Brainstorming about new content… It’s fun, exciting, and most importantly, it sparks new ideas. As humans, it’s our instinct to look ahead. But maybe, just maybe, we should be reflecting on our existing content to make sure it’s still doing its job. Insert: a content audit – the perfect roadmap for your future content. Want to know how your current content is performing? Then this is just the read for you.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is basically an inventory of the content on your website: you list all your content and assess the quality and effectiveness of each piece. The goal is to gain insights on what content is performing well, needs to be rewritten or needs an update. Besides, it gives you a clear view of which areas of your site are not optimized for search engines. When you know how your existing content is performing, you’ll also be able to determine which type of content you need to create in the future.
How to run a content audit in five easy steps
Your best friend in this entire process? A good old fashioned Excel spreadsheet. You can mark our words.
1. What are your content objectives?
Don’t jump in headfirst. Think about your goals, it will make it easier to categorize your content. Aligning your company goals with your content will make it easier to keep your eyes on the prize and allow you to update your content strategy with the right tactics. A content audit is also not a one-size-fits-all, it differs from one audit to another. Some examples are:
- Increasing the audience engagement
- Improving the conversion rate
- Improving the SEO results
- Generating more brand awareness
2. Start gathering your content
You can decide to run your content audit on your entire website or to only assess certain subjects such as your landing- or product pages. Made up your mind? Then it’s time to start your inventory by collecting all the URLs of web pages you want to analyse in a spreadsheet. Collect all necessary links manually or with specialized software such as SEMrush and Screaming Frog.
Next step: organise your content based on different criteria. Examples of categories are:
- Stage of the buyer’s journey
- Content type
- Content format
- Word count
- Date of publication/last moderation
Collecting metadata like page title, goal of the page, meta descriptions, alt text, etc. is equally an important step. Create different columns in your spreadsheet for the different metrics.
4. Analyzing the content
Now it’s time for the real deal: analyzing the data. Yes, your blogpost may be SEO proof, but it should also be tailored to your (potential) customer. Do you put your customer first? Are the messages and calls-to-action aligned with the customer journey that leads and customers take? Those are important insights and metrics that can help you outline a strategy. Using online tools such as SEMrush will make your life a whole lot easier. A good tip? Also connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to add depth and width to your data. Use this data to assign a status to your content pieces: keep, update or delete.
5. Time to strategize
Now it’s time to bring everything together: your data, your existent content and your long-term content strategy. You now know what to focus on based on the analysis and can go from here. Think about which posts to delete, update, re-write, or re-structure. Prioritize each action based on the results from the analysis and the objectives you want to achieve. If you have a priority list, you can create an action plan for each link. Last but not least; use the insights gained to improve your content marketing strategy in the future. This will ensure that your future content will perform better.
Why your business needs a content audit
Are you still doubting the benefits of a content audit? Well, just in case you’re not yet convinced, we summed up the most important advantages:
- It gives you a chance to implement new SEO opportunities
- You’ll get a clear view on which parts of your site are in need of improvement
- You’ll gain insight in which content works for your specific target audience
- You’ll learn to identify bad performing pages and how to improve them
- It gives you a better website for both your visitors and search engines which will lead to increased conversion and sales