Like me, you probably have a love-hate relationship with audits. On the one hand, they can be incredibly helpful in organizing and streamlining your content. On the other hand, they can be time-consuming and tedious. But whether we like it or not, audits are a vital part of any content strategy – especially a content audit. So what is a content audit? This blog post will tell you exactly what it is and why it’s important.
What Is a Content Audit?
What is a content audit? A content audit is an assessment of all the content that exists on a given website or digital platform. The purpose of a content audit is to take inventory of what content exists, identify any gaps or problems, and make recommendations for improvements.
A content audit can be conducted manually or with the help of specialized software.
Think about all the content you have created — good, bad, and ones that took a lot of time.
How do you measure your content marketing success?
Are you using those metrics to adjust your marketing strategies?
Investing in a content marketing plan is a great way to organize a company. This can help a business keep track of its progress and ensure its content is on par with its competitors.
A content audit is an excellent way to plan and map future content while organizing your analytics. This will allow you to see which posts are performing well and refer back to them as needed.
Learn how to conduct one for your business, and discover the content analysis tools that’ll help you.
Goals of Content Audit
A website’s content is its lifeblood. A thorough review of your content can help you determine what is and isn’t working for your site.
Content audits are a great way to take stock of your site’s areas that aren’t optimized.
A thorough review of your content can highlight which pieces need an update. This could include adding or updating metadata, or it could also mean removing or rewriting certain web pages.
A website’s search engine optimization can be improved by auditing its content. Adding more keyword-rich text to page titles, headers, and URLs can better help Google understand what a page is about.
This is why a website content review is so important. A website analysis can help search engine algorithms better understand your content to match it to relevant searches. This, in return, can direct more traffic to your site, resulting in more business.
An Audit is a chance to ensure all your content is up to date and readable for your audience.
A website review allows you to find broken links on product pages, which you wouldn’t have known otherwise.
The Benefits of Conducting a Content Audit
Content Audits are how you can update your content, improve your rankings, and clean up your site. Content audits also:
- Give valuable data insights on how people interact with your online content, allowing you to make better-informed decisions.
- Analyze your metrics and identify the areas where your numbers need improvement.
- Find out what types of marketing collateral your prospective customers are most interested in, and use those as starting points for future campaigns.
- Get a better understanding of what your customers like and dislike.
- Understanding your offerings and your target market makes it easier to maintain existing content and create new content that your market is interested in.
To ensure your content is as valuable as possible, set aside enough time to complete the website’s content. If you’re unsure where to start, there are tons of helpful guides online that will walk you through the process.
Where to Start With Content Audits
Where and when should I start?
During any phase of product development, content inventories and audits can be started and continued. Teams can use these activities to determine what content should be carried over and what content should be removed. Others may discover that they need to track and evaluate their content to reduce confusion, redundancy, and information overload. There is no right time, but it is an excellent place to start.
Begin by considering the following elements: People, process, and tools.
- Obtain ownership for both the process of inventory and Audit. You extensive Audit the only one, or you and a few others.
- Get involved early in. Inform everyone, from authors to designers, users, and researchers, about what you’re doing and agree on the appropriate audit criteria.
- Provide timely and impactful updates at the beginning and a regular interval. If you keep them informed, they will be more likely to trust you and care about the content. Do not overwhelm them with details.
- Develop a ”start small’ mindset if you are dealing with a lot of content. It is easy to feel overwhelmed initially. Instead, break down the effort into smaller steps. Start with a small but still essential subjet of content if you feel overwhelmed.
- Prioritize auditing and inventorying content that is most commonly accessed or supports top tasks (for users and the business).
- Work together to divide and conquer tasks. You should set clear expectations and provide examples of what you expect your partners to do. Demonstrating the process of capturing inventory details and showing teammates how to audit different content types is a good idea.
- Select a tool that will house both the inventory and the Audit. It shouAudit easy to learn and has low barriers to entry. You can use something you already have in your digital workplace toolset, which is familiar to all your collaborators.
- You might be able to automate some parts of the process by using digital tools (e.g., crawling tools, CMS exports for titles, authors, metadata, and dates). It’s best to have actual people audit each piece of content.
- Timebox It: Learn about your content problems and successes in a set time period (e.g., 6 weeks). You’ll need to make meaningful progress in the beginning, to keep the momentum going and improve the content. Content audits and content inventories are never finished.
As the content teams work on new projects, they may realize the need to track and evaluate their content more closely. This will help reduce confusion and redundancies and cut unnecessary info. By keeping a close eye on their content, teams can ensure a positive customer experience with the product.
Do You Need Both a Content Audit and a Content Inventory?
A Content Inventory is a good start but won’t give you much insight into the quality of your content or ways to improve it.
The Audit is designed to help you complete all these activities simultaneously, rather than doing them separately.
