Why you need to conduct a content audit in 2023 for small business success

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Content is king in the digital world. And over the years, any company puts out reams and reams of it. But how often do we take stock of what we’ve done in the past and how we can better it? That’s where the concept of a content audit comes in.

In this blog, we’re going to take you through exactly what an audit is, why it is important, and precisely how you can conduct a thorough content audit of all your company’s assets to prepare a strong strategy that will supercharge your marketing efforts in 2023.

What is a content audit?

A content audit is a process of evaluating and analysing all the content on your website or digital platform to:

  • assess overall quality
  • analyse performance metrics
  • identify any content gaps, overlaps, or duplicates
  • narrow down key areas for improvement, and
  • optimise the content for better results.

Why is a content audit important?

Simple answer? Because it works! Research shows that companies that have performed a proper content audit and implemented their key learnings were able to see, on average, up to a 53% boost in engagement rate and a 49% increase in rankings and traffic.1

However, despite its importance, only a small percentage of companies conduct content audits regularly. Statistics show that only 33% of businesses conduct content audits twice yearly, while 24% conduct only one yearly audit. Meanwhile, 16% never conduct content audits at all.

All this only goes to highlight the untapped potential of content audits as a powerful tool for optimising marketing strategies and driving better results.

When should I run a content audit?

It is advisable to audit your content and strategy at least once a year – though companies that produce a lot of content would do wisely to do it even twice or more times a year.

The reason for this is that continuously creating and publishing high-quality content – whether it’s on your website, or blogs, or any kind of marketing collateral, or freebies like ebooks you give your loyal customers/subscribers – is an integral part of any successful marketing strategy. In fact, the most successful companies that rely on content marketing publish new content every single day.2

Let that sink in for a moment.

Alright. Obviously, not every company needs new content daily. However, even if you just produce a few pieces a week (or even a month), as you grow and evolve, your content can quickly become disorganised and lose its effectiveness.

Also, the sheer volume of accumulated content, combined with the myriad other things we need to focus on, means we often tend to forget what we’ve done in the past. The key here is to keep updating your existing content so it still remains relevant to customers (and to the myriad algorithm changes that will affect how your website ranks online).

Why your content audit needs a strategic approach

A content audit is not just about sifting through your content and making minor tweaks. What you need is a strategic, data-driven, goals-oriented approach to assess the performance and effectiveness of your content assets in achieving your marketing goals.

5 key benefits of content audits

When done properly, a content audit helps you:

1.    Optimise content for SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical element of any digital marketing strategy. A content audit helps you identify underperforming content that may be pulling down your website’s SEO efforts. By analysing your content’s keyword usage, meta tags, title tags, and other SEO factors, you can optimise your content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increase organic traffic.

2.    Enhance user experience (UX)

Content is not just about keywords; it’s also about delivering value to your audience. This is where a properly conducted audit can help you evaluate your content’s relevance, accuracy, and readability, ensuring it meets the needs of your target audience. By improving the user experience (UX) of your content, you can create a more effective user journey on your website. This will help you engage visitors, reduce bounce rates, and increase conversions.

3.    Align content with marketing goals

A content audit allows you to assess whether your content aligns with your marketing goals and objectives. It helps you identify content gaps and overlaps, ensuring that your content strategy is consistent and cohesive. By ensuring that your content is doing what it needs to do for your marketing objectives, you can create a unified message that resonates with your audience and drives desired actions.

4.    Repurpose and reuse content

Content creation can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. A content audit helps you identify high-performing content that can be repurposed or reused to maximise its value. By leveraging existing content assets, you can save time and effort in content creation while maintaining consistency in messaging and branding. (And of course, part of your strategy can involve outsourcing content production to a boutique agency – it’s cost-effective and takes a lot of the burden off your shoulders.)

5.    Stay ahead of competitors

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, staying ahead of competitors is crucial. Conducting a content audit helps you benchmark your content against that of other brands or companies in your space. By analysing their content strategy, keywords, and performance, you can identify opportunities to outperform them and gain a competitive edge.

How to conduct a content audit? Try our 10-step method

Now that you understand the importance and the benefits of regularly auditing your brand’s content, let’s look at how exactly you should go about it.

Here is our tried-and-tested, comprehensive 10-step method to conduct a comprehensive content audit:

1.    Identify content assets

Make a list of all your content assets: this includes content on your website, including blog posts, landing pages, infographics, videos, and other types of content – marketing collateral, ebooks, guides, whitepapers, etc. Categorise them based on their type, topic, and target audience.

