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What’s a content audit and why do you need one?

28 October 2022

Your content is an essential brand resource and a valuable asset. From the descriptions of your products or services to the insights you share in your blog, it serves to attract customers, inform them and help them make a decision (hopefully one that involves purchasing what you offer).

But to make sure your content meets these goals, it’s a good idea to revise it every now and then and ensure that it’s still relevant, useful, and accurately representing your brand. This process is called a content audit.

What’s a content audit?

A content audit is a systematic review, analysis, and evaluation of all your website content, including:

  • landing pages
  • blog posts
  • product/service pages
  • core content pages

Why do you need a content audit?

It allows you to assess and adjust your content in terms of:

  • relevance
  • usefulness
  • success in meeting desired goals (e.g. raising brand awareness or converting users into buyers)

A content audit also helps in identifying:

  • content gaps: topics that may interest your audience, but which you haven´t yet touched upon
  • priority content: pieces that rank better among users, meaning there’s a greater interest and potential in them

After you have revised and analyzed your content, you’ll have a much better insight into your users, and a clearer notion of the content they need and want.

The bottom line is an audit will help you create better content and considerably improve your content marketing strategy based on solid data.

How often do you need to audit your content?

The frequency depends on the individual characteristics of each brand, but here are some suggestions:

  • regularly (e.g. once a year)
  • if your metrics aren’t satisfying (low website engagement, high bounce rate)
  • if you are launching new products/services (you need to adapt your content accordingly, which is a good reason to revise it)
  • if you are redesigning your web
  • if you are overhauling your content strategy

The frequency depends on the individual characteristics of each brand, but here are some suggestions:

  • regularly (e.g. once a year)
  • if your metrics aren’t satisfying (low website engagement, high bounce rate)
  • if you are launching new products/services (you need to adapt your content accordingly, which is a good reason to revise it)
  • if you are redesigning your web
  • if you are overhauling your content strategy

How to do a content audit?

Depending on the size of your website and the volume of your content, a content audit may seem like a hard task. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow some simple steps for organizing and analyzing.

1. Define goals and key assessment metrics

First things first, you need to define the goals of your content audit and then establish the metrics you will use to measure these goals.

Search Engine Optimization

If you decide to focus on SEO metrics and how well your content performs on Google, make sure to check:

  • volume of organic traffic
  • keywords (density, search volume)
  • metadata
  • word count
  • inbound/outbound links
  • page structure (headings, images)
  • content readability and quality

Conversions

If you want to know how your content helps in converting your users into buyers, you should look at behavioral metrics such as:

  • time spent on page
  • conversion rate
  • customer journey
  • bounce rate

Engagement

Looking to raise brand awareness? In this case, check how users are reacting to your content and track engagement metrics:

  • shares in social media
  • forwards to other users (via email, social networks, etc.)
  • likes
  • clicks
  • comments

2. List and organize your content

Gather your content in a basic spreadsheet, including data such as URLs, indicators based on the goals you previously defined (if you chose SEO, you will need to pull up keywords, metadata, headings, etc.), metrics, and actions to be taken.

content audit spreadsheet

3. Use analytics and content quality tools

Tools that track your website’s analytics and content quality are the best resources to pull your data from.

Google Analytics contains a great deal of insight into your users’ behavior, including what they read, how they find it, how much time they spend on reading it, what actions they take after they’ve read it, and much more.

For tips on measuring and improving content quality, we recommend tools like Yoast (as a WordPress plugin) and Grammarly (as a Chrome extension), which are easy to use and have perfectly functional free versions.

Use these tools to extract the metrics you have previously defined and decide on the exact improvements your content needs.

4. Apply solutions based on your findings

You have the metrics, you pulled your data and now it’s time to make some conclusions. Perhaps some of your pieces need better focus keywords. Or your metadata is incomplete. Or maybe the readability score on Yoast isn’t good enough.

Depending on your findings for each piece of content, you can adopt an action, such as keep, delete, update, or rewrite, establish a timeframe, and start implementing your solutions.