Skip to content

Content Audits: 3 Reasons Why You Should Conduct Them

Hashtags to Blog Post on Why to Do Content Audits

Do you still remember what you published on your website 5 years ago? What was your company’s very first blog article about? How’s that article serving your company’s content goals? The truth is: Even if you don’t remember – the internet won’t forget. If you want your content to work for you and make a difference for the people who read it, aim for it to be the best content possible.

So instead of your content marketing being all about creating new blog articles, social media posts and whatsoever, consider going back to revise the content you already have. Ever considered improving and reusing your existing content? Evaluating whether it’s still up-to-date or serving the ever-changing needs of your audience?

Here’s where content audits come into play. They help you evaluate the quality of your currently published content, no matter on which channel, and guide you to reaching your communication goals. Read in this article, what content audits are, how you can use them and – most important – why you should be conducting them.

What the Heck are Content Audits?

Content Audits – a term consisting of 2 words you probably know but might have never heard in combination. Let me walk you through, so we’re on the same page right there.

First, let’s talk “content”. Definitions differ, but the one I like to use (as heard by Deane Barker amongst others) is that content equals information that has been gone through an editorial creation process, that is intended for human consumption and that caters to an organizational goal. It can be published on various channels, internal and external. In this article, though, I will mainly refer to website content.

Secondly, an audit can be almost any kind of review of the status quo for a certain goal. So altogether, conducting a content audit is all about assessing your content – may it be on your website, social media profiles, or even internally – against business and user goals and chosen criteria.

The overall goal of a content audit is thus to make your content better. That’s a good reason already to conduct one, isn’t it? But let’s have a look at what it means to “better” your content.

Reason 1: Meet Your Target Group’s Needs

I’m sure your company has one major reason why you create content: to serve your target group’s content needs which then helps to convert readers into customers.

But do you know how well you’re doing?

Do you check on a regular basis, how your content performs? If it answers your target group’s questions? If the style of writing fits to their expertise in your chosen field?

If you don’t, start evaluating analytics data, customer feedback or site metrics to see how well your content meets your (measurable) business goals. Do your user research, find out what your readers need and then assess your content against what you found out.

There you go – that could be your first content audit.

Reason 2: Learn What Content You Have

Imagine you’re buying stuff for your apartment – furniture, clothing, devices, luxuries. On a regular basis, you buy new stuff, even huge pieces of furniture, but you never throw things out. What would happen?

At some point, you would start losing track of what you own. Your apartment would clutter and you’re surprised to find things that you own multiple times as you’ve forgotten they already existed in your home. This is why we usually throw things out when we buy new stuff, regularly clean and tidy our home.

Now compare that to your website: When did you do your last clean-up there?

A content audit (in this case, first a content inventory – learn more about that here) helps you in a structured way to go through your content, evaluate what’s still current and relevant and where you might want to revise or delete things. And in the first place, to learn what content you even have on your site.

As an example, here’s an extract of a content inventory of parts of the ESA website:

Extract of Content Inventory of ESA website

Reason 3: Be Coherent in Your Communication

Businesses evolve – and so does your communication with customers. Maybe your company has implemented editorial guidelines over time or the company’s values have been re-defined. Any change usually goes along with a change in communication as well.

Time to look back at your old content to see if it still upholds your changed understanding of “good” communication. Your goal should be to display a coherent communication towards your customers. It doesn’t help the business to show more, let’s say, diversity in every new blog post you publish, but have your “about” page still display a stock photo of a group of same-aged white men. That’s not what your readers would understand.

Thus, help them to get a coherent brand experience by evaluating the content on your website, social media and other channels. Conduct a content audit there to check, what needs to be changed.

Wrap-up of Why You Need Content Audits

A content audit is a great tool to evaluate the content on your website, social media accounts or internal platforms against a specific set of criteria. Most often, you want to define these criteria to match your business goals with your users’ needs. 

Depending on your set goals, you can choose from a wide range of different content audit types in order to improve your content quality. Why you should be thinking about that? First and foremost, to better meet your target group’s needs. The better you speak to your audience, the more of a return you will get. But then also, you might want to learn what you have: Do you remember your very first blog post? Do you know whether its content is still up-to-date? How were your former social media pictures? Would they still represent what your business stands for now? 

For any of these reasons, I would advise you to regularly go back to check your content in order to be coherent in your communication. And if you want to get most out of these checks, do them in a strategical way – with a content audit.