If we've learned anything from the horror films we've been watching this spooky season, it's that the best fictional killers are meticulous planners. If they want to come back for a second or maybe third installment of their franchise, they need to analyze their success rate, improve their methods and, of course, keep tabs on their victims.
Killing it in the content marketing game requires the same degree of planning, analysis, and follow-up. Here's how a content audit can help you create a content strategy that racks up a seriously impressive body count.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is an analysis of all the content on your website and channels, such as social or email. It looks at how each piece of content is performing and highlights opportunities where you can improve or double down on your marketing strategy. They can also help you build out a roadmap for future high-performing content.
Brands that invest in content audits vs. those that don't are like the difference between a film villain who goes on a rampage versus one who carefully selects their victims. If you want to be in this for the long haul, you want to be the second type. Why spend all that time building a portfolio of killer content if you're just going to let it run off into the night?
Conducting a Content Audit
Conducting a content audit doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. In fact, it's behind-the-scenes and effective - a bit like that mild-mannered neighbor that no one ever suspects. Like most business improvement processes, it's a matter of setting goals, assessing where you are, and adjusting accordingly. Here's how to audit your content for the best results.
- Define your goals. You don't have to fix or solve everything all at once. Outline and prioritize your business goals, then choose the one with the most impact. Goals for a website audit might include improving SEO, driving audience engagement, or boosting your conversion rates.
- Define your content. Now it's time to decide what content your audit will apply to. Will it be just your website? Your blog? Your social channels? Marketing materials? Everything? Once you've decided, catalog your content for easy analysis. Be sure to use a consistent format so that it's easy to sort and analyze your content - and for easy comparison in the future.
- Gather and analyze your content. This can be painstaking to do, but there are plenty of automated tools out there that can help. SEMrush and Screaming Frog offer content auditing tools that automate the process; Google Analytics is another invaluable - and free - resource. During this step, you'll be looking for opportunities to rewrite, remove, update, or expand upon existing content based upon its performance. For example, old articles, articles missing subheads, or very short articles all present opportunities for improvement.
- Make a plan. Once you have your data, it's time to take action based on your goals - and on the analysis, you've performed. Prioritize your actions based on their relevance and ease of implementation. Adding links is easy; rewriting entire articles is less so. Create an action point for each piece of content - maybe the goal is to add a CTA, add images, optimize your metadata, or add headings.
- Look to the future. Now that you know how your content is performing, you can use this information to guide your future content strategy. Just be sure to keep performing audits on a regular basis so that you know you're on track.
Need Some Help to Keep on Killing It?
The key to content audits is to do them regularly. But if taking a serial approach to content auditing isn't your vibe, it never hurts to pass along the job to someone else with killer instincts. At StellaPop, we're always happy to help you develop an audit strategy that will ensure your content keeps collecting those eyeballs. Figuratively, of course.