The content audit has emerged as an indispensable tool in expanding customer acquisition through faster conversions. The strategic importance of content audit has started exciting many business owners as it is a path towards augmenting return on investment.
Generally, the awareness about the content audit is low. Many don’t even know that such an exercise exists. It is not surprising as content creators are greatly obsessed with new content and less keen to look at old content.Content audit mainly scans the efficacy of a given content in terms of its value, goals, freshness, factual clarity, and workability for getting the desired results.
Objectives of Content Audit
Any given piece of content on a website must justify the business goals and ensure a return on investment or ROI. That can be optimized only by assessing the content’s performance by way of regular audits.
The freshness of content is essential in attracting good traffic. Content will turn stale or obsolete with the passage of time. It is not the fault of any individual but an attribute of time.What was relevant a few years ago will look irrelevant today.
But the silver lining is that the sparkle of stale content can be restored by adding new spice by making it more contemporary and relevant to the present day.Ageing content corrupts facts and data. This loss of accuracy can be gleaned from periodic audits of old posts to keep a brand’s reputation intact.
The content audit will also enlighten content makers on what content works well and what is not. The content creator needs to be aware of the success potential of each type of content be it blogs or crisp articles. Auditing content will also reveal the high performers and worst performers.
Methodology of Content Audit
The basic operation of a content audit is delving into the makings of the content piece and recording the details in a spreadsheet.The exercise will help in analyzing the efforts that went into content in terms of manpower and publishing information. For each piece of content, the following details need documentation for a broad analysis.
• Name of Content Team
• Time Taken
• Content Type
• Content Goal (Backlinks/Traffic/Conversions)
• Word count
• Shares (social media and total shares)
Content Data Audit
Before explicating the content data, an idea about the published content’s performance is imperative to serve as a torch light to plan future content and in knowing what works well.Content audit will be time-consuming in the beginning. The key decision to be taken is the time frame on back content for an audit with all the content URLs of that period taken out for evaluation.Knowing how the content performed in the past year is very insightful. The URLs of the past content need not be collected manually as many analytical tools are there to help.
Use Website Analytics
By using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush one can quickly scan the content and metrics using sitemap data and compile the list of content pages.After compiling all content of the past one year into the Excel doc, prepare for a recurrent analysis or audit of all new content on a per week basis. When the time span for review is a week it is easier to keep track and do faster inputting of data. Keep updating the recent numbers and stats on a weekly basis. If dramatic changes are noticed, mark them out.It is a fact that even evergreen content takes months for gaining traction.
Metrics to Track
Key metrics of content data needs to be dissected for drawing conclusions on the content’s utility in the given time period.
All content must receive a lot of organic traffic without spending extra dollars spent on advertisements as people choose to visit the site’s content to enjoy and engage it.
If the review shows, organic traffic is missing then it is a matter of concern. It then points to a problem in one of the areas or in all areas.
• Content strategy
• Content Distribution
• Content type
• Problem on Content itself
By evaluating the organic traffic metrics, it will be known whether to congratulate oneself or start all over again.
Bounce Rate If a big number of users are avoiding the site;s other pages after a short glimpse of the content page, then it is a sign of bad content.
Ideally, the content must retain a user coming from a search result to entertain, inform and guide to the entire site to fulfill his needs.
One step for better curation of the site’s traffic problems will be tracking the backlinks regularly. But go for the best backlinks only. Proliferating backlinks can be a problem with plenty of bad consequences.
When a new piece of content is published, initially, it will gain 2-3 backlinks. But a week later, 10-12 backlinks will appear. After a year, there may be 600 backlinks for the same piece of content.
Those 600 odd backlinks will not be an asset and potentially harm the website with spam. It goes without saying at least 550 links deserve to be chopped to save the website from losing its good rankings.
Time on Page
If content is pretty long and the visitor spends only little time there is a reason to worry. An example could be long blog of 2,500 words where the visitor spends only 15 seconds. It shows something is seriously wrong.
Time on Page is a crucial metric to remind that the content is not right for the audience and a potential red flag against more such content.
Unique Visitors :
Thanks to content audit business websites can increase unique visitors. They are the ones who view content and generate ROI with conversions, shares, engagement, and backlinks.Tracking the most popular pages will be an important data.
A blog on best winter coats can prod a user to click on the links within the blog post. Thus the e-retailer selling different coats will have a customer and it will be a shining example of optimum
RoI is coming from good content.
The content audit and analytics will also reveal the percentage of new audience consuming the content. Returning users are fine but attracting new users is about the power of content.
The content audit can also reveal the sources of traffic. If bulk of the content’s traffic is flowing from Facebook, there is a need to post more content on Facebook page If email newsletters are not giving visitors, it is time to restructure the emails altogether.
If a new piece of content has targeted 100 conversions in the first quarter backed by an e-mail campaign, start tracking the conversions with appropriate fine tunings.
In the first week, conversions may be small at two. But two months down the line, regular audits on a weekly basis can gear up the content to produce 140 conversions that is more than original 100 planned!
By correlating the content and its achievements it is easy to judge the content’s functionality. The data metrics associated with each of the content will have a story to tell. It may be that it is up to the mark or slipping miserably.
Regarding the content that is doing well, noting the details such as its type, topic, producer and published date can aid in repeating the success.In the case of underperforming content, take extra note of its metrics and track down the specific problem which may be in the author, timeframe of publication, or the content type.Here the point is never hesitate to innovate with new content types if their effectiveness can be tracked through regular auditing.
To conclude, content audit may be a long drawn time consuming affair. But the gains can far outweigh the tedium in terms of improved traffic and faster conversions.