Bike Shop Marketing

Why you need a digital audit

Main Street U.S.A. has gone digital, and barring the internet disappearing overnight, it’s going to stay that way. Your website is now your second storefront. Email marketing is the new direct mail. And social media is the new word of mouth. All this is to say that, if you’re not putting time and effort into these new mediums your business is going to fall behind. But, if you’re not familiar with the best practices of digital marketing, or understand how to read analytics, how can you be sure your efforts are making an impact? With a digital audit of course!

Just like you would make sure your storefront display is free of dust and smudged windows, you need to make sure that all of the digital channels that your business uses are consistent in message and tone across all platforms, are properly optimized, and are using best practices.

A digital audit breaks down your website, social media, email marketing, pay per click (PPC), listings/reviews, and analytics to show you what’s working and what’s not. You can do it by hand or you could use a free service (by an outside company) to complete one for you.

You might be wondering right now, “is this really necessary?”

The answer is yes. Just like you go to the doctor’s to get a regular checkup, it’s important to regularly audit your digital footprint to ensure there are no holes, blemishes, or red flags. 

Not performing a regular digital audit could cost you customers and sales. If you’re having a hard time seeing how, let’s do a little test. Think of a few words or phrases that someone looking for a business like yours might type into Google. Got them? Good. Now, search for them on Google. 

If your website pops up near the top of the first page, congratulations, your website is properly optimized for SEO (or you have little competition).

If your website ends up near the bottom of the page, or isn’t even on the first page, you’ve got some work to day (or a lot of competition).

75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine results. So, if your website doesn’t at least show up on that first search engine results page (SERP) 75 out of 100 of your potential customers will more than likely end up on your competitor’s website, social media, or local business listing. With 81% of people saying they perform some type of online search before making a purchase, this isn’t something you can afford to ignore.

Having a digital audit performed will tell you what factors are causing your website to rank low on SERPs and what can be done to fix those issues so that you can rank higher.

Once you’ve had a digital audit done, what comes next?

Well, now it’s time to put a strategy together that addresses your weaknesses and compliments your strengths. With all of the digital channels that there are to manage this may seem overwhelming. Don’t worry. Most audits will include detailed instructions and relevant online resources so you can implement measures yourself, or give the report to your internal or external digital team to work through.

Getting Started

Take stock of what’s working and double-down on those efforts. The company or service that performed your digital audit should have given you a granular look into why your weaknesses are weaknesses. Put a list together of what they are. Some of these things you’re not going to be able to fix on your own, unless you have staff on hand with skills like coding or search engine optimization.

First, figure out which of your digital weaknesses are within your skill range, and make those your first priority. Social media, email marketing, updating your local business listings, and overhauling the content on your website don’t require the technical knowledge needed to fix problems on your website like loading speed or mobile-responsiveness. Start with those and build from there. 

Put a list together of how many times a week you’re going to post on your various social media, send out emails, write new articles, and respond to reviews – while you’re at it, reference your digital audit as a guidepost. 

Learning from your data

Now, take some time to really understand your data.

Dig into the analytics of the social media channels you use and find out which posts performed the best, then start putting out more posts like that. Do some testing with your newsletter to figure out how to get the highest open and click-through rates from your contact list.

Play with the structure, length, and topics of the articles you post, and use your digital audit as a guide to continue putting work into your digital strategy. Don’t know where to start with these items? It might be time to hire someone in-house or find an outside expert.

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day

And the weaknesses pointed out in your digital audit can’t be fixed in a day. Put a plan together, execute it, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Digital marketing is a long game. It’s going to take time to start seeing boosts to things like your social engagement and email click-through rates. But, stick with it, experiment, and you’ll eventually break through. Next time you audit your digital footprint, we can almost guarantee you your results will be better and your efforts will pay dividends.

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