When it comes to content creation, it’s important to look back as well as forward
When businesses talk about their content strategy, what they’re essentially referring to is creating content for the future. This involves thinking about what you’re going to do next, but the best content strategies also look at the things you’ve done before.
Looking back at the content your business has already produced can give you a clear insight into the kind of content you should be putting out in the future, as well as giving you the chance to create a more curated content experience for your customers.
Taking the time to review your past content allows you to complete a valuable content audit. Not sure what this means? Don’t worry, we’re here to explain.
What is a content audit?
If your online presence was a rosebush, a content audit is the equivalent of giving your roses a good pruning — cutting away the weaker areas of your garden so the robust blooms can thrive.
Put simply, a content audit is the process of tracking all your past content, then organizing it, making improvements to it and removing anything that doesn’t fit your brand. This can really hone and optimize your business’s online persona.
A content audit offers a great opportunity to improve your content marketing process, letting you look under the hood of your online presence and seek out weaknesses and improvements. With this information on-hand, you can start planning steps to improve your performance.
Basically you can think of your content as one of three things: Good, Bad or Ugly.
Good content is that which works best, producing the most traffic generation, the highest conversions and the most links and shares. Meanwhile, Bad content is that which generates below-average results.
Ugly content is that which produces no response at all.
How to have a successful content audit
Completing a successful content audit may seem like a daunting task, but the results will surely be worth it. Breaking it down into smaller steps can make it feel like less of an ordeal.
Decide what you want from your content, and be specific
Every piece of content you produce should have a clear purpose, and that should also be true of content you’ve put out in the past. Is it there to offer industry insight, to describe your business’s services, to push a specific product or something else entirely? Ask yourself what the point of your content is, whether to build traffic, create backlinks, encourage social shares or boost conversions.
Going through all your past content can take a while, so you’ll need to be smart with how you go about it. Create an Excel spreadsheet and record the necessary data, including the URL, Page Title and Type, Monthly Traffic, Backlinks, Shares and Conversions.
Measure your success closely and start making improvements
Now that you have your list, start analysing each page to document their success. There are plenty of online tools to help you get the data you need, and you can also see what the social media response to content has been when you’ve shared it.
You can leave your Good posts alone, but your Bad posts will need some improvement. Depending on where they’re going wrong, consider giving them more of a hook to entice your audience or placing more emphasis on backlinks and promotion to encourage conversion.
And as for your Ugly content, simply delete it. It’s not adding anything to your brand, so it’s not necessary.
Keep up your regular audits
Your first content audit will be a bit of a slog, there’s no getting around it. But once you’ve taken the time to do it once, you can get into the habit of carrying out an audit every 3-6 months and analysing your content. This won’t take anywhere near as long, and it’ll give you the chance to improve your future content and make sure your business brand is in tip-top shape.