Blogging has become a digital marketing trend that many organizations apply for search engine optimization (SEO), thought leadership, and social sharing. There’s no denying the value blog content can bring in terms of educating audiences, building your brand, engaging customers, and generating quality leads.
However, it’s often a forward-facing strategy focused on “what can we add” and “what can we publish next” and rarely on “what can we improve” or “what no longer serves us.” According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80 percent of marketing content goes unused by sales teams, either because it’s irrelevant or hard to find. It’s important to take the time to look back and assess the existing content that lives on your blog, much of which may be out-of-date, under-performing, or irrelevant to your business goals and objectives.
Like a health check-up, conducting regular blog content audits can improve the long-term performance of your website as well as your overall content strategy. Understand the value a content audit can bring and a few best practices for updating your blog.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is a qualitative assessment of all the content on your website. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of your content in relation to your key performance indicators (KPIs). When performed correctly, a content audit will help you understand:
- Which content is performing best?
- Which content has overstayed its welcome?
- Where to focus your future efforts?
Why Audit Your Blog Content?
If your blog isn’t being read or the traffic generated isn’t being converted into qualified leads, then you may need to consider conducting a blog content audit. Here are a couple of advantages of auditing your blog.
Make Content Easier to Find
Google updates its algorithm about nine times a day. By not following SEO best practices related to keyword research, metadata, and link building, to name a few, your content won’t perform as well as it should in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, even though you may have written a useful and authoritative blog post that supports both your audience’s and business’s goals, it may be hard for your clients and salespeople to find. By conducting regular audits, you can ensure your content meets the everchanging requirements needed to connect with your audience at key points in your sales funnel.
Avoid Content Cannibalization
You can, in fact, have too much of a good thing. As in, too much of the same content can hurt your website’s performance. Content cannibalization is defined as the “derogatory strategy of targeting the same keyword across several web pages.” This becomes challenging, then, for the search engine crawlers to rank the best page as per relevance since it would have other pages for your website to consider.
So, for example, if you have three blog posts that are written about the same topic, instead of boosting your ranking, they’ll be fighting each other for the better ranking, resulting in a lower ranking for those posts. By conducting a content audit, you can identify which blog posts are cannibalizing your site due to repeat keywords and topics.
Gain a Big Picture View of Your Content
If you don’t know what blog content you have and how it’s performing, you can’t improve. Conducting a content audit can give you a big-picture perspective of the current state of your content and help identify several opportunities for improvement.
When it comes to your content strategy, an audit will tell you 1) what topics perform best and 2) which topics aren’t gaining exposure. You can then use any gaps in content as well as your audience’s preferences to plan out your editorial calendar moving forward.
A content audit will also tell you where you need to improve within your existing blog. Do you need to optimize a blog post for greater visibility? Is there a strong blog post you should be promoting on your other marketing channels like social media and email to attract more leads? Understanding how you can update and leverage your existing content will help your blog to be more focused and valuable to your business.
How to Conduct a Blog Content Audit
It’s important not to rush into a content audit without first taking the time to understand who your audience is and what your goals are. Not having a clear value proposition or defined buyer persona can render your auditing efforts moot. Before you begin auditing your blog, you’ll need to define your target audience and determine your content KPIs.
Understand Your Target Audience
Create personas to identify who your target audience is. Are you writing for high-level executives or technical workers? Millennial consumers or retiring Boomers? Understanding who your audience is will ensure that the topics you write about as well as your voice and tone resonate with your target audience.
Determine Your Content KPIs
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should align with your content goals and strategy. Identify the purpose of your blog posts as well as the reason you’re conducting an audit in the first place. Some KPIs you might consider including:
- Improve organic search performance.
- Determine which content topics resonate best with your audience.
- Identify gaps in your blog content.
Audit Your Blog Content
Once you have a solid understanding of your target audience and KPIs, you should be ready to review your content. Follow this four-step process to conduct a blog content audit:
- Take inventory of your blog content.
- Analyze performance metrics.
- Review the blog content.
- Identify next steps (keep, delete, update, combine).
How Often to Update Your Blog?
Wash, rinse, repeat. Conducting a blog content audit isn’t a one-time process. It should be a regular practice that should also extend to both your website content and any other marketing channels you use. According to SEMRush, most content marketers recommend auditing content once or twice a year.
Don’t Have Time to Conduct a Content Audit?
Conducting a content audit can be a time-consuming task. Between reading and analyzing every post and depending on how much blog content already exists on your website, your schedule could be booked for weeks on end. Not to mention, when content marketers are reviewing their own blog posts, they may feel an emotional attachment to certain blog content that won’t allow them to delete an outdated or irrelevant post or mark an OK post as “update.”
Whether you’re pressed for time or could you an objective pair of eyes, Aztek offers blog content audit services to improve the content and SEO of your blog. We’ll audit your existing blog content to make recommendations on which blogs should be kept, deleted, updated, or combined and provide actionable guidance for moving forward. Contact us today to see how we can help!