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A Guide To Perform Your Own Step-By-Step Content Audit
The first goal of achieving content marketing success is to create new and unique content. However, the problem with undertaking this responsibility is finding new ideas and avoiding using existing content. And amid all of this, we forget to consider evaluating our previous content.
How do you keep track of all the content that you have already made? How many of them performed well, poorly, or took up hours? Take a few seconds and think about how you organize it. If you’re missing out on organizing your content, it is high time you invest some time and effort into ‘content audit.’ It is an excellent way to plan your future content and keep track of how it performs.
In this post, let’s learn more reasons why you need a content audit and how to do one.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is a process of collecting, analyzing, and assessing different types of content, such as blog posts, web content, or content on landing pages. A detailed content audit keeps track of all the content in your inventory and provides insights into its strengths and weaknesses. To put it in simple terms, doing a content audit of your content can help you point out gaps in your content strategy and entire content development flow. At the end of this process, you’ll get to know which content to create, and which one to re-write, update, or delete.
Now that you know what a content audit is, let’s walk through some of the goals that can be beneficial to improving your readers’ experiences and driving more traffic than before.
Content Audit Goals
Doing a content audit can be extremely beneficial for your website. Here are some goals that can be achieved with a thorough performing audit.
- Content audits help you determine non-optimized areas on your website and may help you rank better on the search engine.
- Conducting content audits can help you identify new search engine optimization opportunities for your website. For example, you can add new keywords to the heading or the meta descriptions on your website to help the search engine get better clues about what it is about.
- It gives you a chance to update any content on your website that hasn’t performed well previously. This step will comprehensively improve your site for the readers.
Sounds interesting, right? Let’s discuss some benefits that will provide you with a clearer picture of what a content audit can do for your website.
Benefits Of Content Audit
A content audit of your website should bring up new content ideas, help you update older content, improve your web page’s rank, make the site more presentable and navigable for the reader, and most importantly, make it free of errors. In addition, here are some other benefits that you might be unaware of:
- Offers you a data-driven insight into your content’s performance, giving you more chances to make some informed decisions that aren’t merely based on assumed information but facts.
- Let’s identify areas of content that can be updated or repurposed to get better results than the previous ones.
- Helps you identify content pieces that you can use to leverage as marketing material.
- Let’s you understand more about the likes and dislikes of your audience.
- Makes it easy to maintain content and better analyze what you offer and how you can become better at it.
If you wish to succeed at content auditing and bring valuable points to the table, carve out enough time to completely undertake the responsibility. However, you don’t have to handle everything alone, and there are various templates and guides like this one. Refer to some if you’re unsure about where to begin.
Steps To Perform A Content Audit
Step 1: Define the goals of your content audit
Conducting a content audit is a time-consuming process, so it is important to have a clear head, defined objectives, and goals before you begin. The first step of this process is to think about the goal of the audit and your business. What benefits do you want to receive out of the audit? Here are some examples of goals that you can set:
Example 1: Improve your SEO results
- Identify the content on web pages that have a high potential to rank at the top on SERP.
- Understand content that can be updated or deleted.
- Check content that can be optimized with internal linking.
Example 2: Enhance audience engagement on the website
- Identify which type of content drives more audience.
- Figure which topics will interest your reader.
- Determine which content gathers more social engagement.
Once you’ve determined which goals you need to address for your website, it is time to find relevant content metrics that can help you achieve them without much fuss. There are four general categories of content metrics:
- SEO metrics: keyword rankings, backlinks, organic traffic, loading time, etc.
- User behavior metrics: bounce rate, page views, average session duration, etc.
- User engagement metrics: mentions, likes, shares, comments, etc.
Sales metrics: ROI, conversion rate, number of leads, etc.
Step 2: Make an inventory for your content
Before anything else, it is important that you decide which type of content you want to review. This makes it easier to follow the next steps in the content audit process. Decide what you want to audit – internal content, web content, blogs, articles, news, landing pages, product descriptions, and so on. You can also assess other materials like video content, PDFs, and interactive content for audiences like surveys, quizzes, games, etc.
