How to Perform a Quick Marketing Audit

how to perform a quick marketing audit

Every year, I take clients through a quick marketing audit and planning process for the next year. That planning always starts with an audit of their current online presence. 

Where a lot of people make mistakes – in business and life – is assuming everyone is starting at the same place and ending at the same goal. You must know where you’re starting to be able to choose the most effective marketing strategies that will get you to your final goal.

For a quick audit of a client’s online presence, we cover website, keywords, social media, YouTube specifically if they have videos and basic branding messaging. Here’s tips and tools for you to do the same and to perform a quick DIY marketing audit for your business planning.

Quick Marketing Audit Tips

Quick Website Traffic Audit

For a website audit, we check traffic, top posts for the year and search position change over time. Additionally, we run a full SEO audit for our clients. The great thing about the website audit is that it’s possible to begin that process for yourself. 

Use a Traffic Audit to Determine Campaign Effectiveness

For general traffic, view Google Analytics > Audience > Overview. Change the date range to the entire calendar year and choose “compare to prior year.” Change the graph view to “month” to view overall trends on the graph.

Check these stats: 

  • Did the number of page views increase over last year (more traffic);
  • Did the number of users increase over last year (more people);
  • Was average session duration higher than last year (people stay longer); and
  • Is the number of sessions per user higher (people are returning more often).   

There’s a ton more information you’ll want to delve into if you’re doing a full audit, but these are the quick insights to pay attention to for your initial DIY marketing audit.

Find Top Blog Posts to Determine Engaging Topics

In Google Analytics, use Acquisition > Overview with the same date range as above, and view the chart at the bottom to understand where traffic originates. 

For example, a lot of my website traffic comes from organic search, which is great since I do a lot of search engine optimization on my website. The second largest acquisition channel is social media, which shows me that my social strategy is working.

Another stat with helpful information is Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Remove the date comparison from this view and only use the current year so you see current engagement versus years ago.  

For example, one of the top pages in my list of URLs is a quick case study on Blue Apron’s marketing. As I look through my list, I see that a few different blog articles I have around the topic of “marketing case study” are getting good traction. This lets me know I could share more of that content. These are also pages I will edit and interlink to my services or products, to turn these top topic pages into converters. 

How to use this information:

  • Pay attention to which pages are getting the most views. That tells you which topics are most interesting to your audience.
  • Note whether topics you don’t want to rank for are the ones being seen more often. That lets you know you may need to modify your overall content strategy.
  • If landing pages you have been actively promoting are not showing up near the top of the list, revisit your strategy for those pages. 

Quick Audit Your Keyword Effectiveness

Google Search Console is another great tool for a quick audit. Use these tools and tips below for your quick marketing audit.

Check Your Overall Search Position

When you first log into Google Search Console, you’ll be on the Performance tab. Click the top right of that block on “Open Report.” Change the date to the calendar year. There are a couple of things you can quickly check in this view: total clicks, total impressions and average position.

First, click “Average Position” and then uncheck any others so you only see one stat. The goal here is to see that average position number lower over time, which means you’re appearing higher in the search results. This number includes ALL search terms people have used and your site has been in the result list, including some you may not want. Overall you want the average position to be improving, so check the graph trend and make sure it climbs higher over time.

Next, check Total Impressions (and uncheck others). This is the number of impressions your website (and therefore your business) is getting in search results. Make sure that graph is showing an upward trend, as well. 

The third piece to check is Total Clicks (and uncheck others). This is the number of people clicking through to your website from a search result. Again, you want to see an overall upward trend in the graph.

How to use this information

  • A red flag is if any of these graphs have a downward trend, especially if that downward trend does not recover. Updates made by Google or updates you make to your site can cause a drop.
  • A downward trend that does not recover is something you need to research further. Run a full SEO audit to start researching causes and determine possible fixes.

Find Keywords Where You’re Already Ranking

Some great data is found in the table under the graph for overall search position. The table shows the exact queries that people have used in a Google search and found your website. Click the “filter” icon and you can choose “average position” which will show you the average search result position for each individual keyword. That’s gold right there!

I am always happy when I have a search term in the top five spots – because that means my website is showing up at the top of page one in search results. 

