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Website content audits: What they are, why they matter, and how to do them.

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If you have an online presence, you have content. In today's digital market, content is what makes the world go 'round. But things are changing all the time. Your business changes, the market changes, consumers change, so the way you present your brand with content will probably have to change, too. 

It is natural, then, to rack up a large library of content over time. With such a large volume of material, you may get to a point where you don’t even know what pieces you have and where to find them. 

That's where a content audit comes in handy. Content audits are like cleaning out your closet every couple of years. It may seem like a pain at first, but with a bit of organization and (hopefully) a little help, you’ll feel lighter and more up-to-date when it’s all said and done. You’ll also have quick access to the most important and meaningful content for your customers and prospects, so your website will perform better, and therefore your business will too.

To help you get started, we created a handy checklist that walks through all the important steps and items to consider when doing your own content audit.

 

What is a content audit?

First things first. What is a content audit? Well, it’s the process by which you take inventory of and evaluate all the content on your website.

There are two types of content audits: quantitative and qualitative. 

  1. Quantitative audits examine the inventory of all your content and where it's located, so you can analyze its performance and determine if it's valuable enough to keep. 
  2. Qualitative audits more subjectively analyze the actual messaging of your content and whether or not it's relevant, on-brand, and necessary. 

Both types of audits provide essential insight and contribute to the health and performance of your website. This may seem like a big undertaking, and it certainly can be. However, regularly performing a content audit can help keep the stress involved in the task to a minimum and ensure your brand stays relevant. It also helps to ensure your marketing team is spending their time on the most valuable efforts, and not wasting it on creating duplicate content.

 

How To Perform a Content Audit

Perform a content auditNow, onto the fun part. Content audits can be pretty complex and intense, but we certainly don't want to overwhelm you before you even get started. We're providing you with a basic overview of the steps involved in a content audit so you can wrap your mind around it. Oh, and we suggest recruiting some helpers (us!), too. 

 

Quantitative Content Audits

To perform a quantitative audit, you'll use Google Analytics or Hubspot to export all of your website pages and data to a spreadsheet. Once this information is exported, you can tidy up and arrange the spreadsheet. The best way to do this is to get rid of data from non-pages, and then sort what’s left into tabs for important website sections. 

Organizing the data this way makes the task more manageable, and you (and hopefully your helpers) can tackle the audit one tab at a time.

Within the tabs, you can create columns by the type of information you want to evaluate (like page views, average time on page, bounce rate, etc.). Then, use conditional formatting to highlight standout positive and negative metrics.

Using that analysis as your guide, you can take a data-driven approach to determine what content or pages to keep, what to revise, and what to eliminate.

Don’t feel like building a spreadsheet? Try out our free Website Content Audit Template!

Free Template

 

Qualitative Content Audits

To perform a qualitative audit, you’ll want to determine how you will evaluate your content. Consider evaluating the content in terms of best practices as well as strategic processes. We like to use a 1-5 ranking system to assess these factors. 

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Is the page broken? 
  • Is it easy to find from your homepage?
  • Is it good content?
  • Is the content aligned to your current messaging?
  • Is it useful to your audience? 
  • Is the content still accurate?

From there, you can use your ranking system to determine what stays, what changes, and what goes.

 

You performed a content audit! Now what?

Performing a content audit of your website can be exhausting. But, it really does help you be more intentional about the content you create going forward, and to ensure that any content your prospects may come across is worthy of being on your site.  

So, what if you complete your audit and realize you’re in desperate need of new content? Or, if you discover a golden piece of data that suggests you should lean more heavily into a certain type of content or messaging? That’s when you call us! 

At Content Matterz, we perform routine content audits for our clients and help them execute the results. We’d love to give you a hand as well. Contact us today for a consultation.