With such a complex digital landscape, the onslaught of content has grown rapidly. In fact, every minute, we are seeing over 350,000 tweets, 400 hours of new YouTube videos and 2,430,555 likes on Instagram, according to an infographic created by computer software company, Domo.
Companies are using various types of content, platforms and targeting strategies to appeal to their consumers, raise brand awareness and increase conversions. However, with so many content opportunities — brand website, off-site on various publications and social media — keeping track of the success of these marketing efforts can be difficult, and that’s why many businesses opt to complete a content audit. Here are the best practices for conducting one:
1. Identify Your Goals
Before you start, make sure you have a clear understanding of why you are completing a content audit, and what you hope to achieve. This will guide your focus and give you a better chance of obtaining valuable and useful insight. Some of the main goals could be:
- Identify methods to improve your SEO performance
- Consolidate your content by eliminating overlapping or under-performing pages
- Gain an understanding of what your audience likes and dislikes
- Identify gaps in topics covered, and come up with new ideas
- Pinpoint what pieces are working and not working, and why
2. Know What Metrics You’re After
Once your overarching goals have been defined, you need to identify what metrics you’re after. Not only will this increase your chances of the audit being successful but it will significantly streamline the process. If your main goal is to find out what content is performing, the metrics you will include in your audit may be content condition, word count, author, topic, type of content, social shares and comments, accessibility on different devices, whether there’s a call to action and number of conversions. Once you’ve identified these metrics, you now know what information to gather and will avoid wasting time extracting unnecessary data.
3. Tackle Content Categories Separately
Depending on your goals, separating your content according to its type is usually a great way to stay organized and effective. Many companies not only have content on their own website, but often share information on various other sites and publications, as well as on social media.
It’s important when conducting a content audit to make a comprehensive list of all the content you have published, and from there, separate this list according to whether it’s onsite, offsite or social. This will give you more granular data to work with.
4. Use Analytical Software for Ecommerce Optimization
As a way of streamlining your overall audit process, try using an analytical software that assists in managing and optimizing your content across many sites. Content Analytics for example, not only provides up-to-date data and reporting on the performance of your content, but it consolidates all your efforts into one easy-to-use database. As an efficient management tool, you’ll be able to identify successes and issues faster, as well as store, edit and perform keyword optimization for product pages when appropriate.
5. Gather Relevant Insights
Whether you’ve completed the audit manually or through a software, going over the information once the data has been gathered is vital. You can identify the patterns in your metrics, and understand what this means about the health of your content in relation to the goals you outlined at the beginning. From here, you have the opportunity to gather valuable insight and make the necessary changes to optimize your content performance.
Whether you have a small content portfolio, or a large and complex one, managing and optimizing your content through an audit is important to staying productive and relevant.