30/03/2015 | SEO & SEM | 15 minutes
What is your website strategy? How well is it working? What could be done to improve it?
If you don’t know the answer to all three of these questions then the chances are that your online marketing activities are not hitting the mark. This means that the time, effort and financial investment could be miss placed.
The above infographic shows many of the base elements involved in a successful online marketing campaign. Each of these elements are areas that can be bench marked measured and optimised.
Digital marketing is one of the most data driven business strategies available. This means that a website and SEO Audit will give you detailed insight into how your website is currently performing, and show where the opportunities lie, whilst providing the answer to questions you hadn’t thought to ask. Based on the outcome of the audit this can be the basis of a structured plan to run your marketing activies.
Auditing aspects of your online marketing strategy is a smart way to understand and improve the way your audience is interacting with your website and marketing channels. However to fully understand what needs to be undertaken in the audit, an important step is to generate personas.
By identifying and profiling your key customer groups you can better understand how your audience is interacting with your site and generate precise marketing plans to target sub sections of your audience to fulfil their unique needs.
As you can see from the above infographic, keyword research is one of the fundamental elements of an SEO campaign. Most clients have an idea about the keywords or phrases they would like to be found for. However often with new clients that we meet, these words are chosen as a best guess rather than based off the back of structured research. This was well illustrated recently during a short term project with a Private Jet Management Company. The natural term that the client had been targeting was “Private Jet Management”. However this was a competitive term and the client was struggling to make an impact. By conducting keyword research we were able to see why they were struggling and identify “Executive Jet Management” as an equally valuable but more attainable term to target.
Below you can see the two terms as they appear in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Results highlighted in red are competitors and those highlighted in blue and more general pages that are easier to out rank, such as job listings and news articles. As you can see there is only one competitor ranking for “Executive Jet Management”, whereas “Private Jet Management” is a saturated term that would take much more budget to rank for.
By auditing the client’s keyword targets we were able to identify attainable new terms providing cost effective solutions for their ranking problems across the site.
One of the greatest obstacles to conversion is poor user journey. Do you know how your audience moves around your site? Do you know which pages have the highest exit rate? If you are attracting traffic but struggling to convert those readers into profit, it could be that your site has a confusing architecture and your viewers are struggling to find vital pieces of information.
One good way to assess the user journey is to utilise heat tracking technology. This will map out the way that users have been interacting with your site, whether that be click activity or attention hot spots. High traffic areas will appear as hotter, whilst information that is getting lost will appear cooler. Using this knowledge you can begin to make informed decisions about which areas of your site are working well and what can be improved. Urban Element use this as standard on our support and development package.
A well thought out content strategy is imperative for earning conversions, targeting keywords, and attracting brand awareness. Effectively written and planned out content will see you rise in google rankings and see visitors being more engaged in your service.
By auditing your content, you can see how your home page conveys your brand message, which service pages are under performing, and where the gaps in your user journey are. By auditing the effectiveness of your blog content you can work out if your article topics are resonating with your audience and which subsections of your audience is more interested in your content.
Content is also an essential part of your SEO strategy, you need to know whether your blogging content is attracting the right volumes and type of traffic. This should sit hand in hand with your SEO efforts.
When was the last time you reviewed your XML site map? How many 404 codes is your website generating? How fast does your website load? A website’s technical health can often be over looked, yet it is one of the most important aspects of how well that website ranks. Poor quality code, broken elements within your website, and flaws in your SERP listings can be a hugely detrimental to your efforts. Understanding where the flaws and opportunities are in your website’s technical health and developing an action plan on how to solve these issues should be an integral aspect in your website audit.
Have you embraced social media yet? If you are then it’s important to ensure you are using it correctly. By deciding on goals and working out which types of posts are most effective, you can adapt your campaign and optimise your efforts. Running a social media audit can also help you understand your audience better, telling you who they are, where they have come from and what they are interested in.
If you are not using social media, auditing competitors can tell you if you should be. By analysing their channels you can work out how much investment they have made, what their likely return has been and whether it is worth your business following suit.
Do I know what I know what my website is bringing me in terms of sales? – Even if you are not running an e-Commerce website, understanding how your website is affecting your business’ overall profitability.
Where is my CONVERTING traffic coming from? – You can spend huge amounts of time and money targeting what you perceive to be the best keywords and tactics, but how do you know if these are working? Understanding where your converting traffic is coming from will help identify winning tactics.
Where is the opportunity to grow my audience and conversions? - There are many different tactics that can be employed online. One of the goals of your audit should be identifying what you can be doing more effectively.
What can I do to out sell my competitors? - What are your competitors doing online, and what can you do even better? Much of
modern SEO is about providing a high quality and unique proposition to your audience. One of the aims of your site audit should be to understand how
your industry presents itself online, and how to get an edge over your competitors.
Where is my website failing? - Where is it on your website that the marketing funnel falls apart? No website remains perfect and somewhere down the line yours can be improved. Through analysis of the data available to you can work out where your website may be failing and how to improve it.
We recommend running audits with all clients as part of a long term plan, however if you would just like to learn more about how your website is performing then get a free website and SEO audit here.
So if you are unsure as to how your website is working for you, or you would like to know how you can beat your biggest competitor in the rankings, get in touch with our Digital Marketing team.