Last month I blogged about how you can build relationships with your with prospects and clients automatically
by utilising some clever email marketing - but first, I put it out there that any business should start with a content audit
Not sure what that looks like?
You're not alone.
Most businesses have recognised that they have to be online. They have a website, are blogging and using social media. But I very much doubt that all
of this content is backed by a strong strategy. What is the why behind each tweet, blog and webpage?
Luckily, starting with a new or revised digital strategy
doesn't mean starting from scratch with your content. You just need to audit it.
So in this post, I am going to outline for you exactly how you can conduct that content audit, and provide you with a template to help make this job a little easier.
So why do a content audit?
An audit can help you collect all the information that you need to -
Review how people currently interact with your website
Upgrade your site look and feel (this 'content first' approach means you're design will fit your story, instead of reshaping your story to fit a design)
Assess the quality, purpose, and reusability of your content
Develop a clear content strategy in line with your business goals (because, trust me, not all your content will fit!)
How to do an audit
1. DECIDE ON YOUR GOALS BEFORE YOU START
Depending on how old your site is and how large your site is, the process you are about to embark on will take time - and to be perfectly honest will be a little on the dull side! So you need to be clear about what you are hoping to achieve from the exercise.
Who am I talking to?
What are their pain points?
What are their questions?
Am I answering their questions?
Am I providing solutions to their problems?
What is my lead generation and nurturing funnel - does this content fit?
And, most importantly, what is my business trying to achieve? If your content isn't aligned with you goals, vision and mission, it is irrelevant.
This is a good opportunity to talk with your team, and trusted clients and customers. You will no doubt get a few surprises when you consider outside perspectives on who your content is for, how it's working on your website or other platforms, what they find most useful and whether the content you've built up over time may not be delivering on your (shared or assumed) business goals.
This first step may take some serious thinking time.
2. GET A PAGE LIST
This is where the first bit of tedium can come into play!
You need to get a full list of ALL pages at your website and to do this properly, you should also include the following information:
To help you with this process, I have attached an excel spreadsheet that will form the foundation of where you can store all of this information. It has columns that you can move around to suit your business as well as prompts to track what you are hoping to achieve. Feel free to share this around.
Download our free Content Audit template here.
3. GET DATA
This part of the audit (the real nuts and bolts) is best done with a few people if your site is very big.
You've spent time collecting, creating and curating your content - you don't want to make any decisions without evidence to back them up.
Consider, for each page of your site, and every blog post,
How many eyes are you getting on your content? This can help you understand the effectiveness of your page copy, title, URL and description in terms of search effectiveness. It can also help guide the structure or organisation of your content. How do people access it, what is your navigation structure, in content not getting read simply because it can't be found?
Time on site
Are people actually reading your stuff, and are you helping to guide them to the next page through a strong call to action? This information can help you make decisions on the structure of the content on the page itself (is it grabbing people with relevant information at the top, and leading them through to a clear action? How can information be organised to get people to take action and keep reading?
Why do people leave your site from some pages rather than others? Like time on site, this metric really uncovers whether or not your calls to action are working.
Whilst you do need to get a consistent approach, this part of the process can be done by multiple people. Share the load and share ideas - it will take quite a bit of time to do well and it will be a valuable exercise to get everyone on your 'content' team on the same page in terms of your purpose and goals.
Take your time to review each page and all its components as per the spreadsheet so that you can accurately assess whether the content on each page is contributing to meeting your business goals or not.
4. ACT ON YOUR DECISIONS
Be honest and ruthless.
What content needs rewriting, what needs new titles and descriptions and if the page does not fit into your strategy - GET RID OF IT! Nothing like a good de-cluttering.
If it needs to be tweaked, then note what needs to be done and by whom in the spreadsheet and move onto the next page.
Don't underestimate the value of a second opinion
While a content audit is easily done in-house at any business, it never hurts to get a second opinion.
We know - we've done it ourselves - and found it incredibly valuable to have someone else analyse our site for us, and give an outside opinion on what was working, what ould be improved and what needed to go.
It might be a bit cheeky to say, but if you find the thought of a content audit too overwhelming or time consuming, then we are here to help. Getting to know our digital marketing skills and capabilities
is a great place to start.