A content audit involves taking a look at all the blog posts on your website and assessing how relevant, valuable and effective it is.
Content audits may seem like an obstacle to new content creation. I know what you’re thinking: “why spend several weeks trawling through our blog’s back catalogue when we could just create new stuff?” Well, there are several reasons. A content audit will help you save time by enabling you to make the most of content you already have. You probably have dozens of posts that aren’t performing as well as they could do. By spending 20 minutes or so updating each one, you could give them a new lease of life, add tons of value, and actually see real results.
Although the process may seem tedious, a well-executed content audit can have tremendous benefits for your business. Unsure where to start? Here are 10 questions to ask when auditing old blog posts:
When auditing your blog content as a whole…
First thing’s first, identify what you want your content to achieve.
1. What are your KPIs?
Are you measuring the success of your content based on the amount of traffic it gets? The number of social shares? The total value of sales it helps you make? Once you’ve decided how you’ll measure your success, use analytical tools to assess the performance of your blog content.
2. Which content is performing the best?
By determining which content is performing the best, you may get some inspiration for future blog posts. Let’s pretend you own a pet shop and your blog post about training Labrador puppies to do roly polys gets 200 visitors from search engines a week. Taking this into account, it makes sense to create more content about Labradors and more content about dog training.
3. Which content is under-performing?
Next, identify which blog posts are falling short. Which posts aren’t attracting much traffic? Which posts have a high bounce rate?
You could use your high performing blog posts to prioritise which low performing posts to improve first. For example, let’s imagine you run a health and fitness website and your most popular post is about Paleo diets. Since you also have five under-performing blog posts that touch upon Paleo diets, you may decide to improve these before you do anything else. Figure out what makes the popular post work so well and use this knowledge to make the other blogs equally amazing. Don’t forget to add plenty of internal links so that readers can flick between each post and become Paleo experts.
When auditing each post individually…
Once you’ve analysed how successful your content is and you’ve decided which to prioritise, it’s time to go through each post and start auditing! Here are some more questions to ask…
4. Who is this content for?
The best blog posts are written with a specific audience in mind. After all, you can’t be everything to everybody and if you try to please everyone in one blog post, you run the risk of watering down your message. When auditing each blog post, ask yourself who the post has been created for and whether or not the intended audience is clear. If not, some revisions may need to be made.
5. What do we want this content to achieve?
Look back at your KPIs and ask yourself whether this blog post is working its hardest to achieve your goals. If you want to encourage social shares, make sure the content is share-worthy and ensure social share buttons are clearly visible. If you want to build your email list, add opt-in forms and relevant lead magnets to the post. If you want to push sales, make a big deal of the products or services you wish to sell.
6. Is the information up to date and relevant?
Is the content in front of you up-to-date and accurate? Times change and the tips you share with your readers could soon become outdated and even factually incorrect. If you clearly display the date in which the post was published, this might not be such an issue, but for some businesses it’s essential that all content is timely.
Money Saving Expert is a perfect example of a website that has no choice but to update old blog posts on a regular basis. Filled with time-sensitive content, financial information, and money saving deals, the last thing MSE needs is for a readers to apply for mortgages that haven’t been the best on the market for six months.
7. Are there any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors?
This one doesn’t need much explanation. Correct any spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors as soon as you see them.
8. Is this content SEO-optimised?
If you want your posts to perform well in search engines, they need to be SEO-optimised. Make sure you have:
- Keywords in the title if possible
- Keywords throughout the post, but only if they fit naturally
- A strong meta description
- Alt-tags in images
- Internal links
9. How can we make this content more engaging?
The more engaging your blog posts are, the better they’re going to perform. From adding quotes from influential people to embedding viral tweets into the content, there are countless ways to make your posts more engaging.
10. Can we re-purpose this content?
Often, you might have blog posts that could be re-purposed into another type of content. Maybe you could use the information within the post to create an infographic, video, podcast or ebook. This can be a great way of getting more bang for your buck and increasing your audience in the process.
If you’d like to perfect the art of the content audit, take a look at our Ultimate Guide To Updating Old Blog Posts.