How to Conduct a Content Audit [The Ultimate Guide]

When was the last time you performed a content audit?

As a content creator, you may be so focused on creating new content that you might forget to analyze how your existing content is performing.

It’s time to ask yourself:

  • Is your content getting decent views, likes, and shares?
  • Are readers actually taking the desired actions after reading your content?
  • Does your content help generate qualified leads and sales?
  • What is the ROI of your content marketing campaigns?
  • Is any of your old content outdated?
  • Which posts can you upgrade to make them relevant and useful for your audience?

Conducting a thorough content audit can help you find all these answers and figure out ways to improve your content strategy.

Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: This content contains some affiliate links for which we will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you). This is to ensure that we can keep creating free content for you.

What Is a Content Audit?

A content audit refers to the process of collecting and analyzing all of the content assets on your website, including landing pages and blog posts.

Conducting a content audit will help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy and optimize your content plan to meet your current marketing goals.

Why Do You Need to Perform a Content Audit?

A content audit is a powerful tool to check the ongoing health of your content and optimize it to drive maximum traffic, leads, and conversions.

That’s why 86% of companies run content audits at least once a year. Out of these, 38% of companies conduct content audits more than three times a year.

Conducting a content audit can help you:

  • Get an inventory of all the content that you’ve already created.
  • Analyze how each of your content pieces is performing.
  • Identify and update outdated content to make it relevant to your audience in current times.
  • Optimize website content that has the potential to rank higher in the search engine result pages.
  • Repurpose content that is gaining traction to amplify its reach.
  • Tie your content pieces with marketing goals and improve ROI.
  • Identify your top writers who are creating high-value content.
  • Discover new content ideas by identifying content gaps.

You should audit your content at reasonable intervals to identify opportunities for improvement, content repurposing, and new content creation.

How to Run a Content Audit

Running a content audit may seem time consuming but it will help you save time and resources and generate better ROI from your content marketing efforts.

Here is the step-by-step process you should follow to conduct a content audit:

Define Your Goals

Just like other marketing initiatives, you should begin with defining your goals clearly.

Most marketers leverage content to drive more organic traffic, leads, and conversions.

Image via Semrush

What do you want to achieve with content marketing?

You might want to:

Track metrics such as organic traffic, search rankings, the number of backlinks, and dwell time.

    • Increase engagement rate. You should use Google Analytics and other web analytics tools to track performance metrics such as page views, average session duration, and bounce rate.

This will help you identify the topics and types of posts that are driving maximum engagement and the ones that are hurting your user experience.

    • Improve conversion rate. Track metrics like the number of downloads, leads, product inquiries, affiliate links’ clicks, and sales. It will help you calculate your content’s conversion rate and ROI.

You’ll be able to define the most efficient content types and topics for every stage of your customers’ buying journey.

Create an Inventory of Your Content Assets

Compile a list of all of the content assets that you are going to audit. For this, you need to collect the URLs of the web pages and the metrics associated with them.

You can create and maintain a spreadsheet manually that includes details like:

  • URLs and titles
  • Date posted or last updated
  • Target keyword
  • Content types (blog posts, landing pages, podcast episodes, product descriptions, ebooks)
  • Content format (text only, images includes, video included, CTAs included, affiliate links included)
  • Number of words
  • Meta content
  • Author (writer’s name)
  • Buyer’s journey stage (awareness, consideration, decision)

You can also use tools like Screaming Frog (free for up to 500 URLs) to automatically identify all URLs on your website, collect various other SEO data points, and download that data as a CSV file.

Another way to do this automatically is to opt for the WordPress Content Audit plugin.

Collect and Analyze Data

Collect data about the performance of each of your content pieces, including details like:

  • Number of backlinks
  • SERP positions
  • Amount of traffic generated
  • Number of page views
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Number of social shares

You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Semrush, Linkody, Brand24, and Mention.com to do this.

Identify the Actions Required

Using the collected data, you should assess each piece of content and segment them into the types of actions required.

Identify which content pieces you need to:

  • Keep as is. The content that performs well and remains relevant.
  • Update. Increase word count, replace statistics, replace outdated information, add FAQs.
  • Rewrite or delete. Low-quality content and extremely short posts that need to be revised completely to make them relevant and effective.
  • Optimize. The content that has the potential to rank higher after keyword optimization or link building.
  • Repurpose. Exceptionally high-performing content that can help you gain more traction if it is repurposed.

