Evaluate Your Business Performance Quickly with a SWOT Analysis
Have you wondered if you were missing out on ways to improve your business performance? How do you measure the success, and weakness, of your business? If you want to stay competitive then it’s important that you are consistently looking for ways how to evaluate your business performance. We worked with some digital marketing experts to put together a guide for how to use a SWOT analysis to quickly evaluate your business performance.
While each business is unique, there are some fundamental concepts and strategies that you can compare to your current business activities. By evaluating your business performance consistently you can stay aware of your strengths and opportunities, and identify your weaknesses and threats in time to address them efficiently. Capitalizing on your strong areas and reducing your vulnerabilities will improve your overall business performance. Keep reading to learn more about expert strategies on how to evaluate your business performance.
Why Use a SWOT Analysis to Evaluate Your Business Performance?
There is a multitude of ways to evaluate your business performance and you can get as granular as you’d like. But for this blog, we’re going to stay more macro and focus on an overall view of your business. To evaluate the condition of your business one of the most commonly used strategies is to perform a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. By identifying these core indicators you can determine where your business needs to improve and where it’s performing well.
In each of these areas, you can choose to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), that help you determine the overall performance of your business. These are something your business can monitor on a regular basis once they’ve been identified.
Business Performance Strengths
These are the areas where your business is currently performing well. Your business strengths are the characteristics that give you an advantage over your competitors.
What are some areas you should be focusing on? There are quite a few areas that are important no matter what kind of industry your business is in. We’ve identified a few general characteristics to evaluate the overall performance of your business.
Your Custom Web Design
Even a store that only sells products in a brick-and-mortar store needs some sort of website to maintain an online presence. Your website is your public brochure that explains what your business is and why customers should choose you. A fast website that is easier to navigate than competitors is a definite strength. Optimizing your website is something that needs to be done yearly!
Ideally, you should opt for a custom web design for your website. Your business is unique and your website should be too! A website template will only get you so far. If you want to outpace the competition then your brand should invest in creating a custom website that reflects your brand and is optimized for your target audience.
A KPI for your website performance could be New Users each month, Sessions, or Average Session Duration. Keeping track of these through Google Analytics helps monitor your website performance.
Your SEO Marketing Plan
Every brand should have some sort of SEO marketing plan in place. Optimized SEO is how your brand gets discovered on search engines by organic traffic. The higher you rank, the more traffic your website will get, and the more opportunities for a conversion!
If you have keywords specific to your products or industry that are ranking well on Google this is a major strength for your business. By getting a high-ranking spot you are increasing not only the visibility of your business’s website but you are also building trust. Potential customers are much more likely to trust purchasing from brands in the top results than those further down the results list.
A KPI for your SEO strategy would be the ranking of your main keywords and phrases. Taking the time to develop an SEO marketing plan can help you identify them for your business and implement them across your website content. This strategy is critical for brands that need to rank higher in the search results.
Your Marketing Performance
Your marketing performance can be a key indicator of your business performance. Even the most well-known brands in the world spend millions of dollars on marketing every year. It’s something your business needs to invest in if it wants to find success, especially if your brand is strictly online or the majority of your sales are online. In that case, successful website marketing should be your business’s main objective.
If your business has a strong marketing strategy or key recommended marketing software to support your marketing efforts it’s a major plus.
A good KPI for measuring the strength of your marketing is the number of forms submitted each month on your website or the number of promos redeemed from a recent marketing campaign. Clicks on your email marketing are another good KPI to watch.
If you don’t feel that your business has any of these strengths, don’t panic. Effective marketing is not a simple endeavor and it is not easy to become a pro at each of these different marketing concepts. To increase your brand’s marketing strengths you don’t have to hire an expert in every field, just look for an expert digital marketing agency that you can partner with. This will give you access to experts in each field of marketing and the experience needed to implement marketing strategies effectively.
