You wouldn’t drive a sedan with three wheels, so why keep adding to a severely underperforming blog? Most often, it’s because you may not realize which of your content is driving results, which isn’t, and where your gaps lie. Fortunately, that’s where a content audit comes into play.
Content is the driving force of your website, so it’s essential to keep tabs on its health. Your visitors seek information that solves their problems and meets their needs, so it should be compelling and easy to find. Sound like a lot? A content audit like this will help ensure your content meets all the above criteria and more.
What is a Content Audit?
Simply put, a content audit analyzes all the existing content on your website to see how it’s performing. When you know how your content performs, you can add content to topics that garner interest and get rid of content that doesn’t. This includes blog posts, landing pages, eBooks, webinars, whitepapers, and more.
How to Perform a Content Audit
Here’s how to perform a content audit so you can see success in your marketing campaigns.
Step 1: Write Down Your Goals
Without clearly defined goals, it’s hard to create and stick to a content strategy. Begin your audit by asking yourself what you want to accomplish in the year with your content. You may hope to rank higher in search engines or generate more leads through gated pieces. No matter your goal, writing it down will help you stay focused as you progress through your audit and, subsequently, the year.
Step 2: Gather All Your Content
Having easy access to all the content you want to review will make your audit go smoother. Gather all the URLs of the webpages you want to review and put them in a spreadsheet. If you don’t know how to format an audit template, try using HubSpot’s.
If your website is small, you can collect your URLs manually and add them to your spreadsheet. There are also tools that can manage your URLs for you, speeding up the process.
Step 3: Categorize and Review
Categorizing your content will help you stay organized as well as identify any gaps you may have in your content strategy. An audit focused on these five categories can help guide you as you begin to review its performance:
Name. Naming your content is crucial because it helps your visitors and search engines understand what your content is about. It also makes it easier for you and your team to classify and locate it accurately. When you’re naming a blog, guide, or infographic, make sure your name reflects what they’ll find.
Type. Content marketing plans typically feature different forms of content. Categorizing by type can help you see what your site has too much of or what you’re lacking. Common examples of content include eBooks, blogs, demos, webinars, whitepapers, guides, checklists, infographics, and landing pages.
- EBooks: Longer and more in-depth than a blog, but shorter than a whitepaper, e-books generally feature anywhere between 2,000 to 5,000 words and images using a conversational tone geared toward the B2C market.
- Whitepapers: With a formal tone and text-heavy, data-oriented content, whitepapers usually contain 6 to 8 pages of deep knowledge geared toward the B2B market.
- Infographic: Great for statistics, timelines, and other content that can be expressed with images, infographics are typically visually oriented and highly shareable.
- Webinars: These online seminars provide a live or almost-live experience of listening to the expertise or input from the featured speakers or hosts.
- Demos: With the option of being live or recorded, demos offer a demonstration of the product while showcasing its features and benefits.
Targeted Buyer Persona/Lifecycle. You’ve likely already mapped-out customer journeys with multiple buyer personas you actively target. While you should have various types of content, you should also have pieces that reflect your target audiences.
Your overall aim as a marketer is to speak to each persona’s pain points and challenges as they navigate your buyer’s journey. Make sure you have content that’s aligned with every stage of the buying journey, including awareness, consideration, decision, and delight, as well as every one of your buyer personas. Your content audit will be the best way to determine if you have the necessary content and what you may need to create.
Different content types align with each stage of the buying cycle:
- Awareness: Being found by search engines is key for the awareness stage, with a focus on search engine marketing that can include SEO and PPC
- Consideration: Keyword-tailored landing pages are vital here, as are comparison charts and other infographics that showcase how you stand out from your competition
- Preference/Intent: Product descriptions, branding, and other website content help influence consumer decisions at this point
- Purchase: Perfect time for discounts and coupon offers, with pre-sales emails, social media, or PPC ad text
- Delight: Social media, emails, and personal outreach help you remain in contact with customers so they’re inclined to come back for more
Keywords. If your goal is to improve your SEO, it’s essential to categorize and review your content for keywords. That way, you can determine if your content focuses on the right keywords, or if your overall strategy is effective.
Location. Reviewing the location of your content can help you quickly locate it and verify if it’s still relevant to your visitors. If you have difficulty finding anything, try creating a plan to keep everything in a centralized location, like Google Drive or a folder with Word documents.
Once everything is categorized, you can begin analyzing it. Focus on:
- What’s underperforming
- What’s driving results or performing well
- What can be updated to reflect trends
- What’s missing
- What can be deleted
Step 4: Get Ready to Create
After reviewing your past content, you can set action items for the upcoming year that reflect your 2020 goals. Make a list of everything you can update, delete, rewrite, or restructure. For example, evergreen content can be updated to focus on current trends, while a blog could be repurposed into an infographic. Whatever you decide, rank what’s most important and get going!
Tools that Can Help
While there aren’t many steps to a content audit, it can seem daunting to do it all by yourself. Try using some of these online tools:
DynoMapper – DynoMapper alerts you of any issues that negatively affect your site, from SEO to usability. You can perform an audit every week to make sure your content’s quality is upheld.
Marketing Grader – This tool summarizes your website and provides an expandable report for each website point, including your site as a whole, your blog, social media, lead generation, and SEO.
Lumar – Effectively manage your SEO with DeepCrawl by selecting the metrics you want to analyze, including loading time, titles, links, and URLs. You can assign tasks, create support tickets, and track your performance directly within DeepCrawl.
Screaming Frog – Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is a well-known site crawler that gathers onsite data of all your webpages so you can make better-informed decisions regarding your SEO and content.
Lynton Can Help
Even though we’re not a site-crawling service, we can help! Our team at Lynton is always ready to assist in content audit and strategy. Drop us a line here.