How to Audit Your Online Presence

At Domain.com, much like our name would suggest, domains are our bread-and-butter. What you may not realize is that we’re also experts in websites and branding. That said, we understand what it takes not just to get started, but to build, flourish, and succeed in establishing yourself online.

A large part of that success consists in understanding the performance of your cumulative digital efforts. You have to take stock of everything you’ve done, and beyond that, your total digital presence.

You may think that means reviewing the actions and things you directly control online, like your website, your social media profiles, and your on-page SEO. And you’d be correct… to an extent.

Don’t forget that you can’t control the entirety of the conversation around your business on the Internet. If you want to audit your total online presence, look to the areas you can’t directly manage, too.

We’re going to discuss the various parts of a total online audit in this post, and we’ll point you in the direction of some tools that can help you accomplish the task. A comprehensive audit takes time, but is vital to your business’ online success, so if you can’t dedicate any time to an audit, consider hiring an expert who can help.

Performing a Complete Online Audit of Your Web Presence

You should go into your audit with a plan, and you should be able to put one together using this guide. So let’s get to it.

We’ll be learning a lot about performing a web presence audit today, like:

  • The issues it can help you uncover and solve.
  • The items and areas to be reviewed in your audit.
  • The insights you’ll gain into your online presence and business.

Why You Should Perform a Total Online Presence Audit

There seems to be this recurring trope in Hollywood — the one about someone who’s born lucky, or has some magical event befall them, and then everything they do works out in their favor. Do you know the one?

Somehow, that mentality has gotten into entrepreneurship. We hate to break it to you, but that happens in the movies and only in the movies.

If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, blogger, or side-hustler, you’re going to have to make your own luck. And fair warning: It’s going to look a lot less like luck and a lot more like dedication and hard work. But the end result — success on your own merit, is so worth it.

The first step to success is understanding your business.  

Do you know who your ideal customer is? Can you describe your marketing funnel(s)? Wondering why some competitors perform better than you do for certain keywords in SERPs? Or why certain pages of your site have high bounce rates?

These are all questions you need to know the answers to, and your audit will help you gain these crucial insights.

Tracking Your Audit Findings

Before getting started, make sure you have a way to track and record your audit and your findings.  

If you use a cloud-based solution for record-keeping, then you can quickly and easily share your findings with anyone who needs to access them.

We offer and recommend both GSuite, which comes with all the Google tools you know and love, like Gmail, Sheets, and Docs that offers all the familiarity of Outlook, Excel, and Word plus a host of other features.  

Parts of a Complete Online Presence Audit

Now that you have your tracking tools at hand it’s time to plan your audit. It will consist of reviewing the following areas:

  • Website
    • SEO analysis, both on and off-page
    • Content
    • Analytics
  • Marketing and digital campaigns
  • Social media platforms and profiles
  • Local directories
  • Review sites
  • Google My Business Listing

As we move through each section we’ll tell you what to look for and provide you with a set of questions to guide you. Feel free to add your own as you go.

How to Audit Your Website

Your website is your home base online. It’s where you drive customers and generate business, so you need to treat it well.

We really like that John Jantsch, of Duct Tape Marketing, recommends starting website audits with your homepage. He writes that, “If you find issues on your homepage, odds are you’ll find issues throughout the rest of your website as well.”

When you review your site, you’ll discovers answers to things like:

  • What actions are your site visitors taking?
  • Where are people clicking on your homepage?
  • What landing pages receive the most traffic?
  • How long are people staying on site?

And all of these insights can be used to further refine your site and improve your marketing funnel.

A website audit, in and of itself, is a large but fruitful task, so don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional if you need it. In the next section, we’ll cover how to review your off-page SEO, or SEO factors that aren’t on your website.

How to Conduct an Off-Page SEO Audit

If SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a new term for you, here’s a quick overview. SEO is the art and science of optimizing various elements of your website to achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, SEO extends beyond your website’s content and structure, often referred to as on-page SEO, to include off-page SEO strategies.

Off-page SEO is crucial for building your site’s reputation and visibility online. It primarily involves acquiring backlinks from other reputable websites. These backlinks serve as votes of confidence from one site to another, influencing your site’s authority and search engine rankings. Off-page SEO can be categorized into three main types of links:

  • Natural Links: These links are earned without any direct action on your part. For example, a blogger might find your content valuable and link to it from their article.
  • Manually Built Links: These are links you’ve influenced or encouraged. This might involve asking customers to link to your site, collaborating with influencers for social media campaigns, or engaging in guest blogging to secure a link back to your site.
  • Self-Created Links: Often seen as the least favorable, self-created links are those you place on forums, directories, or comment sections. These can be perceived as spammy by search engines if overused or placed in irrelevant contexts. It’s essential to exercise caution and ensure these links are relevant and add value to the conversation.

To audit your off-page SEO, start with Google Search Console, a comprehensive and free tool that tracks your site’s presence in Google SERPs. Follow Google’s guide to set up your account. Once configured, you can access a list of sites linking to yours. Evaluate these backlinks to identify any that might be deemed low-quality or spammy. If possible, take steps to remove or disavow these links to maintain your site’s credibility.

Remember, the goal of off-page SEO is to build a natural and diverse backlink profile. This involves earning high-quality links that contribute to your site’s authority and user experience. By regularly auditing your off-page SEO and adapting your strategy, you can enhance your site’s visibility and ranking in search engine results.