It’s OK to start with a website content audit and then do an inventory.
The content inventory will help you understand the potential implications of any decisions made during the Audit. This wiAuditlow you to take decisive action on those decisions.
Choosing What to Include in Your Spreadsheets
Tailoring the scope and depth of your Content Inventory and Audit to fit your needs and team’s capabilities is essential. This way, you can get the most out of the exercise while still managing the workload effectively.
This activity allows you to assess a website or application in its entirety or a single section or page. You can also use it for analyzing a user’s journey or multiple journeys.
To see how customers engage with different types of content and where any pain points are, you should track and evaluate how they interact with it throughout their buyer’s journey. Look for any gaps in content or areas that underperform, and figure out how you can improve them in the future.
By doing this, you can ensure that your content is aligned with your customers’ needs and expectations and improve the overall quality of your customer journey.
Regardless of the scope of your content audit, a spreadsheet can be your best friend. Spreadsheets work great with remote teams, and you can create them using Excel, Google Docs, or Apple’s Numbers.
When sharing your inventory or auditing spreadsheets on team servers or Sharepoint, ensure that only authorized users have access to the file. It’s also a good idea to keep a backup of the file in case of any unexpected errors.
The inventory sheet should include, but isn’t limited to, the following:
- The name/title of the page or a summary of what it’s about.
- Link or URL for the page.
- Author or owner of the content.
- The topic or the subject matter.
- Content format (blog post, article, video, infographic, image, webinar, or white paper).
- Last modified or creation dates.
- Page metadata (title tags, description, image tags, etc.)
- Where the raw file is stored
The criteria used to evaluate the Audit are usuaAuditwo-fold. It includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Industry best practices for web writing and content formats.
- Plain language
- Clear headings, subheadings, and link text.
- White space and chunking.
- Bolding of main ideas or concepts.
- Bullets and numbered list.
- Proper contrast between background & text.
- There is no text embedded in an image.
- No video automatically plays.
- Organizations can have content standards, user requirements, goals, and performance metrics.
- User requirements: Identify the audience, their task, and their needs. What are your content users doing? (e.g., finding answers, learning about new topics, comparing options, making a decision, getting in touch) How much does the content help them accomplish this task? Are there any unanswered queries?
- To what extent does the content reflect the organization’s intended tonal value, include appropriate metadata, follow formatting and structuring rules, and uphold design principles?
- Business goals & performance metrics: Describe the purpose of the content (e.g., create awareness, drive traffic and generate leads, sell something). You can use performance metrics such as clicks, views, and bounce rates. Likes and shares are all part of your analysis. Is the content helping to achieve the goal or hindering it?
Content that adheres to your company’s best practices and standards, as well as the needs of your users and your business objectives.
Fill out Each Piece of Content with Relevant Details
Once you’re done filling out your Audits, fill out the inventory. That’ll help you track what you already have and what needs to be updated.
Content audits aren’t just about looking at what you already have. You must go deep into your CMS, find the author, look at the date, and go through your web analytics.
Qualitative user research can help you understand whether the content effectively meets user needs.
When conducting an inventory and review of your content, you should start with your review. This can help you determine where you need to look further.
Don’t overcomplicate the inventory and audits of your existing content and digital assets. If there’s something you’re unsure about, write it down.
Those pieces are examples of what types of things you can bring up to your content team members or the content creator to get their opinion. They might also provide additional insight to help you decide if you should leave the piece, change it, or delete it.
Before creating content, it’s essential to document the needs and goals of users, the content standards already in place, the plans for the website, and any successful metrics that were used in the past.
Determine The Fate (or future) of Your Content
Having a complete inventory of all your existing content and an audit of that content is only half the battle. You also need to review that entire list to determine what to do with any content that is outdated, incorrect, or misleading.
Look for any pieces of content that might not be up to the standards.
After conducting a thorough review of your content, it’s time to decide which pieces to keep, which to update, and which to remove. For the parts needing an update, it’s important to assign owners to these tasks. This will ensure that the content is kept up to date.
The owner of the content is the person who created it.
Get feedback from your team members, stakeholders, and content creators. They will be able to help you figure out if the changes you’ve proposed are in line with the overall goals of the website or project.
When developing your web content, follow the industry standards for online writing and include relevant metadata. Following these standards, you can evolve your online content to serve users’ needs better and drive your key performance indicators.
It’s often better to iterate on your content to better serve your users’ needs and drive your key performance indicators.
While these are more involved, they should still be pursued after completing your Content Audit and Inventory. These content marketing efforts are significant for content that users find difficult to use.
What is a content audit? It is an assessment of all the content that exists on a given website or digital platform. A content audit is an important part of any content strategy and can help you figure out what’s working well and what needs improvement. If you’re unsure how to conduct a content audit, this post will help you get started in 8 steps.