They Are Really Important And Here’s Why
Every business needs to conduct a content audit at some point during its lifetime. An audit helps you optimize your budget, meet the needs of your customers, and better align your strategy with your overall business goals. In short, content audits are important. In this piece, we look at the real value of content audits and offer some tips on how you can get the most from your next audit too.
Why Are Content Audits Important?
It’s Important to Track Data in the Long-Term
For many marketers, once they’ve created a piece of content and sent it out into the ether, that’s that — there’s zero or little analysis of how it performs beyond the first week or so of its publication.
But regular content audits can reveal the long-term performance of a piece of content, often with surprising results. For instance, you might discover that a piece of content you published two years ago continues to get traffic.
By identifying why that piece is so popular, you can use that to inform your future content for better results going forward.
It Keeps You Ahead of The Changing Technology Game
The technical standards of the internet are only getting better and better. When we consider the way websites were built 10 or 15 years ago, things have changed and improved dramatically.
Content has not been exempt from these changes either. Search algorithms have changed, bringing with it new requirements for creating great content with great rankings in the search engines results.
For instance, in the old days, keyword stuffing would get your content soaring through the ranks. Today, it requires a more considered approach. Content audits give you the opportunity to update old content and consistently maximize its SEO value.
It Keeps Your Content Fresh And Relevant
You already know the value of links. Not only do they boost your Google rankings, but they also provide value to the reader, which in turn encourages them to return to your site again and again. But links change — some break, some become outdated, and others fail to offer redirects. Whatever the reason, an audit lets you spot these before they impact your content.
In the same vein, a content audit also gives you a chance to review old blogs and keep it fresh and accurate. Perhaps there’s been an update in your industry that makes your old content obsolete? An audit lets you keep your content — and your brand — relevant and authoritative.
Tips And Tricks For a Better Content Audit
Identify The Goals Associated With Your Content
Before setting out on a content audit, you should first highlight exactly what you want each piece of content to achieve — what is its goal?
Your content goals might include:
- Lead generation
- Increased traffic
- More engagement
- Showcase your brand
- Community building
These will form the foundation of your content audit key performance indicators.
Identify Where Your Content Fits in Your Marketing Funnel
Once you’ve identified the goal of each piece of content, you need to identify where it sits in your business’s pipeline.
Your content plays a different role at each different stage of the marketing funnel. Take a product explainer video, for instance. It’s perfect for providing further persuasive information during the purchase stage, but is less useful during the discovery stage.
Consequently, it’s worth taking the time to map out where each piece of content has value at which stage of the funnel. This can be fluid — a single piece of content can play different roles at different stages — but it’s worth mapping out to help you manage your audit better.
Here are some examples of different types of content for each phase:
- Awareness stage: value-led blogs, comparison guides.
- Consideration stage: in-depth how-to guides, product reviews.
- Purchase stage: special offers, discount vouchers, customer-generated testimonials.
Of course, these are just examples. You will know what type of content works best for your funnel. While you audit your content, evaluate whether each piece leads naturally onto the next (e.g. with CTAs, directional links, forms, etc) and whether it has enough supporting content to nurture leads down the funnel.
Use Tools For Better, More Accurate Results
A content audit is a mammoth task, even if your business is only a year or two old. Content quickly builds up, making an audit a time-consuming process.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of useful tools that can help streamline your audit.
- Analytics: analytics tools such as Google Analytics indicates the success of each piece of content, so you can identify how it performs as part of your wider strategy.
- SEO: a comprehensive SEO tool like SE Ranking identifies key areas where errors arise in your content, as well as offering tips on how to solve problems as they happen.
- Behavior Analytics: use a tool like Hotjar to identify where your users linger most on a piece of content and how they behave as they engage with it.
Many of these tools are very affordable (or even free). Most have a free trial too, so be sure to shop around to find the tool that works best for you.
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Log, Track, And Quantify Every Step of Your Audit
Always log and quantify the results of your audit, highlighting the problems they showed and the actions taken to resolve them. Create comprehensive documents detailing every stage of your audit — it’s worth exporting data from the tools mentioned above to use during your tracking.
An audit log helps you monitor your work and keep track of your changes. It also helps you quickly spot problem areas from an overarching view of your website.
This is especially important if you’re performing a content audit for a client. Present them with a professional itemized invoice (use a free template such as this to make it easier to understand for non-SEO clients) to highlight which areas require the most work going forward — without this, your audit will deliver little value for them.
This also helps inform your future content audits too. Audits are a rolling process that needs to be repeated on a regular basis for the best value. Use the results of your last audit to inform your next one — this will fine-tune your strategy for better results over time.
Content audits can be a challenging, time-consuming task — but they’re a necessary one. Ultimately, they help your business achieve its goals by fine-tuning your content through research and insights.
Armed with the knowledge above, launch your next content audit with skill and precision, so you can enjoy the benefits of a fresh and relevant content strategy.
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