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When is a content audit not an audit?

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 23, 2023
When it’s an opportunity.

A content audit, or any audit for that matter, probably sounds like as much fun as getting your teeth cleaned (except it takes a lot longer). 

But it can be hugely rewarding and should set up your content, SEO, and lead generation strategies for success. 

Read on for top tips on what to look for and how to benefit from a content audit. 

Why audit your content

So, what are you going to get out of the audit? First and foremost you will have a catalogue of content that will enable you to understand what assets you have, where they are and how good they are. 

You can then start to plan how to repurpose, amplify and reuse these assets.

You will also be able to identify gaps and opportunities for new content, aligning the outcomes with your SEO and lead gen strategies to create content gems that help you meet your marketing and business objectives.

You are likely to be surprised at the results: there is usually a gap somewhere between what you think your content focus is (and should be) and where it is now. 

How to audit your content

A robust audit needs to look at a number of criteria with a measurable means of
evaluating them.

Some examples of the criteria we use to evaluate our clients’ content:

  • UX – how good (or bad) is the UX of the asset?
    On brand – is the asset on brand (especially important if your organisation has recently undergone a rebrand)?
  • Focus – what is the focus of the content?
  • Purpose – what purpose does the content serve, for example: brand awareness, lead generation, or customer service/support?
  • Persona – who is the content for?
  • Values/USPs – which of your company values or USPs does the asset convey (there is sometimes an argument to audit against both values and USPs)
  • Engaging – is the content engaging?
  • Pulse – is the content recent (or evergreen)?

What to audit

What exactly should you audit? The most obvious place to start is your website and a quick scrape of your site using a tool like Screaming Frog (link) will provide a robust list (assuming most of your content isn’t hidden behind a login).

You will also want to consider:

  • Any paid ads
  • Organic social pages and posts
  • Emails (including autoresponders, customer communications, and sales emails)
  • Presentations
  • Sales enablement tools
  • Email signature files

The exact scope will be dependent on the time and resource you can devote to the audit but the more that you include, the greater the impact and the better the outcome.

Not just digital

When we work with clients on content audits, we don’t just stick to digital assets. Offline assets, including printed materials, event collateral, press releases (which are to be fair mostly in digital format) and even physical signage are all included and can provide hidden gems or serious opportunities for improvement.

Not just content

We also suggest looking beyond the traditional definition of content and including brand assets such as imagery and icons. In a digital context, these types of digital assets are quite often tied closely to content in terms of the user experience and auditing them is likely to reveal some outdated assets and opportunities to repurpose some fabulous assets you may not have known you had.

What to do next

Finished your audit? Next you need to analyse the results.

Are there some assets which need to be retired or remedied immediately? You are likely to find a few outdated or flawed assets during the audit. Determine their priority for fixing or retiring and set out a plan to get them tidied up.

Where are the gaps? Are all of your personas being served equally (or at least in proportion to their importance)? Are you providing a good balance of brand awareness, lead generation and customer service content? Are all of your values communicated equally or are some being ignored?

Where are the opportunities? Are there some killer assets that you can reuse or repurpose? Are there sales assets that could turned into lead gen hooks? Are there longer form marketing blogs that would help the sales team?

The answer to all of those questions can only be answered by a robust auditing process. So don’t put it off any longer, book in that teeth cleaning.

If you have questions about how to audit your content, or simply want to continue the conversation, please get in touch! 
GA Retirement Update Image
GA Retirement Update Image

Google Analytics Retirement Update

By John Woods  |  March 22, 2023

Tick, tock, click, stop – time is running out for the old Google Analytics 

I may have, ahem, mentioned this before – but just in case you’ve missed it: there’s not much time left to switch to the new version of Google Analytics. 

The headlines: the established version of Google Analytics (“Universal Analytics” or “UA”) will stop collecting data on 1st July 2023. If you want to continue measuring your website with Google Analytics after that date, you need to switch to the new version (“GA4”). And ideally you need to do that well BEFORE 1st July 2023, so that you have some overlap between the old and new systems. 

Google have recently announced that they will automatically migrate UA to GA4 in some circumstances – see for details – but please don’t let that make you complacent. Google admit the automatic migration process isn’t the best choice:

As Google states in their help article:

“We strongly recommend you manually migrate your Universal Analytics settings to GA4. If you do nothing, a new GA4 property will automatically be created for you, and your Universal Analytics configurations will be copied to the new GA4 property. Not all UA configurations have an obvious GA4 counterpart, and the automated process might not make the same choices as you would.

Emma Walker and I discussed the current state of the UA->GA4 migration in this short (2 minute) video: 

As I mention in the video, there are still some frustrating barriers to switching to GA4. In particular some third-party tools with Google Analytics integrations still don’t support the new system. So there are some tough choices to be made in some cases. But the good news is there are always pragmatic compromises that can get you to at least some sort of usable GA4 system. 

