Content Strategy: Performing a Content Audit
As part of any content strategy, it is important to create a baseline: where are you today, what are the gaps, and what is your strategy to move forward? A content audit is a comprehensive review and analysis of all the content that an organization has published on its website or other digital channels. The purpose of a content audit is to evaluate the effectiveness of the content and to identify areas where improvements can be made.
During a content audit, an organization will review all of its existing content, including blog posts, articles, product pages, and other digital assets. The audit typically includes a review of the quality, accuracy, relevance, and engagement of each piece of content.
Why conduct an audit? Well, there are several reasons (business objectives) why organizations should perform an audit:
- Identify any gaps: A content audit helps to identify areas where the organization may be lacking in content. By identifying these gaps, an organization can create new content to fill these voids and improve its digital presence.
- Improve search engine optimization (SEO): A content audit can help an organization to identify content that is not optimized for search engines. By optimizing this content, an organization can improve its search engine rankings and drive more traffic to its website.
- Remove outdated content: Over time, an organization’s website may accumulate outdated or irrelevant content. A content audit can help to identify this content and remove it from the website, improving the user experience and making it easier for visitors to find relevant information.
- Improve the user experience: By identifying content that is not engaging or useful, an organization can make improvements to its website that will enhance the user experience.
- Refine your content strategy: A content audit can help an organization to develop a more effective content strategy by identifying content that resonates with its audience and aligns with its business goals.
A content audit can provide valuable insights into an organization’s existing digital content strategy, which is an essential step when planning out your next steps. You need to know what is working and what is not working today. Having this data can help you to improve your online presence, better engage with your target audience, and achieve your business objectives.
But where to begin? Here are the general steps to perform a content audit:
- Define the objectives: The first step in performing a content audit is to define the objectives. What are the organization’s goals for the audit? Are you looking to improve your search engine rankings, enhance the user experience, or develop a new content strategy?
- Inventory the content: The next step is to create an inventory of all the content that your organization has published. This includes blog posts, articles, product pages, and any other digital assets.
- Categorize the content: Once the inventory is complete, the content should be categorized based on its type, format, topic, and other relevant factors. This will help to identify patterns and trends in the content.
- Evaluate the quality: Each piece of content should be evaluated for its quality, accuracy, and relevance. Is the content up to date? Is it well-written and engaging? Does it provide value to the reader?
- Analyze the performance: After evaluating the quality of the content, it’s important to analyze its performance. How much traffic is it generating? Is it being shared on social media? Are visitors engaging with it?
- Identify content gaps: Based on the analysis, identify any gaps in the content. Are there topics that are not being covered? Is there content that is outdated or irrelevant?
- Develop a content strategy: Finally, based on the findings of the audit, develop a content strategy that aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives. This should include a plan for creating new content, optimizing existing content, and managing the content lifecycle, which may include removing outdated or irrelevant content.
If you’ve never gone through this process, be warned: performing a content audit can be a time-consuming process. However, it can also provide valuable insights that can help your organization to improve its digital presence and achieve its business objectives. I also recommend making this an annual cycle for an organization, making it part of your operational optimization activities. By decreasing the time between audits, you will reduce the time (and pain) it takes to conduct each audit – and be able to more quickly pivot based on changing market trends or business needs.