Content Audit Template
Content and its reach form the backbone of any digital marketing campaign. In other words, you have to create things that people want to see, and you have to get them in front of people who might want to buy. So, in order to maximize your digital marketing campaign, it’s worth taking the time to conduct regular content audits.
During a content audit, you and your team systematically review the content you have published, looking at how well each piece is helping you meet your objectives and seeing which content is working well for you and what is falling short of its key performance indicators (KPIs).
If you’ve reached this point but might be wondering, “what is the purpose of a content audit,” or “why do a content audit,” then it might also be helpful to take a closer look at a few content audit benefits. Several insights that a content audit should offer include:
- Is your content engaging viewers? In other words, does your content have a decent view rate or hit count?
- Is your content attracting the right traffic to your website? In other words, are you seeing good conversion rates?
- Is your content meeting the specific needs of your visitors or customers? In other words, are the people who view your content taking the desired action afterwards?
A good content audit is designed to help you work through these kinds of questions for all the content associated with your digital marketing campaign. Plus, if you take advantage of a content audit checklist, this tool will help you make sure you aren’t overlooking any steps. Remember, the answer to questions such as “what is a content audit,” should emphasize that the overall goal is to improve the effectiveness of your content, and by extension, your digital marketing strategies.
Effective content will provide or support the buyer’s journey, from learning about your offerings to actually engaging with your company or purchasing from you. There are many steps along the way where you could lose prospects, and content should stop these gaps. For example, some companies may attract high quantities of traffic to their websites, but then not see many conversions. If you’re noticing a similar effect, this is often a sign that you’re not bringing in qualified or “warm” leads. However, if your content engages and draws in people who are interested in buying, this will reverse those effects.
Content Audit Tool
Technically speaking, a content audit could be conducted manually. However, this process would take a tremendous amount of time, and that is why a lot of people use content audit tools or content analysis tools.
However, actually seeing just how many options there are out there may leave you asking, well, “which tool is the best fit for doing a content audit?”
The answer depends on a few factors, such as how much content you’re hoping to audit, how closely you want to review that content, and how much of the process you want to automate or how much you’re ok with doing manually. Cost and budgeting are factors too, of course. For example, if you are looking for a free content audit tool, then a content audit template Google Sheet might be your first stop. Even though it won’t be the most effective option out there, it’s free and offers low barriers to entry for beginning users, so it may be a good place to start. By trying out free options first, you can figure out which features you do and don’t need, and from there, find the right tool to really meet your needs.
Or, if you already have a sense of what you need, then there are other tools ready-made for content audits. For example, HubSpot can save a lot of time, since this suite includes a tool created specifically for auditing websites and content.
If you want to use the best tools on the market, though, you do need to be ready to invest in them and pay for premium versions. A few examples of tools that fall under this category include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog, and even the premium version of Google Analytics. Likewise, even though these tools can automate many steps in the process of a content audit, you may also get more out of this process if you work with trained professionals who can walk you through it.
Comprehensive Content Audit
If you are looking to conduct a comprehensive content audit, it’s worth understanding that there are certain content audit best practices that, if followed, can help you create an effective and usable content audit report. For example, you may want to do a social media content audit, a website functionality audit, or even follow a design audit checklist. Either way, some of the steps to follow include:
- First, determine which metrics you’ll be measuring and focusing on as you audit content. If you narrow down your audit to a few metrics, then you can draw more insights into the health of your overall digital marketing campaign. For example, you may want to focus on website traffic, conversion data, or user engagement.
- Then, treat your content like inventory. Prepare to categorize your content, since each individual type may have its own metrics that determine its success and performance.
- Finally, assess the data and assemble the big picture. What content is performing well? What content is performing poorly? Are there any common factors among that high or low performance? Thinking through these questions will help you to begin thinking about what you can do to improve too.
Structuring your content audit using these best practices will help you get the most out of this process.