If you have questions about migrating UA to GA4, or need help with any other aspect of Google Analytics for B2B marketing, please get in touch! 

Our highlights from Search London’s 12th Birthday

By John Woods  |  March 9, 2023
One of the most useful things I learned in business school is the NIHITO Principle…

There’s no Professor Nihito! Rather, it’s an acronym – Nothing Interesting Happens In The Office.
In other words – if you’re looking for new ideas, get outside your normal work environment.

The Search London event that we sponsored and attended at the end of February was a great example of NIHITO in action. My team and I came away with a bunch of ideas and inspiration about how we can improve our best practices for SEO and related areas of digital marketing.

Search London's 12th Birthday

Highlights from the talks

  • A reminder of the importance of accessibility for SEO-related content (and indeed for everything else in digital marketing) – it’s not hard to make your content a bit more accessible, and both the search engines and your users will reward you.
  • An in-depth look at the complexities of technical SEO on dynamic Javascript-based websites. Most of our clients don’t need to worry about this sort of complexity, but it was great to hear the gory details from an expert practitioner.
  • A fascinating overview of SEO in China, in particular for China’s dominant Baidu search engine. A few of our clients are active in the Chinese market, so some of these ideas are directly relevant for us, but more generally this talk was a reminder about the qualitative aspects of SEO. Whether in China or elsewhere there’s a lot more to the modern SERP than just “ten blue links” and somehow seeing examples in an unfamiliar language helped to highlight this. Our team had some great conversations sparked by this talk!

Google’s EEAT guidelines

We took along a printed version of our recent article and checklist “how to use Google’s EEAT guidelines to win at B2B SEO” and it was great to see so many attendees reading and keeping these. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone working in B2B content marketing. You can download the checklist from within the article.

We still have a few of the printed ones available – if you’d like one to keep handy on your desk please get in touch and we’ll gladly post one to you.


You can get a flavour of the event from the photos here:

Massive thanks to the organisers Jo Juliana Turnbull and Tim Sheed for a great event. Hope to see some of you at a future Search London for some more NIHITO action! 
A blog post exploring the upcoming rebrand from SharpSpring to Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM
A blog post exploring the upcoming rebrand from SharpSpring to Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM

SharpSpring and Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM: More than a Rebrand

By Nicola Haynes  | 
If you are one of our SharpSpring clients, or if you generally dabble in the world of marketing automation, you may notice some changes to the platform over the coming weeks.

SharpSpring Rebrand

What’s happening?

SharpSpring was originally acquired by Constant Contact back in September 2021 with the promise of extended capabilities and better results for smaller businesses.

Things have been quiet since then, but changes are now coming in hot and fast. From the 15th March, the SharpSpring platform will officially rebrand to ‘Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM’ including:

  • Changing the name
  • Changing the logo
  • Updating social channels
  • Releasing an official PR announcement

What doesn’t change?

It’s important to note that at this time nothing changes in terms of the functionality available to your business or your licence costs.

The SharpSpring website will live on and you will access your account in exactly the same way.

What will change?

While the new name doesn’t quite roll off the tongue (has no one considered ad length??) there are some real benefits that come with the acquisition:

New tools & feature development
Once the rebrand is out of the way, Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM will embark on a pretty exciting roadmap of product releases:

  • Improvements to their account level CRM functionality
    • Life of the account: The life of the lead timeline, but for a whole account! This will enable sales teams to very quickly see individual engagement including email opens, website visits, form submissions and media downloads, company wide.
    • Account reporting: Including a whole host of new widgets that can be used for customised reporting and personal dashboards.
    • Accounts and opportunities: Linking these two areas of the platform in a much more seamless way.
    • More sophisticated reporting: Easier access to analytics and data, allowing more detailed reporting around campaigns and traffic sources.
  • Email editor: A complete overhaul of their current email builder including more modern design capabilities and a closer working relationship with Outlook and Android, putting an end to some of those design conflicts cross-platform (I have everything crossed).
  • Integrations: Building on the suite of integrations that they currently offer and ensuring that they are developed in a more robust way.
A graph showing the 2023 product roadmap for the future of SharpSpring
(Source: Contact Contact - New Year, New Updates Webinar, Jan 2023)

Greater flexibility
SharpSpring has always worked on a one size fits all licence model, offering customers – no matter how big or how small – a standard package, with price overages for going over your limit on contacts or email sends. Of course, it’s great to be able to offer an all singing, all dancing licence, but if specific features won’t be used or contact limits are double what someone is looking for, it could be a turn-off, particularly for smaller businesses. Greater flexibility around licences allows customers to get exactly what they are looking for at that time, and expand their account as they grow.

