How to Guarantee Your Content Audit is a Screaming Success

diamonddog man-two-hand-approve How to Guarantee Your Content Audit is a Screaming Success

A Step-by-Step Guide to Take the Fear out of Your Next Content Audit

When you hear the word “audit” you probably associate it with adjectives such as scary, time-consuming, and complex. A content audit is no exception. However, instead of classifying it as a dreaded activity, you should view it as an opportunity.  It can yield some eye-opening results as demonstrated by Microsoft. This powerhouse company conducted a content audit and discovered that its website had 10 million pages of content, but three million pages had never been visited. By removing the millions of pages of unnecessary and irrelevant content, Microsoft not only made its customers much happier but also learned the best type of content to attract customers.

The Five Steps of a Content Audit

1. Define a Content Audit

The first step in a content audit is to understand exactly what it is.  A content audit is not just a laundry list of your company’s content. It is also an inventory analysis.  Depending upon the goal of your content audit, it can include marketing materials across all mediums.  A content audit is a foundational element of your overall content strategy.

2. Establish Your Goals

Once you are clear about the definition of a content audit, you can establish your goal(s).  You can select one main goal, or you can include several for your content audit.  Below are just a few possible examples:

  • Delete or revise outdated content
  • Review content for messaging consistency
  • Determine SEO effectiveness
  • Identify content gaps, weaknesses and needs
  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of each piece of content

3. Inventory Your Marketing Assets

Now you are ready to identify and index your marketing assets.  Depending upon your content audit goals, you may only include digital assets, just traditional marketing materials or a combination of both.

You should set up a spreadsheet and record specific information on each content asset.  This also will vary depending upon your goals for the content audit.  For an audit of traditional marketing materials (i.e. point-of-sale signage, direct mail piece) you could include the following data points:

  • Unique version number
  • Title
  • Description
  • Type of marketing material
  • Content inventory date
  • When/where used

However, if you are conducting an audit of digital content (i.e. blog post, video, white paper, infographic), the captured data could include some of the above data points as well as the following items:

  • Assigned tags or categories
  • Social media platforms posted on
  • Number of comments and/or shares
  • Number of downloads
  • URL

4. Analyze Your Data

Now that you have inventoried your marketing assets, the next step is to add another column to your spreadsheet for an analysis.  You may want to grade every piece of content from A to F.  Each grade could be based on a pre-determined set of criteria (i.e. conversion rate, on message, average time spent on web page).  Depending upon its grade, a piece of content could be treated in different ways.  One that scores high should serve as the model for other assets moving forward.  Content receiving an average could be rewritten and repurposed.  However, marketing material that receives a failing grade should be removed.

5. Summarize and Recommend

Taking an inventory and analyzing the data are the two most time-consuming steps in a content audit.  However, now you have the difficult task of translating all your extensive findings into a digestible and easily understood format.  This final step of recommendations/summations most likely will need approval from your company executives, strategists and content creators.  Without their buy-in, content audits are often for naught.

Not a One-Off Process

A content audit should be conducted regularly because the data gained from these audits will lead to more informed decisions.  Better decision making will result in greater brand visibility, an improved marketing ROI, and cost and manpower savings.

If you do not have the proper internal resources to conduct a content audit, the diamond dog Marketing team can manage this task for you.  For further details, contact us to today at  info@diamonddogmarketing.com or 847-269-1422.

 

 


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