The Process of a Content Audit Explained

Posted by Cydne Stewart Jun 30, 2015

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The underlying purpose of a content audit is not to pillage through old or existing content like a nomad looking for information you can use or reuse. It is not to force a painful process onto a new client. Rather, a content audit is used as a starting point for content development, website redesign, content strategy and much more.

Direct Images Interactive uses content audits to:

  • Avoid SEO penalties

  • Understand the content that is currently available to your website visitors

  • Establish tone and voice for a brand, product, or service

  • Review and inventory assets when developing a website or completing a website redesign

  • Determine metadata effectiveness

  • Determine content gaps that can be filled with high impact design or video production

  • Seek out the most valuable content

  • Improve content effectiveness research and development

Each content audit will, and should, change depending on what your goal for the audit is. It will determine how much time you have to complete it, and what information you are looking to yield from it.

The main process looks like this:

Establish a list of pages that you are auditing. Generally audits are done to an entire website or portions depending on the design or website redesign process.

Begin data gathering according to the metrics and information you may need to complete the audit. You can use this list to help you get started on developing a content audit worksheet:

  • URL

  • Page name

  • File type

  • File size

  • Location on sitemap

  • Date published

  • Date last reviewed

  • Date last edited

  • Meta title

  • Description

  • Keywords

  • Buyer persona

  • H1 tag text

  • Word count

  • List of images on page

  • List of videos and audio files on page

  • List of documents on page

  • Inbound links

  • Outbound links

  • Screenshot of page and assets on page

Create your worksheet according to the information you will need for your audit. Each process ends up a bit different. This is because each goal is always a little different. Sometimes you’ll have hybrid goals that are meshed together, such as identifying content gaps and a website redesign. Maybe you have just purchased a brand new URL and are just getting started. Whatever the goal, you have to take the time to ensure the information you are gathering helps to further your audit agenda.

Once you have created your content audit template you can dig in. Be sure you have a uniform process for starting and stopping. Depending on the size of your website a content audit can be a beastly project, but streamlining and focusing on process instead of progress will help you fight through it. Just remember, it will all pay off in the end.

After you have collected and entered the data necessary to continue your audit, you will need to review and analyze the data. This is where you will need your marketing hat. Knowing the ins-and-outs of White Glove SEO will allow for a more fluid auditing process.

At this point in the audit, you should be able to review and decide what content you will be keeping. Then you will need to decide what will need a refresh or deeper review, and what content is not going to make the cut.

Once you have determined what is staying and what is going you can begin to identify the gaps of content that should be filled immediately. Input this top-priority content into your editorial calendar for further review at a later date. This is also a good time to review your original keyword strategy and make necessary changes to the metadata as well as the actual content.

The process to complete a content audit seems taxing. It can be a bit time consuming, but will always pay off in the end. Take the time and apply your best marketing techniques, what you know about SEO, content development, and your target audience. Happy auditing!

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Topics: Online Design, Website Development, Inbound Marketing

Direct Images Interactive is an inbound marketing agency specializing in high-impact video production and online graphic design. We are centrally located between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Come see us at The Gate in San Leandro, a thriving tech-hub of innovators. What can we do for you?

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