Welcome to part four of our 4-part series about content auditing. You can catch up on last week’s post on “What am I supposed to do with an audit once I’ve done one? How do I make it matter within my organization?

This week, our content strategists, Anna HrachKatie Giraulo and Talia Eisen, answer:

What type of audit do you find to be the most helpful? 

Katie:

This is like asking someone to pick a favorite pair of shoes! It 100% depends on the job. My personal favorite is a deep, holistic audit that takes into account an end-to-end user journey. But even a basic inventory is useful. I’ll say this: You want to do just enough auditing to make the case for improving a critical part of your content.

There’s no need to audit ALL THE THINGS all the time, in every situation. Sometimes a basic inventory is enough to, say, prove that way too much content exists in an area that you’ve already determined isn’t an organizational priority. Try your best to not get bogged down in a massive project if all you need is to make a single point. Baby steps.

It’s like progressive disclosure: Peel back only the layers you need to peel back right now. It’ll make the process less painful because you’re not trying to boil the ocean, and your stakeholders will buy in because they’ll see quick wins. All that said, there are a million invisible connections with content, and sometimes you will need to boil the ocean. In those cases, by all means, go for it. Just be smart about it either way, and know why you’re making the choices you’re making.

Last: The best kinds of audits are the ones you’re actively involved in. A lot of programs can crawl your site and pull reams of data for you. These are great – just be sure you’re still the one in the driver’s seat. This means you:

  • Direct what you want to know
  • Are constantly involved in making sense of what you find out and filling in the gaps

Anna:

A combination of qualitative and quantitative. It’s important to look at what the content strategy is, then gauge content quality toward that, along with voice, tone, style, etc. However, adding analytics can provide an entirely different perspective. For example, maybe a page is performing exceedingly well, but it’s completely off on strategy. That content is resonating with users; it’s just a matter of bringing it into alignment. We don’t need to cut or redo it completely, which we may have been tempted to do if we had only looked at one side. Looking at both the qualitative and quantitative pieces will help ensure there’s balance to your findings.

Talia:

Although the goal is usually to have quality over quantity, it’s helpful to look at the quantity first. The first step is to assess how much you have and where you have it. Then comb through again and look at the quality. Once you evaluate the quality, you can more easily tell how much work you have ahead of you.

Learn how Aha Media conducts content audits, assessments and competitive gap analyses.

Do you need to convince your team that it’s time to start a content audit, assessment or competitive gap analysis? Take this to your team.

Catch up on Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.

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