July 1, 2022

How to Do a Content Audit in 2022 (A Quick Guide)

SEO Premier
Time Read
10min

How to Do a Content Audit in 2022 (A Quick Guide)

For many brands, content is the new currency. Content is the new salesman, whose foot can get your business in the door of potential customers. But as a business owner or a digital marketing specialist hired to manage a brand, what mechanism do you have to organise your digital assets, most especially your content? How do you monitor those that are performing and those that aren’t? How do you track which needs to be updated, reworked, or removed? How will you know if you need to put out more content, and at what frequency? 

2022 is the year when we need to boost our content creation game. As competition in the virtual world toughens up, a solid content strategy can help your business survive these trying times. But how do you know where you are, content-wise? A content audit can be your compass in knowing which direction to go from hereon. 

Why Conduct a Content Audit

Regardless of where you are in your website optimisation efforts, a content audit can serve you in many ways. At face value, a content audit can save you time and effort by identifying existing content to repackage and realign based on your current online marketing campaign. Additionally, a content audit can: 

  • Give insight into which content (type and format) earns the most number of interactions, whether like, comments, or shares. 
  • Identify areas in the businesses that need support of additional content
  • Explore other content types that have not been used in earlier campaigns. 

Ultimately, if done correctly, the content audit should equip you and your team with enough insight to make informed decisions about your content strategy even before you spend money, time, effort, and human resources in implementing it. 

How to Run a Content Audit

  1. Set your Goal

Always start with a goal in mind. Why are you undertaking a content audit? What objectives do you want to accomplish? 

For example, one goal is to increase your website’s traffic. For this, you need to determine if the content on your pages are search-engine optimised. There are over a hundred ranking signals to look into, but to narrow it down, the only questions to ask are: Do you have original, compelling content published on your website or landing page? Does your site have a healthy link profile? Is your site properly architectured? 

Locking down your goal sets the purpose of your content audit. It can also save you time and effort into doing some components of the audit that may not serve your purpose.  

  1. Collect and Classify Your Content

Next, gather all existing content by listing them on a spreadsheet. To make the aggregation more meaningful, add columns that will uniquely identify that piece of content from all the others. You can add columns for URLs, type of content (blog, website copy, e-book, product description, photo, etc.), date of publication, etc.

For small websites, this step can be manually done. But if you’re a large website, you can use tools that will harvest all the links and download it on an Excel or CSV file like Screaming Frog and SEMrush. One advantage of using a tool is that it already categorises the content for you. 

If you have to do it manually, the bare-bones structure can include the following attributes:

  • Content type
  • Author
  • Publication date
  • Content format

Optional attributes can include last updated, meta-data, keywords tagged, etc. For larger content samples, you can use free content audit templates from Wordstream and Search Engine Journal

  1. Analyse Your Data

This is the heart of the content audit process. Here is where you look at your content and analyse the data using a critical eye. When analysing, these are the elements you should consider: 

  • Missing content - what content have you not produced that might pique the interest of your audience or help guide prospects to the sales funnel? 
  • Outdated content - which pieces of content are considered old, and no longer aligned with the identity of your brand? Which content needs to be updated or overhauled to stay consistent with your brand values, unique selling propositions (USPs), goals, and services? 
  • Underperforming content - are there content on your website or social media that did not elicit much engagement? Were the efforts exerted to generate them outweighed its performance, or lack thereof? 
  • High performing content - Do you have content that garnered a lot of likes, comments, and shares? Or do you have a gated content that received many downloads? 

If you have content that hit the home run, it’s important to identify what’s in that content that made it successful and compelling. This insight will allow you to replicate your process to produce similar winning results in the future. 

  1. Plan the Next Steps

After the analysis, it’s time to make recommendations based on your audit. In your spreadsheet, you can add a final column where you can write your remarks or recommend action items. For simplicity, the action items will revolve around deleting, re-writing, updating, or reformatting a content. 

If the action items require a village to carry out, it will be better if you projectise it, complete with a timeline, budget, and amount of resources allocated. You can also prioritise action items that will get you the ‘quick wins.” Which action item is easy to do and brings forth the greatest impact, you can bump it up on the top of the list. Moreover, when you pick the priorities, make sure that it serves your goal. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to do it urgently or at all. 

A quick content audit can save you a lot of time and effort from reinventing the wheel and starting your content marketing campaign from scratch. If done right, it might give you a wide lead in the race and start taking advantage of quick wins you wouldn’t have otherwise done.

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