When a prospect lands on your website, how do you know if their experience is going to be optimal? How do you know if your website is producing qualified leads, increasing your sales opportunities, and creating engagement with the people who visit?
If you don't know, perhaps its time to conduct an in depth digital marketing audit and see how you stack against your closest competitors.
Long are the days that you would select a strategy, create content, automate what you could – and then relax.
The nutraceuticals market is on the rise. Demand is at its highest and shows no signs of slowing down. That strategy you picked 12, 18 or 24 months ago is probably not working now.
That's where a digital marketing audit comes in. If you don't want to slow your progress, continue to drive qualified leads day in and day out, a digital marketing audits is a necessity.
Why Audit Digital Marketing Strategy For Your Nutraceutical Website?
A digital marketing audit is critical to assess web performance and identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Conducting a routine digital marketing audit will provide both you and your team the insights to identify potential problems, like why your nutraceutical website is not generating the leads the sales team craves, or why your sales and conversions are not increasing.
There could be a million reasons why you should conduct a frequent (ideally monthly) digital marketing audit. Some of them are listed below:
- Your website traffic is falling
- The sales targets have stalled or are falling
- Your social following is falling, is not growing or is not engaged
- Bounce rate suddenly went through the roof
- CTR on the website has fallen
- People visit but do not convert
These and several other issues can be addressed when you perform a digital marketing audit, along with a competitor analysis which will in turn help you to determine what needs to be fixed.
Obviously, I will start with the first step which is the least of what you want to hear (or read):
The First Step Is: To Define And Be Clear About What You Want To Achieve.
I have said it repeatedly. Marketing works only if you have a set of goals to accomplish. As someone put it long, long time ago, it is like a rudderless ship with no purpose. The chances to finding a port are abysmal. Which means - if you don’t have clear goals and (obviously) aligned with your overall digital marketing strategy, there is no way you will be able to progress.
At Centis Digital we use the S.M.A.R.T. goals methodology – we have found that it helps us define a clear marketing direction. SMART goals are:
If you are wondering how can you align marketing goals that meet the SMART criteria here are a few examples:
- Conversions: Decrease your average cost-per-acquisition by optimising LinkedIn ads to $10 within six months
How does this strategy meets the SMART goal criteria? Well, its Specific (decrease your average cost-per-acquisition), Measurable ($10), Actionable (optimising LinkedIn), Relevant (obviously it is relevant to the conversions) and Time Bound (within a year).
Lets try two more examples:
- Social Engagement/Brand Engagement: Get at least 50 social shares for each blog post you publish for the first quarter 2019
- Sales: Get two new clients worth $3,000 each by May 2019
When having clearly defined SMART goals like the above, your task gets way easier. You now have a roadmap that helps you measure how well your digital marketing strategy is working. When you don't reach your targets, or you stumble upon a roadblock, you have a measurement and you can adjust your course.
Ok so this brings me the next question, you would probably have on your mind:
How Do You Know That You Will Be Tracking The Right Things?
I got you. Well, let's start from the end and work backwards. What is the final end goal of each business?
Ok, how many sales? Any number that meets the businesses needs to keep it afloat, pay the bills and provides a healthy profit.
So you have a sales number at hand. Lets say your business achieved $45 million and your boss wants to reach $50 million this year.
How do you achieve that?
As mentioned, you work backwards from your target, by testing hypotheses with tactics. To be clear, your tactics must be measured and have their own goals.
If you want to decrease your average cost-per-acquisition on LinkedIn to $10 within six months, you must evaluate how many metrics can impact your progress towards this goal. With paid acquisition, your metrics are impressions, ad position, cost-per-click, and click through rate - in addition to the cost per lead.
If you are measuring content, then it is average time spent on the page (although it doesn't really mean they are reading it), click through rate to your target page (i.e. an offer) and eventually open an account and purchase.
Where To Start Your Digital Marketing Audit: Your Keywords, SEO and On-Site Optimisation.
Well, as I have mentioned again, if your nutraceutical website is not using some sort of SEO help, no matter what you do, your traffic is not going to improve. SEO is the heart of any business's digital marketing strategy, not just nutraceuticals. With SEO, your site has a fighting chance to improve your ranking in search engines and get traffic.
Take it from me - your customers use search engines to research a nutraceutical manufacturer before making a purchase. When I was setting up Vitalis Nutraceuticals, our brand of female-specific nutraceuticals, I searched on Google for six whole months making comparisons between nutraceutical manufacturers who met our criteria.
Don't get me wrong. SEO is hard. It is slow. And you need to hire a company that fights on two fronts: beating search engine algorithms and your nearest competitor.
Obviously, you won't be doing SEO on your own, otherwise you will waste your time, will get frustrated and you will give up. However, this guide will prep you on what to look for when you hire a company to do it for you. Follow the steps below in order to better optimize your website for better ranking.
