The Basics of a Content Audit

Every so often, it becomes necessary to take inventory of your website’s offerings and to determine whether your current strategy is working. Much like traditional businesses must take occasional inventory of their products, it also becomes necessary for online brands and blogs to account for their content. Many people refer to this as a content audit, and it is increasingly necessary in a world where stiff competition and niche pandering can both affect your future performance. Today, we’ll walk through the basics of a content audit, why you should do it and what you can expect to gain from doing so.

What Is a Content Audit?

Broadly speaking, a content audit is what we mentioned above: an evaluation of all of your content offerings. Why do we evaluate content, though? One reason is to figure out how well the content is serving a unified brand voice or image. Many brands have an image that they want to portray or protect. Some forms of content may either be outdated or irrelevant to this mission. Content audits also are ways to re-evaluate whether or not the content is serving the needs of visitors, subscribers or customers. Content audits are used to also assess the overall SEO proficiency of a brand; it can diagnose whether the content needs to be reworked for the current SEO goals. Additionally, content audits offer a way to see whether the website is pulling in sufficient numbers of visitors, sales or conversions.

Why Should I Do a Content Audit?

We covered some of the main elements of a content audit above, which shed light on some of the reasons and benefits behind doing it. When pinging URLs via social media, search engines and email, we can sometimes forget that the customer or reader may not find the same value in all pieces of content that we assumed they would. A content audit will help you to discover which types and styles of content work best for your brand. In addition, content audits give you a chance to find any errors or problems in your content; for instance,a  broken link to a page or image. It’s important to also note that the nature of SEO continues to change with each passing year: a content audit may bring to your attention some outdated SEO tactics in your older content that needs to be updated for maximum benefit.

Considerations in Performing a Content Audit

Before you begin any content audit, you should be aware of what it entails, what you’ll need and what to expect. First and foremost, content audits can be time-consuming. You’re looking at anywhere from a few hours to a few dozen hours for a full audit, depending on how much content is already on your site. You’ll ideally need a utility or tool that’ll make the content auditing process easier, such as SEMRush or Blaze, which works by pinging URLs for specific info. Be sure to review every page in full, keeping track of which pages need changes. Categorize the needed changes so that you can quickly refer back to each instance when done with the audit, which will make implementing any changes less difficult.

Content audits are something that many brands do not consider. Your website or blog can change over time, requiring adjustments in order to remain relevant with your audience. Now that you know the basics of what a content audit entails, what it can provide and how to proceed, you’ll be able to ensure your website is up-to-date and in compliance with your current objectives.

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