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10 tips for a good content audit

Published Nov 01, 2022 – By Wardour

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As Bill Gates said, “content is king”, and marketing directors and CEOs across all industries are recognising its role in communicating the who, how and why of a company. But often organisations are so focused on publishing a steady stream of content, they don’t stop to question whether that content is having the desired impact. And that’s where content audits come in.  

What is a content audit?

A content audit reviews the performance of the content on your website. Audits can – and should – be very detailed, gathering data on page views, bounce rates, referral rates, dwell times, traffic source, entrance and exit rates and user journey – to name just a few metrics. It can even go as far as getting direct user feedback, as we’ve done on numerous occasions with our clients’ content audits.

Regularity is key when it comes to content audits, whether that means once a year or once a quarter. But the longer a company goes without one, the bigger the audit will need to be when it inevitably takes place, and the more costly.

Why is a content audit important?

A company’s content strategy will have specific goals and objectives. A content audit measures whether that content is – or is on the way to – meeting those goals and objectives. Most of the time when we’re asked to do a content audit, it’s because a business knows their content isn’t quite hitting the mark – an audit can tell you why that’s the case, and how to change that.

Our tips for your next content audit

  1. Agree on what you want from your content audit. Every company should be doing a regular content audit, but the reasons why they do them will be different. Thinking about what you want to get from your audit, and the impact you want it to have on your business, will shape your brief and pave the way for a successful outcome.
  2. Consider the time period. Do you want to compare content before and after an event? If part of your audit is testing the effectiveness of your content after the launch of a particular campaign or the expansion of a content team, for example, make this clear in the brief.
  3. Don’t forget your competitors. Everyone has competitors, and mapping your content against theirs will provide some much-needed context. 
  4. Take a holistic approach. Stats alone won’t give you the whole picture – in fact they might give you the wrong picture. A low dwell time, for example, doesn’t mean the content is bad. A proper audit will look at everything together, gathering an accurate picture of what is and isn’t working – and why. 
  5. Sources are important. The journey of how your audience gets to your website is integral to a successful content strategy. But so is the quality of the content they get. There’s no point having a great LinkedIn referral rate if your website’s bounce rate is 85%. It’s all a balancing act.
  6. The key metrics tell you a lot – if you let them. Looking at page views, bounce rate, keywords, SEO, dwell times and user journeys will give you a lot of very valuable data. And we mean a lot. But it can take months to turn that data into something you can learn from, which is one of the main reasons companies outsource their content audits.
  7. Look at other content channels. While most audits will focus on an organisation’s website, it’s worth asking whether you want your social channels, podcasts or intranet included on the audit too. The more data you have, the better picture you get.
  8. Choose the right platform. If you’re doing your content audit in-house, it’s really important to choose a content auditing platform that matches your requirements. The platforms are complex and often expertise is required – and this is where an agency becomes a very efficient resource.
  9. Plan your next steps. Part of your audit brief to an agency might be recommendations for improving your content. But if it’s not, make sure your marketing team puts together action points for the lessons learned from the audit. Because your audit, if done well, will be the most valuable tool in an improved content strategy.
  10. Get in touch. Our team of experts performs content audits on a daily basis. And because we create brilliant content, too, we also offer the shaping of a successful content strategy based on the findings of the audit – and, if you want us to, we’ll deliver that strategy too.

Content audits, no matter the scale, are our bread and butter. So if you’d like to learn more about how the Wardour team can help you understand if your content is working for you, please get in touch using the form below or pop us an email at hello@wardour.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

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