Quality news, views and information are hallmarks of a great website, which is why carrying out a content audit is such a worthwhile task.

When a person comes across your brand’s website, you want them to spend a few minutes exploring all your valuable information and be blown away by the take-home value they are getting. You don’t want them to be baffled by incorrect figures or out of date analysis.

By conducting a content audit you can see exactly what you are offering online consumers, making sure that each page is a positive step in your long-term brand enhancement strategy.

How is it done?

The only sure-fire way of carrying out a proper content audit is by manually checking each page. Unfortunately, no computer program possesses the right combination of common sense and technical knowledge to do it effectively, so it’s down to you.

A popular way of carrying out an audit is to create a spread sheet listing each page. As you go through them you can add comments about what needs to be done and check each feature in a separate column. What you will find is that some pages need deleting, others need rewriting and some beauties still retain their relevance. Then it is just a case of acting on your criticism.

Questions you should be asking

The first question you must ask is ‘is it well written?’ as this is a fundamental feature of any popular content. But criticism is not limited to journalistic standards. You should also consider how relevant it is to your target consumer and ensure that you have relevant content for readers at every stage of the buying cycle.

In some ways there is a balancing act to be dealt with, since you want all content to advance company goals, but at the same time it is generally accepted that overtly promotional content is off-putting to the modern consumer. In a nurturing strategy, a more educational approach could score big.

If you have a good content marketing strategy in place then there should be plenty of pages that are still relevant and interesting, even if they are not contemporaneous. This does not only apply to text – infographics, presentations and videos should also be reviewed regularly.

On a more technical level, you should be making sure that formatting is correct, links still function, keywords are well-placed, grammar and punctuation are perfect and that everything is as it should be. Basically, you want it to be faultless.

How a content audit benefits your brand

By delivering well-written, relevant content, you will push your brand forward as an authority in your industry sector and create a sense of loyalty among readers that is pivotal for nurturing leads.

A content audit gives you the opportunity to make sure you are maintaining these high standards, but you may also learn something new about how you currently communicate with readers.

It can be an eye-opening experience to see what you are actually saying to people, often making it obvious to you which types of article are needed and when. Your next step of ‘creating a content calendar’ then almost writes itself.