The power of a content audit
Author:
Philippa Lowe
Published: 18th July 2017

The power of a content audit

Even the phrase ‘content audits’ can strike fear into the heart of a content manager. It’s not a particularly thrilling expedition, if we’re honest with ourselves. If you love to crack open a spreadsheet and delve into the details, this is the task for you; if you don’t, we promise that performing a content audit will be worth your time, effort and brainpower.

What is a content audit?

An audit is a little more than just an inventory of your content so far – even though creating an inventory may come into it. Audits are more than just a list, they allow you to delve deeply into the details of your content and really analyse how all your different pieces of content are working together.

Why should you do a content audit?

There are plenty of reasons to perform an audit but perhaps the most overwhelming reason is to make sure that your content is relevant. How often do you press ‘publish’ on a post, only to never look at it again? If you’re not monitoring your content and doing semi-regular audits, there could be content sitting on your website that is out of date and lacks a little of the shine it once had.

How do you do a content audit?

Every content strategist will have his or her own tried and tested methods of performing an audit. There are endless questions to ask and elements to analyse but there are a few essentials, no matter how you go about it.

Start with an inventory – get out the spreadsheet and plug in the title of each piece of content, their URL and their categories/subcategories. As you go through each post, you can look at a multitude of elements, but to start off with you can focus on some or all of the following:

  • Page visits
  • Length of posts
  • Social shares
  • Link follows
  • Search terms used to find the post

As you go, it’s also important to ask yourself certain questions about the content:

  • Is the content relevant?
  • Are your readers engaging with the content?
  • How well has it performed in terms of conversion?
  • Does it need to be consolidated with other content because it’s not meaty enough on its own?
  • Does the content still align with the message you are trying to convey?

Once you’ve gathered as much information and made an in depth analysis of every piece of content you’ve produced – what do you do with what you know now? The answer is take action. There are three main actions you can take from here.

Keep the content – this is for those posts that are standing the test of time, still have high engagement rates and seem to perform well without you prompting.

Update the content – some content is still great, it just needs a little tweak every so often. This step can also be taken for the content that needs to be consolidated with other pieces of content to beef it up a little.

Remove the content – this step is important. Not everything you’ve ever posted will stay relevant for the long-term.  The content world is fast-paced and it’s difficult to keep up at the best of times. Removing content is not a bad thing; it’s just making sure that the content you are supplying is the best that it can be.

Content audits are daunting if you’ve never tackled one before but they have the power to transform your marketing strategy when they’re done right. If you’re ready to take the next step with your content, contact Incredible Communications today on 0414 711 107.