Content Audit for Beginners: 5+ Helpful Tips
Content and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. However, it’s not enough to just create content and leave it be once it’s published. One of the essential yet often overlooked content marketing best practices is doing a content audit.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is a process of doing a full assessment and analysis of all the content on your website. This specifically involves every indexable piece of content such as blog posts and web pages. With a well-executed content audit, you’ll determine, at the very least:
- What types of content are your strongest or weakest performers?
- What kinds of topics or content formats do your audiences feel most connected with?
- What areas can you improve in your content strategy?
A content audit must be done regularly in order for it to be effective. It’s usually done once every year, but you can also opt to do it quarterly or even monthly. The key here is to be consistent.
Why is a content audit important for brands?
A content audit can provide you with valuable insights not just about the performance of your content but also about your audience’s behavior on your website.
Most importantly, with these insights, you can also gauge whether your current content marketing strategy is up to par with your key performance indicators (KPIs), and from there, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
An audit also helps you determine where you need to focus your efforts to improve your marketing and lead generation efforts, as well as determining what to prioritize for future content development.
How to Conduct a Content Audit
1. Establish your goals
The first and most important step in conducting a content audit is to determine your goals and clearly define your metrics. When you have a clearer picture of what you wish to achieve from your audit, it’s easier to determine the metrics you will need to measure your content.
Depending on your goals, you may choose to do an in-depth or superficial audit. Some of the common content audit goals are the following:
- Improve your SEO rankings:
- Check for any broken internal links
- Identify low-traffic posts and pages that can be improved (see Improve content quality)
- Identify high-traffic posts and pages or those with high potential to rank best and promote them
- Improve content quality:
- Determine outdated posts — see if they can be updated or removed altogether
- Identify similar or overlapping posts — see if they can be combined into one cornerstone blog post
- Search for content opportunities — see what posts can be further improved or repurposed to other formats
- Increase audience engagement/conversions:
- Identify which keywords/topics your visitors are most interested in
- Determine what kinds of content generate the most engagement (i.e., likes/shares) on social media
- Identify which content types are best for each stage of the customer journey
2. Take a content inventory
A content inventory is part of the audit process, which involves creating a list of all your content assets — that is, collecting all indexable URLs. For this step, you can choose to use the following tools, then export your data to an Excel or CSV file:
- Screaming Frog
- URL Profiler
- Semrush Content Audit
You can also opt to use the WordPress Content Audit plugin if you want to forego using spreadsheets. This plugin conveniently creates a content inventory directly in the Edit screen on WordPress.
3. Catalog and analyze asset data
After collecting your URLs, organize your data by cataloging them by criteria or data points. The exact data points to collect will highly depend on your audit goals. Some of the common content audit data points are:
- SEO data points:
- Page title/headings
- Meta description
- Target keyword
- Links: internal links, backlinks, broken
- Images and image ALT tags
- Page visits and impressions
- Page bounce rates
- Average time on page
- Content data points:
- Content type (e.g., blog post, landing page, services page, etc.)
- Word count
- Date posted and content condition (e.g., evergreen, time-sensitive content, etc.)
- General topic and assigned tags/categories
- Author/content owner
- Audience engagement/sales data points:
- Number of comments, mentions, and social shares
- Sales funnel stage of audience
- Conversion rates
- Number of leads generated
4. Assess your competitors’ content
Add more depth and insight into your content audit by also assessing your competitors’. However, it must be noted that there will be limitations as to what metrics you can gauge. For example, you won’t be able to have direct access to their conversion and bounce rates, average times on a page, etc.
Some competitor metrics that you can track through tools like BuzzSumo’s Backlinks and Majestic Site Explorer are:
- Number of backlinks
- Number of social shares
These may not be a complete content audit, but they add significant insights into how or why your competitors may be outperforming you. A competitor content audit also allows you to:
- Identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
- Determine ways to offer more valuable content to your audience
- Find out future content development ideas
5. Create a plan of action
The last step is to create a plan of action from the data you gathered and analyzed. Refer back to your goals in the first step, then prioritize your actions. A few things to consider, at the very least:
- How much effort is required for each action plan?
- What resources do I need (i.e., copywriting, social media management, designers, etc.)?
- What action plan can be achieved the fastest/easiest? (prioritize this)
- What action plan takes more time and effort?
Amp Up Your Content Marketing Strategy
Regular content audits are essential for a successful content marketing strategy. However, it can be quite confusing without the proper tools and the right knowledge and skills to analyze your data. The good news is that Ilfusion is here to help and guide you.
If you’re looking to amp up your content marketing strategy —- whether for your content audit, content creation, or general digital marketing efforts —- Ilfusion has all the tools you need to achieve your goals. We’re a full-service creative agency offering customized, cost-effective solutions for all your digital marketing needs.
Tags: content audit, content marketing, digital marketing