Why Conduct a Content Audit?
Conducting a Content Audit sounds like a big, scary task, enough to strike fear into the heart of any marketer.
It takes time and resources to conduct a content audit and if you don't know what you're doing it can get frustrating.
However, if conducted correctly it can provide valuable insights into your business and help you execute a more effective content marketing strategy.
Too often we create content and then never go back to it. It just sits on our blog and we forget about it, the content becomes outdated, with irrelevant information and it loses its value.
By conducting a content audit you are forced to return to all of the content on your site, analyze its strengths, its weaknesses, review what's performing well and what needs to be updated.
Auditing your content gives you a much clearer picture of how effective your content marketing efforts are in addition to insight into the type of content your audience likes.
You can then action these insights to optimize the value you provide in the future.
Want to perform a content audit for your business? Learn how to in our step by step guide.
The 7 Challenges of a Content Audit
A content audit does seem like a daunting task and it has its challenges, but if you are aware of what those challenges are you can overcome them.
Your audit will then result in better and more effective insights for you to action into your content strategy.
1. Identifying Areas for Content Repurposing
The inkwell does run dry sometimes and this is when repurposing can be a great content strategy. You shouldn't just be repurposing any old content because you've run out of ideas though, you need to identify which pieces of content should be repurposed, and what form of media that should take.
Finding the content to repurpose can be tricky if you don't know what to look for. A lot of the time your instincts tell you that your most viewed content would be perfect for repurposing but that's not always the case.
You need to think about which pieces of content your audience has responded to the best. This means looking at engagement metrics like social shares, time spent on page, the number of times an asset was downloaded etc.
Once you've identified this content you then need to look at where your audience gathers online and figure out what form your repurposing would take. If you have a great resource like an ebook that has generated a lot of sign-ups to your newsletter, and you know that your audience spends a lot of time on YouTube, you could then repurpose it into a video for that platform.
2. Finding Content Gaps
An element a lot of business find challenging when conducting a content audit is finding the gaps. You are looking for something that's not there which makes it difficult to identify.
A great tip to help identify gaps in your content marketing is assessing your competitors content. Check out what they have been posting and you will start to notice that there is overlap in your content but you will also notice that there are areas they have covered that you have missed.
When seeing how your competitors content stacks up to yours you need to ask yourself 2 questions:
1) What content have you got in common?
2) What effective content do they have that you don’t?
You might think you can’t assess their content without access to their analytics but just by looking at the contents SEO ranking and social shares you can get a rough idea of how well it is performing.
3. Evaluating Content Quality
What makes quality content? A question business owners and marketers often struggle to answer.
There are a lot of elements that come together to create a quality piece of content and your audit should help you identify these elements for your specific brand, but you have to know what to look for.
Analytics is a great place to start in evaluating quality content. Checking page views, time spent on page, the number of leads generated can all help paint a clear picture of what type of content is working best for your brand.
There are also traditionally editorial measures that need to be assessed; things like checking the content matches your brand guidelines, style guides, and voice and tone are also essential.
According to Salesforce, 75 percent of customers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage with a brand so it's important you keep to your guidelines if you want to retain customers and build a relationship with them.
4. Better SEO
SEO is a key part of content marketing; your content can’t help generate you leads and sales if no one is seeing it.
As you conduct your content audit you will evaluate each page, and grade it appropriately based on its search engine rankings.
You can assess the overall health of a page and learn whether a page has thin content or weak traffic.
If these pages are important to your brand you can then include a content refresh for them in your strategy and evaluate what you want them to be ranking for and include those keywords.
5. Accurate Information
Where do you find accurate information about your content? You can’t implement changes and asses contents effectiveness if you don't have up to date and accurate information about its performance.
There are a lot of great tools you can use to find data on your content. One that every site should have is Google Analytics. From this, you can get a wealth of data about your site and its content but the sheer volume can be a little overwhelming so think carefully about what metrics are important to your business and focus on measuring those.
Atomic Reach is another great tool; it can perform a content audit for you removing a massive amount of work and saving you a lot of time. It will also analyze your content beyond pageviews and clicks to give you personalized insights into why your content is performing well or poorly.
6. Usability Enhancing
When performing a content audit it can be challenging to identify why a piece of content is performing well or poorly. An element that has to be considered is user experience and your audit can help you identify areas of your buyer journey and user experience that need further attention or may not be giving the right message.
If a page has a high amount of traffic but also a high bounce rate you need to think about adding content that will guide your user through the next step of their journey. Using things like a clear call to action can help you greatly improve your user experience on a page.
7. Maximizing Conversion Rates
If your site is not converting how you'd hoped, then there will be a good reason. However, unlike a lot of more traditional marketing efforts, it can be difficult to attribute a conversion to a single piece of content or measuring your ROI.
Content at different stages of your funnel will have different goals and it is only BOFU content that does the final push to convert a visitor into a customer. From there you have to work backwards and see which pieces of content pushed them through your sales funnel.
You can then identify your top 5-10 pieces of content that are driving conversions and give them a refresh or approach them at new angles. These new pieces of content should then help you maximise your conversion rate as you are using a tried and tested content formula.
SEO is Important, but Content is King
When auditing content it can be easy to get a bit lost in the numbers. While metrics like search engine ranking are important and you do want to rank high for key search terms related to your business, you must remember that your content is what’s converting your customers.
Your content is what attracts your audience, guides them through the sales process and builds a relationship with them. It’s all well and good ranking high in the SEPRs but customers don't convert after just visiting your site once, the average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision, according to Forrester.
Almost every market you can think of is oversaturated. If you only focus your efforts on content that ranks well rather than content your audience wants to see and gives them value you're losing the opportunity to foster a good relationship with them.
Sales-y or keyword orientated content that doesn't focus on your audience's questions means they won't convert to customers or move from customer to brand advocate.