You can simply create a new column to update the “Action Required” in your content audit spreadsheet. Feel free to highlight them in specific colors to see an overview of the health of your website content.

At the same time, you can add new content ideas that can help fill out the content gaps on your website. Also, research your competitors’ content while doing so.

Optimize Your Content Plan

Once you know what you need to do with each of your content assets, it is time to prioritize which actions to take first.

You should optimize your content plan to generate better results in a quicker way.

But how?

You can prioritize content tasks that require minimal work and may bring great results. For example, adding affiliate links, optimizing metadata, updating CTAs, and implementing 301 redirects.

Create a content plan with proper tasks, responsible person, and deadlines for each piece of content. And use automated tools to simplify the process and track everything systematically.

Here are some actionable tips that can help you improve the ROI of your content assets:

  • Optimize the content and page title that has the potential to rank higher. You can use tools such as LongTailPro to identify the best long-tail keywords to include in your underperforming posts.

Alternatively, use the TF-IDF Tool to identify content gaps. Use if to find out if you overuse keywords, discover semantically related keywords, and compare your content to that of competitors.

  • Build high-quality backlinks to content that offers valuable information and great engagement potential but is not getting enough visitors. Tools such as Link-Assitant and Linkody can help.
  • Expand the content that is shorter in length to make it more insightful and valuable for your audience. Use tools like Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and ProWritingAid to spot and fix errors while writing content.
  • Syndicate and repurpose evergreen and trending content to amplify its reach.
  • Structure your content for improved readability and to make it easier for crawlers to understand its flow.
  • Add examples, statistics, and case studies to engage your audience better.

You should run content audits regularly to review and optimize your content marketing strategy for maximum results.

FAQs

Q1. How do I do a content audit?

A. To do a content audit, you should:

  • Define your goals and key metrics.
  • Create an inventory of your content assets.
  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Identify the actions required.
  • Optimize your content plan.
  • Create, upgrade, and repurpose content.
  • Measure its performance regularly to further optimize your content plan.

Using tools can help you simplify the content audit process and save you time, money, and resources.

Q2. What is a content audit used for?

A. A content audit is used to do a qualitative analysis of all of the content on a website. It helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy to optimize and improve your ROI.

Q3. Which tool is the best fit for doing a content audit?

A. Some of the tools you can use to do a content audit include:

  • SEO tools such as Semrush, Serpstat, SE Ranking, Traffic Travis, LongTailPro, etc.
  • Content optimization tools such as LongTailPro, TF-IDF, etc.
  • Content writing editors and proofreading tools such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid, etc.

Q4. How do you do content inventory?

A. Content inventory includes creating a list of all of your content assets such as landing pages, blog posts, case studies, and more. You can either do it manually or use tools such as Screaming Frog to export a CSV data file.

Q5. What is a content audit?

A. A content audit refers to the process of collecting all of your site content and analyzing its effectiveness in terms of traffic, leads, user experience, and conversion rates.

Q6. When you're running a content audit, what is the first thing you need to do?

A. The first thing you need to do is to identify the purpose behind running a content audit. Identify what you want to achieve.

Do you want to improve SEO results, user engagement, or conversions? Or, are you just trying to increase your brand’s online visibility?

The process to run site content audits will depend on your content marketing goals.

Q7. How do you review content?

A. You should review content for:

  • Relevance to your audience and the current times
  • Grammatical and structure errors
  • Content flow issues
  • Ways to improve its ranking on search engines
  • Its performance against that of the content published by your competitors

You will need a team of content strategists, writers, editors, and SEO analysts for conducting a thorough content analysis. If you don’t have an in-house team of experts, feel free to hire us.

Q8. How much does a content audit cost?

A. A content audit may cost anywhere between $5000-$25,000 depending on the amount of already published site content you have and your company goals.

Ready to Perform a Thorough Content Audit?

Most marketers are so busy creating and distributing new content that they seldom revisit old content to check if it is performing well. You shouldn’t make that mistake if you want to make the most out of your content marketing efforts.

61% of marketers cite updating and repurposing existing content as the most efficient content marketing tactic in 2020. You can also leverage this tactic by conducting a thorough content audit of your website and identifying old content pieces that have the potential to perform better after an upgrade.

Do you need help conducting a content audit or creating high-quality content for your business? Hire our experts for competitive content marketing and writing services.

Disclaimer: This content contains some affiliate links for which we will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you). This is to ensure that we can keep creating free content for you.

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic | 5K keywords on page 1. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business2Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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