­What is a Content Audit? How to Do It?

You are all set to redesign your website, refine your marketing message, launch a business blog and you want to ensure your online content is up to standard.

That’s a great start

But what about all the content that’s already published on your site. How do you know what content is good, what’s not, what content you have, what’s missing and what content needs to be or updated?

That’s where a content audit can come in handy. This is the essential first step towards building a correct content marketing strategy.

What is a Content Audit?

A content audit is the process of qualitatively assessing all the content on your site. It helps assess the strengths and weaknesses of your content. It shows you what your content has achieved, how well (or poorly) it’s performing and identify thematic gaps.

When done right, a content audit helps you to detect gaps in your content so you can adjust your content creation process to better meet the expectations of your target audience. This will pave the way for a mature content strategy.

Why Do a Content Audit?

You won’t know what you need until you know what you already have. When you want your content marketing efforts to pay off and drive more traffic, leads and sales, you need to identify and plug all the holes in your strategy.

  • It assesses your existing content to help prepare for your new website.
  • It provides direction for your content strategy.
  • It helps you to remove sub-par content.
  • It allows you to identify whether your current content inventory meets the minimum standards of quality and relevance.
  • It helps you to make sure your content is delivering the desired results (traffic, conversions, rankings, etc.)
  • You can identify the content gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Understand the stages of your sales funnel that have poor content.

How to Do a Content Audit?

Step 1 – Create an Inventory
Before you analyse your content, you will need a list of all your content. Do an inventory of all the content you’ve produced across different domains and platforms including social media.
If you are doing this manually, document the URL, name and description of each piece of content in a spreadsheet. You could automate this process using a crawl tool like Screaming Frog or you could even use your site’s sitemap to locate all pages.

Step 2 – Collect Asset Data
Collect some essential data about each piece of content. The number of data points you gather would depend on the purpose of your audit and the level of complexity you’d like to achieve.
Below is a list of data points you could gather for your content assets. Each point would be a separate heading in the spreadsheet you’ve created in the first step above.

  • URL of the page
  • Page title
  • Keywords
  • Metadata
  • Images present
  • Image ALT tags
  • Type of content (blog post, event, webpage, infographic, video, etc.)
  • Author/Owner
  • Date last updated
  • Google Analytics data (bounce rate, traffic, conversions, popularity, etc.)
  • Social shares
  • Outbound and inbound links
  • Target audience
  • Broken links
  • Action required (update, delete, keep as-is, consolidate, etc)

Step 3 – Evaluate the Content
Now ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is this page relevant and important?
  • Is this page accurate and up to date?
  • Do the SEO elements need updating?
  • Is the text organised logically?
  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Does the content have a consistent voice that aligns with your branding guidelines?
  • Is the content asset doing well in the search engines?

Based on your assessments, mark the action you’d like to take for each content piece – update, delete, keep or consolidate.

This audit will ensure your new website will have the best and most relevant content to drive traffic to your website and increase interest in your business. If your website content is interesting for visitors to read and the information incorporates your business online marketing strategy, then your website will deliver on generating new business and maintain interest from your existing customers in your ongoing business activities.

Credit: Bob Stokes