Brand power
SharpSpring has always had a much smaller share of the marketplace (around 1% recognition at the time of writing). The acquisition is anticipated to increase brand recognition by over 40 times, allowing them to rub shoulders with the likes of HubSpot and SalesForce. And who doesn’t love an underdog?

So who are SharpSpring?

SharpSpring are a full-funnel marketing automation and CRM system designed for agencies and small to medium businesses, looking to drive growth, simplify processes and free up resource. We’ve been partnering with them for about 3 years now, helping over half of our clients with initial integration, automation strategy and ongoing technical support. We also use it for our own marketing activities (we practise what we preach) – that PDF you clicked on, that wasn’t any old link, and the email you received, that was scheduled when we had resource available and automatically sent while we were making our morning latte – SharpSpring helps you to work smart.

And Constant Contact?

Constant Contact is a digital and email marketing platform designed to help businesses meet their goals. They’ve been in the game for about 25 years now, helping sales and marketing teams to build connections with their customers.

Better together?

Overall, it seems as though things are heading in the right direction! Improved technology, product development and a larger support team – these are all concerns that have been raised over the last few months, so it’s great to see them starting to address issues. It’s still early days, and the first set of changes are on the small side, but I for one am excited to see how things progress over the next few months.

As soon as there are any further announcements, we’ll make sure to keep you up to date via our client communications and newsletters.

Not on the list yet and want to hear more? Sign up to our newsletter on our website to hear more about the acquisition, along with other B2B marketing tips, best practices and new developments.

If you are one of our SharpSpring clients (or if you are reading this after the 15th March, a Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM client!)  and you have any concerns, please reach out to your account manager so that we can answer any questions that you might have. 
Equally, if you are interested in finding out more about marketing automation and how it can support your sales and marketing strategies, take a look here or get in contact with one of our marketing automation experts.

A change to insights on Google Business Profiles

By Rachael Clark  |  February 27, 2023
If your company uses a Google Business Profile, you will have experienced many changes to this platform over the last couple of years. And this month Google retires the distinction between branded, direct and discovery searches. Read on to find out why this is important and what you need to do next. 

Changes to GBP

What’s a Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business listings) are a key tool for organisations. They appear on the right-hand side of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and on Google Maps with key business information and CTAs.

This rich set of information makes them an important piece of digital real estate, with the local map often appearing before any other organic listings. 

Listings can be created manually or you may find Google has started one for you; they can be populated with user generated content and are often carefully curated by your digital marketing team or agency. 

What’s changing?

Over the years GBP profiles have become increasingly more engaging with visual features such as photos, videos and product imagery within the listing. Most recently Google has changed how you access and edit key parts of your profile, moving key parts of this functionality within the SERP rather than through the back-end platform. 

In addition to this, Google has changed how it categorises the reporting available from your profiles, most notably how it handles user searches

What were the types of searches?

Up until now Google classified the way users found your business profile into three categories: branded searches, direct searches and discovery searches.  

  • Direct Searches: These were people who found your business profile searching for your business name or address, e.g. “Sharp Ahead Reading.”  
  • Discovery Searches: These were people who find your business profile searching for a category, product, or service that your business offers, e.g. “B2B digital marketing agency.” 
  • Branded Searches: These were people who found your listing searching for a brand related to your business e.g. “Sharp Ahead.” 

These numbers were a way to gauge not only when your profile was being served, but also the level of brand awareness amongst searchers – which was particularly useful when marketing a physical location such as a coffee shop or coworking space – with the all-important discovery searches indicating how many users found your listing who may not have been aware of your brand.  

What will this effect?

If you’ve automated any reporting on these metrics through Google’s API (such as Google’s Looker Studio) you’ll need to get these updated and replaced with new metrics. 

What should I analyse now?

The performance metrics on Google Business Profiles now fall into two categories – how people found your listing and what action they take from it:

  • Views: These are how many people saw your business profile, broken down by the platform and device that they’re on.  
  • Searches: These show the search terms that people used that returned your business profile in the results. This is a useful addition to the platform and can be used as a replacement for the categorised search metrics, allowing you to analyse whether your listing is found through branded or generic searches. 
  • Plus all the interaction metrics you’d expect – calls, messages, direction requests and website clicks.  

What do we think?

The categorised search types were a great way of analysing the performance of your business profile at a glance. However, the loss of these metrics is balanced by the addition of the search breakdown within GBP – giving digital marketers clarity on what exactly is triggering your GBP profile, which can inform your SEO strategy. Top tip: If you find you’re not ranking for generic search terms consider your description, categories, products and services and…  

If you need support with your Google Business Profile or B2B digital marketing strategy, get in touch with us today for a free 30 minute consultation 

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