You work hard to create amazing content and distribute it to your audience, right? We bet you and your team have spent countless hours writing blogs, shooting videos, and posting to your company’s social media profiles. But have you ever stopped to think, “Is this working?” The only way to know for sure is to perform a content marketing audit.
In this article we’ll explain what a content marketing audit is and how to conduct one in five simple steps. Let’s get started!
What’s a Content Marketing Audit?
A content marketing audit is the process of inventorying a content library, analyzing key data points, and refining content strategy to better reach a target audience. Any kind of content can be audited — blog articles, YouTube videos, podcast episodes — it doesn’t matter.
Once the content for your company has been audited, you’ll have a firm understanding of which pieces to leave as is, which to improve, and which to either remove complete or consolidate.
Follow These 5 Content Marketing Audit Steps
A proper content marketing audit will help your organization rank higher in search engine results, better connect with its target audience, and ultimately, sell more of its products and/or services. Here’s how to conduct one in five straightforward steps.
1. Define Your Content Marketing Goals
A content marketing audit can be a long, tedious process — especially if you manage a large site with hundreds or even thousands of content pieces. So before you start, we recommend that you first define your content marketing goals so that you can accurately gauge your efforts.
Why are you creating content? Are you hoping to improve SEO and rank your site higher in Google search results? Do you want to engage your audience on a deeper level and increase conversions? Whatever your goals are, list them out and keep them in mind during the rest of this process. They will be your guiding light and help you to determine which metrics matter.
2. List All of Your Content in a Spreadsheet
Now that you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve with content marketing, we can begin the auditing process.
The first step is to create a blank spreadsheet and list every piece of content your business has in it. Or, if you don’t have the time or desire to audit your company’s entire content library, you can focus on a certain content type (i.e. only blog posts) or a specific time frame (i.e. only the past 12 months.) The choice is yours.
There are two ways to list all of your website content in a spreadsheet: the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to use a tool like Screaming Frog or URL Profiler. Both of these tools will crawl your website and list every URL associated with it into a downloadable CSV file.
The hard way is to manually enter every URL into your spreadsheet. This tactic is only recommended for sites with a very small amount of web pages. Whichever option you choose, make sure to leave plenty of additional columns in your spreadsheet. You’ll be adding a lot more information to this document very soon.
3. Add and Evaluate Your Content Metrics
Once all of your content has been listed in a spreadsheet, it’s time to evaluate it. This is where knowing your content marketing goals pays off. There are many, many data points you could track and analyze. Choose the ones that pertain to your goals and add columns in your spreadsheet for each.
For example, if you’re looking to improve your SEO strategy, you’ll want to analyze metrics like organic traffic, backlinks, keyword rankings, and dwell time. But if your main goal is to build audience engagement, then you’d be better served tracking things such as likes, shares, comments, and average session times.
Pro Tip: A tool like Screaming Frog (mentioned previously) will also automatically grab metrics for you during the URL scraping process, saving you time. And apps like Google Analytics and Shared Count will quickly give you valuable information to add to your spreadsheet.
Now that your metrics have been added to your spreadsheet, you need to evaluate your content and give each piece a score from A to F.
The pieces that are performing well and benefiting your company get either A’s and B’s. They should be kept as is. Content that receives a C or D score should be improved and updated so they perform better. And pieces that get an E or F should either be removed from your site or consolidated into others. If you consolidate, just don’t forget to 301 Redirect!
There’s no concrete rule that determines which content pieces receive which scores. It’s a judgement call you’ll have to make based on your own goals and experience. To make things easier, look for trends.
If you notice that your audience spends twice as much time watching videos on your site than reading blog posts, for example, you might determine that well-performing videos should rank higher than written pieces. Make sense?
4. Find Your Content Gaps
At this point, you’ve analyzed your current content and determined which pieces should stay the same, which should be improved upon, and which should be removed altogether. Good work! This is important information you can use to improve your site.
But your content marketing audit isn’t finished yet. To really give your business a boost, you also need to discover the gaps in your content library. Is there any content you haven’t created yet that you should?
To discover the answer to this question, you first need a strong understanding of who your ideal audience is. This requires in-depth research and the creation of buyer personas. If you’re not familiar with the term, a buyer persona is a fictional character made to represent your target market. It should include both demographic and psychographic details.
Once you know who you’re trying to reach with your content, you can conduct keyword research to learn what they search for online. Add these phrases to a secondary spreadsheet and compare it with your content marketing audit spreadsheet. Are there keywords that your audience uses but you haven’t created content for? If so, you’ve just discovered gaps in your content that need to be filled.
5. Develop a New Content Marketing Strategy
The final step is to develop a new content marketing strategy. This is the fun part! Take a look at your current content pieces that need updating and the keywords that you need to build content around. Then assign a priority level to each and add them to a content calendar.
BOOM! Content marketing audit completed, new strategy planned, business improved. That wasn’t so bad, right? We suggest completing a content marketing audit at least once a year so that your strategy is always up to date.
Audit Your Content Today
A content marketing audit, while time-consuming, is essential. How else will you know which pieces are performing well and what topics and strategies to focus on in the future? A proper audit will make your content marketing efforts much more effective. Fortunately, they aren’t too difficult to complete!
Just follow the five-step process we outlined in this article:
- Define Your Content Marketing Goals
- List All of Your Content in a Spreadsheet
- Add and Evaluate Your Content Metrics
- Find Your Content Gaps, and
- Develop a New Content Marketing Strategy
And if you need a place to store, organize, and re-find your company’s content, we recommend CleanPix. Our service is the perfect location for your photos, videos, and blog post drafts. Try CleanPix for FREE for 14 days and see for yourself!