Why you should bother with a content audit and what you can learn

Why you should bother with a content audit and what you can learn
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Are you in charge of your organisation’s content? As much as you might dread it, the time may come when you need to think about a content audit.

This article will discuss how to audit your content, the steps to follow and the rationale behind doing so.

What is a content audit?

A content audit is a process that allows you to really get to grips with your content, this includes: what you currently have and how it’s performing; material you should have but that is missing; duplicate, unnecessary content; and, anything that’s out of date. Having a bird’s eye view of this will not only inform you, but it will also help you better plan your overall content strategy.

A content audit can be performed at any time, whether you’re re-branding, taking stock on an annual basis and giving things a quick refresh, or launching a completely new website.

The remainder of this article will look at the various reasons why you should bother with a content audit and what it can teach you.

I don’t have time for a content audit…do I really need one?

Whilst it’s true that content audits can be time-consuming, with a little forward-planning and some proper management they’re well worth the effort! Here are some compelling reasons why you should bother!

  • Goals: Is your content achieving its goals? Are you getting an acceptable return-on-investment from your content? You’ll never know for sure unless you regularly measure and monitor your content’s performance!
  • Establishing what’s successful and what isn’t: To have a successful content strategy you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. A content audit can reveal your most successful pieces of content as well as those which are falling flat. Once you know this, you can capitalise on it by creating more of the material your users want to see and ditching the time and effort spent on content that doesn’t perform.
  • Gaining a comprehensive overview: Content marketing activities are usually cross-organisational, so a content audit is a great way of gaining a complete view of all of the content you publish. This might include your social channels, your website as well as printed materials.
  • Content can become stale over time: Just like the clothes in your wardrobe, content can become outdated over time. What was in vogue a year ago may have ceased to be relevant or may no longer apply. If your users start to view your organisation as being behind the times they’ll go elsewhere. This is why it pays to take stock of your content on a regular basis!
  • Incorrect information: Following on from above, as time passes and your content ages, facts and data that were once deemed accurate may no longer be, or may have been proven unreliable, for example. Auditing your content will ensure it stays accurate and will protect your brand’s credibility.

What can a content audit tell me?

Here is a brief run-down of the key insights you can expect to gain from a content audit:

  • Pages that generate the most traffic and the most conversions
  • Pages with the highest bounce rate
  • Content that could be consolidated or removed entirely
  • Pages that would benefit from an update
  • Any gaps in your current content
  • Inconsistencies/ ambiguities in your content
  • Content that needs to be rewritten
  • Opportunities for complying with SEO best practice

Convinced yet?

As you can see, there are some persuasive reasons why you should bother with a content audit and several valuable insights to be had.

In the absence of a process to scrutinise your content and assess how it’s performing (and why), you’ll be left in the dark about your users’ response to key components of your content strategy – such as your website. You’re also likely to waste time implementing changes you think your users want to see which are not actually what they’re looking for!

There are many tools out there to assist with content audits and in our next blog we’ll take a look at these and summarise the steps involved in a typical content audit.Until then, we hope this article has given you a little food for thought about how a content audit could help your brand.