By Brittany Lieu, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

“Content is king,” as said by tech royalty himself, Bill Gates.

To us modern marketers, no statement is more true. As brands shift to the more customer-centric inbound marketing approach, our efforts lean towards how we can connect with our customers and provide value meaningfully.

Consider your content as your customer magnet. Relevant and compelling, it will attract and resonate with those most interested in what your brand has to offer and keep them engaged all the way through the buying journey.  

So how do you own your owned media? Outside of content created for social channels, your website is your company’s treasure trove of content. Manage and maximize what you have by taking detailed inventory. 

What is a content audit?

A content audit is the methodical review and analysis of all the assets hosted on your website. Over time the collection of blog posts, guides, ebooks, and on-demand webinars can grow into what feels like that one drawer of unorganized odds and ends in your house. 

Here are 6 steps to help you complete a traditional content audit from start to finish. 

By taking the time to sort through the mess, not only will you have a system to track content but can also:

  • Gain insights on your distribution of topics and persona messaging
  • Identify gaps and areas for repurposed content
  • Pinpoint content that is most popular or performs best for future campaigns
  • Fix broken links on your website and remove outdated materials

How to cut down on content audit time

Put best by this Content Marketing Institute article, “Content audits are about as popular as colonoscopies but they’re just as necessary to health – in this case, the health of your content marketing strategy.”

Content audits are integral to optimizing all the content your teams have spent hours on developing, but it’s likely the last thing that gets prioritized as you prepare or launch your next big campaign. Let’s be honest, they are tedious to do, ultimately time-consuming and consequently often left undone.

Here are a few ways to get around doing a traditional content audit when you are crunched for time or resources. 

Opt for a condensed content audit  – Pick 3 metrics to measure and 30 URLS to analyze. Conduct a mini audit regularly in times when you need to evaluate your content quickly. Narrow your focus and select the most important metrics that align with your current goals best. These metrics can be conversion, traffic or even engagement related.

Once you’ve identified what to measure, create a spreadsheet much like you would with a traditional audit to inventory data like content type, title, topic, funnel stage, and intended persona. 

Lastly, analyze what you’ve collected and note actionable next steps. The idea of a condensed content audit is to strip down the long and arduous process of a traditional audit and create a habit of regularly accessing your content. Although it doesn’t replace a full fledged review of your content inventory, it helps make your annual audit more like second nature. 

Make the process repeatable – Streamlining the audit process is the next best thing you can do to save your team time, outside of paying for automated tools. Create an accessible spreadsheet that acts as a template that can easily be replicated for new audits.  

Get Auditing!

Content audits will always be a detailed task, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Whether you bite the bullet and take the time to conduct a thorough audit or opt for a condensed process, investing in this step will be the ultimate shortcut to pulling content for future campaigns and content strategies. 

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