Content audit

Every company should take the time to review content posted on its website. Content on your site is tied to the success of all your marketing efforts. Anything that important deserves a second look.

Why? Your content – any words, images or video you post on your site – drives Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) purposes.

Here’s how it helps.

SEM. Search engines look for and evaluate the words on your landing pages to determine the relevance of your ads.

SEO. Thanks to Google’s latest updates, useful and relevant information is more important than ever before. It’s more important than ever before that your content is relevant to what people are looking for when they find your site. Your content should have a purpose – to either educate, inform, persuade or entertain. The more relevant your content, the higher your search ranking.

Social Media. Social media is content – not just the posts themselves, but the videos, photos or articles people love to share.

Take a step back, and you start to see just how critical a role content plays. And how important it is to know where yours stands.

What does a content audit cover

A content audit is a thorough analysis of your business’s search visibility, social engagement, and on-site content. The goal is to find out what’s there, what’s not that should be, and how well it’s all working together.

A standard content audit might review:

  • SEO program
  • SEM program
  • Social Media
  • Blog posts + other content marketing assets
  • Multimedia – videos, pod-casts, images
  • Website Copy

… plus provide a competitive analysis and recommendations.

Many businesses haven’t taken this step yet. It’s hard to know where to start, and sometimes businesses don’t feel like they have enough content to take the plunge. (They usually do.)

And if you’ve been producing content for years, a content audit is an especially good idea. Most businesses who’ve been at this a while aren’t sure what they’ve got, or if it’s still driving meaningful results.

How can a content audit help?

A content audit will help you answer the following questions:

What content do I have to work with?
First, an audit provides a bird’s-eye view of your site’s content. You’ll begin to understand how all of the pieces fit together and see what’s pulling its weight.

Where are the gaps in my content strategy?
You’ll also see what’s missing – holes in your marketing plan and missed opportunities. Is all of your content being utilized in the best way? Are you lacking content in important areas?

How is my content impacting my marketing overall?
As I mentioned above, the success of SEO, SEM and social media are all bound up with the quality of your content.

How do I stack up to my competition?
Get a look behind the curtain to learn what competitors are doing, and what they’ve overlooked.

Is my content providing enough value to my customers and prospects?
Is it being shared via social media? Are other sites and blogs linking to it? Does it rank well on search engines? These are all key indicators of your content’s value.

Who should think about a content audit?

In general, it’s a great exercise for businesses with longer, more complex sales cycles, where content plays a larger role in decision making. But there are a few scenarios where it should be given a higher priority:

  1. Your marketing is under-performing, but you don’t know why. If you’re not ranking well for your chosen search terms, your content may be to blame. Or prospects may not be finding the information they need to feel confident about your business and make a purchase.
  2. You’re looking for an advantage over competitors. In 2015, content marketing will grow, but not everybody’s on board yet. That makes this the perfect chance for you to get a leg up.
  3. You’re redesigning your website. While you’re remodeling, you might as well clean house. And fix leaks. Re-grout that loose tile in the kitchen … you get the idea.
  4. You’re re-branding your company. Want to be viewed as a thought leader? It starts with great content. Need to educate consumers on your new mission, message, or products and services? Ditto.