Keywords Analysis: Before anything, you must define keywords for your website. You do that by asking how your customers find you. Is it by searching Vitamin B? Is it by searching innovative encapsulation? Supplements dropshipping? Whatever it is, you have to create a list of keywords.
And don't expect your SEO company to provide that for you. At least not 100%. Based on my experience with various SEO companies (from the USA to India and beyond), they will try to give you a list of keywords that sometimes have no relation with what you do. For example, a few years back I was working on a website that sold Greek art online. The SEO company that we hired presented me with a list of keywords that had to do with weddings and gifts. Well for me, gifting a bride with a reproduction of an ancient Greek vase is a terrible idea.
If you have no clue, then your best bet is to make a list of your top 3-5 competitors. Search them as a name on Google and see what comes up.
For example, if one of your competitors is "The London Supplements Manufacturing Co.", you just type that on Google - no domains - and you will start getting a pattern.
On-Page Optimisation: to effectively optimise your website, you need to have special software to do the so called "crawling" that will identify issues.
When doing on-page optimization, the software will most likely find duplicate page titles, missing or duplicate headings (H1), missing or duplicate meta description, duplicate content, probably an issue with huge page load times, missing internal linking, broken links (404) and hundreds more. What you need to do is either work your present SEO partner, or make a list of all these issues and take them to your web developer or IT department.
Off-Page Optimisation: This is again something that you need specialised software to do. What you need to check is if the links you get back to your website are from sites that have some authority - i.e. did you post an article in one of the nutraceutical newsletters like Vitamin Retailer Magazine, or Nutraceutical Executives which links back to you? If yes, this is good. If no, try to build relationships with these people to get you publish your articles.
If the link comes for peculiar addresses (for example, I spotted an address that links to Centis which is xwrsti.nowdays.com. It leads to nowhere, so its a spam address) then it's not good, and you must work towards placing backlinks from authority websites.
Backlinks from spam websites can hurt your website so you must disavow them. Learn how to disavow links here.
Technical Issues: You may be surprised, but you don't know how many times I sent an inquiry to supplement manufacturers only to get an error, or following a link back to a page that was broken. As a general rule, make a habit to check your entire website for design, programming, and structure errors. Do your forms work? Are the buttons clickable? Is your website showing correctly on all browsers?
Mobile Optimised: Is your website showing properly on all mobile phones?
Next Step, Do A Content Marketing Audit
You work at a modern supplement manufacturer. You are a marketing executive or manager, and you work there because they trust you to implement a modern, up to day marketing strategy. Therefore, I assume you do not live under a rock, and you already know that having quality content on your website is your number one source of qualified leads. However, this isn't enough. What you really need, upon creating your content, is to distribute it so it can reach the people it was written for. For that, you need to create a content marketing strategy to market your content for maximum reach.
Which brings us to the next question.
How do you properly market your content?
Here are some ideas:
Obviously, You Start By Researching Your Audience. First of all, you need to know for whom you are writing for. Is it supplement retailers? Is it private label buyers? Who is your buyer? You need to understand what they are interested in. Research them on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. These may be your channels, where they spend most of their time. If you do not know how to search, try to add words that contain the phrases "nutraceuticals", "nutrition", "supplements" or, even better, start with customers you already have. Implement long tail keywords, like "Vitamin K2 private label manufacturer".
Content Strategy: As soon as you define your target audience and channels, now you can create content that matches their needs. Make sure that your content is different for each stage of their buyer journey, as you need to address to different needs - for example, someone who just saw your content, may come again for something else - you simply do not write the same stuff.
Content Optimization: Optimise your content in such a way so that both humans can read it, and also it can be crawled and read by search engines. Easier said than done, but here is an interesting article on how to do this, from Search Engine Journal.
Social Media Marketing Audit
As important content strategy and website optimisation is, social media channels are an important marketing tool to use, especially as your buyers use them to find customers, network or communicate. Therefore, you should also have a social media marketing strategy, which must be aligned towards your sales and marketing goals.
So how to do your social media marketing audit?
The answer lies to what we discussed before. Who are your customers and where do they spend their time online?
So the first order of business, it to Identify Your Social Networks: If your customer sells to other businesses, chances are that their profiles are more active on Twitter and LinkedIn. Now, that doesn't mean that the Purchasing Manager of Texas Nutra doesn't have a personal Facebook profile - they all do. However, you will notice that your target market does not use their personal Facebook profiles for business, so bear that in mind.
On the other hand, if they sell directly to consumer, they may have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat and whatever else comes and goes these days. Find out where they have the biggest following and target that medium, instead of wasting your time chasing all of them.
Content Sharing: Use Google Analytics to check shares, as well as how much traffic you get from there. Do people respond? Are they engaging with your content? To find how your audience interacts with your social, go to Google Analytics> Acquisition>Social>Overview, to get a basic idea.
