Spring Cleaning? It’s Time to Audit Your Content
Published on March 22, 2017
Spring is in the air in Chicago! And while that may mean plenty of rain and the occasional freezing temperature (or two), it’s still an amazing time to take stock of the good things we have and resolve to make them even better before the long, lazy days of summer settle in.
For many of us, that means taking the time to do a little spring cleaning; dusting, organizing, and generally sprucing up your home is a great way to make sure that your whole life feels as fresh as that crisp spring breeze. And spring cleaning doesn’t stop at your front door. What about your online home?
We’re willing to bet your brand’s website could use a little maintenance and renewal this spring, particularly your content. When was the last time you assessed, or audited, your blog to make sure that it was still guiding leads down your conversion funnel? Getting shares on social media? Ranking well on search engines?
Here’s why now is the right time to take a fresh look at your content marketing strategy, and a few ideas for how you can translate that audit into even greater success next quarter:
The Questions to Ask During Your Content Audit
We’ve written time and again about the benefits of content marketing. It bolsters your site’s visibility on search engines; provides grist for social media and email marketing; and generally reaches consumers where they live, creating incomparable loyalty and spreading awareness and loyalty for your brand further and wider, leading to higher retention rates and a better online reputation.
In order to successfully audit your content, it’s important to first recall your content marketing goals, and then gauge whether your current strategy is giving you all the benefits you’d like to see.
Above all, the most important thing to consider is if you have a plan in place for your content – because, per Hubspot, up to 56% of businesses don’t. Do you know what you want to get out of your marketing efforts? There’s no wrong answer, but you do have to have one. Do you want to increase subscribers to your newsletter? Get more followers on social media? Increase conversions and sales? Circulate positive PR and word of mouth about your company? All of these are worthwhile ends, and they’ll all take slightly different means to achieve.
The best way to lead an audit? Sit down and draw up a goal list for yourself, narrowing it down based on self-reflection, conversations with your team, and/or audience research. From there, work with your marketing specialist to determine what metrics best represent those goals; for instance, you can use analytics tools to track conversions, if that’s what you’d like to increase. If you’re more interested in increasing your brand recognition or consumption, maybe focus instead on bounce rate, or use analytics tools to see where or how your visitors are coming to your site.
After that? You’ve just got to go through your content – all of it – and analyze it using the tools you have available, the metrics you’ve set for yourself, and a critical, unsentimental eye. This may be a long and tedious process, depending on the depths to which you go to complete your assessment, but the benefits could be enormous: You’ll be able to spot trends, determine what works and what doesn’t, and deliver better, more goal-oriented content in the future.
Refreshing Your Content: An Evergreen Guide
In addition to noting the macro-trends and developing a holistic approach to your content, regular audits are great for making sure that the nuts and bolts are still functional and doing what they should be. Like your car or your plumbing, your blog posts and multimedia need regular service to keep up with the times and continue gaining value from social media and SEO.
Here are a few tricks we use all the time to update our content for maximum value:
Optimize every part of your page for SEO
Maybe you’ve switched to a new CMS, or you first started producing content back before you knew a meta-description from a marble countertop. That’s OK! SEO is always changing, and it’s never too late to make sure your content is geared for today’s best practices. With that in mind, focus on getting helpful, targeted keywords in the URL, heading, tags, and meta-description for each piece of your content. We have a helpful guide on on-page optimization that you can check out right here!
Add new value to your old copy
Got a fresh insight on an old topic? Have your statistics not been updated since two presidential administrations ago? The world moves forward, and your content should, too. Think of it is a dynamic, living organism, rather than a static block of text, and don’t be afraid to consistently update your old language for new audiences. And keep sharing all of your content on social media, as well!
Refresh your content’s visual and multimedia elements
GIFs, videos, infographics, dynamic data visualizations, updated graphs, Instagram galleries, embedded Facebook posts or tweets – these are just a few of the visual content options you have available to you today, and there are plenty of more that are out there, waiting for you to discover. Don’t be afraid to and update the visual content on your old posts; something as simple as swapping an image out could do wonders for breathing new life and credibility into an older piece of content.
Looking for some help getting started with content creation, or fine-tuning what you already have? Talk to the experts! The Geek team has helped businesses of all shapes and sizes harness the incredible power of content marketing, and we can do the same for you. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!