2.    Evaluate performance metrics

Use analytics tools to gather data on key performance metrics, such as page views, engagement rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate for all your content. Analyse the data to identify content that performs well and see which pieces are underperforming.

3.    Assess SEO factors

Evaluate your content’s SEO strength: look at effective use of keywords, meta tags, title tags, and URL structure. Identify opportunities to optimise your content for better search engine rankings and traffic.

4.    Evaluate content quality

Thoroughly and objectively (can’t stress that enough) assess the overall quality of your content, such as grammar, formatting, and consistency. You also need to analyse relevance, accuracy, readability, and alignment with your marketing goals.

5.    Identify content gaps and overlaps

Analyse your content assets to identify any gaps or overlaps in topics or themes. Are there areas where you have too much content or too little? Are there any topics that are missing altogether? Doing this analysis helps you ensure that your content is well-rounded and covers all relevant topics for your target audience.

6.    Review content relevance

Assess the relevance of your content to your target audience and marketing goals. Is the content up-to-date and aligned with your current brand messaging? Does it still resonate with your audience’s needs and interests? Identify any outdated or irrelevant content that needs to be updated or removed.

7.    Check for brand consistency

Consistent branding is crucial for building brand recognition and credibility. Review your content assets to ensure that they adhere to your brand guidelines, including brand voice, tone, messaging, and visual elements. This helps create a cohesive brand image and enhances the overall user experience.

8.    Evaluate content formats

Analyse the formats of your content assets, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and others. Identify the formats that perform well and resonate with your audience. Consider repurposing old content into new formats, or creating entirely new content in the formats your target audience finds popular and engaging.

9.    Review content distribution channels

Evaluate the performance of your content across different distribution channels, such as social media, email marketing, and others. Identify the channels that drive the most engagement and traffic to your content. Consider optimising your content distribution strategy to focus on channels that yield the best results.

10. Create an action plan

Based on the findings from your content audit, create an action plan to address the identified gaps, overlaps, and areas for improvement. Prioritise the changes based on their impact and feasibility. Assign responsibilities and set timelines to ensure that the necessary changes are implemented effectively.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about content audits

1.   How often should I conduct a content audit?

It is recommended to conduct a content audit at least once a year, but ideally, it should be done twice yearly to ensure that your content remains relevant, up-to-date, and aligned with your marketing goals. However, the frequency of content audits may vary depending on the size of your website, the volume of content, and the pace of changes in your industry.

2.   What tools can I use to conduct a content audit?

There are several tools available that can assist you in conducting a content audit. Some popular ones include Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and content management system (CMS) tools like WordPress, among others. These tools can help you gather data, analyse performance metrics, assess SEO factors, and evaluate content quality.

3.   What are the benefits of conducting a content audit?

Conducting a content audit offers several benefits for your company’s marketing strategy, including:

  • Optimising content for SEO
  • Enhancing user experience (UX)
  • Aligning content with marketing goals
  • Identifying content gaps and overlaps
  • Enhancing brand consistency
  • Improving engagement and traffic
  • Repurposing or updating outdated content
  • Streamlining content distribution strategy
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Creating a more cohesive and effective content marketing plan

4.   How do I prioritise changes after a content audit?

After conducting a content audit, you may identify several areas for improvement. Prioritising what you’re going to change is crucial to ensure that you focus on the most impactful and feasible changes first. Consider factors such as the impact on SEO, relevance to marketing goals, audience engagement, and ease of implementation. Create an action plan that outlines the changes in order of priority and assign responsibilities and timelines for implementation.

5.   How can a content audit impact SEO?

A content audit can have a significant impact on SEO. By analysing performance metrics, SEO factors, and identifying content gaps, you can optimise your content to improve search engine rankings. Updating outdated content, improving internal linking, and identifying and fixing broken links can also positively impact SEO. Additionally, conducting keyword research and aligning content with target keywords can further enhance SEO performance.

The bottom line on content audits

In today’s competitive digital landscape, conducting a content audit is a crucial step for companies to streamline their marketing strategy. It helps in identifying content gaps, overlaps, and areas for improvement, optimising content for SEO, enhancing user experience, and improving engagement and traffic.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of this powerful tool – make it a regular process you follow at least once a year, and stay ahead of your competition.

Need help running an audit? Just drop us a line and we’ll get you (and your content) sorted out in no time!

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1. SEMrush, Content Marketing Statistics

2. The Manifest, How Businesses Use Content Marketing

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