What is a content audit?
At its core, a content audit is like doing inventory, but instead of keeping track of products, you're keeping track of content!
A content audit tells you what content you have, where it is, when it was published (or is going to be published), and how it is performing. It should also include your content gaps, meaning the content that you have not yet created but that covers strategic topics for your business.
The audit must include all pieces of content that you've ever created: blog posts, ebooks, videos, sales materials, press releases, etc.
Collecting and analyzing your content is in-depth work and can take a fair amount of time to carry out. Planning is necessary for any audit.
Why should you perform a content audit?
First of all, having organized and tracked content lets you see how well your Content Marketing Strategy is doing. It is visual, measurable, and easily understandable for employees, clients, and yourself.
Secondly, it's useful for continuity in your business and strategy. You'll never be caught off guard if your Content Manager takes vacation or switches jobs. You can easily consult the themes that you've covered and streamline your topic/keyword searches.
Finally, a content audit will help inform your choices for the future. It will ideally go alongside big company initiatives, events, and webinars that you're debuting to partners and customers. Having everything tied into one strategy will allow you to make actionable goals for your entire company, involving the Marketing team.
What are the goals of a content audit?
A content audit has many outcomes that you want to achieve, namely:
- Optimize your content strategy in order to achieve more traffic, leads, loyalty, etc.
- Organize and store your content in one place
- Identify high and low performing content
- Discover what content your audience likes
- Improve SEO
- Generate content ideas
- Eliminate outdated content
- Investigate the competition and search results
- Analyze metrics like traffic and conversion rates
- Discover bottlenecks between Marketing and Sales
Steps in a content audit
Every content audit involves several of the same steps. Discover these steps below:
- Organize your content: Start by creating a spreadsheet or similar, where you will house the information about your content. Common fields include: Title, keyword, meta description, URL, type of content, Buyer Persona, Buyer's Journey stage, views, clicks, etc.
- Identify content gaps: Your content strategy must include goals and KPIs for your content, including the core topics you want to target. By figuring out which topics you've already got covered, you can identify which topics you still need to write about, for example, maybe a stage in the Buyer's Journey is missing for a certain Buyer Persona.
- Create a content calendar: Plan out the content you will write in the upcoming months and create a content calendar. It should follow a clear logic, creating awareness about a topic and then creating more in-depth or advanced pieces. Unite this calendar with your social media marketing plan for greater reach and impact.
- Analyze your content: Don't forget about analysis and revision. You can't just create a piece of content and be done with it. Re-format great content into ebooks or videos to make its influence go further.
- Repeat: Repeat the overall cycle every 3-6 months to update content with new information, update links, refresh photos, encounter errors, and archive poorly performing content.
Tools to perform the content audit in HubSpot
Doing an audit on the HubSpot platform is better than doing it on any other platform, because Inbound revolves around all things content! Discover how HubSpot takes your content audit to the next level:
- Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters: HubSpot makes it very easy to organize the content that you've created on the platform. Use the content strategy tool consisting of Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters. A Pillar Page is the central topic that you're targeting; it is usually a long, broad blog post or web page. A topic cluster is a series of in-depth posts that delve further into specific areas of your pillar topic. This strategy helps you offer well-rounded information to your audience.
- Buyer Personas: Input your Buyer Personas into HubSpot and associate them with pieces of content. If you still need to create Buyer Personas, download our free template.
- SEO optimization: HubSpot helps you maximize each page and piece of content through the "Optimize" tab, which offers SEO tips and best practices to make sure each post is doing the most it can do SEO-wise, like adding a meta description, alt text for images, internal and external links, etc. The SEO Strategy feature where you keep track of your Pillar Pages also has recommendations for SEO.
- Campaigns: Associate everything with its proper campaign, so that you can see on a larger scale the goals and achievements of your content.
- Analytics: Keep track of the results of your content. HubSpot comes with dashboards of default and custom reports that you can tailor to your most important KPIs.
Performing a content audit is absolutely essential for any company that hopes to use Inbound Marketing to grow their business. While it can often be time-intensive and you may require specialized skills to optimize your content and SEO, your efforts will be rewarded with better organization and search rankings, and more relevant and qualified leads.