When people hear the word “auditing” they associate it with being a long, monotonous process. It’s true. Auditing can be just that. However, if a content audit is done on your website annually then it will not be too tedious a task, especially if you have a strong content strategy that you stick to throughout the year. Conducting a content audit is essential if you consider how important content is for your website, your online presence, your sales and marketing and, ultimately, your brand. But what is a content audit really and why do you need to do one? Let’s take a look.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is really just about taking a long, hard look at your content. You may be asking, “What content?” Here we are primarily looking at the content on your website, and you’d be surprised just how much content there is, especially if you have a blog. Perhaps website copy and blog articles have been added to your website for years without any real assessment of how it all relates to one another. A content audit should look at all of your content holistically and uncover whether or not it is still achieving what you want it to.
Why do you need to do a content audit?
You need to do a content audit because it is just too easy to add content to your website without realising that it is actually not making a valuable contribution to your brand. Less content that is of a higher quality is much better than more content of less quality. So does the content you have actually matter?
Content is fundamental to your on-page SEO, which refers to the optimisation of your website’s on-page SEO factors like keyphrases, title tags, meta descriptions, etc. If your content is great then you will receive more qualified leads from organic search. An audit is important to assess whether or not your content is helping you get to the number one spot when people search for certain things.
Now that we know the what and why, let’s look at the how. How you conduct your content audit is entirely up to you as there aren’t any hard and fast rules. How you do it will also depend on what your specific content goals are and who your audience is.
What are your content goals?
There is no point analysing your content if you have no idea what you are trying to achieve with your content. Perhaps your main aim is for your content to convert readers to leads. Maybe you just want to focus on increasing your social media following, so that you can build a bigger community around your brand. Otherwise, are you looking at increasing your subscribers?
Whatever your main goal is, you will need to assess all of your content from this perspective and look at relevant aspects. For example, if you want to increase social media following then are you including social follow buttons on all your webpages and are you sharing all of your blog articles to your social media channels.
Who is your audience?
Your business has a unique target audience and your content should be tailored to suit their needs and wants. Knowing who you are talking to and what content they would ideally be interested in consuming will make it a lot easier to sift out the irrelevant content when doing your audit. For example, if you’re in the business of providing executive education courses then your audience will be executives who are interested in furthering their careers, and your content should therefore be more formal, academic-focussed web pages and articles. If an article on high school education somehow snuck onto your website, it’s a no brainer that that content doesn’t really speak to your target audience.
However, there are certainly some key aspects of your content that you need to look into while conducting your content audit.
Key aspects of a content audit
Your business inevitably evolves over time. What the business once focussed on may not necessarily be one of its focus areas now. With this in mind, you may find that some of the content on your website is no longer relevant. Perhaps you sold one product when you first started out, but now you sell something else. Therefore, any content related to something that no longer applies to your business must be removed, otherwise you may find your website coming up under searches that you do not want to come up in anymore.
The content on your site has to be consistently updated and checked for relevance. An easy example of this is updating your team page, which lists all or some of your key employees. With people coming and going, this is one page that will need attention. Linked to that, you will also need to update your careers page if your business is frequently looking to hire new people.
Blog articles will also need to be checked for relevance, especially if you have included time-sensitive information. Things also change, so you don’t want to be caught out sharing statistics that are outdated or incorrect information. Generally speaking, if an article is older than two years then people may look at it as old. So it is best to look at older content and either repurpose it or delete it.
One of your main sources of helpful information during a content audit is Google Analytics, as it will highlight the pages and articles that are actually receiving visitors and those that are not. It will also show you what the bounce rate is and the average amount of time that people spend on that particular page. Ultimately, you want your pages to have a lot of visitors and for them to spend a lot of time on those pages, so your content strategy needs to work towards that by considering what your visitors seem to enjoy consuming the most.
Another thing to consider is how much engagement you are receiving on your web pages and posts. Is your audience liking the content on social media? Are they sharing the content with friends and colleagues? Are they commenting on the content? What are they saying about the content?
Essentially, you want a relationship with your target audience, and the more engaging that relationship is the stronger the connection. The key to getting your target audience to engage with you more is to publish engaging content. So when doing your content audit, one of the most important questions you need to ask is: “Does this piece of content truly engage with our target audience?” At the end of the day, you only want high-quality content that inspires your audience to respond in some sort of way.
Finally, is the content achieving what you want it to achieve? Is it encouraging readers to do what you want them to do, whether it is signing up to receive email newsletters, filling in a form to contact them about a product or service or actually purchasing a product or service. You can set up various conversion goals in Google Analytics to keep track of your achievements.
Once you’ve looked at all these areas of your content, you should now be able to decide what content you need to remove, update or repurpose. Your content audit must result in some kind of action being taken, otherwise it would have been a futile exercise.
If you’re interested in allowing us to conduct a content audit on your website, please email [email protected]