Time to Sharing: Track when they share content and at what time. For example, we found that after a couple of months of sharing on Twitter for one of our clients, their audience was engaging with the content before lunch. We tested the hypothesis and we posted content during this time of the day - the results were even better that we thought, with a whopping increase in website visits at 116%!
Evaluate Your Hashtags: Find the hashtags that your audience use, and use them too. Better yet, create your own hashtags and distribute them everywhere. In just a short while, your audience will start using it too! Don't put a lot of thought, but make sure that your hashtags reflect your brand, a product or a category - or even a certain thing you care about.
Paid Advertising Audit
When you pay for traffic, you get a chance to turn on the faucet and turn it off whenever you need. However, you can't imagine how many times major nutraceutical manufacturers and supplements websites do it all wrong - which is a sure fire way to just throw your money down the toilet.
Lets start with a list of paid advertising audit to keep your cost down:
- Keywords Analysis: Create a list of keywords that are a direct result of what your customer wants from you. Make sure you do not leave potential related and long-tail keywords out. Filter out negative keywords. Finally, it will help you if you know what keywords your competitors are using so you can target them too.
- Targeting Analysis: Where are your target customers located? Google Adwords and Facebook Ads have very specific targeting options like geographic regions, demographics and device type.
- Quality Score: Creating relevant ads is one of the major factors for not wasting money and reducing bounce rates in AdWords and Facebook. Both media platforms calculate their quality score using data like ad’s CTR, and how relevant is the copy of the landing page. Because quality score impacts your Cost Per Click (CPC) and ad’s rankings, you must make sure that you always pay attention to what your ads says with what your landing page says.
If you need a few pointers, read below so that you can better optimize your ads:
- Your headline must have your targeted keyword.
- Make every effort that your target URL include the keyword as well. Never send traffic to the home page, when you advertise a specific product that has its own page.
- Your description must have the target keyword and also communicate benefits.
- Always add a call to action to for a higher CTR. For example, Get 30% When You Sign Up.
- Optimise Ads: Both networks allow you to create one or more ads with the same keywords and targeting. This is called A/B Split testing. What you need to do is change the text and the URL and possibly the site extensions in each one. When running ads, the system will automatically promote the ad that wins more clicks.
- Landing Page Optimisation: In my opinion - following the work-backwards methodology - it is best to start this whole process by optimising your landing page first, then write the ad copy based on what you have written on your landing page.
If you haven't optimised your landing page - meaning that the copy is not relevant to the ad - it is 99% certain that the users will click the ad, thinking that they will see something relevant to this ad, and then they will be disappointed. That means that your users will bounce back after visiting your landing page due any reason including bad design, text and much more. So, it is also necessary to optimize your landing page using best practices. Here are some tips for landing page optimisation:
- Your landing page copy should be both similar and also clear to users that are coming from your ad.
- The design must be solid, clear and clean. Too busy, too "all over the place" - you just lost them.
- You must include a clear call to action. Think of this way: what do you want your users to do upon landing there? Is it to buy something? Is it to download something? Is it to request more information? Make it clear and bold.
Do A Conversion Assessment
While you may have a site promoting your nutraceutical products, you may have noticed that you are not getting the results you want. High bounce rates, incomplete order forms, and countless other issues.
At this point you probably need to create a list with issues to check on a regular basis. Your list should take under consideration every minor and major design element that assist conversions like:
- Do you clearly communicate your value proposition on every page?
- Are you A/B testing different page titles, calls-to-action, web copy?
- What actions have your created when someone converts?
- Do you have automated email flows?
- Are your calls-to-action above the fold?
Also make sure you do not forget more technical stuff like:
- Page loading time below X
- Broken links, broken images and everything loads and links correctly
Analyze Website Effectiveness via Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools a marketer can have, and most importantly, its free to use. Yes, its complicated, but it wouldn't be worthwhile otherwise.
Having said that, you must be aware that Google Analytics doesn't do anything itself to improve your website effectiveness. It only reports what it sees. It's up to you to decide what to do with the data, and that statement alone, is why your boss is lucky to have you.
I believe that, one of the most important functions of Google Analytics is the ability to look at the past and compare with the present. Making decisions based on a short date range is always a BAD practice, because you are missing the big picture.
The typical metrics you should be measuring are:
- How users flow
- What is the average bounce rate - and check if you can detect any anomalies during the days you had high bounce rates
- What are the average demographics - which will help you target this specific audience and not something else
- If you produce and distribute content, how's content drilldown, including bounce rate and the average time on page
- Where is referral traffic coming from
- What is the most popular day of the week
Well, that's it folks. I hope this post will help you navigate through the muddy waters of optimising your position in the search engines, and in front of your competitors.
If you want someone to do it it for you, Centis Digital offers a free competitor analysis with your own website marketing audit. Its free, and you only provide your top three competitors, the keywords you want to target and your own site. We analyse the results and in a period of 3-7 working days we will email you back a complete report, no strings attached.