Coming back to work in January can be a shock to the system. Often, we will try and overcome this by charging full steam ahead and diving into a new workload to keep busy. But this means that our work continues in the same vein as before, with little time given to taking stock and evaluating the way things are done.
January is actually the perfect time to stop for a moment and simply listen. To consider the past year, the current state of things, and work on your vision of where the next 12 months should take you and your business. If you don’t do this, chances are things will look pretty similar next January too.
By using January to stop and reflect, I guarantee that you will have a much more successful February – December than you would have had, had you carried on as you were. So, humour me. Stop for a moment. Just try it.
By ‘listen’, I mean take in the world around you. Look at the conversations taking place from the people you and your business are trying to reach. Look at whether the way you are communicating is resonating with these discussions. And look at whether your website is set up to attract these people or if it jars with their interests and desires.
The best way to do this is by running an audit. The internet is a wonderful thing, and one of its best assets is the ability to tap into over 2 billion people’s conversations. In our social audits, we can monitor mentions on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, media publications, forums and beyond. In our SEO audits, we can observe the way people discover individual websites, the keywords they use and the reasons why specific sites perform better than others.
A digital audit combines the two. It is the best method for evaluating a business and its audiences. It allows for a 360-degree look at how you have performed, are performing, and what trends are taking place in the year ahead, to give you the upper hand when communicating throughout the rest of the year.
You may be surprised by what you find. It isn’t uncommon to discover the social platforms you’ve been using are not the best for capturing the interest of your audience. Perhaps Facebook is relevant after all, or maybe Pinterest has been a complete waste of time. An audit will tell you this. Assumptions you’ve made about your audience might also not be the right ones, again a digital audit will give you insights into who your real audience is.
Likewise, insights on competitors can be instrumental. A competitor you believe to be doing very well could turn out to have no clear digital strategy, and only be seen to do so well due to their constant bragging. An audit will identify if this is the case, and help you understand the actions to put in place to leapfrog their market position.
Now is the time
There is no better time than January to take a step back to run digital audits. In a time when we are setting resolutions to better our personal lives, why not resolve to improve your business? By February, you could be in a position to cut back on the things that don’t work, become more efficient at the things that do, and try something new and experimental based on future trends and insights.
Start the year right: stop for a moment and simply listen. And if you feel like you don’t have the time, then let us help by running a digital audit for you. Simply get in touch.
What a digital audit can tell you
An audit can tell you so much. Here’s just a sample of things you may discover:
- The size of conversations around specific keywords
- Which topics are trending
- The sites your audience read and share
- The influencers your audience listen to
- When your audience is online (and therefore when you should be)
- Where in the world (down to street level) your audience is based
- How you have been communicating online
- How your competitors have been communicating online
- Which channels people active on and are sharing content to
- The types of imagery being shared
- The emotion behind specific posts and/or topic areas
- Keywords which you rank well for on Google
- How many issues are present on your site that need to be fixed
- The speed and usability of your website
- The keywords your competitors are targeting
- Opportunities to win easy links from people already writing about you
- And so much more…