• Steve Moncrieff


Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Guide to a Digital Audit

Digital audits are so easily misunderstood, as well as one of the most abused by many agencies. Some agencies offer a “free website audit” as a sales gimmick to hook businesses in, often delivering a set of lame actions tailored unsurprising to the skills of the agency.

If you’re a business considering whether you should move forward with a digital audit (spoiler alert: you should, it’s worth it):

Brand Distillery's digital audits go far beyond the automated reports you get after entering your website’s URL on some digital agencies website. They are detailed and personalised to your organisation’s business goals and objectives. They include an in-depth review of your digital portfolio, with insights on what has (and has not) worked effectively.

The analyses, recommendations, and strategies outlined in your digital audit report can vary. Using our Red, Amber and Green methodology there will be some must-haves, plenty of should-haves and could-haves as well.

Every agency performs digital audits a little differently (and that’s okay!). But you should expect to see a number of similar elements, no matter which agency you choose.

Do you know are you really performing online?

Most general digital audits only go so far and only tell you so much or sometimes what your agency wants you to know! Being able to interpret that information and data into meaningful actions is one of the key components of an audit – and one that is most often missed!

Helping you establish exactly where you in the market you need to be able to assess your competitors performance levels, your data metrics and that you are continuing to follow best practice. The audit should give you a number of high impact recommendations to target and achieve – they should be concise, achievable and SMART so that they can be fully tracked.

Understand where you are loosing and your competitors winning

Knowing what your direct and indirect competitors are doing and how they are performing forms a key aspect of an audit, whilst its more of an outside view the knowledge that can be gained is essential – it shows your position is the market, are there disruptors entering the market that can become an issue? (or copied).

Breakdown by Channel and Data analysis – deep

It's staggering the amount of data now available that can help and hinder your understanding of your digital landscape. Knowing what to look for and critically how to interpret the data will have a significant impact on where you think your business actually is. There is no one size fits all approach to this, every business is different. Key areas that are recommended for analysis:

  1. Website(s) Design

  2. Funnel Performance

  3. Organic social media engagement

  4. Paid social media campaigns

  5. Email Marketing

  6. Search Engine Performance

  7. Paid Search & Display Performance

  8. Content Marketing

  9. Local Marketing (e.g. local business listings)

  10. PR & Reputation Management (e.g. reviews)

Recommendations and Strategy

The audit should give provide the business with an understanding of the next steps to take (a) build on the positive aspects of your digital and online presence, and (b) work to improve what is not working or delivering as it should. The audit should give you a framework (we base ours on Red, Amber, Green) to grow your business, ideas that go beyond channels and tactics. 

For example, an agency audit that advises you to “target Instagram ads to an audience of 25-35 year olds” is a tactic,

not a strategy because it has no context. Our audit could recommend a strategy to “Match your online product offerings to narrower younger demographics.”

Channel-specific Tactics

Your digital strategy should support specific tactical recommendations for your key digital marketing channels: 

  1. Keywords to target with a SEO strategy

  2. Content recommendations (focusing on video, imagery etc.)

  3. Targeting for paid ads (demographics, interests etc.)

  4. Plan to improve the website

  5. Email strategy

  6. Channels where you need to increase and decrease the businesses digital focus

  7. Brand messaging recommendations

RAG recommendations

Our audits use RAG (Red, Amber, Green) in the report to establish the priority of issues – broken down into manageable chunks that are not too overwhelming to digest and that can be shared across your business.

Breaking the work down into short sprints – 14 day, 30 day, 60 day, 90 day helps keep focus on the most critical tasks.


Types of Digital Audits available

Basic Digital Audit

Our Audit Covers:

  • A score out of 100

  • Summary of key findings

  • A review of your website, analytics, SEO performance, PPC performance, social media

A simple, easy to read and digest overview of your company’s digital landscape performance. Gives an insight into critical metrics and how you perform in these areas against your main competitors. Report is designed for a quick turnaround, normally delivered within 2 weeks.

Price – from £500

In-depth Digital Audit

An extensive and detailed analysis which includes competitor comparisons. A full RAG report that highlights the potential ROI impact. We discuss and explain these to you so that they are fully understood, and if required we can assist with the implementation of the actions. Normally delivered back within 4-6 weeks.

Please contact for a quotation

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