Why and how to conduct a content audit

‘Post it and forget it’ might be the easy route, but it won’t yield the audience engagement and conversions your organization needs in order to thrive. Follow these guidelines.

How often do you blog, create videos or post images on social media and your website?

If you’re writing regularly, it’s essential to review analytics and the content you’re creating to ensure it’s appealing to your target demographic.

Follow the steps below to audit your content efforts. In doing so, you’ll be able to determine what works, what doesn’t and how to organize future content efforts.

1. Organize your content.

Gather all the content (video, short-form articles, white papers, etc.) that you’ve created in the past quarter, or whatever timeframe you’ve selected.

I suggest using a Google Spreadsheet to organize information. Create columns for the following:

  • Goal. Specify the purpose of each piece of content (educate your audience, share event information, etc.).
  • Content type. This can be videos, images, articles, presentations, etc.
  • Evergreen or timely. Is the content evergreen (you can use it again), or timely (it covered a specific occurrence, for example)?
  • Author. Who wrote the content? If it’s a video or image, who was featured in the video/photo?
  • Topic. What was the main topic or theme?
  • Publishing date and time. When was the content published to your website or a social media channel?
  • Traffic driven to the site. Use Google Analytics to record the number of visitors each piece of content attracted.
  • Conversion element. Was there a conversion element in place? For example, “download,” or “email signup.” Perhaps you posted an Instagram photo to engage with a certain business or influencer?
  • Number of conversions. How many people took the desired action?
  • Social media sharing. If you regularly use multiple platforms, add a column for each platform and choose a metric that’s most important to you. For example, “shares on Facebook.”

2. Determine the effectiveness of the content.

Use this information to ensure the content you’re creating is helping your business grow. Start by understanding the goals mentioned above.

When my team creates content for clients, we make sure it meets one of typically four goals we’ve helped determine for them. These goals, or marketing pillars, mirror the client’s primary marketing objectives. For example, for Organik SEO, our primary pillars are:

  • Education. We share blog posts and host Twitter chats about topics that are of interest to our target demographic.
  • Community. Our team regularly volunteers and practices sustainability. We showcase this via images on Instagram and through articles on our website.
  • Industry involvement. We present at conferences and post our presentations online. We do this to help develop agency partnerships and engage with the digital marketing community in San Diego.
  • Company culture. We often showcase our company outings, birthday celebrations and more. We do this for fun, but also as a recruitment and retention effort.

I highly suggest determining your marketing goals before conducting an audit, so you can see whether the content you’re creating is achieving them.

Next, analyze which type of content worked best.

3. Review content that worked well.

It’s great to report on changes when Google or Facebook update their algorithms, but if you’re creating only timely content, you’re missing out on the opportunity to have material that you can share again and again.

Make sure your evergreen content is useful and interesting. This audit will let you know if you’re creating too much timely content and not enough evergreen articles/videos.

Next, note which kinds of content your audience engages with most. Do they prefer video, or articles? Which authors do they connect with most? What topics do they prefer?

Use analytics and social media data to back this up. If you hoped for a specific conversion, track that to see which type of content yields that conversion.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Organik SEO blog.

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