However, if you are not even sure where your marketing efforts rank currently, then you should check out the Free Marketing ROI assessment tool. No email and no commitment, it’s a completely free tool to help you better understand where you need marketing support.
Weaknesses in Business Performance
Unfortunately, every business is going to have some weaknesses, but it’s better to be aware of them. This way you can address them ahead of time and keep them from overly affecting your business performance. Identifying the characteristics of your business that make it disadvantageous to competitors will help you improve your business.
Your weaknesses could be some of the strengths and characteristics we mentioned above, and if so, you might want your next Google search to be, “Where to find a digital marketing agency near me?”
Weak or Nonexistent SEO Content
One of the factors that can really hurt modern business is a lack of meaningful content on your website. Blogging and other informative resources have become essential for a business. They are your opportunity to educate your target demographic, share ideas, and connect with a larger audience. A lack of valuable content will hurt your business performance.
Learn more about the 5 Reasons Why Blogging is a Profitable Marketing Strategy for Your Business.
A KPI to measure the success of your SEO content is the number of clicks on your articles each month. If clicks continue to decrease or are non-existent, it is time to reconsider your content marketing strategy.
Lack of Social Media Presence
While social media can be complicated to master, it’s an important part of the business strategy that your business shouldn’t ignore. Each social media platform provides a unique opportunity to connect with a distinct audience. While you don’t need to have a presence on every single platform, identify the ones that your target audience is using and make sure you have a presence there.
If you aren’t active on social media, you’re weakening the potential performance of your business. All your business needs to do is meet the Social Media essentials. Display your accurate contact and business information so users can find your store or website, post relative content once a week, and engage with your users. Posting relevant content can be made a lot easier if you’re posting quality blog content. Recycle pieces of that content for your weekly posts. By posting weekly you show your business is real and responsive, and it creates valuable backlinks to your website.
An important KPI for your social media could be the number of followers or engagement on your posts.
Slow Website Speeds Affect SEO and Website Traffic
We’re going to assume that as a business you already have a website. If you don’t then reach out to this award-winning Chicago Web Design Company and they’ll get you set up. Otherwise, without a website, your business will likely not make it much longer and IS definitely missing out on revenue opportunities.
One of the biggest weaknesses of most websites is their website speed. In today’s digital landscape speed is the name of the game. Slow websites suffer from a high bounce rate and the low speed will negatively affect your SEO score.
Speed is one of the website credibility factors that are most important to your target audience, and to the technical search engine crawlers that determine your website search engine rankings. A low-speed score is a major brand weakness and your business should always take steps to improve your website load speeds when possible.
Not sure what your website load speed even is? Google offers a free tool that evaluates your website score based on the speed data it collects. Check out Google page speed insights to learn your website scores. It also provides a quick SEO score too!
Business Performance Opportunities
Opportunities are something that your business should get excited about and identify as soon as possible. Being the first business to take advantage of previously missed opportunities can pay off in dividends. Identify the areas that your competition is currently not taking advantage of or an area that your business can become more efficient.
Consolidate Your Marketing Efforts
It costs a lot to hire a custom web design and digital marketing team to implement all of the improvements you identify in your SWOT analysis. It also can be expensive to implement the software and technology that will set your business apart from the competition, or even stay competitive.
It may be more economical (and productive) to outsource your marketing and web development efforts to an experienced third-party partner. With their expertise and perfected strategy, you can start seeing immediate results from your marketing efforts. Learn more about choosing a digital marketing partner in our blog: Advantages and Disadvantages of In House Marketing Vs A Marketing Agency.
With an experienced agency handling your marketing efforts, you can choose more general KPIs like monthly orders and website visitors. Your agency partner will provide in-depth reports about their efforts.
Using PPC and Social Media Ads
While many businesses already understand the value of using PPC and Social Media Ads, it doesn’t mean there still isn’t an opportunity there. If you set up a better campaign, or craft a more compelling message (with targeted keywords) your ads can outperform your competitors.
