Most people know that that content is the key to an effective marketing strategy, however few are maximising the content they have, even fewer have a strategy for the future content they intend to create.
It’s important to recognise that the content you’ve already created holds value and optimising it can lead to increased revenue. Existing content can also help you uncover new content opportunities that will take your organic traffic from good to great.
In this blog, we’re going to take you through our content auditing process step by step, so that you can reap the benefits for your brand too.
What’s a Content Audit?
A content audit is a systematic process of evaluating and analysing the existing content on your website. It involves creating an inventory of all your content assets and assessing them against specific criteria. The purpose of a content audit is to gain insights into the performance of your content, identify areas for improvement, and determine future content strategies.
Why Do you Need a Content Audit?
Performing a content audit offers several benefits that can significantly enhance the overall performance of your website:
- Data-Backed Decision Making: By analysing the performance of your content, you can make informed decisions about which pages to improve or optimise further.
- Identifying Content Gaps and Opportunities: Through a content audit, you can identify gaps in your content and topics that have not been adequately covered. This insight enables you to create new, valuable content that fills those gaps and attracts more organic traffic.
- Repurposing Content: A content audit helps you identify content that can be repurposed or updated to provide fresh value to your audience.
- Enhancing Reader Experience: By improving the quality of your content, you can enhance the overall reader experience. This includes updating outdated content, addressing content gaps, and ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.
- Streamlining Content Strategy: By creating a complete inventory of your content, you can better manage and plan your content strategy for the future.
- SEO Optimisation: A content audit helps you identify pages that are not optimised for search engines. You can address issues such as missing metadata, poor heading structure, and duplicate content to improve your website’s SEO.
As you can see, a content audit is essential for website owners who want to optimise their content, improve their SEO, and provide a better user experience for their audience.
Tools for Conducting a Content Audit
To streamline the content audit process, several tools can assist you in analysing your website’s content. Here are some essential tools you can utilise:
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a must-have tool for comparing the performance of your webpages. It provides valuable traffic data that can be used to analyse the effectiveness of each page on your website.
2. Technical tools
As part of your content audit, you’ll want to identify and fix things like broken links and meta data that isn’t optimised, for this we use the auditing tool in SERanking.
3. Content Inventory Tools
Creating a comprehensive content inventory can be time-consuming if done manually. Tools like Screaming Frog can automate this process and provide you with a complete list of all your website’s content assets. If your website is on WordPress, you can also export your blog content using one of the many free export plugins.
Now that you have an understanding of the tools available for conducting a content audit let’s move on to the step-by-step process.
Website Content Audit Steps
Performing a content audit may initially seem like a daunting task, but by breaking it down into manageable steps, you can execute it effectively. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of conducting a comprehensive content audit for your website.
Step 1: Create a List of Your Content Assets
The first step in conducting a content audit is to compile an inventory of all your content assets. Depending on what CMS your website uses.
Here are the columns we like to have in our audit sheets:
- Category (e.g. Diversity & Inclusion)
- Content type (White paper, ebook, blog…)
- Content goal (Awareness, engage or convert)
- Relevant service (Which of your services does this content serve?)
- Tier (More on this in a moment)
- Target persona
- Published date
- Number of internal links
How we categorise content by tier
We use the terminology of tiers. A tier one piece is central to your campaign and is usually the substantial content pieces such as a webinar or white paper, Tier 2 pieces promote the tier 1 piece, and tier 3 pieces support the campaign by promoting tier 2 pieces.
|Tier 0||A standalone piece||Tier 0 pieces have no supporting assets or internal links|
|Tier 1||A pillar piece||Such as a whitepaper, ebook or podcast|
|Tier 2||Spin offs||Blogs that promote the pillar piece|
|Tier 3||Supporting asset||Assets that promote tier 1 and 2s such as infographics and videos.|
How we categorise content by stage
|Attract||The aim of attract content is to capture the attention of your target audience with topical content that discusses key challenges they face or trends in the market|
|Engage||Engage content moves readers on to learn how your business can help solve some of the challenges discussed in the Attract pieces, they begin to position you as an expert in the area and a solution provider.|
|Convert||Convert content educates your target audience on your business specifically, such as offers details on services, case studies and pricing.|
Content Audit Templates
We’ve shared our audit template here to help get you started.
Step 2: Identify Content Issues
Once you’ve got your content assets in one place, it’s time to go through line by line and fill in the missing information in the columns listed above. We then like to create pivot tables to give us an overview of and use this as a means of identifying issues, here are some questions you want to answer while interrogating your data…
- What’s the content distribution like across themes?
- What’s the content distribution like across tiers?
- Do your ‘engage’ pieces have supporting blogs that link to them?
- What’s the balance like across awareness, engage and convert content?
Now look at Google Analytics, specifically your top performing landing pages and see which content is attracting the most views. Normally there are one or two blogs that are working the hardest for your brand, these blogs can often be quite old and give you an opportunity to update the content or take that content theme and advance it into a whitepaper or full campaign.
- Duplicate Content: Identify and address instances of duplicate content on your website, as search engines prioritise fresh and unique content.
- Outdated Content: Update any outdated content to provide valuable and up-to-date information to your audience.
- Content Gaps: Identify topics or target markets that have not been adequately covered in your content. This will help you identify potential areas for future content creation.
- Target Keywords: Ensure that each piece of content targets specific keywords and incorporates them effectively within the copy.
- Metadata: Review the metadata descriptions for each page and ensure they are well-written and optimised for search engines. Update any repetitive or missing metadata.
- Word Count: Evaluate the word count of each page and determine if it is sufficient for effective SEO Optimisation. Edit or update pages that are too short or excessively long.
Keep track of the identified issues and improvements required for each content asset. You can create notes or color-code your spreadsheet to categorise the type of Optimisation needed.
Step 3: Identify Campaign Opportunities
Look for opportunities to link content together to create a campaign, for example perhaps you’ve got a white paper on diversity and inclusion and have 6 blogs and a podcast on this topic, but none of them link to the white paper. You could rethink this, convert your whitepaper into a Tier 1 pillar page and make your blogs the Tier 3 supporting assets.
Aim to identify 3 opportunities and begin coming up with a plan to address them.
Conducting a comprehensive content audit may initially seem like a daunting task, but the benefits it provides make it a critical exercise for any website owner. By evaluating and optimising your existing content, you can improve your website’s performance, enhance SEO rankings, and provide a better user experience for your audience. Remember to follow the steps outlined in this article, utilize the appropriate tools, and prioritise the issues identified during your content audit. With a well-executed content audit, you’ll be well on your way to taking your content marketing efforts to the next level and achieving greater success for your website.