Your Easy Guide to a Digital Due Diligence Checklist

Sep 01, 2023 | 4  min
author Taylor Farace

For a private equity (PE) firm, the right digital due diligence checklist can significantly influence the success of an investment. 

In today’s world, simply skimming the surface or relying solely on basic automated reports is insufficient. Delving deeper is essential, and we’re here to guide you through it.

To be clear, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool that can encapsulate the depth required for a thorough digital due diligence checklist. While you might leverage platforms like SEMRush and Google Analytics for insightful data, these only scratch the surface. To truly understand how an organization measures up to digital marketing standards, a more exhaustive approach is necessary. It’s about a holistic effort that guides you to smart, value-driven investments. 

The most effective digital due diligence checklists contain reports across the following domains:

Digital Due Diligence Checklist 

1. SEO Analysis 

A comprehensive understanding requires more than a quick snapshot from a single platform.

Before you get lost in report generation, consider the depth and breadth of the insights you’re seeking. Match these needs with the capabilities of your current tools to identify both the low-hanging fruits and the areas demanding extra effort.

To gain a thorough insight into vital SEO metrics, consider the following: 

  • Keyword Ranking: A clear-cut keyword strategy detailing current rankings and organic traffic.
  • Mobile User Experience: An assessment of the user experience on mobile
  • Local SEO Approach: Examination of the local SEO approach, including business listings and mentions.
  • Content E-E-A-T Values: Insight into the content’s experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T) values.
  • Core Web Vitals: Evaluation of Core Web Vitals, understanding updated ranking cues (ideally, a score above 50 in Google’s QS measure is preferable).
  • Backlink Quality: Analysis of the caliber of backlinks, inclusive of a competitive review.
  • Technical SEO Scan: A technical SEO scan covering aspects like accessibility, functionality, search engine crawling, and listing.

2. Website Analysis 

A website’s initial appeal is its design, but true success lies in performance and functionality. Evaluating a site requires more than a quick look. Three critical elements to focus on are:

  • Device Compatibility: A standout website operates flawlessly on all devices and browsers. It must load quickly, adjust to various screens, and ensure a uniform experience.
  • User Experience (UX): Effective websites guide visitors towards actions, like reading more or signing up. The journey should be engaging and logical.
  • Conversion Efficiency: A website’s worth is in its conversion ability. How well does it turn visitors into leads or loyal customers? Checking the conversion rate offers insight.

Regular evaluations, with the aid of a proficient digital marketing agency, ensure the site remains not just operational, but exceptional.

3. Content Audit 

For a genuine grasp of your content’s potential, it’s essential to measure against specific best practices and guidelines to identify areas of opportunity and ensure optimum performance, for example: 

  • Performance Metrics: It’s essential to know how often content attracts organic traffic and if it ranks for impactful keywords.
  • Consumer Journey Integration: Content should address questions throughout the consumer’s decision-making process, highlighting and filling any gaps to ensure a smooth conversion path.
  • Unified Content-Search Strategy:
    • Thematic Campaigns: Focus on central themes.
    • Pillar Content: Create comprehensive content targeting competitive keywords.
    • Utilize Long-Tail Keywords: Let these guide related content, like blog posts and social shares.
  • Multi-Purpose: Content should be both SEO-optimized and cater to various consumer journey stages. Quality is pivotal—content should build trust and inspire action.
  • Competitive Benchmarking: Assess your content against competitors, emphasizing quality, engagement, and its ability to navigate users through the conversion funnel.

By broadening your perspective of content evaluation, you ensure not just visibility, but meaningful interactions and conversions. It’s a holistic strategy that reaps dividends in the long run.

4. Evaluate the Competition

Delve into the motives and efficiency behind competitor actions.

  • Market Share: Beyond mere sales numbers, delve into a brand’s reach, dominance, and growth trajectory in the market.
  • Brand Authority & Recognition: Assess how the brand is perceived, its level of trustworthiness, and how widely recognized it is in its industry.
  • Website Experience: Beyond looks and speed, assess user journey and intuitive navigation.
  • SEO Mastery: Beyond keyword rankings, examine content strategy, niche long-tail keywords, and backlink authority.
  • Ad Analytics: Check ad cohesion, brand alignment, and overall campaign strategy, not just ad presence.
  • Social Media: Look at content tone, post timing, and authentic engagement methods like user-generated content.
  • Email Tactics: Evaluate personalization and segmentation depth, not just subscriber counts.
  • Technology Stack: What tools are they using and how are they using them to gain a competitive advantage?

A thorough competitive analysis of the competitive landscape, unearths not just what others do, but also where innovation might lie.

5. Organization & Resource Analysis

In the digital marketing realm, organizations often oscillate between fully in-house teams and external agency collaborations. However, team structure alone doesn’t determine success. A deep evaluation is essential, considering talent and skill sets against adaptability to digital trends.This “Digital Capability Assessment,” similar to a SWOT analysis, assesses strengths and potential gaps of the organization. From this, organizations can deduce:

  • Organization Competency: Is the team versatile and updated with current digital methodologies?
  • Agency Collaboration: Should external expertise be roped in to enhance strategies or bridge gaps?
  • Resource Allocation: Where should recruitment or training focus lie to amplify digital prowess?

Through this concise evaluation, organizations gain clarity on their current strengths and areas that need bolstering for future digital endeavors.

Key Takeaways 

Navigating the digital realm demands a blend of finesse and strategy, but the dividends it offers are invaluable. Beyond just boosting efficiency, a meticulously crafted digital strategy can fortify your brand’s image, minimize potential pitfalls, and solidify customer loyalty. 

Leveraging specialized due diligence services, such as those provided by Pyxl, illuminates the path for astute decision-making during and immediately following new investments. If you are looking for an experienced partner to assist with your digital due diligence needs, please feel free to contact us

Updated: Sep 01, 2023

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