For most brands, the process of content marketing turns out to be pretty sophisticated and complex. If you are looking to embark on the path of content marketing, you will most likely have a similar experience. To ensure that the journey becomes successful for you and your business, you must begin by carrying out a website content audit.
The process of a content audit will require you to take a close look at the existing content on your website. You will have to make sure that the content you are using currently is engaging, accurate, and relevant to your brand.
A content audit should ideally identify the effective content on the site and reveal the gaps that you must fill. Additionally, you will also get to know which parts of the existing content are outdated or are no more useful for your targeted visitors.
You can increase the efficacy of your brand’s content marketing strategies by revamping your content according to the results of the audit.
A content audit is an ongoing process. You should assess your content’s value regularly if you want to achieve your content marketing goals.
If you are wondering about the benefits of content audit and why should you do it? Let’s look at the ways of conducting a content audit in more detail.
Basic Content Audits Facts
In this step, you will have to gather some basic information about the content. Ideally, at this point, you must gather the following information on each piece of content your site has.
- Total time
- The individuals and teams involved in the process of creating the content (social team, SEO team, content team, and so on)
- Type of content (whether it is an infographic, blog post, case study, and so on)
- Word count
- Content goal (the reason for creating the content: conversions, traffic, backlinks, etc.)
Past Content Audit
Before auditing current content data, you must audit the content you have been using already. Knowing the performance of the past content will make it easier for you to comprehend what type of content the site needs. You will also know the type of content you should add to the site.
You will have to decide how much you would want to go back to begin the content audit. Ideally, you should gather data for the past year and find out how well or poorly the content performed during that time.
This step would require you to gather the URLs of all the content used on your site during the past year. You will not need to do the job manually. There are several tools that can gather all the URLs for a given period.
Ongoing Content Audits
Once you finish auditing your past content, you will have to do the same for your new content as well. This will be an ongoing process and the audits should take place every week.
Weekly audits are recommended as they will make the job much easier for you. As you will be assessing the content every week, you will incorporate the necessary changes right away. This will prevent the formation of backlogs and your website will always remain up to date.
These are some metrics you must track for a successful content audit:
Organic Traffic: Websites with high-quality content automatically get lots of organic traffic. This means your targeted audience will organically come across your content, read it, and love it. There will be no need of spending any additional amount on advertising to force people to visit your website.
If your content is failing to generate any organic traffic, there must be some problems with your content. The most common ones among them are:
- Wrong content strategy
- Wrong process of content distribution
- Inappropriate content type
- Low-quality content
Bounce Rate: Are visitors coming to your site bouncing off the first page they are stepping onto without checking any other page? This happens mostly due to poor content.
Backlinks: Backlinks that will not add credibility to your content will do more harm to your website than good. Do track every backlink your content creates regularly.
Backlinks tend to change over time. When you will first publish a piece of content, there may be around 2 to 3 backlinks. After a week, there will be more than 10 backlinks. After a year, you may see more than 500 backlinks to your content.
However, you must understand that out of these 500 backlinks, more than 450 would be potentially dangerous for your site. So, you must get rid of those 450 links as soon as possible.
Weekly content audits will help you to remove the harmful links before they start affecting your search engine rankings.
Time Spent On Page: Suppose, you have published a 3000 words content on your website. If you notice that the visitors on that content page are spending just 20 seconds on the page on an average, treat it as a warning. This shows that your target audience is not linking the content.
Unique Visitors: To increase the number of views, you must get unique visitors. The more number of views that your content receives, the greater will be your ROI through engagement, backlinks, shares, and conversions.
Pages Visited Per Session: If users reading your content are not viewing several other pages of your website, you should consider making changes to the content.
Traffic Sources: For your content marketing strategies to show results, you must know from where you are getting all the traffic to your content page. You will have to find out the sources from where your content is generating traffic.
For instance, if you see that a large part of the traffic is originating from Facebook, you should start posting more content on your brand’s Facebook page. If you find that your email newsletters are failing to generate enough traffic, it’s probably the right time to revamp the emails.
Conversions: If you are expecting a newly published content to produce 100 conversions during the next three months, you should monitor its performance closely and regularly.
Ideally, you should keep a note of the number of conversions it is generating every week.
During the first week, the number of conversions may not be more than two. That’s, however, not the right time to edit or discard your content. Keep auditing the content every week. If you see the number of weekly conversions is not going beyond 10 or 15, you should consider making changes to the content.
Analyze The Collected Data and Gaps
Once you succeed in tracking the above metrics, you will have to start analyzing the collected information and the identified gaps.
When checking the data, make sure you can identify the trends. For instance, find out whether all the high performing blog posts on your site belongs to a particular topic. Or are articles of a specific length doing better than the others?
Additionally, check the data to identify gaps in the content. You may find that there’s nothing much you can do with your content at the moment. Or you may also find that you need to write on more diverse subjects. Whatever might be your finding you should create new content based on those.
Once you know the good and bad about your content, you will have to decide how you should proceed.
The findings of the audit will most likely tell you that some content is not performing well and it shouldn’t be featured on your website. That’s pretty normal. You shouldn’t feel demotivated if you see that the products/services pages are not getting ranked for a particular set of keywords. You should also not panic if you see your blog posts not getting any views.
What’s great about a content audit is that it will give you the chance of determining what’s wrong with your content. This, in turn, will help you to plan your next steps more carefully.
For instance, you can use the data put forward by the audit to reoptimize your blog posts and web content for fresh sets of keywords. If you feel that your web content is outdated, you can change it altogether.
In other words, every page on your website will face any one of the following treatments:
- Remain as it is
- Undergo improvement
- Get removed
A content audit is a time-taking procedure. However, you should still use it as it’s the only way of gauging the performance of a website accurately. To make the process a little simpler, you can break it down into small steps. Take a week to complete each step. This will ensure that the audit will not interfere with any other business operations you are involved in.
You must remember that a content audit is a never-ending process. So, even if you are not ready to do it every week, you will have to do it every month or at least every year. If you are not keen on doing the job yourself, you can hire a professional to do it on your behalf. But having content audits will help your website in all terms and it is a crucial process to be implemented to maintain the authority of your website and the content that you publish.