Tips for performing a successful content audit

Apr 14, 2017 by
Tips for performing a successful content audit

The thought of performing a content audit can be very daunting. Creating a database with key information about all the content you’ve produced over a long time period sounds like a tedious process!

Fortunately, with these tips you can expedite your content auditing process and avoid some of the key mistakes that make content auditing painful. After an audit, you’ll have much more clarity over what is working in your content strategy and what isn’t, so you can innovate in the future.

1. Have a content strategy in place

In a recent survey, only 44% of marketers stated they have a documented content strategy for their business. This is problematic, because if you don’t have clear goals with specific metrics to determine whether or not you’ve achieved them then your content creation and publication efforts will be wasted.

If you know exactly what you want to achieve by a specific date, then content marketing becomes much more effective. With a content strategy in place, auditing your content allows you to see whether or not you’ve achieved your goals and if not, what you’re doing wrong!

Sean Si, writing for SEO Hacker, states:

Content strategy deals with who you are, your target audience, your writing style, (or writing voice as some would prefer to call it), and your marketing strategy.

2. Track your data

Content analysisOnce you’ve put together a comprehensive content inventory, you need to determine which metrics you will be assessing. Although each business has its own content marketing goals, some universally important metrics to track are:

  • Unique visitors – How many individuals visited each specific blog post or piece of content.
  • Bounce rate – A high bounce rate indicates that people are not finding anything of value once they arrive at your post.
  • Inbound links – A high amount of inbound links indicates that your content is connecting with people, and they consider it worth sharing.
  • Geographical location – Are you noticing trends with the nationalities who are visiting your site? If so, it might be worth tailoring your content to resonate with the people who frequent your site regularly.
  • Article length – Check whether or not your audience prefers long-form content or short, punchy articles that get straight to the point.

3. Examine the quality of your content

While metrics are extremely important, they don’t tell the whole story. It’s also worth examining your content with a qualitative lens. Ask yourself, is the quality of the writing exemplary or is there room for improvement? Does the structure of the posts improve the readability of the articles? Do the images actually help to improve the quality of the articles?

For questions such as this, create a score from 1-10 and leave your assessment in your content inventory. You might find that certain articles need to be revisited, upgraded or obliterated, since having poorly crafted content on your site creates a bad impression of your brand.

4. Compare your best and worst articles

Given your specific judging criteria, take your 10 best performing articles and your 10 worst performing articles and see what trends you can spot. You’re likely to discover crucial information. For example, perhaps articles with controversial or emotive titles get the most engagement. Maybe articles written by a specific author in your content team consistently perform the best.

The key to a successful content audit is in gathering the data, and then taking out your magnifying glass to really pick out the the key trends. It’s always advisable you solicit feedback from your teammates when it comes to analysing trends, because when you’re an obsessive entrepreneur, you can become oblivious to certain things that others will spot immediately.

If you’re looking to start building a content inventory, check out this awesome free template by Kevin P. Nichols.