Any good business owner will tell you, if you’re passionate about your company or industry, then you should be trying to find out as much about it as you can from every angle in order to get ahead. To stay ahead, however, you should be evolving and repeating this process often. This includes all aspects of your business, even the parts you might not understand or care for, like your digital properties.
This process, called a digital audit, gives you a bird’s eye view of the market, competitors locally and internationally, your target demographic and the general appetite for your service or product. This provides a crucial benchmark to leverage off of.
Why Should I do a Digital Audit?
Things change. Just consider the plans you developed in 2019 and the year that followed. The landscape is evolving every day. Not only from a tech perspective, but your customers and competitors too.
The pandemic as one example has turned everything on its head, changing how people run their businesses online or challenging them to get their products to prospective customers in new ways. You need to be adapting at all times to keep ahead. Do you think I’m kidding? Go chat to our friends at Blockbuster and ask if they’re sour they turned down an opportunity to buy Netflix in 2000.
Ask yourself constantly: how are we pivoting and more importantly evolving with the new landscape?
Where do I Start?
If the thought of a full audit is too daunting or if your team just isn’t equipped to do so, pick something. Just start somewhere. The first audit will always feel a bit overwhelming, but it needn’t be. A health check on anything, such as SEO or Google SERPs can be a great place to start.
If you’re ready to get your hands dirty though, then you’ll need to conduct a full audit of all your platforms and those of your competitors. See this article I recently wrote for what your strategy should include.
The Implementation Phase
Anything that is detrimental to the business needs to be resolved immediately, or interim measures need to be put in place. If a website needs upgrading, a landing page with key information can suffice. Sometimes a simple fix like site speed can in turn affect your SEO score, thereby improving your visibility and subsequently the user experience. One change like this can have a fantastic knock-on effect that results in a happy, returning customer, and of course, a whole lot of sales conversions for you.
Important Digital Considerations
You’ll also need to take a good look at more customer-facing factors, such as what your content is aiming to achieve with its quality and frequency and if your brand messaging is landing correctly with your target audience. This is where brand loyalty is achieved, namely through a relevant stream of content or targeting that makes sense to those on the receiving end. Broad targeting with the data precision we have access to today is not going to fly, my friend.
At the end of the day though, if customer sentiment is lousy it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. Modern customers and consumers are driven by the overall emotional experience. If you don’t have strong customer service or if I don’t trust that you understand me, then you’re not getting my money or business, your competitor is.
You’ll need to manage those wild expectations though. Some of the changes will take time to implement and may rely on outside factors before you see a return. Upgrading your content, for example, could take three to six months before your audience responds and grows. Optimisation and finessing is the key here, which is why it’s important to identify key metrics you can return to in order to establish what’s working.
If the market is not primed for your maverick ideas or changes to the business, or if there’s a whole education phase required first, you won’t see immediate results. It doesn’t work that way and if a marketer tells you otherwise, you may need to get a second opinion.
Evolving Your Strategy, Evolve Your Business
A digital audit done correctly will identify a heap of opportunities, challenges and quick wins, but make sure you do it often. You’ll need to keep a close watch on those key metrics and decide if they’re still relevant to your overall goals. If those goals are changing then you’re being agile, and that’s how you survive in this digital age.
Just remember, this is a long-haul game that requires agile action. Keep going and don’t lose sight or get distracted. You’ll see more success overall if you implement incremental changes often. This is how you see continual improvement in your business, ultimately helping you dominate online and off with confidence.
Ready to find out more? Let’s arrange a free video consulting session to figure out your next steps.