Have you looked in your “content closet” lately? Do you like what you see? Is it something a progressive content fashionista would be proud of? Is it high quality, relevant content? Is it nicely tagged and arranged by your chosen taxonomy? Is it distributed across your channels in an even flow of views, shares, likes, posts and comments?

Or, is it full of old stuff from the last few years – stuff that you’re no longer “wearing? Is your content hanging by old messaging threads? Out of date infographics? Embarrassing videos?

It’s easy for our content closets to get overstuffed and out of date. We create and use content, and then we store it. But how often do we clean it out?

If it’s been a year or two (or more) since you’ve cleaned out your content closet, perhaps now is the time to perform a content audit and take stock of what you’ve got.

Content Audits: More Than Content

When we think content audit, we naturally think – content! While content is at the core, it is supported by a business and marketing strategy, as well as good, solid SEO analysis. And once completed, your content audit then becomes a framework for on-going content development, production and distribution.

Also consider content disposal. Some content probably just needs to be dumped. Other content should be archived because content, like that favorite old sweater from your college days, can reappear and become popular again in the future.

Seven Steps to Cleaning Your Content Closet

Before starting your audit, a handy rule of thumb is to set up a scoring chart like this one to evaluate whether the content stays or goes.

Now you are ready to take these steps to evaluate your content against these seven requirements:

  1. Goals: How well does the content fit your current brand, marketing and sales goals? As your market evolves, content that was once meeting your objectives may no longer be as effective.
  2. Quality: How engaging and interesting is this content? Does it hold your interest or is it a big yawn? Is it well written, easy to follow and does it provide a real story experience?
  3. Brand/Message: Is the content message consistent, on point and on brand? Or does it send the reader in the wrong direction? Does it still amplify your brand or detract from it?
  4. Audience Relevance: Is this content still important to your audience or have their needs changed? More importantly, are you still talking to the same audience or has your company or brand moved in a new direction toward a new audience?
  5. Structure: Is the content structured to provide the best experience across all channels? Is it the best format for this content experience? For example, older, text-based content may need to be converted to video to remain relevant.
  6. Consumption: How well is this content being consumed? Is it still getting a high number of views, comments and shares or has consumption dropped off? This is particularly important on main web pages that may have become static over time.
  7. SEO: How strongly is your digital content performing against your SEO metrics? Does your taxonomy support search, personalization, recommendations and other attributes?

While it may be a dirty job, giving your content closet a thorough cleaning and fresh breath of air creates content that is stronger, higher performing and a better overall experience for your audience. A good content audit is well worth the effort and will help you stay current, relevant and in the forefront of consumers’ minds.