A digital marketing audit lasts on average from 3 to 8 weeks depending on the complexity of the website, the targeted markets (national and international), the scope and especially the number of channels to be analysed (Advertising, organic, email marketing, affiliate, etc.).
- Understanding the digital marketing analysis process
- The main factors that influence the duration of the project
- Average time for each element of a digital marketing audit
- A notion of balance between time and quality of a digital marketing audit
- Tips for optimizing the digital marketing audit process
- To summarize
Digital activities allow developing a brand or an online service sustainably.
Internet activities offer the possibility to reach an audience that would be difficult to reach through traditional acquisition channels. That’s why it’s important to implement a digital activity analysis project on a regular basis.
On the one hand to make sure that the established strategy remains effective and on the other hand to optimize the performance and thus generate more leads and revenues.
Understanding the digital marketing analysis process
A digital marketing audit is an inventory of all activities and online presence for a company. We audit first the website (SEO Analysis), its content (content analysis) and the tracking of the different KPIs;
Then, the main acquisition channels (Social Media, PPC, Email, Affiliate) are analysed to evaluate the overall performance of online activities;
We can also make an analysis of the conversion rate as well as the user experience (conversion rate optimization, User Experience);
Finally, for some projects, we can analyse the online presence of the main competitors (competitor analysis).
A global analysis allows having a good vision of the general performance of online activities.
Nevertheless, to identify all the optimization opportunities, an in-depth analysis is very often necessary.
The main factors that influence the duration of the project
An analysis can have a more or less long duration and those according to several factors:
1. Size and complexity of a website
The first element is the size and complexity of a site. A multilingual website with an e-commerce part and several products will take much longer to audit than a company’s showcase website that only has about ten pages.
2. Acquisition channels
The number of channels to be audited is the second element that has an influence on overall duration. Depending on the number of paid (Google Ads, Meta, YouTube, etc.) or organic channels activated (social networks, SEO), the audit can take from a few hours to several days.
3. The level of detail of the project
The type of audit is the third element that can also affect the total project time. A high-level analysis (overview) will be much faster than a detailed (deep-dive) analysis of all activities.
4. Access to data and results
The availability of data and analytics tools is the 4ᵉ element. Being able to access tracking data quickly can sometimes be problematic. Whether it is from a legal standpoint in large companies or simply, because the responsibility of accessing the tools is entrusted to an external entity (agency, freelancer, etc.).
5. The experience and expertise of the team
Finally, the 5ᵉ element is directly related to the expertise of the team or person responsible for performing the analysis. Generally speaking, a person with good experience in digital audit has already established processes. A precise questionnaire, a checklist, and a list of tools that have been tested and used many times. This is reducing and optimizing the duration of the analysis.
Each of these elements must be taken into account to evaluate the total duration of a marketing audit.
Average time for each element of a digital marketing audit
Even if the total time of the project varies mainly according to the complexity of the website to be analysed and the number of channels used for the campaigns, we can define an average duration per activity.
Summary of the different elements
|Technical SEO||1-2 week(s)||Search engine indexing, site speed, URL structure, 404 errors|
|Audit SEO On-site or content analysis||2-4 week(s)||Analysis of content, titles, meta description, research and definition of keywords, topics clusters, analysis of search intentions|
|Web Analytics audit||1-2 week(s)||Tracking setup, KPI’s measurement, interactions, results and acquisition channels|
|Social network audit||1-2 week(s)||Analysis of the presence on each social network, measurement of traffic and conversions generated, analysis of communication standards|
|Audit PPC (publicité en ligne)||1-2 semaine(s)||Analysis of each acquisition channel, audiences, targeting, ads visuals, landing page, conversion pixels, results|
|Audit Email marketing||1 semaine||Segment analysis, email template, tracking links|
|Analyse de la compétition||1 à 2 semaine(s)||Evaluation of the online presence of the main competitors (presence on search engines, advertising, social networks)|
Of course, depending on the size of the team and the level of experience, the different elements can very often be analysed in parallel.
A notion of balance between time and quality of a digital marketing audit
Some tools allow having an overview of the main elements to improve in the digital marketing strategy. Nevertheless, these automated audits are only the tip of the iceberg.
Most companies perform a digital marketing audit on an annual basis. There is no reason to rush the different analyses and thus have worse results.
Based on this audit, strategies are established for each channel and budgets are defined for website development, online advertising and content creation.
After having performed many audits, I could see that the initial scope evolved very often during the audit. Mainly because of the many challenges and opportunities discovered during the analysis process;
Allocate adequate time and find a good compromise between speed and rigor and thus avoid missing optimizations of web presence and overall performance.
Tips for optimizing the digital marketing audit process
From my point of view, an audit should always be based on the business objectives of a company.
Analyzing the number of followers or the traffic of a site has little interest for the general performance of a company. This is why it is important to define the main KPIs beforehand and to focus the audit on these objectives.
Also, it is very easy to take advantage of automation and certain tools to speed up data collection and analysis.
Google Analytics, Google Spreadsheet, Screaming Frog or SEMRush are very good tools to perform detailed audits.
Usage of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence also greatly simplifies tasks related to organizing, sorting and presenting data. AI can generate summaries or suggest new paths based on best practices and machine learning.
Finally, it is essential to establish clear communication between each entity of a company and inform them that a digital performance audit is going to be performed.
A regular connection between each department allows for an efficient strategy and good communication.
A department that is not informed in advance can very quickly become hostile when it comes to providing (sometimes sensitive) data.
Good communication helps to emphasize the “discovery of potential opportunities” aspect rather than “measuring the performance of each department”.
In my experience, transparency is much more valuable than an audit conducted “incognito” through an organization.
On average, a digital audit takes between 3 and 8 weeks. Mainly depending on the complexity of the site’s market, the number of target markets and the communication channels to be analysed.
It is recommended that an audit be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that the strategy used remains effective and that no optimization opportunities are missed.
Some specific tools and automation can significantly reduce the audit time. This depends on the experience, different strategies and expertise of the team performing the audit.
If you would like to set up a marketing audit, I offer this service and would be happy to contribute to the success of your online strategy. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your project further.
Finally, if you want to receive regular updates and tips around digital marketing, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter!
I’m a digital marketing consultant with 20 years of experience in digital growth in Switzerland.
I assist small and medium-sized businesses in enhancing their online presence and generating more leads.
Based on research and data-driven approach, I create digital marketing strategies and effectively implements them.
I also train marketers in SEO, SEA (Online Advertising), and Web analytics to enhance their skills.