The first instinct when it comes to attaining your content marketing objectives may just be to develop and distribute new material.
The main issue with this is that such content is most frequently buried and rarely revisited and repurposed. For some, this is a sad truth, because updating and reusing existing material may be one of the most effective content marketing strategies.
A well-conducted content audit for your blog can aid in the identification of information that needs to be upgraded or converted into different formats.
But what exactly is a content audit?
The practice of carefully studying and evaluating all of the material on your website is known as a content audit. The purpose of this is to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your content strategy and creation workflow, as well as to adjust your content strategy to your current marketing objectives.
This is not to be mistaken with a content creation process, which is nothing more than a tally of all these various assets. To put it another way, it’s a quantitative data set. Although a content inventory is certainly required as part of the audit, the audit itself is significant, much more comprehensive. Content inventories may be a breeze with the Content Analysis Tool (CAT). When you get off to a good start, the rest of the journey becomes much easier.
When done correctly, a good audit can help you answer the following questions about your site’s content:
- Which ones are the most effective?
- What are the issues that your audience is most interested in?
- Which posts have gone on a little too long?
An audit will reveal where you should concentrate your future efforts in terms of SEO and content marketing. It can also provide you with the information on potential improvements that will improve your lead generation, sales, and marketing processes.
How to run a content audit
Here are the full steps on how to run a content audit for your blog.
1. Think of your goals
Consider carefully what you want to achieve first. You’ll have a better concept of how to organize your audit later if you have your goals in mind.
Finally, a content audit finds interesting content for your target audience, as well as SEO and conversion rate data. One goal to explore is determining which of your pages requires SEO optimization. Alternatively, you might just locate the most engaging and effective material for your website visitors and display it on your homepage or in an email newsletter.
Your content audit will be valuable for bookkeeping and changing your plan with superior techniques if you identify company goals. After that, it’s time to start gathering your content.
2. Gather up your content
Which content will you be auditing? Product descriptions, blog entries, multimedia, and publications are the most common audited items on the net. Make a decision and compile a backlog of all of that content.
To do so, simply write down the URLs of the web pages you want to examine. You can do this manually and save the results in a spreadsheet if you have a small website. SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and HubSpot, as examples, are online tools that can accomplish this task for you.
Based on your sitemap, SEMrush and Screaming Frog will provide this information. A sitemap is a file that contains all of the information about your website and maybe created for free online. Check out our guide on sitemaps for more information.
3. Categorize your content
Sort your audit into categories on the spreadsheet once you have received it. Some internet tools will categorize the data for you, but you can also do this bit yourself. The categories will help you stay organized so that your content audit fulfills your wanted requirements.
Content category, author(s), publishing date, and content format are some of the categories you can use. Consider what categories you’ll need to know from various bits of content. If you’re auditing blog postings, as an example, the date of publication or update, the author, the sort of material, and metadata are all critical pieces of information to gather (Such as the title and the description).
Metrics are another crucial category. Some online programs will include them in the audit, but Google Analytics can also provide you with the information. Metrics can help you gather more data for your research later on.
URLs to your content, categories, metadata (if applicable), and metric data should all be included in your spreadsheet.
4. Analyze your data
Then you’ll need to critically examine your data. This is the phase that will give you a solid idea of how your material is doing. Here are some factors to keep in mind when assessing your data:
- Content that is missing — What is your audience interested in that you haven’t covered?
- Content that is underperforming — Which pieces of content aren’t getting the numbers you want?
- Outdated content — If you have old content, can it be updated or reworked to maintain optimization?
- Home run content — Content that has performed extremely well.
Organize the data in the spreadsheet based on the findings of this study. One approach to do this is to assign different colors to different categories based on what it is you’re looking at and highlight the rows with those colors so you can see which category is which and which one’s take up the most space in your overall content library.
5. Create action items
You will complete and tidy up your audit in this phase. Based on the analysis, you now know what to focus on and where to proceed from there. Consider which posts you want to delete, amend, rewrite, or restructure.
Add one last column to the spreadsheet to group these action items — one that’s close to the front so you can keep track of it. This column will tell you what to do with a certain URL. Are you going to keep, update, delete, or rewrite that blog post, for example?
This is also the time to give a priority ranking or a schedule for this audit if you want to do so. Some businesses require full-fledged content calendars, while others do not. Consider your goals and which elements make sense to execute first in order to create a priority timeline that works best with your content audit.