The Content Audit: A Walk Through in 6 Steps

By: Jake

We went over the basics of the content audit process a few weeks ago. That post dealt with introducing the concept as well as some of its basic features, like ensuring general consistency of tone and branding. Now, we’re ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of the content audit, which involves taking a more detailed look at your site’s content. Ready? Just follow these 6 steps.

Note: To execute a content audit, you will need to be able to get analytics data for your website. If you currently have no way of doing so, that’s definitely something you should set up before starting.

1. Create a list of all the pages on your website, and put them into a spreadsheet.

2. Classify each page by its content type and place in the sales funnel, as serving one of the following purposes:

    • Awareness – pages that don’t directly reference your product, but instead build awareness of the industry, or provide useful general knowledge to visitors

    • Trigger – these are the pages that establish the case for purchasing the type of product/service your company offers. They could take the form of pages recommending a particular solution to a problem, without actively pushing customers to purchase your product/service specifically.

    • Research – pages that provide the customer with more information about different types of solutions to their problem and how they stack up next to each other.

    • Consideration – these are the pages that make the case why your product/service is the one to choose over your competitors. They include your product info pages, and well as any testimonial pages.

    • Convert – these pages enable the purchase of your product or service: everything from the Buy page or a designated landing page, and all pages going through the shopping cart process.

    • Loyalty– these include any pages that offer benefits to existing clients, from order tracking, to warranty information, to general pages about your industry (and so, you see, we’re back at the beginning of the cycle), all intended to retain customers and keep them coming back.

3. Take a look at each page, and give it a qualitative score from 1 to 10 based on how successful you think the content on that page is. (we’ll come back to this in step 6)

4. Now it’s time to look at the numbers. For each page, fill out the number of visits over the past month, as well as the number of conversions (if any) that came through that page.

5. The numbers should be evaluated against others in the same content category (Step #2), so sort all the pages by the category column.

6. Finally, look at each content type group and analyze the results.

      • The pages with highest visits and conversions obviously resonate with your readers. Attempt to identify what about these pages works and replicate it with the other pages in the same category.

      • Keep an eye out for anything weird. If you notice that one category has drastically different numbers than the others, you might have a bottleneck occurring, and you need to find out why.

      • Note how the actual numbers compare with your subjective evaluation of the content (Step 3). This always leads to interesting discoveries, because there is almost always a discrepancy between what content you think is best and what the numbers show. Adjust accordingly.

If these steps seem like a bit of work, it’s because they are. Pulling all the visitor data for the pages takes some time as well. Thankfully, the content audit is an activity you only need to do every once in a while. And trust us, the results are definitely worth it.