Content marketing continues to grow and evolve. As audience expectations and needs change, it’s essential to ensure up-to-date and relevant content. Periodically evaluating content, conducting an audit and following best practices helps to ensure your organization is delivering the most impactful information to the right audiences.
While content audits might seem challenging, we cover all the necessary steps and best practices to conduct a full audit that includes assessing and evaluating your content. This will ensure that your organization can deliver relevant, engaging and high-performing content.
Assess Your Marketing Content
Assessing content is a necessary practice for B2B organizations that wish to remain relevant and successful. Some content on websites or in other areas may have been written years ago and will need to be addressed. Whether it’s a blog or an article, anything outdated or that doesn’t match current brand messaging or audience needs should be revisited. Follow these “4Rs” of content assessment best practices to determine the right course of action for your respective content assets.
If a content asset is recent and no major shifts have occurred within the organization, it can likely remain as is with no changes. If the content is to remain, it’s essential to consider if the content is still informing people of the most relevant information. If you find the answer is “no,” it might not be able to remain in its current form.
Refreshing, or updating, content can take place in different forms. Content might need a simple refresh of more recent statistics, might need an update on visuals, or may need wording changes to match new brand guidelines. Keep in mind how much time should be spent refreshing each piece. If an asset needs a complete overhaul, it might not be worth the time to refresh the content and there could be a better option.
Repurposing or extending content’s use can also be valuable. A piece of content can be presented in multiple formats. For example, you might have several blogs focused on a similar topic which can be compiled into an eBook. Your team might have an impressive infographic or guide you created from research. Use stats and intriguing quotes from it in social media posts. However, don’t force something that isn’t there. If it is a struggle to brainstorm ways to repurpose assets, it might be best to leave it alone.
If you find the content is unable to remain as is, be refreshed or repurposed, it’s time to retire it. It is always the goal to get the most you can from content assets, but sometimes it’s time to retire it and move on. Retiring content can come from shifts in product or service focus or from not being relevant anymore.
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Utilize a Content Matrix
A content matrix allows the placement and organization of current content into different sections. This can be a highly effective strategy for your organization. Defining what the matrix axis and what its parameters are is the first step. Here is an example that you can use.
Highly Aligned & Low Performing
Content that is highly aligned with your keywords, target audience and brand but is low performing in terms of landing page views and organic visits will fall in this category. While the content might have all the correct content and keywords, it’s not performing as well as you’d like it to.
Highly Aligned & High Performing
Content that is highly aligned with your keywords, target audience and brand and is also high performing in terms of keyword rankings and website or landing page traffic is under this category. This is the best of both worlds. You have your content perfectly aligned and it’s performing well! This is the ideal position to be in.
Poorly Aligned & Low Performing
Content that does not include important keywords or brand messaging and is also not performing well on search engine results pages (SERPs) is considered poorly aligned and low performing. While you might have great intentions for this piece of content, it didn’t perform to expectations.
Poorly Aligned & High Performing
Content that does not include relevant keywords or messaging points but is performing well on SERPs is in this category. While it might be a positive to rank highly, it doesn’t necessarily fit what your brand messaging and company services.
Perform a Content Audit
Conducting a content audit can allow you to do a host of things and yield many benefits. With this, your team can evaluate current content and identify opportunities for improvement.
Your website likely has many landing pages, making it seem impossible to audit it completely. Prioritize which pages are most important and start there. Many of the main navigation landing pages are often the most viewed by visitors, so are often focused on first.
When analyzing keywords in your content, consider which ones you’d like to improve first. You might rank in the top five results for a majority of pages, but there might also be somewhere you don’t rank in the top pages at all. These could be areas to focus on when first starting the content audit.
Identify Next Steps and Document Actions
Now that you’ve done an initial evaluation of all priority pages, identify the next steps to take. This is where the 4Rs of remain, refresh, repurpose and retire enter. For each content asset, catalog what needs to happen, including context about the action:
- Remain: Note why it should remain and if any potential updates could be made in the future.
- Refresh: Note what needs to be refreshed. It might be the keywords, image alt text, broken links, call to action (CTAs) or even the content itself. Specifying what exactly needs to be updated can help streamline the process moving forward.
- Repurpose: Note what it could be repurposed for. You might have gathered a few blogs that could be merged into an eBook or found a white paper that has compelling statistics for infographics. Whatever the case is, laying out the ideas for repurposing is essential.
- Retire: Sometimes, content needs to be retired. Whether it is so outdated a refresh would be a waste of time or it no longer speaks to your brand messaging points, give an explanation as to why it should be retired. While it’s always a last resort, sometimes it’s what is best for the content.
Deliver Improved Content Marketing Efforts
With effective content marketing assessment, evaluation and auditing, your content will be primed for sustained success. Relevant keywords, information and more set the foundation for effective content. Continuing to update content accordingly and assess performance will ensure your content marketing continues to perform at a high level.