If you’ve been working on strengthening your brand presence online, or trying to rank better in search, there’s likely one single word you’re seeing over and over again—content. For the last five years or so content marketing has been all the buzz, and continues to be. Why? Because solid content marketing drives traffic and converts visitors.
Chances are if you’re researching content marketing strategy, you already have a blog in place and want it to perform better. So, now it’s time to just start writing more content! Just kidding. Writing content without direction isn’t going to get you anywhere. First you have to audit what you’ve got.
Real Content Marketing Starts With an Audit
Real content marketing is less about just having a blog, and more about building a strategy around all your site’s content, both promotional and educational. A good content strategy is based on information, and performing a website content audit is your best first step in gathering that info. A thorough website content audit can help you get a better sense of the content on your site, what’s performing best and more to:
- Create a listing of all your content to understand what you have
- Determine the direction of future content
- Decide what stays, goes and needs to be updated or consolidated
- Discover which posts and pages are ranking best in search and for what keywords
- Find the strongest pages on your domain to leverage them
- Identify which pages are leading to conversions
- And much more!
All this information will help you build a strategy based around real data, to improve upon what’s working and phase out what’s not.
So how do you get started?
Don’t be fooled. A good content audit takes time and dedication, but if you’re serious about content strategy it’s worth it. Before you get started, it’s important to ask yourself what your end goal is. Are you wanting to increase traffic? Increase sharing on social media? Go head-to-head with competitor content? Evaluating your goals will help determine exactly what metrics and information to collect.
Some Key Steps in the Process
- Determine your goals and what information will help you build a strategy.
- Take an inventory of every page of your site in a spreadsheet, include basic information for each page like URL, Page Title, etc. There are tools out there, like Screaming Frog, built to crawl you site and gather this info easily.
- Add your own information to the spreadsheet that can’t be gathered automatically, like content type, description, date it was last updated, whether there’s a call to action on the page etc…
- Gather important analytics for each page including unique/new/returning visitors, referrals, bounce rate, load times, keyword rankings and more.
- Analyze the data and content side-by-side to identify your best performing and worst performing pages.
- Build a plan around what you’ve found including not only your strategy, but steps for cleaning up and improving existing content.
More In-Depth Resources
Below are a few great resources that can take you more in-depth on how to implement and get the most out of your audit, plus they provide links to tools that can help automate the process where possible.
Moz’s How to Do a Content Audit – Step-by-Step
Buffer’s A Complete Content Audie and Spreadsheet Template
Content Marketing Institute’s The Best 9 Analytics to Help with Content Audits
Again, this entire process will take time, but with this information you can build a strategy that helps your site perform better in search, build your authority online, better engage visitors and more! Have any of you already tackled the website content audit? Let us know your own takeaways and tips in the comments!