Content has become the driving force behind the success of any modern-day business. Especially when we consider businesses that primarily depend on the performance of their marketing campaigns and website on the internet. The more content a brand publishes that are of high quality and provides an overview of their expertise, the better they perform in the online business world. Consumers browsing the internet often depend on the content provided by a particular company to decide whether or not the particular company they are researching has authority in its industry and seems to be trustworthy before they decide from that particular brand.
Different content types can be compiled and distributed by a brand. Each and every particular piece of content provided by a brand, whether it is contained on the website that represents them or on external sources, such as their social media profiles, as part of their social media outreach campaign, or on guest blogs, can either increase or decrease the brand’s trustworthiness and authority in its industry.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of companies that depends on their website for the success of their brand fail to realize just how important a professional content audit is for the effectiveness of their content marketing strategy. Not analysing existing content and optimizing future content for the purpose of performing better amongst a brand’s target audience may lead to a lower success rate as compared to a company that puts more effort into a content audit to allow existing content to be optimized, as well as future content to be adjusted in such a way to add authority for the brand and help them reach more customers.
What Is A Content Audit?
In this article, we are going to offer our readers a step-by-step guide to conducting an effective content audit, which will allow a brand to improve the success of their content marketing strategy. First, however, we should take a look at what exactly a content audit is. For those simply starting out on the world wide web, or for those who are still somewhat inexperienced in performing strategies to help them improve their outreach on the internet, the term “content audit” may still be somewhat of a mystery.
A content audit is a term utilized to refer to an in-depth analysis of a website’s existing content, as well as the content utilized in marketing strategies on external websites, such as on a brand’s Facebook page, their Twitter account and content they post on guest blogs. Many different factors are taken into account through a content audit, including the analytic data that provides details about how visitors are engaging with the content published by the brand.
The data extracted during a content audit can then be used to make certain adjustments to existing content on the brand’s website, as well as to the content the brand has published on external sources, in order to boost customer engagement and drive more sales to the brand.
In addition to providing valuable data that can be utilized to improve existing content, the data extracted through a content audit also help a brand make appropriate changes to the way they produce future content. This means that the brand is able to optimize their future content in such a way that they perform well the first time around; thus potentially avoiding the need for going back and editing the content later on.
Step-By-Step Guide To An Effective Content Audit
Now that we have provided a basic overview of what a content audit is and explained how such a strategy could be helpful in improving a brand’s content marketing strategy to establish more authority for the brand and help them grow, we should focus on our step-by-step guide to performing an effective content audit. We will go through every step that a brand has to take in order to make sure their content audit is not only successful and effective but also less time-consuming and more cost-effective.
#1: Implement Tracking Features Into All Published Content
The very first step to an effective content audit that will provide a brand with appropriate data is the implementation of tracking features. Different content types are tracked in different ways. There is also a large number of tools available that can be utilized to assist with collecting tracking data to be used in such a content audit.
Google Analytics is probably the most popular tool that people have used since its initial launch in November 2005. This tool has grown significantly in the past 12 years, and now offers some of the most advanced content and visitor tracking tools available. The best thing about Google Analytics is – the tool is 100% free to use. There are many other popular choices when Google Analytics is not the preferred tool for a particular brand. Some brands also tend to use Google Analytics in combination with some other content and visitor tracking tools for more in-depth details on how their existing content is performing. Some of the most effective alternative choices to Google Analytics, as recommended by the American Express OPEN Forum, include Woopra, Clicky, Kissmetrics, and Mouseflow. A relatively new tool, now known as SUMO, also offers advanced analytics and tracking tools.
#2: Extract Data From Analytic Tools
After analytic tools have been integrated into a brand’s existing content marketing strategy, the tools will start tracking the content where the tools were implemented. Analytic tools tend to track a wide variety of details regarding how website visitors interact with content. All tools that provide analytic services provide some sort of reporting feature. To properly conduct a proper content audit, it is important for a brand to give these tools some time to collect data, and then to use the reporting tools in order to extract data reports from the tools. These reports should all be filed together, which can then be utilized to identify potential methods to improve existing content and optimize future content to better serve potential website visitors.
#3: Utilize Content Auditing Tools
Apart from web analytics tools, there are also numerous content auditing tools available on the internet that can make the process of performing an effective content audit much easier than having to do everything manually. While analytic tools tend to provide a brand with important information about how visitors are interacting with the content they distribute, content auditing tools help a brand understand how well their content has been structured to provide the best experience for the visitor. Content auditing tools help to speed up the entire process and may also make a content audit more affordable. Dyno Mapper recommends using SEOptimer, Screaming Frog, Marketing Grader,
#4: Analyze Data And Determine Where Improvements Can Be Made
Once data has been extracted from both analytic tools and from content audit tools, the next step is to analyze the data that has been extracted. It is important to take all data that was extracted into account during the official content audit. This will help a brand determine who their target audience really is – which would be those visitors who are staying on their website for longer periods of times, as well as those who tend to click through to additional pages and do not leave on the first page they landed on. The content audit tools will also help the brand determine how they should customize the content they have already published in such a way to be more user-friendly, as well as to help them rank better in Google.
#5: Split-Test Headlines And Images
While all of the above-mentioned methods are very effective in assisting a business by improving their content marketing strategy through a content audit, we should mention that split-testing is also good. Split-testing helps to provide additional information in a content audit. This data can then be used to determine what type of headlines, content, and images visitors are more likely to click on, and which media and content types do not perform as well as the brand would hope it to perform. After doing some split testing, a brand would notice that certain types of headlines used in their content tend to perform better – these are the headlines that should be utilized in future content. Existing content that does not utilize such headline types can also be updated.
For companies that rely on the internet to bring them more customers and aid in increasing their sales, content plays a vital part in the success of their internet presence. Without a proper content audit, however, content marketing may not be as effective as a brand would want it to be. A content audit helps a brand identify potential areas where they can improve their search engine ranking, reach a wider target audience and possibly increase their conversion rates – often without having to spend too much money on new strategies that may be required when content is not properly optimized.