So much of content marketing really comes down to making a plan and sticking to it. Auditing your content is no different. It’s not a one-off project; it’s a vital piece of your content optimization cycle.
EnableVue recommends one content audit per year. That might seem like overkill, considering how much time a content audit usually takes. But more often than not, it’s the first content audit that takes a large investment of time and resources, whereas each successive audit requires fewer resources to deliver more useful data to inform your content strategy.
The basic elements of a content audit
No two content audits are ever the same. However, these are the core components that tend to guide each content audit. Consider how your business would enact each one.
- Determine business objectives for your content.
- Allocate resources.
- Create lists and sub-lists of content assets to be audited.
- Define your grading scale (qualitative) and analytics goals (quantitative).
- Analyze your competitors and compare.
The first content audit is always the most difficult. It can feel like a hard look in the mirror, and it demands that you develop new systems to support the audit. The good news is that once those systems are in place, they can be implemented each year with less friction every time. That’s why you should consider the initial costs of your content audit as an investment in the long-term success of your business, as opposed to a one-time cure-all.
The underlying reason for an annual content audit is simple: Things change. One metric that you measure today might not even be relevant by next year.
Why you need an annual content audit
- Your company’s core service/products change.
One year from now, your company could be in a new phase of growth. Rather than targeting low-hanging fruit, it could be customers with high lifetime value that you’re after.
- Industry trends change.
What are the new trends in your field? There are likely to be new terms for new technologies, and if you don’t speak the lingo, you’re perceived as an industry laggard.
- User behavior changes.
How are your customers finding you? There might be new or obsolete marketing channels that you need to address.
- SEO best practices change.
Google is constantly updating its search algorithms. Your business needs to be aware of how your content is being evaluated by Google and other search engines.
- You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
The simple act of measuring your relevant data points and evaluating your content on a regular basis will reveal a larger picture of your content marketing efforts that was once invisible. Suddenly, new hypotheses can be tested against known past data, and improvements can be made.
This is content optimization at its best, and it’s only possible with an annual content audit.