How UpCity’s B2B Customers Are Conducting Their Audits
It’s never a bad time to refresh your approach to marketing or business operations. Here’s how our customers kick that off with internal audits.
In a recent poll, we learned that 64% of businesses conduct audits annually or semi-annually. While in an ideal world, businesses would have time to administer audits more frequently, most prefer to do them one to two times per year. This is because audits are no small feat–they require a great amount of detail, spreadsheets, and a lot of digging around for metrics to compare and contrast.
How often does your business conduct an audit of any type? Yearly, quarterly or more?
While most of you answered annually or semi-annually, some of you felt that it depends on the type of audit. The 27% of respondents who reported conducting audits more frequently mentioned these were for website or SEO purposes.
“On a per-client basis, we routinely audit external communication mediums on a monthly basis. It is imperative that our clients’ messaging aligns with their overall values and strategic roadmap—which requires frequent evaluation and analysis.” – Travis Souders, Communications Director at Method Marketing
“I like to conduct a full SEO audit every six months. I always set goals in six-month segments, so conducting a new audit helps everyone know where they stand as we start creating a new plan for the next six months.” – Jade Pruett, SEO Specialist and Owner at HelloSEO
There are many different things your business can audit. What types of audits does your business perform? Are they for SEO, brand, social media, etc.?
Most audits being prioritized by businesses are SEO, brand, or website-based.
“Method Marketing routinely performs a wide range of audits, including SEO, organic social media, paid search, email marketing, social media, content quality, and brand/voice. We also run website speed and functionality audits.” – Travis Souders, Communications Director at Method Marketing
“We mostly audit our content and SEO. Are we still hitting the keywords, and are those the right keywords? Have they shifted to new keywords? Is our content still performing? What is causing high-performing content to be successful? We aim to get a full picture of our current content and SEO and understand how to improve and where to go next.” – Alex Meade, VP of Sales and Marketing at Beacons Point
“So many different ‘things’ you can audit. From an SEO perspective, we audit regularly:
- Site speed
- Core Web Vitals
- Keyword Performance
- Competitor Research
- Answer Box Audits
- Online Reputation Management Audits
- Keyword Gaps with Competitors
- GMB Audits”
– Mark Hanni, SEO Manager of Big Leap
“We perform audits of all types: financial, operations, SEO, paid advertising, content marketing, and hiring. Being able to look internally at your business and identify strengths and weaknesses is a huge competitive advantage. The key is to never be satisfied and always try to find ways to do things more efficiently or effectively.” – Robb Fahrion, Partner and Co-Founder of Flying V Group
Each company follows a different process for auditing. What does yours look like? Do you use specific tools?
Everyone’s audit process is different. Some stick with the classic organized spreadsheet and use a manual process of collecting information, while others utilize a range of tools. Popular tools included Lighthouse, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Screaming Frog.
“For almost every kind of audit, we start at the end—meaning that we are focused on outcomes. Each audit should answer the question, ‘How effectively is this process helping us reach the client’s desired outcome?’ For brand and content audits, we will investigate the full scope of the client’s message, including their website, social media platforms, and digital ads through the lens of that question. We often deploy several methods of rhetorical criticism (especially with our communications) as a way to see how aligned or misaligned our messaging might be with our values. No matter what kind of audit we’re doing, we begin with the desired outcome in mind and work backward from that.” – Travis Souders, Communications Director at Method Marketing
“We have a spreadsheet where we track each article title, meta description, keywords, H1 and H2 tags with organic pageviews, conversations, and what else is on the page like forms, videos, and graphics. Every six months, we review this audit and see if anything has changed, as well as add the current content.” – Alex Meade, VP of Sales and Marketing at Beacons Point
“First, we want to establish a baseline. With a competitor audit, we want to find out what our competitors are doing, and if it’s working, what can we replicate and do better? What keywords are they going after? How can we create quality content around these keywords? Once we audit and find the opportunities, we move into the implementation/testing phase.” – Mark Hanni, SEO Manager of Big Leap
“You need to start with the brand and the unique selling proposition. Each one is different. Once you are clear about what the business does, you can audit the content based on those initial brand elements.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy
“For our annual TikTok audit, we review all of the content that has been posted in the past year. While every business will have a different way of categorizing things, we try to do it by the type of content. What is trending audio? Dancing? Advice? We sort and categorize the content, then use quantitative measurements for how successful it was. The easiest of these measures are simply plays, like, saves, and shares. Beyond that, we look to see if we received any leads that mentioned specific posts. Lastly, once we understand how our content is doing, we look toward the competition, for a comparison of the content, and the growth. Social networks, in particular, are all growing at different scales, so you need to see how your competition is doing annually to understand if you’re keeping pace or not.” – Caitlin Cascade, Founder of Atlanta Social Media Superstars
“Always start with gathering the “knowns” from Google Analytics. Then decide what you wish to improve. A few tips:
- Ensure only one version of your site is indexed
- Review your organic traffic
- Improve click-through rates
- Focus on improving on-page SEO
- Research content gap opportunities
- Create the BEST content out there
- Review structured data and rich snippets
- Analyze your backlinks”
– Halina Biernacki, Owner of Impressive Web Design & SEO
“We take a very structured approach to our audits by using a checklist-driven approach. In our list, we include common tests to perform, criteria for task failure, and instructions for the presentation of those failures.” – Bobby Steinbach, Partner at MeanPug Digital
“Our process is quite simple:
- Gather all of the necessary data.
