If you are remotely familiar with digital marketing, you might have heard the quote "content is king." These words were articulated by Bill Gates back in 1996. However, nearly a quarter-century down the road, content continues to be the undisputed king of the digital marketing kingdom. This is one reason why a vast majority of marketers pin their hopes on content marketing when it comes to promoting a business.
That said, you cannot rely on lackluster content to produce expected results. The current breed of customers has a keen eye for quality content. So if your blogs, whitepapers, surveys, infographics, etc., are not coming from the top drawer, your content simply is good for nothing. That is where content audit can win the day for you. It helps to sketch an overall picture of content marketing performance. Broadly put, the content audit enables you to identify the deep-rooted issues within your content, which typically go down unnoticed without ringing any alarm bell whatsoever.
The concept of content auditing is still pretty new on the horizon. Thus, unfortunately, countless businesses have no idea how to go about it. If you are also confronting a similar problem, look no further. We have outlined a step-by-step guide that leads to the quality content audit. Let's walk you through the process without further ado:
A content audit is a daunting task. But you can simplify it to a significant degree by narrowing down your objectives. For example, broken links are one of the major issues denting the user experience. Knowing that Google downgrades websites possessing an extensive streak of broken links, many organizations conduct a content audit to eliminate this nuisance.
Here are some of the other go-to goals you could prioritize for content audit:
Determining pages with the potential to grab the top position in Google
Figuring out topics that ensure the highest retention rate
Improving the structure of internal links
Wiping out outdated facts and figures and updating content that has lost its relevance over time
Evaluating the top-performing writers
Learning why a certain type of content did not do well
These are only a handful of examples. The content audit could serve plenty of additional purposes as well. Be mindful of the fact that specifying content audit goals could be a time-consuming process because you will have to take feedback from several stakeholders. But it is worth the effort by every stretch of the imagination. Lastly, we would recommend you focus on a few goals at a time. Having too many motives in mind might prove to be an overwhelming challenge.
Once you are done defining the goal, the next phase is to assemble all the content in one place. The step requires basic spreadsheet skills. You should start proceedings by collecting website URLs. If the website is relatively new and does not have a ton of content, you can gather URLs manually. On the other hand, if your website is amassed with blogs, guides, product descriptions, surveys, and other content types, you are better off banking on content audit tools. It will save you from plenty of heel-dragging and add to the entire process's efficiency as well.
After listing all the URLs, you should mention categories against respective URLs. You may consider mentioning the following categories in the spreadsheet:
You do not necessarily need to restrain yourself to the categories mentioned above. According to content auditing experts, you should ideally include any piece of information that offers extra context. Make sure you put together the content inventory in an easy-to-understand arrangement so that others can also make sense of the document. The internet is peppered with an array of content inventory formats. Thus, you can easily find the one that goes best with you.
As soon as you have all the relevant information on the table, you can start evaluating the content. Evaluation basically entails whether the content is up to the mark or not. Some of the key content evaluators are as follows:
It bears worth mentioning that the above criteria are just a handful of suggestions. You may show up with your own benchmarks.
Analyzing data is out and out the trickiest point of the content audit journey. Depending on the scope of a website, drilling down the data could take days, weeks, and even months. So being patient is going to be the key here.
Diving into data helps you to see the bigger picture. That way, you can easily detect unhealthy trends and tweak or eliminate them. Since every website weaves a content strategy to meet different objectives, you have to consider data metrics accordingly.
However, the following are the most common data benchmarks that are typically part and parcel of the content audit process:
As stressed above, analyzing data could be painstaking. But it is vital to develop a deeper understanding of the content. Once you are done crunching the data, you can make your mind to delete, merge, improve, rewrite, optimize, and repurpose a piece of content.
By now, you would be able to come up with final recommendations. These suggestions will bridge the identified content gaps and enhance the power of your content tenfold. Of course, the final findings vary from website to website. But we are listing some random recommendations to give you a better idea regarding how to shoulder this responsibility:
Drawing up a content calendar to publish a certain number of bogs every month
Improving link building strategy
Segmentizing audience to create personalized content
Sharing posts on social media during optimal hours
The wrong implementation can put all the hard work to dust. The best way to go about implementation is to involve every employee associated with content in any capacity. The go-to individuals to be taken on board might include content managers, editors, writers, proofreaders, and SEO experts. You should use project management software to make sure the communication gap does not rear its ugly head.
We cannot stress enough the significance of content audit. It is literally the lifeblood of your content marketing strategy. Indeed, conducting a content audit is not a cakewalk. But by walking the tight line of steps mentioned in this blog, you cannot set a foot wrong.