You wouldn’t drive a sedan with three wheels, so why keep posting to a severely underperforming blog? Most often, it’s because you may not realize which of your content is driving results, which isn’t, and where your gaps lie. Fortunately, that’s where a content audit comes into play.
Content is the driving force of your website, so it’s essential to keep tabs on its health. Your visitors are always looking for information that solves their problems and meets their needs while being compelling and easy to find. Sound like a lot? You can achieve it through, you guessed it, a content audit. An audit like this will help ensure your content meets all the above criteria – and more.
Here’s how to perform a content audit so you can see success in 2020.
Step 1: Write Down Your Goals
Without clearly defined goals, it’s hard to create and stick to a content strategy. So, begin your audit by asking yourself: what do you want to accomplish in 2020 with your content? For some, they hope to rank higher in search engines. Others may want to generate more leads through gated pieces. No matter what your goal is for 2020, writing it down will help you stay focused as you progress through your audit and, subsequently, the year.
Step 2: Gather All Your Content
Having easy access to all the content you want to review will make your audit go smoother. Gather all the URLs of the webpages you want to go over and put them in a spreadsheet. If you don’t know how to format an audit template, try using HubSpot’s here.
If your website is small, you can collect your URLs manually and add them to your spreadsheet. There are also tools like Screaming Frog and HubSpot that can manage your URLs for you, speeding up the process.
Step 3: Categorize and Review
Categorizing your content will help you stay organized as well as identify any gaps you may have in your content strategy. An audit focused on these five categories can help guide you as you begin to review its performance:
Name. Naming your content is crucial because it helps your visitors and search engines understand what your content is about. It also makes it easier for you and your team to classify and locate it accurately. When you’re naming a blog, guide, or infographic, make sure your name reflects what they’ll find.
Type. Content marketing plans typically feature different forms of content. Categorizing by type can help you see what your site has too much of or what you’re lacking. Common examples of content include eBooks, blogs, demos, webinars, whitepapers, guides, checklists, infographics, and landing pages.
Targeted Buyer Persona/Lifecycle. Your company probably has a mapped-out customer journey with multiple buyer personas that you actively target. While you should have various types of content, you should also have pieces that reflect your different target audiences. Your overall aim as a marketer is to speak to each persona’s pain points and challenges as they make their way through your buyers’ journey. Make sure you have content that’s aligned with every stage of the buying journey, including awareness, consideration, decision, and delight as well as every one of your buyer personas. Your content audit will be the best way to determine if you have the necessary content and what you may need to create in 2020.
Keywords. If your goal is to improve your SEO in 2020, it’s essential to categorize and review your content for keywords. That way, you can determine if your content focuses on the right keywords, or if your overall strategy is effective.
Location. Reviewing the location of your content can help you quickly locate it and verify if it’s still relevant to your visitors. If you have difficulty finding anything, try coming up with a plan to keep everything in a centralized location, like Google Drive or a folder with Word documents.
Once everything is categorized, you can begin analyzing it. Focus on:
What’s driving results or performing well
What can be updated for 2020
What can be deleted
Step 4: Get Ready to Create
After reviewing your past content, you can set action items for the upcoming year that reflect your 2020 goals. Make a list of everything that you can update, delete, re-write, or restructure. For example, an evergreen piece of content can be updated to focus on 2020 trends, while a blog could be repurposed into an infographic. Whatever you decide, rank what’s most important and get going!
Tools that Can Help
While there aren’t many steps to a content audit, it can seem daunting to do it all by yourself. Try using some of these online tools:
DynoMapper – DynoMapper alerts you of any issues that are negatively affecting your site, from SEO to usability. You can perform an audit every week to make sure your content’s quality is upheld.
Marketing Grader – This website summarizes your website and provides an expandable report for each website point, including your website as a whole, your blog, social media, lead generation, and SEO.
DeepCrawl – Effectively manage your SEO with DeepCrawl by selecting the metrics you want to analyze, including loading time, titles, links, and URLs. You can assign tasks, create support tickets, and track your performance directly within DeepCrawl.
Screaming Frog – Screaming Frog’s SEO spider is a well-known site crawler that gathers onsite data of all your webpages so you can make better-informed decisions regarding your SEO and content.
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