- Format the data in a way that allows for analysis.
- Analyze the data and understand the story the data is telling.
- Create a roadmap for how you will use the data to improve your organization.
- Implement the roadmap and make sure that necessary support and tracking are included.”
– Robb Fahrion, Partner and Co-Founder of Flying V Group
“First, we make sure our data points are correct, and we then compare our current metrics to the success metrics that our clients have set for us. If everything is trending properly then we will proceed as usual. If success metrics are not trending properly we will determine what has slowed down and then do a deep dive audit into the portion that is underperforming and from there create a plan of action to correct the performance. To match the goals previously set.” – Kevin Heimlich, CEO of The Ad Firm
“We go for the classic, giant spreadsheet audit.” – Jade Pruett, SEO Specialist and Owner at HelloSEO
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
How has your business used the results of your audit to move forward? Did you find the results helpful?
“We are a data- and outcome-driven company, so effective tools that provide unassailable information and concrete evidence to drive a conclusion in an audit are invaluable. It provides us with empirical proof, either that a strategy is working or that it needs refinement. Our auditing process, and our commitment to applying it intelligently to develop processes, are at the heart of our data-embracing philosophy. A method is only effective if you understand what makes it so.” – Travis Souders, Communications Director at Method Marketing
“We use the results to help determine new content topics, content types, and where to focus our efforts moving forward.” – Alex Meade, VP of Sales and Marketing at Beacons Point
“After the audit, we move into the implementation/testing phase. For example, if we find a new keyword that is relevant to our audience, but a competitor owns the keyword, we will need to create a plan based on our audit to better tackle that target keyword.” – Mark Hanni, SEO Manager of Big Leap
“We can make decisions based on the audit data. No more guesswork, no more errors, no more useless time spent figuring things out. An audit also saves you money because you can understand whether your SEO agency/consultant is performing or not.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy
“We use our annual social media and content audits to help plan out next year’s content. While the previous year won’t be definitive in understanding what will be successful in the following years, it can give us a helpful road map to consider moving forward.” – Caitlin Cascade, Founder of Atlanta Social Media Superstars
“Absolutely! One of my landing sites was stuck in the 50-60 average position. After we used the Google Lighthouse Audit Tool (and clicked on every suggestion and made all the corrections), that website’s average position is now 5.5 on the first page.” – Halina Biernacki, Owner of Impressive Web Design & SEO
“Categorically, our audits fit into one of two buckets: Sales proposal collateral and end-of-month reporting. As relating to sales, the audits are extremely helpful in providing a roadmap for potential clients to understand the current gaps in their strategy and how we intend to fix them. In terms of end-of-month reporting for current clients, these audits are vital to understanding how our strategies are performing and making course corrections as necessary.” – Bobby Steinbach, Partner at MeanPug Digital
“Yes, of course, the results are helpful. Some things that are identified are already known, but much of the data is unknown and you are able to glean new insights. These results help our business to constantly improve and generate better performance and results.” – Robb Fahrion, Partner and Co-Founder of Flying V Group
“Many times businesses realize that they need to improve their website content or even get it completely rebuilt to get rank better on Google and get more leads. We can help them to see what their options are and how to proceed.” – Kimberly Ortiz, Owner and Creative Director at Boost Web Studio
“Audits are very helpful to the overall health of a website. Audits help you discover things that may be missed if you just jump in and start implementing an SEO strategy. For one client, their robots.txt turned out to be blocking all of their eCommerce pages from being crawled in Google. That means we could have spent months trying to optimize them with no luck. Thanks to the audit, we discovered this on day one of working together and fixed it immediately. As a side note, if you have a Shopify account, check your robots.txt.” – Jade Pruett, SEO Specialist and Owner at HelloSEO
About the author
Rebecca helps keep all things content running at UpCity. Prior to joining, she was a magazine editor at an agency for several award-winning publications based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and a content specialist for several brands within the SMB/B2B landscape. She also has significant experience in digital content creation, most notably targeting hunters and anglers (despite being a vegetarian) during her time at Gander Outdoors. Rebecca has also worked in PR, covering a diverse terrain of products and events, including the promotion of local musicians and music festivals and the latest craft beer offerings from local breweries.