January 15, 2016

Website Content Audit

You’ve already decided to incorporate a content strategy within your business operations, but how effective have your efforts been so far? You’re all about posting relevant content on a regular basis, but is the content attracting new customers? And although you absolutely love your content creator, he could really use some help on making your content more engaging. So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to give up on your content strategies? Of course not. Instead, you’re going to conduct a content audit.

What is a Content Audit?

When conducting a content audit, all of the content on your website will be assessed. Your social media profiles along with any other content that you put on the web will be evaluated to ensure your content marketing strategy is proving useful across all online platforms. It’s important to understand that both pros and cons will be pinpointed within your content, allowing you to work on your weaknesses and benefit from your strengths. The findings of this audit will shape your next online marketing content campaign. Please know that conducting a content inventory is different than a content audit, however, a content inventory is needed to ensure all of the content you have is included within the audit.

When you perform a content audit correctly, you can identify which pieces of content, as well as the types, that are benefiting your company the most. This helps you identify where to focus your future content efforts. Here’s a quick look at the processes involved in a content audit.

Conduct a Content Inventory

To effectively conduct an audit on your content, you must first identify the content that you have, which involves performing a content inventory. To do this, you can always take advantage of a crawling tool which identifies the content you have on the web. For each piece of content that you have, you will then need to perform assessments on them to determine how well they are performing.

Identifying Data Points

For each piece of content that you identify, you’ll need to pinpoint the following:

  • Page title
  • Page headings
  • Meta description
  • Keywords
  • Inbound links
  • Image ALT tags
  • Images
  • Page visits
  • Page bounce rate
  • broken links
  • Page entries and exits

Although there are many other data points that could be evaluated, for a small business owner who is limited on time and resources, the above data points will provide a thorough audit. If a business owner has the time and resources, he can always go back and evaluate more data points, which helps to improve the effectiveness of the audit.

Resources to Use

When it comes to conducting an audit, there are many resources that you can take advantage of, many of which are available for use for free of charge. For example, Screaming Frog helps business owners identify the page title tags for the content being tracked. Google Analytics gives detailed counts for page visits and bounce rates. When using the Social Plugin, it becomes possible to identify how many times each piece of content has been shared across social media platforms.

What to Do with All the Data?

Now that you have all the data you need about your content, what do you do next? More importantly, what do you do with the findings? Well, you let a content specialist evaluate the data that you have collected, and then you create similar content to the pieces that are performing the best. For example, if you find that a post you shared on a Friday afternoon about wearing white socks performed the best, then you will obviously want to create more content created around the same topic.

After the Audit

Once the audit is complete, you’ll want to come up with five to 10 actions that you can take based on the findings of the audit. You will most likely recognize several patterns from the results of your content audit, and its these patterns that you need to create your actions. For instance, if the postings you post on Mondays on Facebook tend to perform the best, then this lets you know that you need to be posting more on Mondays. Most importantly, if you notice any negative patterns — postings on Tuesday nights receive little attention — then you know to adjust your content marketing plan accordingly.

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