A comprehensive content audit is like going on a treasure hunt. You’re looking for pieces that stand out and have good content performance that is valuable to your company or customers. In order to find these items, you’ll need to sort through everything and evaluate it based on predefined criteria. This content auditing process can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to unearth those hidden gems that can help your business succeed.
This process is separate from a content inventory, which only catalogues all content types without assessing their quality. In other words, it’s a quantitative, not qualitative collection. Although a content inventory is part of the audit process, the audit itself goes much further in depth.
The Content Analysis Tool (CAT) makes content inventories easier. When you start off well, the rest of the journey is simpler.
A good audit will help you understand your content better and answer questions like:
• Which types of content are performing better?
• What topics do your audience connect more with?
• What piece of content should be repurposed?
An audit is like a compass. It can point you in the right direction of where you need to focus your SEO and content marketing efforts in the future. In addition, an audit can also provide valuable insight into how you can make changes that will improve your lead generation, sales, and marketing processes.
A content audit can be a helpful way to understand your visitors’ behaviour on your website or why your current marketing initiatives might not be working. However, before you start the process of conducting one, there are a few questions you need to answer. These questions will help you understand what kind of audit will be most beneficial for your business and what steps you need to take to get started.
Content audits are typically conducted for two reasons:
Content Marketing: Auditing content is also a great way to get an idea of how effective your current content marketing strategy is performing. By looking at factors such as page length, visit metrics, and social shares, you can get a better sense of how each content piece is being received by your audience and what changes you might need to make to your content marketing strategy going forward.
Search engine optimization or SEO audit: A content audit helps you understand where your website might have some trouble with ranking in search engines. You can do this by taking stock of all the different pieces of content on your websites, like blog articles and product pages. For each one, make a note of things like target keywords, the number of words, target audience and whether there are any images that are also optimized. Once you have a sense of all of this across your website, compare it to your page’s keyword ranking. This should help you see where there might be some room for SEO performance improvement to help your website rank higher in search results.
Of course, there’s no reason you can’t do both content marketing and SEO. While you’re going through your SEO metrics, it’s easy to jot down your content marketing data as well. Whatever the case may be, being clear about your intentions ahead of time will help to streamline the process and minimize extra effort. Know why you’re doing it before you start doing it so you have a success story at the end of it.
Audit Content Using this Guide:
1. Know your goals for the audit
Before starting your content audit, it can be helpful to sit down and think about what your content audit goals are and what SEO tools to use. Once you have those in mind, it’ll be much easier to categorize your findings later on.
A content audit or SEO content audit can serve many purposes, but one common goal is to find the most engaging content for your audience. SEO strategy, performance and conversion rates are often important factors to consider when looking at potential candidates for your homepage or email newsletter.
After you’ve identified your content marketing goals, it’s time to start collecting your content (make a comprehensive list) so you can begin your audit. This will help you keep track of what you have and what needs to be updated or improved. Once you have all of your content gathered, you can start evaluating it to see what tactics and SEO efforts need to be updated or changed in order to better achieve your goals.
People also read: Digital marketing with social proof
2. Gather your content
In order to create an effective audit, you’ll first need to decide which content you would like to target. This could be anything from product descriptions and blog posts to multimedia and publications. Once you’ve decided on what you would like to focus on, you can begin to gather all relevant content in one place known as a content plan.
To get started with your website audit, you’ll need to collect the URLs of the web pages you’d like to include. If you have a small website, this can easily be done manually by putting them into an audit spreadsheet. However, if you have a larger website, there are online tools that can do it for you.
You also have to consider the content quality.
3. Classify your content
After receiving your audit, it’s important to classify the information. This will help you keep everything organized and ensure that your content audit is helpful and meets your needs. There are some online tools that can categorize information for you, but you can also do it yourself. By creating classes, you can make sure that your audit is comprehensive and covers all the bases.
There are a few key things to think about when classifying your content.
• First, what type of content is it? Is it a blog post, an article, a video, etc.?
• Second, who is the author or creator? This can be helpful in determining the tone or perspective of the piece.
• Third, when was it published or updated? This can help you gauge how relevant or current the information is.
• Lastly, what format is the content in? This can be important for accessibility or usability purposes.
Another key thing in the complete content audit process is content metrics. Some tools will include them in the report, but you can also pull data from Google Analytics. Metrics can give you more information to help with your analysis. At this stage, you should have URLs of your content, categories, and metadata (if included) in your content audit spreadsheet. This will come in handy when it’s time to review your metrics and analyze your data.
4. Examine your data
Now that you have collected all of your data, it is time to take a step back and carefully examine what you have. This will give you a good measure of the state of your content.
Here are some things to take note of when examining your data:
1. Contents that can be repurposed
2. Contents that are missing. What is your audience interested in that you haven’t covered?
3. Which pieces of content aren’t getting the numbers you want?
4. Which content strategy works?
5. Check for performance metrics. Contents that have performed extremely well and content that are underperforming
Based on the results of your examination, you can now organize your findings in a spreadsheet. To do this, you can assign different colours to different categories. This way, when you highlight the rows with those colours, you’ll be able to see at a glance which category is which, and how much of your total content library each category makes up.
The final step in your audit is to clean it up and enforce your action plan. This means thinking about which posts to delete, update, re-write, or re-purpose based on your analysis. Keep in mind what you need to focus on so that you can move forward effectively.
When you’re trying to organize your execution plan, it can be helpful to add one last column to your audit spreadsheet. This column will let you know which action to take for a specific type of content.
For example, you can decide whether to keep, update, delete, or rewrite a blog post. You might be wondering when the best time would be to start including a search ranking system or timeline for your audit. For some organizations, it might make more sense to create a content calendar while others might not need one. If you want to make a priority timeline that works well with your content audit, it can be helpful to think about your business goals and which items you want to execute first.
Bonus point: Choose a content audit tool
There are a few different content auditing tools out there that can help streamline your process, though none are strictly required. The biggest advantage these tools offer is speed; they can gather information much more quickly than you could on your own, potentially saving you hours or even days of work. In addition, most content audit tools will automatically generate various metrics and analytics, so you can get a good overview of your content asset at a glance.
Here’s a list of some content audit or analytics tools:
The main takeaway from this blog is that content audits are very valuable for a company in many ways. A content audit can help you discover new topics that you may want to write about or new ways to improve on past articles. A content audit can also help you find and delete any content that is not up to par.
Content audits are a great way to help organize your site and improve it, and they can even help you find new ways to market your company or brand.