How do you do a digital audit of your website and social media? Part 1: Website

When you sit down to do a digital audit, it’s helpful to have your marketing communications goals and objectives in hand so you can see if your digital properties are laddering up in some ways to your farm or business’ overall goals.

To me, your website is always your digital home on the web (don’t trust social networks like Facebook or Twitter to keep your “home” intact – glitches can completely remove your presence) and is probably the best place to drive your target audience if you want them to take a specific action – in other words, your CALL TO ACTION.  What’s your CALL TO ACTION?

Call To Action

Call To Action on Truth or Dairy’s blog is sign up for email

While a digital audit can help you see what is going on with your digital properties, you need to make sure that your CALL TO ACTION is easy to see and act upon for your target audience.

You need to be clear on your CALL TO ACTION on all your digital properties. This is done visually as you look at your properties whether it be a website, blog, facebook page, or youtube channel.

The web is very fluid and you need to be ready to change what you have.

Always be thinking of building with the future in mind – what is hot right now with Google is Social, Local and Mobile (SO-LO-MO).

In the future according to the experts, instead of the battle over what’s in your hand and in front of your face (computer vs. mobile phone vs. tablet), it will be your voice and what’s in your vision (think Google Glass and screens that respond to voice and motion).

But what you need to worry about now is your digital footprint (digital footprint is the results people get when they search for your farm/business/name in Google or on the social networks)  and how your digital properties are performing.

Let’s start the digital audit:

First, you need to pull together a list of all your digital properties.

Do all the ones you know and then make sure you do a search through Google with your keywords and names to make sure nothing else pops up. You might find things you didn’t know about or that someone else might have created for your farm or business. And it’s always good to have searches running on your farm or business with talkwalker.com alerts (free service).

Once you have that in place, we’ll begin was analyzing your websites and blogs.

Google Analytics

google-analytics-image

You should have some sort of analytics on your websites. I recommend google analytics. If you are using Urchin, you need to switch over. Your web person should know how to put google analytics on your website or you can do it if you can access to the code – depending on the blog system they should have a plug-in for this.

I have three training classes (posts) on Google Analytics:

How Should You Set Up Your Google Analytics Dashboard for Your Farm or Business

How Do You Set Up A Goal in Google Analytics

How to Read Google Analytics

I’m not going to go into the details here but you should have a sense of your traffic, time on site and bounce rates.

The overview can help you here but be aware it’s really not the whole story. What you are looking for here right now is trends.

Are people using our CALL TO ACTION?
Are we going up or down in visits?
How about time on site?
Where are people leaving the website?

Google Webmaster Tools

webmaster-tools-search-queries

You need to have your web person set you up with Google Webmaster Tools – this will help show you things like Search Queries (Google Analytics won’t show this anymore if people are logged into Google when looking at your website), Crawl Errors, how many inbound links to your website and how to optimized your website.

The information you really need here is do I have any errors, what are my search queries keywords and how many inbound links do I have?

webmaster-tools-inbound-links

Also, who is linking to me?

You should benchmark this number and then try and grow it in the future. The more inbound links you have the better you are – but just stay away from black hat link building techniques (don’t buy them and don’t submit to useless directories).

It will also show you where you are ranking on Google search engine research pages for keywords – it other words, how are you showing up?

Xenu

xenu-screenshot

Xenu’s Link Sleuth checks Web sites for broken links.

Link verification is done on “normal” links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.

Probably one of the best tools out there for link checking and it’s free!

Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer

I use Open Site Explorer to help benchmark the performance of the website.

Copy the metrics on domain authority, page authority, linking root domains, etc…

Much like Google Webmaster tools this will help with showcasing who is linking to you but it will give more information on the sites that are linking to you.

The stronger those sites are, the more power they transfer to your website.

MajesticSEO

majesticseo

MajesticSEO will give you a lot of great information as well much like Opensiteexplorer but you’ll have to login.

Marketing Grader

hubspot-marketing-grader

This is Hubspot’s free marketing grading system and it will give you insights into how the website is performing (0-100 is the grading scale).

