All Content Is Not Created Equal
Content marketing requires a lot of content. If you want to create enough content to improve your SEO you should be writing at least three times per week, as well as promoting that content on social media. If you’re churning out articles at that pace, consistently, year on year, then at some point standards may waver a little. If you think they are, then perhaps now is the time to consider a content marketing audit.
One thing worth bearing in mind is that you don’t necessarily need/want to rate all content equally. A key part of the audit is working out what the aim of the page is, ie what user need it aims to meet. And then find out how you might measure success in meeting this need. In some cases, a ‘win’ might be the user clicking on ‘buy’ or other call-to-action, in others, they might get what they want by staying a while and consuming the information on the page. In any case, when compiling an audit, you’re looking to see what user need the content serves and how well it does this. Spreadsheets are generally best. It’s a good idea to give each piece of content a unique identifier separate from its current URL. There’s plenty of further good advice in the book ‘Content Strategy for the Web’ by Halvorson and Rach.
Here are some interesting links on how to build a content audit from UXMastery.
Is Being Content Enough?
In general, I think of an audit as necessarily including judgment (as opposed to an inventory which could be generated completely automatically). And I strongly agree with Graham that you don’t want to treat all content the same (perhaps not even evaluating all as thoroughly). You’ll want to consider the sources of data and also, especially for a large site, ensure your spreadsheet remains high quality.
As to tools, one thing to consider is a toolset that allows “live” reporting, which is useful both for maintaining the quality of the inventory or audit and you can also track progress if there are multiple people involved in evaluating pages. One combination of tools I have used to good effect is Google Spreadsheets with Zoho Reports automatically pulling information from those spreadsheets for live reporting.
And as always look for ways to trim your content (here’s a case study that shows how to give your writing a diet)!
Content Marketing Audit Tools
If your audit will primarily be focused on a website, I’d highly recommend taking Content Insight’s CAT tool for a test drive. You’re still going to have plenty of manual legwork surrounding the review of each page, but CAT does a nice job of automating the initial inventory step (which can still take a lot of time) and then provides a nice interface for you to score the quality and dictate next steps for each page on a site.
How can we help?
What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console? Do you need help building a Content Marketing audit?
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