Here is how you can begin:
- Collect URLs: start making your inventory by collecting the URLs of your web age to conduct the analysis. Use a tool to quickly do the job. These tools use your sitemap data to provide you with URLs and any associated metrics.
- Create your content catalog: after collecting the URLs of your webpage or content, track them in a spreadsheet and make a catalog based on categories like the buyer’s journey stage, type of content, content format, number of words, date of publication/modification, and author. You can also keep all the meta descriptions in one place so that checking and editing them becomes easy.
Step 3: Analyze the collected data
Data collection is a complex process but with the help of tools, it can be simplified. Usually, you have to recover content from multiple sources and feed it manually into the spreadsheet. Save time using tools that can automatically collect data and put it according to specific metrics. After organizing all the URLs and other required data from multiple resources, you need to examine the metrics and assess the data according to the goals set in step 1. Assign one of the following statuses to your content:
- Keep: keep the content if it is still relevant and doesn’t require any updates. You can reuse the content. For example, FAQs, general information about your products/services, success stories, client stories, etc.
- Update: in the audit, you can find content that may need slight updates or modifications. It can be content pieces that are not performing well. You need to review them and figure out how to make them more effective. For example, blog posts with outdated information or statistics, low conversion content, etc.
- Delete: if you’re unable to modify any content as it may take much of your time and resources, it is best to remove it from the website. For example, content related to an old event or activity, information about an out-of-stock product, old campaigns, etc.
Step 4: Draw an action plan
After analyzing and assessing your content, you need to set an action plan that can help you improve your goal. It should be based on the goals that you set and the conclusion drawn from the analysis. To do this, prioritize your actions first, and make these actions achievable and compliant with the business goals. Depending on your actions, create an action plan. Here are some actionable tips that might help you:
- Reuse the content by combining different content pieces from various content sources and formats like slides, infographics, or e-books.
- Rewrite the underperforming content. Use new formats to present it and make it interactive.
- Give a new structure to your content by adding relevant H2 and H3 tags that help readers understand your content better and boost traffic simultaneously.
- Update your CTAs, as some of them may contain outdated banners. Replace your blogs and web pages with new and active CTAs to run along with your content market funnel, fueling your conversion rates.
Other useful action plans can include adding images and videos to make the content interactive and optimizing the metadata. Optimizing content with internal linkings, etc.
Step 5: Modify your content marketing strategy
Keep long-term marketing strategy in mind when performing a content audit. Your content strategy will move in different directions if you track it in the direction of success and failure. See what content marketing tactics work for you. To assess this, take a look at your competitor’s successful content, your own least performing content, and see what you can do to make everything right and improve.
Review your content marketing strategy at least once a year and ensure that your activities are working in accordance with your company’s goals. Remember that industries change frequently. What works today may not work tomorrow. Thus, to remain at the top of your niche, it is best to be consistent and adaptable.
Now, let’s get over some useful content audit tools that can help simplify the process.
Content Audit Tools
It is a website crawler that collects URLs from the sitemap. It easily creates an SEO audit for you. This tool offers tonnes of web analysis benefits to improve your search engine optimization depending on your goals.
SEMrush can offer you a robust content audit in just a few clicks. You get a customized report by putting it in the desired domain, and this report can give you useful details about the gaps in your content strategy.
Although Google Analytics doesn’t offer you a traditional audit, it provides relevant information that can help you make better audit reports. It gives you comprehensive details about who is visiting your website, where the most visited web pages are, and which content piece has been interacted with.
Before you get started with the process of content auditing, create a cheat sheet for your website. If you haven’t performed an audit before, it is high time you undertake the steps explained in this guide. You can always take the help of professionals, but doing it on your own can bring out surprising insights that may help your business succeed in the long term.
Try the process now that you have ample knowledge about conducting content audits.