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What Is a Content Audit, and How to Use the Results

Tue, Sep 27, 2016

Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

7K0A0116.jpgOne of the culprits of poor sales conversion isn't the service nor the brand itself.

It's how businesses create, organize and distribute content.

However, there's a science to this madness – although it isn't a quick fix.

In fact, be careful of content marketing agencies who says they've conducted a quick audit and would like to get you as their client.

According to Anthony Gaenzle (Founder and lead strategist at AG Integrated Marketing Strategists):

"If you are ever approached by a content marketing agency that says they have conducted such an audit and would like to create some content for you, just say no! Conducting a ‘quick’ content audit is like trying to figure out why your car won’t start by glancing at the paint."

That's why before you call a content strategist, it's better to shed a light on this topic first.

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What is a Content Audit?

According to marketing strategist Rebecca Lieb, “A content audit is the cornerstone of content strategy, which governs content marketing. The aim is to perform a qualitative analysis of all the content on a website (or in some cases, a network of sites and/or social media presences — any content for which your organization is responsible)."

"Qualitative analysis"

That's our keyword.

It doesn't matter how often or how much you create content, so long as it addresses your customer's needs, goals or wants.

I've seen websites spewing content every week and struggle to have a decent traffic.

Meanwhile, there are websites who seem to enjoy a steady growth in traffic, yet contain less content. When you check their blog posts, you can see the writer invested a lot of time researching and editing to make their content pop.

It's all about the quality, not the quantity.

As Neil Patel once wrote:

"Don't go pumping out 7 articles a day without defining your business goals and creating a plan to attract your customers."

And that's where a content audit comes into the picture.

What are the benefits of doing a content audit?

A content audit is like preparing to travel abroad.

First, we need to know what we have on our itinerary.

Second, find out if we can last the journey with what we have – or what we DON’T have.

Third, decide if our resources are enough to last the trip.

Otherwise, make necessary adjustments like booking a different date or buying additional resources.

And just like traveling abroad, a content audit gives my customers a full idea of what content they already have and where are we starting from.

From there, we can improve the content strategy by either:

  1. Repurposing high-value content and distribute it to other channels
  2. Ramping up content quality by inviting guest writers and contributors
  3. Adjusting the brand's message to make it more buyer-centric
  4. Improving the "searchability" of your site so that both search engines and customers can access it on the fly.

As you can see, a content audit allows my clients to identify which type of material is worth promoting and which one deserves the garbage bin.

 Other benefits of content audits are:

  1. Discover areas of improvement and address them accordingly (e.g. low open and conversion rates, high bounce rates, etc.)
  2. Weeding out weak content means quality content is allowed to grow
  3. Find it easier to attract targeted audience and build credibility faster


One of the culprits of poor sales conversion isn't the service, it's how you create, organize & distribute content.

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How do you conduct a content audit?

First, I look at anything clients already use for marketing or sales (e.g. whitepapers, eBooks, landing pages, etc.). This stage is what I call "content inventory."

Next, I go through each piece of content and answer the following questions:

  1. Does it support both the business and user's goals?
  2. Does it lead the audience down to the next journey (e.g. Awareness, Decision or Purchase)?
  3. Is it still up-to-date and relevant to the company's image?
  4. Do people still find it usable?
  5. Does it comply with the newest SEO algorithm?
  6. How much overhaul does this content need to make it more relevant (a major makeover means we'd rather create a newer one)?

Lastly, I report my findings to the stakeholders (usually the head of the marketing dept.) and recommend the best courses of action (i.e. repurpose, republish, rewrite or reject).

A simple spreadsheet is all you need to keep track of what the client has already for content.

The spreadsheet contains the following information:

  1. The content title
  2. What stage it should be in
  3. What type of product or service does it mean for
  4. A section that says if it needs to be rewritten or republished
  5. What persona does it cater for

Not doing a content audit means not knowing what you have to use already, so you may be doing more work than needed. Which means you'll suffer delays in implementing the marketing strategy.

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