How to use this information:

  • Check if there are keywords at the top that you definitely do not want people finding for you when using.
  • Pay attention to which search queries that are getting the biggest results. Since you’re already ranking, it’s easy to add some related or complementary keywords to also rank.
  • Edit copy on your site to remove keywords you aren’t wanting to rank for. Flesh out those where you already in a top search position. 

You can download this chart to be able to manipulate the data further.

Quick Social Media Audit

Social media quick audits primarily focus on whether the topics we hope are trending are the ones gaining the most exposure and engagement.

Use Facebook Insights to Find Top Performing Posts

Facebook readily provides this information on their Insights tab of a business page. However, for best results download the Excel spreadsheet so that it’s easier to search. Export using the Posts Data option to review individual post data. 

Unfortunately, Facebook limits the number of days you can export at one time; so if you have not been downloading this data regularly, I suggest you download it for the current year by quarter. Then compile them all into one spreadsheet, and you can then easily sort and filter.

How to use this information:

  • Use conditional formatting in Excel to highlight posts with different keywords.
    • You can color-code based upon product or service keywords, content pillars, etc.
  • Sort each color-coded post by two columns: total reach and total engaged users.
    • Facebook cares about engagement. View which posts overall have the most engagement, plus by each color code.
  • Use this data to determine what types of content are performing best with your audience, so you know what to replicate.  

Use YouTube Insights to Tap Into the 2nd Largest Search Engine

Following your YouTube stats is critical if you use videos in your marketing. This is especially important considering YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.

Channel Analytics inside of YouTube Studio provides great information. For this quick audit, use two date timeframes – the current calendar year, plus lifetime. Lifetime is important to consider if you plan to monetize your channel, since YouTube requires 1000 subscribers minimum, plus 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months.

In both date range views, scroll down and check which videos were top viewed, plus check the average view length for each in the list. YouTube prefers videos that get a longer view time (and keep people on their platform longer). 

How to use this information:

  • Note topics generating the most views and longest views to generate new content ideas.
  • Use these top videos and optimize them for video SEO to drive views across your channel and to your website.

Also… yes, you need to be doing SEO on YouTube as well. We’ve been teaching a course on these methods for several years because we know how effective it can be. If you use video at all, video SEO can be one of the best strategies to increase traffic to your website and increase customers.

Quick Branding Audit

A quick branding audit is a great way to fine-tune your brand messaging for your marketing annual planning. 

Take the data you’ve gathered and start looking at your brand messaging. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are the top posts relayed in a way that reflects the brand? 
  • Are we telling the brand story correctly and effectively? 
  • Is our chosen brand messaging only found in some poorly performing posts – meaning our selected messaging isn’t engaging properly?

Since much of the data compiled also includes images and video, check visual branding as well. 

  • Are the proper brand colors and imagery being used? 
  • Does the visual communication reflect our brand voice? 

How to use this information:

  • Determine if you need to review and update brand messaging and voice – especially with the pivots businesses have made in 2020, this is important.
  • Check if you need to revise your visual messaging.
  • Choose how to more effectively use voice, messaging and visuals in your marketing.

How to Use Quick Marketing Audit Data for Annual Planning

You’ve reviewed some key indicators, and hopefully downloaded data as spreadsheets when available. Next up, pop these into a Google Sheet template. 

You can copy the template we have developed here. This will help you create a monthly marketing dashboard and see an overview of your results.

Take the data gathered to fine tune existing marketing strategies, choose new marketing strategies and roll it into annual planning. And now that you’re ready to do your own quick marketing audit, be sure to access our list of favorite tools and templates at https://vickywu.us/quick-marketing-audit-resources.


Vicky Wu

Vicky Wu is the CEO and Chief Marketing Strategist at Vicky Wu Marketing. With over 20 years of marketing expertise, she combines her creative background with golden nuggets of marketing knowledge gained as a CMO marketing global corporations, and strategies developed for nonprofits and entrepreneurs that are budget-conscious. Vicky Wu Marketing cuts through marketing confusion and clutter to provide creative and focused marketing tactics that help entrepreneurs grow, with both done-for-you and DIY services for small- and medium-sized businesses.