Something is wrong with the current state of marketing.
Regardless of industry, brands are publishing more content than ever before. And that makes sense given the fact that the average prospect consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision.
But there’s a disconnect. According to HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound report, generating traffic and leads remains the top challenge for marketers.
If you’re investing so much time and money into creating content, you want to be sure that it is driving results. All too often, content falls flat, and the worst part is that you don’t know what went wrong.
That’s why content audits are so valuable. Conducting a content audit can be a challenge. But if you take the time to do it right, you’ll gain insights that can unlock the potential of your inbound marketing.
What Is a Content Audit?
If you’ve never done a content audit, don’t worry—you’re not alone. An estimated 37% of content marketers never complete one. Part of the problem is that marketers don’t know what a content audit is.
A content audit is a systematic review of all the content that exists across your organization. Sounds simple enough, right? In theory, yes. However, digging deep into every piece of content and conducting qualitative analysis can be tedious and time-consuming.
The process is meant to help you see how content is currently helping you meet business objectives. With the information you gather, you can optimize content strategy moving forward.
One of the biggest roadblocks to starting a content audit is the fact that there are no hard-and-fast rules for the process. That gives you plenty of flexibility, but it can also leave you with analysis paralysis when trying to start.
To get started, it helps to have a loose framework for conducting your content audit.
4 Simple Steps to Performing a Content Audit
“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”—Maya Angelou
There are plenty of inbound marketing playbooks out there. But with the unique sales cycle of property management, you can’t just blindly follow generic advice and hope for the best.
When you conduct a content audit, you get actionable insights to tailor your content strategy to ideal customers. The following four steps will help you get through a successful audit:
1. Set Your Goals
The goal of your content audit can’t just be “to analyze content.” You’re investing a lot of time into this process, and you want to make sure you get something valuable out of it.
That means starting with clear goals in mind and objectives to achieve them. The goal-setting process will be unique to your specific business needs. However, the following options can give you a starting point to determine the “why” of your content audit:
- Boost Search Rankings: One of the best ways to work your way up the search rankings is to update your most effective content. By updating content for relevance and adding the knowledge you've gained since publishing, you can leverage past success into new results. At the same time, you can start purging under-performing or old content from your site, strengthening your SEO profile in the process.
- Generate New Ideas: Buyer personas and customer research are essential components of any inbound marketing strategy. But what better way to understand your audience than to analyze what they engaged with (and ignored) on your website? Use your content audit to generate new ideas that will keep your audience interested, educated, and invested in your brand.
- Increase Conversions: Content audits don’t just help you at the top of the funnel. You can focus on conversion rates to determine the success of your content at the middle and bottom of your funnel, too. With this goal in mind, you can determine the best types of content to convert leads to customers and see which content is best-suited for accelerating the sales process.
The options are endless. Choose your goals based on your metrics, and you’ll be able to create a content strategy to improve results.
2. Set the Scope of Your Content Audit
Generally speaking, a content audit is an analysis of all content across your business. Once you have specific goals in mind, you can start to narrow the scope of the audit to improve efficiency.
For example, if your goal is to generate new ideas for future content, you may focus on one area of your funnel that you know isn’t as loaded with quality content as others. Or, if SEO is your primary objective, you may focus on certain pillar pages and topic clusters that you want to rank higher.
Depending on how much content you have, an audit can take a significant amount of time. The time spent working on an audit is worth it though because it identifies missed opportunities as well as content that can be tied together for quick wins.
3. Analyze the Data
Your analysis process will depend on the content analytics tools you have on hand. You can get the job done with Google Analytics or put tools like HubSpot, SEMrush, Content Insight, or Contently to collect critical data.
However you collect and organize the data, you’ll want to assess each piece of content and organize them into three key buckets—keep, update, and delete. Things like FAQ pages and evergreen pillar pages you’ll likely be able to leave alone. However, blog posts with lower-than-expected views or conversions can be good candidates for updates.
You’ll start deleting content when it covers old products and services, or an event referenced is no longer relevant or driving the wrong traffic to your site.
4. Decide What’s Next
There are two things you can do once you’ve analyzed your content against the goals you set. First, you can decide what to do on a granular level. Which pieces will you repurpose into new content? Which pieces need CTAs? Where can you add videos and images to improve engagement? Is metadata optimized for search? Do you need to add redirects for pages you're removing?
You should have a specific action plan for each piece of content analyze. But the second task is to look at the big picture and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Generating qualified property owner leads is a real challenge, and converting those leads can be even more difficult. With insights from your content audit, you can strengthen your approach to inbound marketing.
Make Content Audits Part of Your Inbound Marketing Engine
No one said that content audits—and inbound marketing as a whole—would be easy. It’s not a magical tactic that will automatically accelerate your sales funnel.
When given the time and attention necessary, content audits become significant assets data-driven inbound marketing, but you don’t have to set the strategy on your own.
If you’re looking to build out a full-funnel approach to marketing that’s tailor-made for the property management market, we can help. Contact us today and find out how.