Website Audit Template
A website audit template can also be useful, since this will help you separate content itself from other elements of your online presence. Plus, if you use a pre-made option such as a website audit checklist PDF, you can even develop a website audit presentation, if you need to report on your approach or progress.
However, whether or not you use a website audit template (maybe made using Excel or an automated tool), it’s worth checking to make sure you include some key considerations. These include:
- Assess traffic trends – are any specific parts of your website bringing in more or less traffic than the rest?
- Test accessibility and user experience- is your content, and your site at large, compatible with mobile devices?
- Review on-page SEO – does your content make appropriate use of search engine optimization (SEO) practices?
- Consider indexing – is your content being ranked in the right searches, or is it coming up in the results for a different kind of product or service?
- Test speed and navigability – is each page loading at the correct speed? Do links work, whether they lead to other websites, social media, or internal pages?
- Monitor your keywords – do you have content that makes use of the most up-to-date terms, trends, and issues in your industry?
These questions are important because content doesn’t exist in isolation: instead, it works with the rest of your website and online presence, so all parts need to work – and work together – if you’re going to succeed!
Content Audit Categories
As briefly mentioned earlier: as you go through the process of auditing your content, it is often helpful to break that content into multiple categories. This way, you’ll have a better sense of what content you have, and which versions of it are performing well.
With this in mind, a few important categories to have include:
- Comprehensive website audit category: this is meant to capture a picture of what your website is doing overall, and it can be used in comparison to competitors in other analyses.
- Technical website audit: this will focus on structure and architecture, or all the areas that contain your content once it’s published.
- Social media: this will look at the content that’s published in places besides your website, and consider whether that content is driving traffic to your website, or otherwise helping sales.
- SEO: this will consider whether your content is using search engine optimization (SEO) practices to best results.
- Link auditing: this category is meant to help you think about whether there are any places to include new links to other, related content.
- Lead conversion optimization: this is to measure how well your content is converting leads, or getting visitors to take the actions you want from them. Here, consider: what is your current conversion rate? What do you want it to be? Do you think it can improve?
Dividing your data into multiple categories, such as those above, will give you a better picture of the overall health of your website and digital marketing campaign.
Content Matrix Template
After finishing your website audit and connecting those findings back to your content, you can then construct a content matrix template. A website content matrix template can be helpful because it allows you to categorize your content even after the content audit has been completed.
If you look at a content marketing matrix template, for example, you’ll quickly notice that it includes multiple categories, including topics, media, conversion opportunities, and funnel stages. Then, as you review website content matrix examples, you can brainstorm for each individual topic, figuring out what you should be doing in this area in order to maximize the success of your digital marketing campaign.
If you’re wondering how to make a content matrix, you can do this easily using Google Sheets or Excel. Or, if you’ve never used a content matrix template before, then you may want to work with professionals who are familiar with this process. This is why many savvy business leaders decide to partner with Demandwell. Demandwell and its experienced teams can help you maximize your chances of converting lukewarm leads into paying customers.
Why Is a Content Audit Useful?
To return to a recurring question: keep in mind that the goal of a content audit is to help you get the most out of your digital marketing strategy. In other words: anyone can publish content. However, it takes a lot more skill and effort to publish content successfully.
A content audit can help you answer questions such as : what is the purpose of your contact? Does your content support or improve the performance of your SEO campaign? Or, is your content helping you convert visitors into paying customers? Clearly, these are very different goals, and each one will be achieved differently. So you need to think carefully about how you can use a content strategy to meet your own specific goals.
This is where a website content audit template can be useful, since it will help you both evaluate and organize your content strategy. For example, you may realize that you do not have a content piece covering an important topic yet. Or, you may realize that certain types of content are performing better than others, and this will show you where to redirect your marketing budget in the future. All of this is information that you may not uncover if you do not conduct a content audit. In the end, then, a good content audit is often the first step in executing a successful content strategy.