The information they provide is pretty self-explanatory.

While they provide some nice insights, be aware they are trying to sell you a product and will probably reach out to you when you use the tool. I do think that Hubspot is awesome but I don’t know how much help they would be for you right now.

SEO Audits are great things

Here’s a great article on how to do this yourself from Philip Petrescu, CEO and Co-Founder of Caphyon, How To Perform a Complete SEO Audit for your website.

This is a very thorough article and I love all the insights and how to fix ideas he has. Definitely worth checking out.

Speed of your Website

google-site-speed

The speed of your website is very important to users and Google. The search engine could downgrade your website if it is not running at a fast enough pace or if a script is slowing it down.

Use the Google Developer Speed tool to benchmark your website. It will also give you a Performance Grade, Load Time and Page Size.

Mobile Friendly

hubspot-mobile-device

Google is not happy with multiple website for mobile and would rather you just have one to meet the needs of mobile users. That’s why going responsive in a redesign is a great idea.

But you need to see how users are seeing your website on their mobile phone so I suggest using Hubspot’s Mobile Device Lab so you can see how your website will render on different devices.  Not everything is represented here.

If it’s hard to navigate, it could cause people to leave the website without doing anything (bounce) and hurt your rankings.

There are probably a bunch of things I’ve missed in the audit (you know like checking different browsers, etc…) so feel free to hit me up with this information.  I’ll add it in if it’s valuable.

Next post will chat about digital audits on your social media presence.

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Your marketing and products are boring and it makes me tired

Grandma Iva Lee and Paul watching TV

Grandma Iva Lee and Paul watching TV

Seth Godin had a great little post today called “You’re boring“.

It’s really quick so go read it.

I run into this thing all the time with marketers taking the safe route.  Especially in this economy.

When you choose the safe and boring route, you make your potential clients tired.  You make your staff tired. You make yourself tired. Oh, great. Here we go again. Boring story, boring brochure, boring website. Whoa, that made me tired just writing it. Continue reading

Basics in SEO – have you graded your website?

This is going to be a short post but I absolutely loved this tool, www.websitegrader.com.

Check it out, use it and then come back and we’ll go through all the cool stuff that is in it.

There’s also another free tool for ranking your website.

Being found on the net is getting harder and harder – you need to have this SEO stuff down.

Siteless Web Presence Part One or why not be in all places at once?

Last week I spoke of a siteless web presence. And what I meant by that comment was that you need to stop thinking of your website as a destination stop and more of aggregator of all your web content. Pretty simple, huh?

But first things first. Your website should be a living breathing thing on the web. If you don’t know how to update your site – or if you need your web guy to do it then you need a new website. One with a CMS (content management system) behind it. Updates should be frequent and relevant – so you can get some Google love.

BTW, this doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be almost free if you don’t mind taking some time to piecemeal things together on the web like making a WordPress blog into a full blown site and adding interesting information widgets like Google calendars/maps and cool stuff from Widget Box. There’s a lot more out there – these are just examples.

But looking at your website and saying this is the end-all be-all of my existent on the web is a mistake especially if you are making good content and treating your website like the media property it should be. You should be and can be everywhere at once.

(By media property, I mean you are treating it like a TV/news channel where you are throwing out good entertaining education on your products – and don’t ask me what these things are – you know what they are, you are a consumer. You’ve seen other websites product videos or blogs or forums or whatever and thought “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” That’s what I’m talking about.)

I kinda rambling today with all these tangents but I swear I will get back to my topic. Look here it is.

Siteless web presence means that you are putting your web information out in multiple locations on the web and making sure that people can take your information with them – if they want. One example would be that if you make a video – it should go on your site but it also should be out in all the places where people watch videos like YouTube and Revver and everywhere. You can even do it all at once with HeySpread.com.

Another thing – Don’t ask me why they would take it. I don’t read minds. But I will tell that they do take it for whatever reason. They take it and mash it up on their website or they use your product video in a blog they are writing.

So how do you get a siteless web presence?

I’ll save that for later this week.