How strong is YOUR website content?
Many of us have no idea. A content marketing audit is one of those projects that’s often neglected — even though it’s a critical part of your long-term strategy. It’s like changing the tires on your car. It’s easy to ignore. But if you let too much time go by without auditing your content, your site’s conversion rate suffers.
The beginning of a new year often signifies a fresh start, which includes your marketing strategies. It’s the perfect time to analyze what’s working, what’s not, and identify areas of improvement moving forward.
We’re already into January — what are you waiting for?
#1 – Identify Who You’re Trying To Reach
A lot of marketers shovel content onto their sites without first figuring out which types of visitors are most likely to buy their products. They end up with lots of material and an impressive amount of traffic, but lackluster sales.
Every site attracts a variety of visitors. Some are tire-kickers with little intention of buying. Others come for the free content; they gobble it up, but like the tire-kickers, have no plans to buy. Still others are actively looking for a solution to a problem that your product solves. They might not be ready to hand over their cash yet, but they’ll do so once they’re comfortable with you.
That last group is the one you want to reach with your content.
A content marketing audit forces you to review each piece of content on your site and determine whether it’s targeting potential buyers. It forces you to narrow your focus with an eye toward conversions.
#2 – Manage (And Improve) The Quality Of Your Content
Some of the content on your site will be fantastic. Some of it will be mediocre or uninspired. And some of it may be downright lousy. The key is knowing which content is doing its job and which is just taking up space.
Create a rubric and use it to score each page on your site. Your rubric should include the items that are critical to converting your visitors. For example, does the page you’re reviewing have a title that contains a primary keyword? Does the content stay within a specific word-count range? Is there an image, lead capture form, or call to action on the page? Does the copy address potential buyers, wherever they happen to be in the sales cycle?
Score each page according to how it performs on your rubric. The high-scoring pages can be left alone. The low-scoring pages should be revised.
A content marketing audit makes this important process possible. Without it, you’re essentially guessing at which content is doing its job.
#3 – Make Sure Every Critical Components Are Included
This reason is related to the previous one. Performing a content audit gives you a chance to validate that every necessary component of each page is accounted for.
For example, maybe you want each page to include an embedded video. Or perhaps you want every piece of content to link to at least 4 other pages on your site. Does the page under review have social sharing buttons, a breadcrumb navigation scheme, or a user rating platform? Does the URL conform to your site’s overall link strategy?
The audit forces you to check for every detail. If something is missing, you’ll find it.
#4 – See How You Stack Up Against Your Competitors
In the words of the television show Survivor, you want to “outwit, outplay, and outlast” your competition. You can do so by creating superior content and using it more effectively than your competitors do. The audit process gives you a chance to see how your content stacks up.
Explore their sites. Check out the quality and volume of their material, and determine how they’re using it to convert visitors to customers. Who are they targeting with their content? What topics are they focused on? What elements – e.g. images, videos, internal links, etc.- are they including on every page?
Once you have a good grasp of your competition’s strategy and the quality of their content, you can decide whether to outdo them or mimic them. There’s no shame in the latter approach, especially if they command a larger budget.
A content marketing audit forces you to evaluate your competitors. More importantly, it compels you to review their sites methodically so you can apply what they’re doing to your own site.
#5 – Check For Missed Opportunities
If you’ve been spending all of your time writing blogs and case studies, you’ll have missed the chance to reach your audience through videos and podcasts. If you’ve been focused on videos and podcasts, you’ll have missed the chance to reach your audience through ebooks, mobile apps, and email newsletters.
In short, there are a lot of content marketing opportunities that are probably slipping through your fingers. An audit makes this clear, revealing gaps in your strategy.
To be fair, there’s only so much time available in each day. Unless you sacrifice sleep and bathing, you probably won’t be able to do everything on your own. But if you hire others to do it for you, you can create a variety of material that caters to how different segments of your market consume content.
If you haven’t yet audited the content on your site, now is a good time to do so. Don’t rush it. A careful audit can reveal surprising shortfalls in your overall strategy. The good news is that once you know about them, you can take steps to shore them up.
Of course, if you aren’t sure where to start or simply don’t have the time to conduct a content audit for you or your clients, we are here to work as your outsourced digital marketing agency. Shoot us an email and we’ll get started!