It’s 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Content Is?
We’ve all done it. None of us are immune. You know what I’m talking about. You design a new website for your business, you write your standard pages (your Home, About Us, Services, Contact, and so on) and then…you just leave it.
In fact, you might not touch it again until you decide to redesign your website about five-to-ten years later, and, as a lot of businesses do, you essentially do the same thing all over again.
Now, as a copywriter, you might think I’m a little biased when it comes to the importance of content, and while that might be true, that bias is based on much more than the hope for job security.
You see, content really is a primary driver of how your business earns visibility on the internet. And this means that, instead of writing, publishing, and then walking away from your site, you really do need to have a long-term strategy for your content in order to maintain credibility — with customers and with search engines. Enter the content audit!
Content Audits: Why Do They Matter?
I think Content Audits have always been important to those of us who live in the content world, but up until recently, I believe that content marketing has taken the backseat in terms of the average business’s marketing priorities.
What’s changed? Well, I believe that it’s because users are looking for more value than they were before. Content is often one of the first and last touch points before someone becomes a lead or customer.
What makes you different from the competition? What value are you offering? Why should they choose you? The way you position yourself through your message is essential in building your persona, your relevance, and your reputation. And if you’re not doing that, then either someone else is going to, or your lack of fresh, relevant content will create a lack of credibility.
Look at it this way: Someone has visited your website. That’s wonderful! Give them a reason to stay. Give them a reason to take action. And give them a reason to come back.
There’s so much content out there surrounding your website — Google Reviews, YouTube videos, competitor content, etc. — that if you’re lucky enough to have someone visit your site, selling them on your brand and thoughtfully pushing them through the pipeline is going to take a little more time and effort.
A content audit is the perfect way to understand what’s working, what’s not, and what’s missing, so you can give your business every advantage it deserves in attracting the customers you want.
But if you’re wavering on the value of a content audit, here are some things to consider.
3 Reasons Why A Content Audit Should be Step #1 in Your Content Strategy
1. A content audit is key to a thoughtful and intentional content strategy
I think content audits are sometimes oversimplified, and while they can be simple, a really thoughtful content audit takes time, data analysis, and prior experience in content marketing to appropriately interpret the data and make sound recommendations — and this is all before any actual writing should take place!
I’ve found that companies often struggle with how to appropriately prioritize content because they don’t immediately see the ROI.
Content is much harder to measure than a paid campaign or email marketing, for example, but that’s probably because they’ve skipped a step in their process (auditing!) and don’t have a good understanding of their audience, the type of content that engages that audience, and what’s genuinely missing versus what they think is missing.
A content audit is also important for those who already have a content strategy in place, but aren’t seeing the growth they anticipated.
In the same way that you should start a brand new strategy with an audit, it’s okay to scrap what you’re doing, audit what you have, and adapt your strategy around what the data is telling you. You’re not starting from scratch now. You have real data that can point you in the right direction!
2. Conducting a content audit isn’t hard, but it does take time to do it right
When deciding that they want to focus more on content in their marketing strategy, many businesses start with keyword research, but if your website already has significant content established, like a blog that’s published on a regular basis, then keyword research should be step #2, behind your content audit.
Sure, keyword research is important, but that doesn’t paint the full picture of your existing content in a way that puts the entire site in perspective.
A Content Audit will set your content strategy up for success by helping you identify what you’re already doing well, where the gaps are, and where the low-hanging fruit is. Auditing your content allows you to make data-driven decisions for your content strategy and ensure your content will have a higher return on investment.
3. A content audit can lay the foundation for performance measurement and benchmarking
I think the key thing is that marketers — especially those without a content or copywriting background who are asked to put together a content or SEO strategy — tend to jump the gun a little when starting from scratch on content. They don’t take the time to look at existing performance deep enough to understand where they’re already winning and where they are missing the mark significantly.
They don’t know what type of content is dominating their blog or website and how well that specific content type actually performs. They aren’t sure which audiences are engaging with content the most and which ones you’re losing.
Without looking at data, it can be hard to identify low-hanging fruit, as well.
Sometimes, if a topic is a key focus area and you already have content there, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and can instead spend time optimizing or reworking existing content instead of writing new stuff, which saves time and energy in the long run.
The Formada Approach to Content Auditing
At Formada, we’ve been seeing growing interest in our content services over the past few months, and it makes sense.
A lot of businesses out there are being extra considerate about how they invest in marketing, and as those dollars are cut, marketers are being asked to do more with less. Luckily, content is a great, long-term way to build a customer pipeline and create brand awareness without making an enormous financial investment.
But, is it still possible to waste time and money when creating content? Yes! That’s why being thoughtful, strategic and patient when creating and publishing content is so important.
Again this is why a Content Audit can help a business be more intentional with content creation and ensure what they’re producing is actually going to move the needle for their business.
At Formada, we pride ourselves on being customer/user-first when it comes to content, and our approach to Content Auditing fits nicely in that mindset. Unlike some other SEO and content agencies, we’re more concerned with the humans actually engaging with the content than solely the robots scraping and ranking it in search engines.
A User-First Approach To Content
What a Content Audit does is puts yourself in the shoes of the user — what content are they seeing, what’s engaging them, what gaps exist, and what’s providing the most value to each unique audience?
Creating thoughtful, useful, and highly niche content will keep your readers engaged, and it will tell them that you truly care about delivering them a great experience. This builds brand trust, which can often turn into brand advocacy.
When it comes to marketing your business, there are so many factors that are out of your control, but your content isn’t one of them. Why not take the time to audit your content, develop a strategy that serves your audience while supporting your business, and showcase your brand in the best way possible?
Interested in learning more about content auditing, strategy, and publishing? Contact us today for a free consultation! We’d love to learn more about your business, your goals, and how Formada can support them. Let’s chat!