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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! 

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