You’ve been publishing content for some time, some of your posts have succeeded wildly while others may have faltered, well if this is the case, then it may be time to perform an audit on your content.

By following these content marketing guidelines, you’ll be able to help discern what is gold and want can be discarded.

According to the 4 steps of our content marketing guidelines, before we even begin updating and reevaluating our content we need to first know our content inventory. This just simply means, knowing what you have and any relevant tags or categories that your content belongs to.

Step 1: Make a List

Creating a list of your content is an endeavor all on its own. Just to give a quick synopsis on organizing your content, you’ll want to write down the:

  • Index number (or other identifying factor) for all of your content
  • URL
  • Headline
  • Target Audience
  • Content Synopsis
  • Media embedded
  • Relevant tags
  • Quality of the content

There are tools that can be found online to help scrape your site for this data, however, if your site is small enough, you may want to opt in and do it manually.

Once you’ve compiled your list, it’s time to begin the audit.

The concept of auditing your content is fairly simple, perform analysis and assessment on all of your current content. You’ll want to gauge their strengths and weaknesses in order to best utilize them.

Let’s explore our content marketing guidelines in order to streamline the auditing process.

Step 2: Set a Goal

Auditing content is not an exciting endeavor, so having an objective in mind can help keep you focused on the task at hand.

The goal can be as broad or as narrow as you want, but you want to have one in place, because it can be very easy to jump from one idea to another.

Common content audits include:

  • Organizing your CMS
  • Improving SEO effectiveness
  • Removing irrelevant content
  • Adjusting content for a consistent voice, tone, or quality
  • Reviewing your content’s metadata
  • Increasing audience engagement
  • Improving your conversion rate
  • Applying the Pareto (80/20) rule to your content

While auditing content for one of these goals will undoubtedly show an effect for another goal, you want to stay focused in order to avoid being sidetracked.

Step 3: Apply Metrics

After you’ve defined which goals you want to pursue, then it’s time to find out how to weigh the value of your content. We do this by analyzing the metrics behind them. Depending on which goal you’ve set your sights on, will determine which metrics are most relevant to utilize.

If you’re looking at increasing your audience engagement, you will want to look at data such as:

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments

If you want to explore user’s interaction with your content, look into:

  • Page views
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Time spent on specific pages

If you want to improve your SEO’s effectiveness then make a note of:

  • Backlinks
  • Organic traffic
  • Keyword rankings
  • Search engine ranking

Applying the metrics to the goal you’ve selected will help identify which content is performing to satisfaction and which may need to be revised.

Step 4: Sort Your Content

By now, you’ve created a list of your content, however vast it may be, you’ve set a goal you hope to achieve, you’ve combed through the metrics and can tell what is performing and what isn’t.

Now it’s time to determine what to keep.

It’s easy to want to jump off with a keep and delete list, but you may want to wait before taking that extreme stance. While you may be fortunate and have nothing but gems, there’s a strong likelihood that some of your content is underperforming.

You may just want to delete these, but most of them may just need a little editing and if they’re exceptionally long pieces, you may even consider changing them into modular content for better usability.

How you grade your pieces is a matter of preference, but keep in mind that even low ranking content may only be lagging behind because of various settings and attributes, and a few minor tweaks could push that previously hidden article to the forefront.

As these content marketing guidelines are meant to help stream, here are some attributes you can use on the articles you end up keeping, such as:

  • Combining different pieces of content to make a new asset
  • Rewrite or tweak an underperforming article
  • Update and double check internal linking
  • Restructure your content (change an article into a listicle)
  • Update Calls to Actions with relevant offerings
  • Add media to the content such as videos or infographics
  • Rewrite titles and meta descriptions to enhance metadata

Auditing content can be daunting, but without a clear view of how your website is standing.

Trusts us, once you are done it will feel great, it is like spring cleaning.