How to Audit Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a cornerstone of your digital identity, offering a platform to engage with your audience, explore new business avenues, and share your brand’s story. Conducting a social media audit is crucial for understanding your reach, refining your strategy, and driving traffic to your website.

Starting Your Social Media Audit:

  1. Inventory Your Profiles: Begin by listing all your social media profiles on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc., in a Google Doc or Excel Spreadsheet. Include the following details:
    • Username or handle
    • Goals for each channel
    • Posting frequency aligned with those goals
    • Top-performing content
    • Audience demographics
  2. Evaluate Your Strategy: Assess if your current social media efforts support your goals. Consider the effectiveness of each platform and whether any should be dropped or refined. The aim is to focus on platforms where your audience is most active, not to spread yourself thin across every channel.

Auditing Marketing and Digital Campaigns

Your marketing and digital campaigns are integral to your web presence. When auditing these efforts:

  1. Define Clear Goals: Use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals for each campaign.
  2. Ensure Brand Consistency: Review the visual and textual elements of your campaigns to ensure they align with your brand identity, including consistent use of logos, typefaces, and messaging.
  3. Performance Analysis: Examine campaign outcomes in relation to your goals. Assess what worked well and what didn’t, and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Consider resources like FlypChart for in-depth guidance on evaluating your campaigns’ effectiveness and alignment with your objectives.

How to Audit Online Reviews

Online reviews are a public testament to your business’s reputation. While you can’t change existing reviews, auditing them provides valuable insights:

  1. Monitor Feedback: Regularly check review sites like Yelp or Facebook to gauge public perception of your business.
  2. Respond to Criticism: Negative feedback is an opportunity for improvement. Address criticisms constructively and make necessary changes to enhance your service.
  3. Encourage New Reviews: If you’re lacking reviews or wish to refresh your image following improvements, encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences.

Remember, the absence of reviews doesn’t imply disinterest; it may suggest your brand needs more memorable engagements. Implement strategies to boost word-of-mouth recommendations, both online and offline.

How to Audit a Google Business Profile Listing.

Establishing a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing is a critical step for enhancing your business’s visibility on Google, the world’s leading search engine. A well-optimized GPB listing provides essential business details to potential customers, including hours of operation, contact information, website link, and customer reviews, directly in search results and on Google Maps.

Setting Up or Reviewing Your GMB Listing:

  1. Initial Setup: If you haven’t already, create your GPB listing by following Google’s setup guide. This ensures your business can be easily found by potential customers.
  2. Accuracy of Information: Confirm that your business name, address, phone number, and website URL are current and match the details listed on your website and other online platforms.
  3. Business Hours: Keep your operating hours updated, including any changes for holidays or special events, to manage customer expectations accurately.
  4. Photos and Videos: Regularly update your listing with high-quality photos and videos of your business. Visuals play a key role in attracting customers and giving them a glimpse of what to expect.
  5. Customer Reviews: Actively monitor and respond to customer reviews. Engaging with reviews, whether positive or negative, demonstrates that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving their experience.
  6. Use All Features: Take advantage of all the features GBP offers, such as posts for special offers, events, and business updates, to keep your listing engaging and informative.

Conducting a Comprehensive Web Presence Audit

Auditing your entire online presence is a substantial task, but breaking it down into smaller, manageable sections can make the process more efficient. Keep a detailed record of your findings and actions to ensure continuity and measure progress over time.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Segment Your Audit: Tackle different aspects of your online presence in stages, such as your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and GMB listing.
  2. Document Your Progress: Maintain a log of what you’ve audited, findings, and subsequent actions. This will help you track improvements and identify areas needing further attention.
  3. Seek Expert Advice: If you find the process overwhelming or encounter complex issues, consulting with an SEO or digital marketing expert can provide you with professional insights and strategies tailored to your business.

Remember, the goal of auditing your GBP listing and overall web presence is to enhance your online visibility, improve customer engagement, and ultimately drive business growth. Regular audits ensure your information is accurate, relevant, and optimized for search engines and users alike.

Key Points

  • Domain Expertise: Beyond domain services, Domain.com specializes in website development and branding, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to establishing an online presence.
  • Audit Importance: Auditing your digital efforts is vital for success, extending beyond direct control areas like your website and social media to include the broader conversation about your business online.
  • Audit Guide: The post provides a detailed guide on performing a web presence audit, highlighting the benefits of such an audit, including uncovering issues, gaining insights, and improving your business’s online strategy.
  • Comprehensive Approach: It covers auditing various components of your online presence, such as website content and functionality, on-page and off-page SEO, social media profiles, marketing campaigns, review sites, and your Google Business Profile listing.
  • Practical Tips: The guide offers actionable advice, including using cloud-based solutions for record-keeping, responding to online reviews, and utilizing all features of your GBP listing to maximize visibility and engagement.
  • Professional Assistance: Acknowledging the time and expertise required for a thorough audit, it suggests hiring professionals for businesses unable to dedicate resources to this critical task.

Summary

Domain.com’s guide to auditing your online presence is a valuable resource for businesses aiming to understand and improve their digital footprint comprehensively. By breaking down the audit process into manageable sections and offering practical tips and tools, it empowers businesses to take control of their online narrative, improve customer engagement, and drive growth. Regular audits are recommended to ensure information accuracy, relevance, and optimization across all digital platforms.


Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell

Domain.com Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell

Domain.com Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.