Two weeks ago, I described how less-is-more is the new mantra for content marketing. That post was focused on how it will affect your plans moving forward. In this article, I’ll make the case that the first step is to look back.
Picture this; you’ve landed a new gig as marketing director at B2B services firm. You’re looking to start with a bang. Clearly, content is required for the various strategies you wish to pursue.
" Before you announce your new content strategy, I urge you to invest in a content audit. "
By now, most businesses have a backlog of content going back five, maybe ten years. Before you announce your new content strategy, I urge you to invest in a content audit.
I agree; it is hard to get excited about an audit. But there are several very good reasons for starting with one.
Reasons to commission a content audit…
1. You’re looking for quick wins.
‘Thin content’ (blogs and pages that offer little value) reduces your sites link equity and authority, suppressing your organic rankings on Google.
A content audit will quickly reveal your sites thin content. Delete and/or redirect it and you will likely see an increase in traffic to your high performing pages.
Search Engine Journal recently removed 2 years worth of old content. The results? Their traffic jumped from 910,000 page views to 1.7m. Less content, more visits.
2. You want to speed things up.
You’re looking to get some leads in the first few months. From the content audit, you’ll know what assets you have to work with, including which are performing well and are on-brand. From there, you can build a mini-campaign. There will be enough posts, ready to go, to create a ‘good-enough’ customer journey and email nurture series.
"Reducing the size of your site will speed up crawls and new pages getting indexed. "
On the technical side of things, reducing the size of your site will speed up crawls and new pages getting indexed.
3. You want to win friends.
Chances are, you’re not the first person to suggest a thought leadership campaign. The Subject Matter Experts in the business will likely be a little reluctant to give over yet more time for another blog post that won’t get used. A content audit will both help you unearth old insights to repurpose and help you demonstrate that you value their time.
Here are a few more reasons to commission an audit.
You’re conducting a brand audit. I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t audit content as part of that. Those posts by the intern 5 years ago are unlikely to be on message.
You’re migrating your site to a new CMS. Let’s say you want to move to Hubspot. Having conducted a content audit, you will reduce the cost of the migration, be well placed to pick the right templates and have identified the content that can be used as part of the workflows, helping you generate leads faster.
- You may like: How well-planned are your blog article topics?
Finally, and probably most importantly, having conducted a content audit you will see the gaps in your content. You are now in a place to commission new content, making the most of your budget by spending it where it is needed.
How your team goes about completing the audit will depend on the size of the site and SEO or UX issues. There are plenty of templates to point them to, such as this one from SEO agency Distilled and our own post Audit your content: how to do it, and the key tools to use.
" A content audit is not a big job, it should take no longer than a week."
A content audit is not a big job, it should take no longer than a week. The payoff, however, will last a year and the savings you could make - in time, effort and cash - surely make it worthwhile.
Are old blog posts holding you back?