun with them. You can ask specific questions about products, events, holidays, do mad libs, photo captions, advice sharing, or your preference.
- Personality: Do your followers see you as a business or as the interesting, amazing people running the business? Show them who you are by adding personal touches and behind the scenes posts.
- Which posts engage the most? Which photos get the most likes? Take a look at your top-performing and worst-performing posts over the last year and find what they have in common.
- Videos: First, are you doing any? Videos drastically outperform photos on social media, so make sure you are! With short attention spans, make sure the first shot is attention grabbing. Additionally, 80% of videos on social media are watched on mute, so use words and/or subtitles.
2. SEO Audit:
An SEO audit is a thorough review of your site for SEO best practices. If you are intimidated by SEO, start by reading our free guide answering the 15 most common questions regarding SEO. Then, look at:
- Page speed: Page speed is the rate at which pages load. If your users have to wait too long, it will hurt your SEO. Currently, Google is most focused on usability, particularly on mobile devices. If users lose patience with your site and leave before your content is visible, not only have you lost a potential customer, but Google will lower your ranking. Use a tool to get your score, and make improvements ASAP to fix what is slowing your site down.
- H1s: H1s are HTML tags that indicate a heading on a website. Most importantly, do you have them? H1s are one of the most important factors for ranking in organic search. If you do have them, are you using them correctly? You should only have one per page. You should never have duplicate H1s (you could be penalized for this). Does it describe the content on the page? Is it eye-catching? Are you using a long-tail keyword?
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are what appears under the links in SERPs, so they should be well-written and short. Make sure all your pages have meta descriptions that accurately portray your business and are written in the correct tone and personality for your business.
- Content: Content is becoming increasingly important for SEO. Make sure the content on your site is informative and helpful. Create how-tos or answer FAQs. Additionally, the longer your content is (over 1000 words), the more of an impact it will have.
- Readability: This also ties back to the importance of user experience. Is your website easy to read? Are you using best practices for readability, such as ample white space, multiple headers, bullets and lists?
- Images: Do all of your images have alt text? They should. Alt text is the text that you provide for an image in case it can't be displayed. It also tells search engines what the image represents. Are the file names descriptive as well? Lastly, check the size of your images. Ideally, keep them all under 100k. If they are not, it will impact page speed. JPEGs can be compressed without losing quality, so also check that you are using JPEGs where you can.
- Schema markup: Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says, which helps your website show up higher in SERPs. Schema is important for all kinds of content types, such as products, events, reviews, local businesses, articles, and hundreds more! Make sure you are using schema markup, and if you aren’t make it a priority to start doing so.
3. Paid Search Audit
A paid search audit is a deep dive into the structure, copy, targeting and performance of your paid search campaigns. Review:
- Keywords: Do any need to be added? Look at a search term report for any new ones which are driving traffic. Have you added any new products or services recently? Additionally, review the match types. You should have a mix of broad match, modified broad, phrase, and exact match terms. Additionally, is your list of negative keywords comprehensive, to weed out irrelevant or unprofitable traffic?
- Ad copy: Is it updated and grammatically correct? Do you have any old promotions running? Are the display URLs and landing pages correct?
- Ad Extensions: These not only enhance your listings, they also can improve your all-important quality score. Review the ad extensions that make sense for your business and make sure you are using them. For example, if you are a local business, location should be enabled. If reviews are important to you (and you have positive ones), enable that.
- Campaign and ad group structure: Make sure the organization of these is intuitive and still makes sense to your business.
- Conversion tracking: Is it set up properly?
- Targeting: Are you targeting the right locations? Have you made mobile bid adjustments? Are you focused on the days and times which convert the best for you?
4. Content Audit
A content audit takes a look at all the content on your website, qualitatively assessing its relative strengths and weaknesses, so you can then focus your content strategy in the right place. Yes, I know that looking at data on performance of all your content sounds tedious, but the information you get can save you time in the future, and help you deliver amazing results. For each piece of content you should consider:
- Performance: How many views, social media shares, backlinks and conversions did it get? Was there a commonality in the top performers that you should be doing more of? What about the worst performers?
- Current relevance: Is the information updated and still relevant? For top performing posts, you should update this and repurpose then into a new piece of content and promote them on social media. For low performers, just remove them from your site.
- Internal links: Does the content include internal links? Particularly for older content, there could be some newer posts to which you should be linking.
- Is it a duplicate? Google penalizes sites with duplicate content, to remove any duplicates to avoid penalties.
- Personas and stage in the buyer's journey: You need to make sure you have content targeted to all of your personas, for each stage in the buyer's journey. Anything missing should guide your content strategy going forward.
- Keywords: You also need to make sure you are optimizing all your keywords. Do you have any new products or services which should be included? Are there any new trends in your industry which you are missing?
5. Conversion Rate Optimization Audit
This is actually a two-part audit. Begin with a quantitative analysis to understand the behavior of users on your site. Then, do a qualitative analysis to make sure you are adhering to CRO best practices.
- Quantitative analysis: Using your analytics software, look at:
- Where people enter your site
- Which features they engage / spend time with
- What channel and referrer brought them in
- What devices and browsers they use
- Who your customers are (age, demographic, and interest)
- Where users abandon your site
- CTA buttons: Make sure they have clear, compelling text, and are eye-catching without being distracting. Also, make sure the placement of the button is optimized. You should always have a CTA above the fold, as well as at the end of content.
- Compelling offer: Is what you are offering valuable to your audience? Is it something they cannot get elsewhere.
- Navigation: Is it intuitive? Are the pages which have the highest engagement highlighted?
- Reviews: More and more consumers depend on reviews prior to purchasing. Do you have positive reviews and/or testimonials on your site? If not, posting some could have a big impact on your conversion rate. Do you need more reviews? If so, send an email to your existing customers requesting reviews. Or, you could use a tool, such as Yext Reviews - to help generate them.
- Are we answering visitors questions and addressing their concerns? The amount of research people do before reaching out to a business continues to increase, so you need to have the answers they need to feel comfortable reaching out. Having a blog to show your expertise and personality is a great way to do this.
- Engagement: The longer a user is on your site, the more likely he or she is to convert. Keep users engaged by using interactive content, such as quizzes or calculators.
While it is tempting to perform these audits yourself, it is best to have an objective, third-party with fresh eyes do so. This ensures nothing is looked over, and no internal biases will impact the results. After the audit(s), you should have a prioritized list of actions to take, based on your business goals. So spring forward, it’s time to get your digital marketing into spic and span shape!
April 5, 2018