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How to Conduct an Effective Content Audit

Learn how to conduct an effective content audit and why it’s necessary to achieve your business goals.

A website content audit takes a look at the content on your website to establish what content is useful and what can be removed. An SEO content audit can be done on a surface level to check which pages on your website are the most visited, but it can also provide insight into what content needs to be rewritten or deleted.

A content audit shows you what is working, what isn't effective, and areas where you can improve. A content audit is a crucial part of any content marketing strategy and ensures that your content is optimized.

If you never run a content audit, you’ll never know which pieces of content are performing the best on your website.

Fortunately, conducting an effective content audit isn't as complicated as you may think. While it may be a time-consuming process, you can use a content audit tool to simplify the experience.

In this article, we'll discuss how to run a successful audit, the benefits of content audits, and more. Continue reading to learn more about how content audits can bring you one step closer to achieving your business goals.

What is a content audit?

A content audit looks at the content on your website and analyzes performance based on page landings, time spent on a page, accessibility, downloads, and conversions. An in-depth look at your existing content through a website content audit allows you to identify areas where you are excelling and areas where you need to improve.

You can do a surface content audit, which only looks at your top and bottom-performing pages, or you can do a comprehensive audit of everything on your website in order to analyze the entire site. You can also opt for a deeper website content audit, where you choose specific content to focus on and improve.

The choice is yours. Start with a simple glimpse at what your highest-performing posts are, and evaluate the content for better clarity. Ultimately, the goal of a content audit is to improve your content quality and identify pages of your website where you can improve.

What is the purpose of a content audit?

A content audit has a number of purposes. It allows you to take a fresh look at the content you produce and how that content is performing through analytics. With a content audit, you will have a better understanding of your business goals and what content is most beneficial for furthering those goals.

This type of audit allows you to get organized, setting aside time to determine who is in charge of updates and maintaining your existing content.

When you invest time in a content audit, you will look at your evergreen content and determine what is no longer relevant to your business. A content audit can help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of your content strategy, so you optimize your web pages.

When you audit your website content, you can get a better idea of your top-performing pages and what needs improvements.

Benefits of content audits

Whether you want to redesign your website or just improve your website content, a thorough content audit is necessary.

Removing any content on your website that is no longer useful is important, as trying to migrate content that serves no purpose will be a waste of your time and money. Website design projects are complicated, and a solid purge of outdated content will help make the process easier.

There are many benefits of running content audits in addition to improving your content, such as:

  • Improve SEO performance: Content audits can improve your website's SEO performance and search rankings by helping you identify areas of your website that aren't optimized for search engines. This can include pages with duplicate content, missing meta descriptions, low word count, and low-quality content.
  • Increase usability: A marketing audit can improve the usability of your website by simplifying navigation, fixing broken links, removing outdated content, and increasing page speed. Your site will become more organized, and you will clear up space by removing anything that is no longer necessary.
  • Identify content gaps: A content audit can help identify topics or channels that are missing from a website's content strategy, and provide insights for creating better content for the target audience.
  • Improve content distribution: A content audit can help identify which channels are the best for distributing content so you can create a more effective content distribution strategy for reaching your target audience. You can also look at the connectivity between pages and which ones drive more traffic to your website.
  • Analyze internal links: A content audit can help you analyze your internal links to identify crawl depth, inlinks, outlinks, and more. This can improve website structure and search engine optimization.
  • Enhance your social media content: A content audit should also be a part of your social media marketing plan to help you better understand your target audience and their needs so you can create social media content that resonates with them.

How to run a content audit

Running a full content audit starts with figuring out your goals. You will want to identify what your content assets are and what you want to improve. Set the parameters of your audit strategy, and determine what analytics you want to look at further.

As you go through your content audit, you will want to keep your goals in mind. Monitor your progress throughout the audit, and look for actionable steps that can be measured.

You can also use a content audit spreadsheet to keep track of your content and make sure everything is optimized and up-to-date. You can find content audit templates online for help, but for the most part, running a content audit will involve the following steps:

Define your goals

The goals of your content audit need to be clear in order for the audit to be successful.

Determine what you are trying to measure and what parameters you want to set. Whether you want to look at your top-performing pages, improve your landing pages, or figure out why you aren't getting conversions, set your goals early.

Know what you want out of your audit, and come up with ways to identify where your content is strong and where it is underperforming.

Identify all content assets

Once you've figured out your goals and defined objectives, you then need to identify every piece of content on your website in order to perform a content marketing audit. Look at meta tags, descriptions, videos, audio, and images.

All of your assets should be cataloged so that you can determine the value of each piece. Small changes may be needed, or you might be able to remove entire pages completely.

But first, you have to find out what you have in order to make relevant changes, so make sure you identify all your content assets early on in the content audit process.

Organize your content

Organization is essential to content optimization and website use. It may take time to decide what categories you should use for your content. You will want to take a look at each piece of content and start with broad categories at first.

As you continue to analyze what is valuable and what isn't, you will organize the content into sub-categories. Know what you already have on your site, and be prepared to get rid of content that no longer serves you.

Analyze the results

Analyzing the results of an SEO content audit is going to take time. See what stands out as your most successful pages and what does not impact customers.

You might be surprised to see certain pages don't gain traction and no longer offer value to your customers.

Once you go through the analysis, you will have a better understanding of what content is helping your customers and what is serving you no purpose when it comes to your business goals.

Create an action plan

Your action plan should be specific, goal-oriented, and measurable.

Once the analysis is over, you will need to create testing strategies to tweak pieces of content. Simple A/B testing can be done on pages, or you can rewrite content that isn't hitting the mark.

This step is when you're going to finalize your audit. Think about the content you want to change. Maybe you need to rewrite a blog post or improve your on-page SEO. You've figured out what needs to be changed, now is your time to actually do it.

Your action plan is how you’re going to optimize your content and drive customers into conversion through strategic planning, marketing, and communication.

Monitor and measure progress

Once your content marketing audit is complete, it's time to monitor and measure your progress. This is done over time and is an ongoing process.

Set your goals and identify ways you can measure these goals. If you are trying to increase web traffic or conversions, check periodically if your content is producing these changes.

Stay on top of changes you make to your content, and find ways to tweak content as needed for further optimization.

Take your content strategy to the next level by performing a content audit

A content audit is a necessary component of any content strategy. But to conduct an effective content audit, you need the right tools, which you can access with Mailchimp. Mailchimp offers various marketing tools that can enhance your marketing process and help you run a complete inventory of your website.

With Mailchimp, you can ensure that your website content is properly optimized so you can reach your business goals. Mailchimp can help you stay on top of the content you produce to ensure you are doing everything you can to create dynamic content that grows into customer conversions.

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