An article that explains the advantages of doing a Content Audit on your websites, the guidelines to follow and the most common pitfalls to avoid.
Content creation is one of the pivotal actions for ensuring more traffic and subsequent conversions. That is why 86% of marketers find that content marketing is a key strategy in their marketing outreach. People like seeing original content relevant to their interests without unnecessary filler. That’s how you get and retain their attention.
To that end, companies can rely on content audits of their websites to find potential bottlenecks and the “golden geese” of their content strategy. But how do you go about doing a content audit properly without overlooking a potentially important element in the process?
Considering that 37% of content marketers never complete a content audit, you can be in great advantage if you don’t fall into that category. In the following lines, you will learn about the benefits of doing a content audit and what the repercussions of not doing one are. Learn how to do content audit properly so that you can use the gained data in your future content marketing planning and strategy.
Benefits of Content Auditing
To understand the importance of content audit, you need to have knowledge of how it will change your marketing operations. The following advantages of a content audit will reassure you that you need to dedicate your time and effort to do a proper content audit.
- Surface content that you can repurpose – The consistent need for fresh content can be unnecessary. With a content audit, you can identify valuable content that you can repurpose.
- Find problems in your content – Determine whether you have performance issues, identify and fix broken links, increase site’s search value by improving its accessibility.
- Rethink the quality of existing content – Evaluate how informative, relevant, and valuable is your content (is it too long, too short, ambiguous, tedious, repetitive, etc.).
- Improve your content structure – Having quality content isn’t enough if it isn’t accessible and readable. Revise the structure of your content to make it more attractive to readers and search engines.
The Common Pitfalls of Content Audit
Many marketers find content audits to be time-consuming, tedious, and sometimes confusing, they aren’t very committed to the process. Big mistakes. Doing content audits with a lack of will and determination reflects in the following pitfalls.
- Doing a one-size-fits-all content audit without a specific goal or focus
- Not documenting the audit process (How will you use the collected information if you don’t write it down?)
- Focusing on wrong metrics and consequently collecting irrelevant information
- Not using tools to speed up and automate gathering data
- Mistaking content audit with an inventory. A content audit isn't just a list of content, it demands advanced analysis, using various sources, and having specialized knowledge.
Anthony Black, a content editor at Grabmyessay shared valuable advice on the topic, "As harmless as some of these mistakes can seem, they can be fatal for your content marketing strategy. Just one wrong step can lead you to a wrong direction and ton of irrelevant and useless information. Pick your battles wisely.”
Content Audit Guidelines to Follow
A superficial or incomplete content audit has almost the same value as not doing a content audit at all. For that reason, you should religiously follow these guidelines. They will ensure that you don't miss out on any pivotal step.
- Set goals and expectations – Identify the reason for your content audit. It will help you determine the actions you need to take to acquire the necessary information. That is the information that will help you create a content marketing strategy that will improve your content's effectiveness.
- Categorize your content – If you want to determine the weaknesses you need to categorize the content (e.g. title, topic category, ranking for main keyword, average organic search traffic per month, the bounce rate of organic search traffic, number of backlinks, etc.)
- Rank content with different filters – It will be easier to access your results if you use filters to rank your content. Set types of pages and filter the content based on specific characteristics (page views, comments, sales, etc.) What Antti Alatalo of Cashcow does is to “filter all the pages of the website and look for the pages that have zero impressions.”
- Create an action plan for each content piece – Detail your future plan for each piece. Every content differs and they all need a different approach for improvement.
- Extrapolate a new content plan – Take all the information you gathered and systematically use it to form and extend a new content plan.
- Track your new content marketing strategy – You won’t know whether your strategy is efficient if you don’t track its performance. Therefore, follow everything that happens once you put your new plan in action.
With this information in mind, you’re all set to do a content audit that will be the baseline of your content marketing strategy. Now that you know which guidelines to follow, you can pinpoint the missing steps and fulfill them with the above-mentioned must-do actions. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay consistent with the content audit. The information it provides you will be the crucial ingredient that can help you form the perfect content marketing strategy.