Most successful brands are already aware of the value of Google Ads and are running at least one campaign. Google search ads get the right message to the right users at the right time. It can be a great opportunity to reach target audience members that are in the final stage of the buying cycle.
If you are already running a Google Ads campaign but not seeing ideal results then you may have some issues within your campaign preventing it from reaching its maximum performance. To uncover the issues affecting your campaign consider a low cost Google Ads Audit from a certified Google Ads expert. Then you can learn where your campaigns are struggling and improve their performance.
Get a Low Cost Google Ads Audit
A deep dive to show you what is working, what is not, and what can be done to get you better results.
If you are more focused on B2B sales or your target market is white-collar professionals, then it may be time to consider a Linkedin Ads campaign. Linkedin is the world’s largest professional platform and offers a unique advertising opportunity. Reach real decision-makers with multi-layer targeting and comprehensive ad analytics.
Build an audience and you can even do Ad-retargeting within the platform to target the individuals who showed the most interest in your services or products. By leveraging an expert managed Linkedin Ads campaign you can grow your sales funnel and generate more business.
You should also consider the latest options in PPC ads like other emerging Ad Retargeting platforms. Leveraging the best PPC ad campaigns can be a huge opportunity to improve your business performance.
Threats to Your Business Performance
When you own a business you understand there is always a variety of threats that could affect your business performance. Some of them you can’t control, like new competitors or shifts in public attitude. However, some of the threats that you identify you can address.
Losing Website Visitors to Bounce
One consistent threat to your website is the amount of competition. The Google results are endless, and each one is vying for your target audience’s attention. At any point, your visitors can opt to leave your site, or ‘bounce’, and visit another competitor’s website. This is a constant threat to your business performance.
One of the ways to address this sort of threat is to understand your customer journey. If you can identify the areas on your website that are causing customers to bounce, you can fix them. Using heat mapping software like Crazyegg you can monitor behavior and review reports about your user journey. Installing it can take some time but if you hire an expert, they can do it in no time and even make the changes needed to fix your user journey threats.
Once you’ve received your first heat map reports you can use this as your benchmark for your User Journey KPI.
Failure to Meet ADA Compliance and Privacy Laws
You need to make sure that your business isn’t at risk from a lack of ADA compliance or failure to comply with ever-changing Privacy Laws. These each change frequently and can be a constant threat to your business. It can not only cost your business potential customers, but it can result in hefty fines. Many ADA compliance fines range from $75,000 to $150,000, while some privacy violations are $5,000 per user! Luckily you can address both of these potential threats, Accessibe monitors your ADA compliance and Termageddon keeps your privacy policies up to date.
Using Accessibe and Termageddon to monitor your website can provide feedback for your compliance KPIs.
Get a FREE Marketing Assessment
Want to go more in-depth than just a simple SWOT analysis to evaluate the strength of your business’s marketing efforts? A marketing ROI assessment can help you understand where your brand is struggling and needs support.
The best part is that the marketing ROI assessment from Idea Marketing Group is completely FREE! You don’t even have to enter an email (although you should if you want valuable marketing info sent to you once a month).
Check out the Free marketing ROI assessment to get a better handle on your brand’s marketing efforts.
What to Do Once You Evaluate Your Business Performance?
Once you’ve completed your SWOT analysis of your business you can start exploring options to address what you’ve found. You could choose to focus on making your strengths even stronger to differentiate yourself further from competitors. Or you can check the available quick solutions to address weaknesses or threats to your business. Either way, you’ve taken the first step to improve your business by performing an in-depth SWOT analysis.
If you want to truly transform your business and see serious improvement to your business performance, it’s time to reach out to the experts in digital marketing and web design. By contacting a digital agency that specializes in both they can identify the issues with your marketing and website, and implement the changes for both. They’ll create a digital strategy so your marketing and website work hand in hand to improve business performance. An improved website moves more customers into your marketing funnel, allowing you to increase conversions.