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How to Achieve Digital Marketing ROI: The Website Audit You Need

There are many reasons why your website may not be pulling its weight as part of your digital marketing. I’ve outlined a few of the most common — and critical — areas below. You’ll find that there is overlap across some of these, but fine tuning each will improve your website’s performance as a marketing tool.

Relevant content

If you’re not addressing the issues your audience is interested in, they will go elsewhere. To increase your traffic, review your website analytics data to determine which content is working well and which you need to either edit or eliminate.

Invest time in reviewing your competitors, as well. Do searches for the terms you’d like to rank highly for and then examine the sites that show up at the top. (The content of any single page isn’t the only factor in how well it ranks, so be careful about reading to much into a simple competitive intelligence exercise like this.) Compare what you find with similar content on your own site and shore up as needed. Remember that unseating a well-established incumbent can be difficult. You might consider focusing on related keywords rather than competing head-to-head.

SEO Effectiveness

The ideal is to aim to rank for terms that your audience is using and that your competition has ignored. You may need some help to get started or even a team to manage SEO on an ongoing basis, but it’s most definitely worth doing. Otherwise you may find your site making big moves in the rankings —but in the wrong direction.

Technical Performance

The speed with which your site loads is one of many factors that will influence your site’s marketing performance. The search engines place a premium on user experience, and users place a premium on how quickly and easily they can find and get to the answers they’re after. High bounce rates, low time on site, few pages visited per session are frequently caused by poor user experience. All contribute to the search engines painting a picture of poor user experience for your site.

Linking — Internal and External

Getting legitimate external links into your site is hard, but it’s a must for digital marketing success. (Do NOT be tempted by any shortcuts here. They’re viewed incredibly negatively by the search engines and will be penalized.) This is definitely an area where professional help is worth the expense. Even innocent link sharing amongst colleagues can run afoul of search engine standards.

Don’t overlook internal linking and its value. Link to related pages on your own site is great for user experience — it helps visitors access the content they’r most likely to be interested in without them even knowing it’s there! Consider working with your website development team to test different ways to link to related content. A sidebar section entitled, “You Might Also Like” can be effective. A link at the end of each article labeled, “Dig Deeper” can work, as well.

You may have noticed that all of these areas have an impact on both your user experience and your site’s potential for ranking well. That’s because the search engines want to deliver great results to their users — if your site is likely to deliver an excellent user experience, it’s more likely to be recommended by the search engines.

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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