By Mark Harrison
Part of a great content strategy is evaluating what you already have, rather than just charging forward onto the next thing. If you’re putting all this effort into building a repository of content, it’s important to explore and understand how that content is performing for you.
This is achievable through regular content auditing. A good audit gives you an idea of what works, what doesn’t, and what can be improved, not only in your upcoming posts but in all of your existing content. Moreover, it gives you a much better idea of the return on your investment, (ROI) i.e. the amount of profit you get from the money you spent on producing pages.
If you’ve never done this before, we’ve assembled this useful guide to the hows and whys of boosting your site’s traffic by performing a full content audit.
How Do You Define Your Online Goals?
Whatever you’re aiming to achieve with your online presence, content auditing will not only help you measure your success but also refine and optimise your objectives. You should be clear about your goals beforehand, but also be able to adapt them based on your analysis.
There are various different metrics by which you can define your content, including:
- Social Shares
Through content auditing, you will be able to see which of your posts are scoring the highest and lowest across all of these metrics. Whether you take this information in relation to your current objectives or use it to realign your strategy, an audit will provide useful context.
Is Your Content Organised?
As part of your content audit, you will find it useful to create a table with details of all of your site pages and posts, including the following details:
- Page Title
- Page Type (Product/Service, Testimonials, Gallery, Blog Post, etc)
- Metrics (Traffic, Backlinks, Social Shares, Conversions)
Not only will this give you an up-to-date index of all your pages, but it will also provide an easy way of comparing each page’s performance by the aforementioned metrics and measure their individual effectiveness. Using these analytics, divide all of your pages into three separate categories – those which are performing strongly, those which could be performing better, and those which aren’t performing at all. You may find it helpful to use a traffic light system, colour-coding them green, yellow, and red, in order to prioritise improvements to your content.
These are your best-performing pages and you should hardly change a thing about them. In terms of content auditing, they are still useful in terms of analysing why they are working so well and what you could adopt while improving your other posts. Additionally, in relation to blog posts and other content marketing, you’ll get an idea of what your customers want to see more of.
The majority of your content improvements should be dedicated towards pages you have marked yellow. The performance of these pages may range from mediocre to bad, but there is still the promise of greater ROI with a few tweaks.
Changes may include anything from enhancing the copy or design of an existing product or service page, to adapting a blog post into a shareable video or infographic that will do well on other platforms. It could even be as simple as including a link on one of your more successful pages.
Without wishing to seem blunt, if the purpose of content auditing is to see what’s working and what’s not, then it is imperative that you remove neutral pages.
What Else Can You Do with a Content Audit?
Like all aspects of content marketing, consider this an ongoing exercise. We recommend that you audit your content at least once a year in order to keep your site’s overall ROI in check.
In addition to gathering useful analytics, content auditing gives you an opportunity to generate an action plan for what to do next. Your next steps could include:
As mentioned above, measuring your most successful posts will enable you to get an idea of what your customers like about your site and make the most of this content. For instance, if you have a series of popular blog posts, why not combine these into an e-book or infographic that will generate more value for your site.
On the other hand, if your blog isn’t performing well, there’s always room for improvement. Rewrite pages that need that something extra, ensuring that all your copy follows a clear and logical structure. Additionally, you can update posts and pages to keep them up to date with new, relevant information, such as handy tips and new examples.
On any page, your call to action (CTA) is one of the biggest factors in making a conversion happen. Maybe your CTAs seem outdated or you’re not convinced that they’re converting. Either way, new CTAs will serve to refresh your page and give your potential customers a little extra encouragement.
Adding Images and Visuals to Your Content
The top three most shared types of online content are video, audio, and images. If you haven’t done enough to incorporate this content, then take a look at how you can harness these elements more effectively. Images and visuals will always make your content more engaging and thus attract more readers.
5 Top Takeaways
Regular auditing enables you to gauge how successful your content is and what must be done to improve.
- Keep your strongest performing pages roughly the same and see what you can learn from them.
- Spend the majority of your time on improving your middle-ground posts to boost engagement, conversions, and ROI.
- Delete any and all pages that are not working for you, because they are holding your site back.
- Make the most of your content audit by making an action plan to meet your objectives for your web presence.