This tutorial will walk you through one of the first crucial steps towards creating content that drives qualified leads through organic search: performing a content audit.
We’ll cover the following points:
- When and why conduct a content audit?
- How to conduct the content audit?
- A practical example
- What to do next?
Let’s dive in!
When and why conduct a content audit?
Simply put, a content audit should be a brand’s answer to the question ‘does our content work?’
In more elaborate terms, a content audit requires a thorough look at the content your organization produces in order to evaluate its performance (or quality), determine whether and how well it is aligned to your brand goals, and identify opportunities for improvement.
A content audit can also help to position your content in your industry or niche, and to make better decisions when it comes to producing new content.
In this article, you’ll learn the steps of a content audit and you’ll take an exclusive peek into our Content Strategy Framework for creating content that drives qualified leads.
How to conduct the content audit?
A technical audit is where most brands (should) start. Because a technical audit usually looks into traffic and content performance data, it is often the easiest and most natural place to start.
Watch to the following extract from our Content Strategy Framework to understand how to carry out this part of the content audit.
You can conduct this part of your content audit using Google Analytics, which will give you all the information that you need. Here’s the type of information we advise extracting on the top-performing content on your website:
- content traffic vs. total traffic to your website. Knowing the percentage of traffic a certain piece of content generates will reveal how important that content is for your brand, especially if you are thinking of archiving or deleting some of your older content. Naturally, anything that drives an important portion of traffic to your website should be kept (and updated if necessary).
- time on page. How much time people spend reading your content is an important indicator of how well your content is able to retain your target audience. While it’s hard to know what the ideal read time should be, if your 2,000-word article has an average read time of 45 seconds, then you know something’s not right.
- bounce rate. Many brands capture website visitors with public content (blogs, infographics, case studies, videos, etc), with an aim to direct them towards other important resources on their website (product demos, gated assets, etc). A high bounce rate indicates that your content is not engaging enough to keep people browsing through your website after this first point of interaction.
- conversion rate. Conversion is the tell-tale sign when it comes to content performance. If you have a lead capturing widget, a downloadable asset, or simply a newsletter signup form on your content page that are not generating leads, it’s time to dive into your content quality.
Fill out this information on the Content Canvas which you’ll find in the framework.
A practical example
Let’s see what this would look like in practice.
As an example, we’ll analyze one of our older blog articles at Karalyte: How to run a brand strategy workshop?
Let’s go into Google Analytics and see how much traffic we get from this post, and whether that content has a good performance.
Let’s add this information to our Content Canvas.
What can we conclude from our content analysis?
- the article generates an important portion of our blog traffic, so we will keep it on the blog;
- it has a long read time, meaning it still provides value for its audience;
- we don’t know if the content is competitive enough and would need to carry out research to decide how the content should be leveled up.
What to do next?
As the next step, we would recommend diving even deeper and performing the following type of content audit:
- A qualitative analysis of your content will help you determine whether your content is still aligned with your brand goals and fills a need for your target audience. You can use the Content Scorecards in the Framework to carry out the qualitative content audit.
- A competitor content audit will let you identify top-performing content created by your competitors and discover new opportunities for your content strategy. Analyzing competitor traffic is covered in Chapter 4 of the Content Strategy Framework.
Once your audit is complete, you should be able to answer a few very important questions:
- Is the content bringing the results you are expecting? i.e. generating qualified leads, creating engagement, driving sales, etc?
- Is your content still in line with your content or business goals? If not, what action will you take? i.e. update the content, repurpose it, remove it?
The information revealed by the audit should help you answer these questions quickly so you can focus your efforts on creating new content that attracts and engages your brand’s audience.
If you need to kick off your content strategy successfully, have a look at our Content Strategy Framework:
Content Strategy Framework