The Content Audit: What It Is and Why Your Content Strategy Depends on It

Conducting a content audit is an essential step to strengthening your marketing strategy. Whether it’s your website, social media or email marketing, the quality of your content can make or break your marketing goals. With so much content being created and shared every day, it’s easy to lose track of what you have and what needs to be improved. This is where a content audit comes in.

What Is a Content Audit?

A content audit is a systematic review of all the content you have on your website or other digital marketing channels. It involves gathering data on your existing content, analyzing its performance and identifying areas for improvement. This can include anything from blog posts, newsletters and landing pages to videos and social media content. 

Depending on your organizational goals, you may also wish to audit internal communications or marketing collateral, such as sales sheets or materials used as part of your sales, membership or acquisition processes.

When to Conduct a Content Audit

A content audit will help you identify content gaps and provide indicators to optimize your the content you have to appeal better to your audience. Below are a few scenarios where you might want to prioritize resources for a content audit: 

Poor conversions. A major sign that you need to conduct a content audit is poor website conversions. This means that your site’s content is failing to persuade or convince your visitors to take the desired actions. Your audit will reveal which pages need to be updated to boost conversions and which ones need to be removed or reworked. 

Website redesign. If you are planning to redesign or expand your website, you must conduct a content audit. This will help you catalog the content you currently have, what to keep, adjust or remove, and identify areas needing improvement. As a result, you’ll reduce errors, save time and ensure your site’s content accurately targets your audience’s needs.

Every year. An annual content review helps to evaluate your current marketing strategy’s effectiveness in achieving goals and objectives while ensuring alignment with your customer journey or buyer persona. By conducting a content audit, you will understand the behavior and perception of your audience toward your content, identify gaps and discover opportunities for growth.

Why Conduct a Content Audit

There are several reasons why a content audit is essential for your organization. A content audit can help you identify outdated content that needs to be updated or removed. This is important for search engine optimization (SEO), as search engines penalize sites that have a lot of outdated or irrelevant content. By removing or updating this content, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic. 

A content audit can also help you streamline your content creation process. By looking at the data, you can see which topics and formats are performing well and which ones are not. This can help you plan future content that is more likely to engage your audience and drive traffic to your site.

By identifying your most successful content, you can focus your efforts on creating similar content or a better-balanced content mix that is more likely to resonate with your audience.

How to Conduct a Content Audit

Now that you know why a content audit is important, let’s look at how you can conduct one.

Step 1: Identify your content.

The first step to conducting a content audit is to identify all of your existing content. This could include blog posts, seasonal content, product or service descriptions, press releases, white papers and even social media posts. Collecting data and information can be done using tools like Google Analytics 4 or SEMrush

Creating a spreadsheet is one way to assemble a list of your content assets. In the column next to each content piece, you can add the relevant metadata, such as the format, target audience, topic and personas.

Step 2: Analyze and assess.

The second step is analyzing your content. Assess each piece of content based on the following criteria:

Relevance: Is the content still relevant, or has it become outdated?

Engagement: Has the content engaged your audience, or has it fallen short?

Performance: How has the content performed from a metrics standpoint?

Quality: Is the content well written, or does it need improvement?

In some instances, it may also be helpful to conduct a competitive analysis to determine where your content fits into your industry’s landscape. 

By answering these questions and considering the competitive landscape, you can start to identify areas for improvement and create a plan for future content.

Step 3: Determine the ROI of your content.

After analyzing your content, determine the ROI of each content piece. Rank them based on how valuable they are to your organization. You could base your ranking on:

  • Conversions: How many leads has your content been generated?
  • Traffic: How many people visit your webpages?
  • Social engagement: How many shares and likes do your social media posts get?
  • SEO: How well does your content rank on search engines?

Get tips on choosing metrics that align with your marketing goals

Step 4: Develop your content strategy.

Once you have ranked your content, it’s time to decide your action plan. Here’s what you could do:

  • Update: Can content be updated, so it retains relevance? For example, can you update titles, subheads, images or keywords? Is there new information available now that can improve the content? 
  • Combine: Can content be combined to create an entirely new piece, giving it a fresh perspective?
  • Remove: Some content might no longer be relevant or valuable, and it’s time to remove it from your website.
  • Repurpose: Can you repurpose content for different platforms or formats to widen your reach?

Learn what a content strategy is, why you need one and how to get started.

One valuable action step is to create a content schedule to keep track of your content as you go along. Take time to create a plan that includes timelines, resources and objective steps. This will help you remain accountable and maintain the integrity of your content.

Step 5: Get an outsider’s perspective.

Engaging a third party to help with your content audit can be an incredibly beneficial way of ensuring that you’re making the right decisions when it comes to your content strategy. Not only can they bring a fresh perspective, but they may also have access to resources and tools that you don’t have in-house. Additionally, working with an experienced team of professionals will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your audit by finding relevant insights from the data collected. 

Ready to Audit Your Content?

Conducting a content audit is an essential aspect of any content marketing strategy, regardless of the volume of content you have. When it comes to a content audit, the best place to start is by understanding your existing content. Once you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll have a clear roadmap for what content assets to improve to optimize your content marketing process.