Auditing your content is about as much fun as stripping wallpaper, but you know you have to do it. And you know you’ll be glad when it’s over, so there’s no reason to keep putting it off.
I want to talk about some of the easy stuff when it comes to your content audit—the “low-hanging fruit” if you’re into trite, overused business lingo.
Here are some of the easy ways to improve your content during your next audit:
1. Add forward links.
In theory, it’s easy to link new content back to old, related content, and to link old content forward to newer content. In practice, however, we often find that the former is a lot easier and more likely for us to execute than the latter.
A content audit is the perfect opportunity to find and add forward links. Try looking for just one or two opportunities to add forward links to each page you audit that’s more than two months old.
2. Cut page content in half.
On static Web pages, make an effort to view the content with fresh eyes—the eyes of your prospects. Many of them will not read every word; they’ll skim for keywords and basic concepts.
Try to cut page content in half, keeping just the essential information. You may decide half is an arbitrary amount of text to keep, but it will be a good exercise to help you determine what is truly important to communicate.
3. Check for broken links and misspellings.
If you use a content management system that’s worth its salt, you should get notifications before you publish a broken link. But what happens if a link breaks after you publish a page?
You don’t always know, unless you audit your pages. The best part of this easy tip is that just by republishing pages during the audit, your content management system should automatically notify you of any links that broke since the last publish date.
Misspellings generally don’t change over time, but if you didn’t spellcheck your content the first time around, now is a great time to do so.
4. Convert lengthy paragraphs into bulleted lists.
This step can be as simple as strategically hitting the return button a couple of times and adding bullet points to each line. Bullet points are quick and easy to read, and keep your visitors engaged. Additionally, bullet points are sticky—people are more likely to remember them later.
5. Add images.
Images can help draw in visitors, make your content more memorable and provide visual context for your content. If you didn’t include images on your pages the first time you published them, take this opportunity to find images on free sites or create your own in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. They can be photos, infographics, visual lists or animated gifs.
There are many things you’ll want to do to improve your content during an audit. These are the easiest tips that will give you the most bang for your buck if you’re short on time or have a lot of content to audit.
Holly Wright is the marketing manager for Spectate. A version of this article originally appeared on Spectate’s blog.