Over time web sites can get clogged with information that has been posted, forgotten and become stale or obsolete. This makes it difficult for visitors to your site to find what they're looking for and inevitably they cut their visit short. In order to keep your visitors browsing your site,
it may be time to conduct a content audit to ensure all of what you've posted is still informative, accurate and relevant.
The process for conducting a content audit is fairly simple:
- Gather and review information
- Analyze what you've found
- Decide what needs to be done and develop a content strategy
When conducting your content audit it's also a good time to assess the current status of your content marketing efforts. To do this you'll want to look at things like page length, visit metrics and social shares to determine how your audience is responding to each content piece you've posted.
To begin, list all the items that appear on each page of your Web site in a spreadsheet, working hrough page by page. Columns for the spreadsheet can include:
- Content Type (I.e. Blog Content)
- Marketing Stage
If there are any links on the page, copy them into the appropriate spreadsheet column and provide a brief description of what the link is all about. If you have any comments about the particular item, you can make them in the 'Comments' column. This is where you also may want to make a note of visit metrics and social media shares to monitor the success of your marketing content.
At the end of your audit, you should have a clear picture for each page of your Web site. You may then decide which pages need updating, need to be consolidated due to overlapping topics or need to be pruned off the site.
Summarize your findings and prepare a strategy to optimize existing pages, create new pages to fill gaps and explain how selected pages are to be redirected or removed. Within your strategy you will also want to assign a priority to each task to determine what needs to be tackled first, second, third, etc.
Depending on the size of your web site, conducting a content audit can be a rather daunting and tedious task, but don’t let that prevent you from tackling an audit. Instead, break the project down into manageable chunks that can be done over a period of time. Conducting a content audit will go a long way in helping to keep your web site fresh and inviting to visitors and also put you more in control of your marketing efforts and success.
Photo courtesy: Jake Rust