Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy Working? Part 1: SEO Audit
Marketing is a struggle to be number 1, not number 10 or 25. Everyone wants to be on top, but the struggle proves to be demanding and utterly challenging. You have to invest time and money in it. You have to plan strategies and execute them. You have to assess them from time to time to see what’s working and what’s not. Eventually, it’s whether you’re selling or not, making revenue or not that matters.
Success isn’t the end game of any marketing plan, be it traditional or digital. If you’re doing influencer marketing, which has become an important aspect of online marketing in the recent years, finding influencers and brand ambassadors isn’t the end goal. When you think about it, there seems no end goal. Marketing is a continuous process for as long as you wish your business to exist.
For many people, it’s about updating their websites and social media accounts. Sure, these are crucial parts of the activity. But another important and often neglected aspect is skill building. Upgrading your skill is as important as updating your strategies. And once you have well planned and sound strategies on the table, it’s time to implement them. After a while, you need to figure out if it’s working. How do you know it’s working?
That’s where audit comes in. Audit is something you should do on a regular basis. The most important reasons why you need to look into your marketing strategy should prompt you to find out what’s going on.
- Traffic to your website is declining.
- Sales targets are not met.
- Social media following is low.
- You have negative ROI.
- You have low conversion.
When performing an audit, you should look at several parts of your digital marketing strategy. It’s easy to think of it as a whole. But really it’s a combination of search engine optimization, content marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing. Each of these micro-activities is its own system and has its own set of rules.
If you’re getting bad traffic volume from search engines, it’s time you looked into your SEO strategy. SEO remains an integral aspect of online marketing. It’s an old internet marketing tactic that still matters today. Considering 61% of customers use search engines to look for a product, a service, or a solution, it makes a lot of sense to invest in optimizing your website or blog for search engine visibility.
Two chief factors affect the health of your website on search engines. One is the algorithm. The other is the pagerank of your competitors. Optimizing your websites in accordance to Google algorithms takes you to the initial step. It’s like getting screened and passing the basic requirements. Now it’s time to compete with existing websites on top of the SERPs. But when you’re not reaching your targets, when you’re not getting to that position on the search results you’re aiming for, you have to stop and look at what’s going on. Guess what, SEOs regularly do that, and you too should.
What do you need to audit?
- Keyword analysis
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
- Mobile responsiveness
- Inbound traffic
Basically, it’s like reviewing your every aspect of search engine optimization and seeing if you’re doing it right and if it’s contributing to increasing your site’s visibility.
From time to time, examining the keywords you’re using gives you a glimpse of how visitors find you. You can also probe whether the keywords are actually relevant to your visitors by looking at the traffic. Is a particular keyword bringing in less inbound traffic than the others?
On-page optimization is perhaps the most demanding SEO audit you’re going to make, for it entails surveying your website, all of it, and pinpointing issues. The common issues include duplicate titles, missing descriptions, insufficient content, and missing content. Other important things to look out for are page load times and broken links. In these cases, it’s wise to work with your writers, web designers, and link builders.
After surveying your website, the next thing to do is find out if your backlinks are good. Are the links coming from relevant websites with high PR? Ideally, they should be. But you can disavow bad links from spam sites.
Mobile responsiveness has become a concern among internet marketers in the past few years as more and more people are accessing websites on their mobile handsets. Sometime in 2013, the number of mobile users eclipsed the number of desktop users. People should be able to view your website on a mobile device without you having to move the page from left to right and back to read a sentence. The text should be readable. The layout should be adjusted for smaller screens.
Finally, your audit should include technical issues. They happen even with the best web development. Things your developer and designer should look into and assess are codes, structure, and navigation. Old websites tend to have problems running on browsers. They also tend to load slowly.
At the end of the day, it’s not whether you have the best SEO specialist or copywriter that matters. It’s whether what they’re doing works, whether people are coming to your site, and whether your efforts are producing sales. Your website is an important part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Everything else you do, from email marketing to influencer marketing, points back to your website.