According to an article by Small Business Trends only 40% of a small business are successful. 30% break even and the other 30% lose money. That’s a problem for a lot of business owners, and one contributing factor is the lack of a solid online marketing presence. In fact, 83,300 businesses in the United States close every year, due to ineffective marketing. And for those who don’t fail, they would be even more effective if they had a solid understanding of their digital marketing footprint. And that’s where doing a digital marketing audit comes in.
As a business owner, knowing you need to do a digital marketing audit, and knowing how to do it, are two completely different things. The purpose of this blog post is to give direction as to what to identify when trying to audit your online presence. But first, there are two considerations you’ll want to figure out before getting started. You’ll want to know who your audience is, and you’ll want to know what your goals are.

Who is Your Ideal Audience?

You might be experiencing tremendous value in your marketing activities. But, are those activities actually being seen by those whom you’re trying to reach? If they aren’t, you’re likely missing out on leads. So, identify your ideal audience, and as you do your audit, see if the marketing being done is geared toward your audience. Creating a marketing or buyer persona can be very helpful in answering this first question.

What Are Your Marketing Goals?

If this hasn’t been clearly identified, there is definitely a strongly likelihood you’re missing out on opportunities. And by opportunities, this means missed business growth, leads, revenue, and ultimately your profitability. But, if you have outlined your goals, keep them in mind as you review your digital marketing footprint. While you might have some attractive ads, content or other forms of marketing, if what you’ve done doesn’t support your goals, that will be something to resolve.

Where to Get Started?

You’ll find a number of elements to look at when doing an audit. But, here’s what we suggest reviewing, as you start conducting your digital marketing footprint.

General Online Audit Factors

A large component of your audit will involve your website, assuming you have one. If you identify issues that need to be resolved with your website, it will be really difficult to correct them if you don’t have access to actually make changes. Additionally, you’ll want to be able to review your website’s performance. That’s where the factors below come into play.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google. This tool provides a ton of great information about your website and how well, or poorly, it’s performing.

Not sure how to check if you have Google Analytics installed? Google published a support page on this topic. It’s titled Check if a Web Page Uses Analytics.

You’ll end up in one of the following situations:

  1. You find it is installed. Great! This is ideal. Just make sure you’re able to access your Google Analytics account, so you can actually review the data that’s been collected.
  2. You have no idea if it’s installed. If that’s the case, talk to your web developer. If you can’t, let us know and we can help.
  3. You discover it isn’t installed. If this is your situation, simply ask your web developer to install the code. You can probably even do it yourself, as long as you have backend access to your website and don’t mind doing a little setup work. Check out this support page by Google if you want to do it yourself.

Google Robot Indexing PagesGoogle Search Console

Every now and then a website owner will have their website published. It goes live. But then they can’t find it on Google, even after more than a month has passed. This is likely because Google doesn’t know the website has been published. Google Search Console is the solution.

Once your website is live, you’ll want to go to Google Search Console to make sure Google knows about the website.

Not only does this tool make it so you can ensure your web pages are indexed by Google (Google knows about them) but it also gives you a lot of other insight on the performance of your website. This information is a little different from what you would find with Google Analytics.

If you go to Google Search Console, and log into your Google account, you should be able to view your website information, if the website has been set up within Google Search Console. If it hasn’t been, then you’ll need to get that done.

You’ll end up in one of the following situations:

  1. You can get into your Google Search Console account and you see your website in there. That’s great! Take a look at the info and see if there are any issues that need to be resolved.
  2. You’re confused and have no idea what to do or if your website’s set up. If that’s the case, no worries. This kind of stuff can be confusing if you’re not used to handling it. Just ask your web developer to help.
  3. You don’t have your website set up with Google Search Console. If you’re a technical person, you should be able to get your website added without much difficulty. If you aren’t very technical, it’ll probably be a lot easier just to ask your web developer to take care of the setup for you.

 

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Website CMS Admin Access

According to an article published by Barn2 Media Ltd, in May of 2021, 64.8% of all websites in the United States that use a CMS are on the WordPress platform. Chances are pretty strong that if you have a website, it’s on WordPress. And if you go to your website and add “wp-admin” to the end of it, you will likely be able to get to your login screen. Here’s an example of what that would look like: www.example.com/wp-admin/

If the example above works for your website, when you actually use your domain, rather than the “example.com” version, then see if you’re able to provide the username and password to that website. Hopefully you can, which would be great! If not, just ask whoever developed your website to give you the login info to your website. They should be able to give you exactly what you need.

You’ll end up in one of the following situations:

  1. You have access to the backend of your website and have the ability to make changes without needing to know complex coding. That’s great!
  2. You have no idea how to access the backend, but you know you’re supposed to have this ability. Just check with your web developer. They should be able to help you get this access.
  3. This type of access isn’t possible for you. It could be that your website doesn’t have a content management system (CMS). If that’s the case, you won’t be able to make edits unless you know how to do web coding. This isn’t a common skill for most business owners, so no worries if that’s your situation. If you don’t know coding, then you’ll just need to ask your developer to make edits for you, when they’re needed. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to reach out to whoever built your website and see if they can adjust your website so you can get CMS access.

SFTP ConceptWebsite SFTP or cPanel Access

If you are experienced and skilled with web coding, then you might not need the CMS login at all. You could do everything yourself without the CMS. But, if this applies to you, then you’re definitely the exception to the rule.
Assuming you do need CMS to edit your website, then having that level of access is helpful. However, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do everything you want and need. For example, you may find your website is comprised of a lot of third-party integrations that are slowing down your website performance. If that’s the case, and you want to clean up the coding to speed your website up, you’ll want to have access to the actual files that make up your website. You’ll want access to your website’s coding. That’s where SFTP or cPanel will come in. See if you can get this information. Having it will make it much easier when you decide to make more complex edits to your website, if needed.

You’ll end up in one of the following situations:

  1. You have SFTP or cPanel login information. That’s great!
  2. You have no idea if you have this type of login, nor do you know how to figure it out. Just check with your web developer. They should be able to help you get this access.
  3. This type of access isn’t accessible to you. This situation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you try and edit the coding, without knowing what you’re doing, you could break your website. But, you should at least know the person who does have this access. If someone is going to work on your website and needs in-depth access, you’ll need to give them this information. Whoever developed your website will most likely already have this. However, if you no longer have access to the person who developed your website, then check with your hosting company. If that isn’t an option for you either, then you’ll definitely want to hire someone to help you get this figured out. Just make sure you know who has full backend access to your website files and can edit them if needed.

What Comes Next?

In part two of this series on doing your digital marketing audit, we will focus on reviewing your website’s user experience. This can have a massive impact on how many people who visit your website will actually contact you, or make a purchase. During that portion of the audit, many website owners decide they need to adjust their website. So, before proceeding, please make sure you’ve done everything possible mentioned in this blog post. This way, you’ll be more likely to actually make any necessary adjustments, and ultimately increase your profitability.
If you get stuck at any point during the steps above, just let us know. You can connect with us via our contact page, or through the contact form below.

About

As the founder of Joshua Lyons Marketing, Josh Lyons primarily focuses on business development. He has studied and practiced marketing since 2008 and launched his first company (a marketing agency in Pensacola, Florida) in 2015. When he's not writing blog posts, recording podcasts or consulting, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves listening to audiobooks and checking out different coffee shops. He also enjoys fire juggling, amigurumi, travel and swing dancing; which is how he met his wife.

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