One of the most effective approaches to digital marketing is content marketing which is effective to improve your authority within your niche and also helps in setting up a loyal following along with enhancing the traffic to website as well as acquiring new customers. It takes time and lot of hard work to get profits from content marketing. It does not happen before spending a considerable amount of time on it. However, after spending a huge amount of time, the returns are great as opined by content marketers. Companies publishing more than 16 blog posts a month are getting almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that do not publish posts or less than 5 a month.
The experienced content marketers employ an excellent strategy and examine their results carefully unlike inexperienced ones. It is difficult to measure the success rate of content marketing because it is intangible. However, content auditing enables you to use your efforts at proper place where it will bear fruit both in quantitative measures and qualitative measures. Content marketing will take things to the next level. However, content audit shows the results. But companies often make mistakes while auditing content. Some of the commonest mistakes include:
Bad Content Strategy- Before auditing content, a proper content strategy should be in place. An effective content strategy is followed by the B2B business people which defines their long-term profitability. Profit can be achieved by delivering high-quality content to the targeted readership frequently. This creates brand awareness, improves niche authority and also SEO for websites and eventually transforms readers into paying customers. There is no fit-for-all content strategy but you will have to find out which one functions for your business. However, you should define the goal of your business, methods of content generation and distribution and consumer profiles.
Creating Consumer Profile- Consumer profile will obviously contain the details of your consumer. They should be classified based on psychography and demography. The former includes desires, pain points, interests and values while the latter includes income level, gender, age and marital status. Content developers sometimes keep an image in mind and thus follow it to deliver content of high value. This add a personal touch to the matter where you can try to find out whether a particular consumer will gain something from the content.
Seeking Customer Feedback- A content audit can be strengthened with customer feedback. By surveying your readers, you will receive some valuable qualitative data to complement the statistics. Cross referencing your data will provide even better analysis of your content. Some questions are always better when you are trying to find out responses from your readers than others. You have to frame them intelligently. This also helps in understanding the readers’ psychology better.
Futile Trend Analysis- Only gathering data and not analyzing it properly will lead to faulty results. Sometimes, trying to analyze your own data is problematic and at time getting an outsider to do it provides some objectivity to the matter. Making analysis based on your concepts may be faulty because you might miss obvious things being involved in a field for long years. Here, you have to depend on others. Do a trends comparison by studying the top 5 and bottom 5 over a period of time to know how it is faring well. Compare them on 2 groups of commonalities based on parameters of quality, influencer posts, article length, headline structure and more. Derive more information to compare and derive more trends.
Selection of Wrong Parameters- Choosing wrong parameters for assessing content can be harmful because that will not provide proper results. Parameters like meta description and length, article and title length, social shares, bounce rate and time spent on page and page views or traffic are important to audit content without which you cannot have an accurate analysis.
Not Employing Online Resources and Tools- You can do the audit with an excel sheet but using the online resources and tools made available to you will make your job easier and more accurate.
The Most Important Tools for Content Audit
There are some popular and effective tools for content audit and they are:
Online XML Sitemap Generator- This tool is used to find broken links. Running the tool will help in generating a sitemap of up to 5, 000 URLs. All the generated pages should be added to the content inventory.
Free Templates- Free templates are available online for content audit. You simply need to download and use it.
Open Site Explorer- This tool has been devised to determine the number of backlinks generated by a content and on these backlinks depends the efficacy of a content piece. By using it you can find out which pieces are engaging the reader most and formulate your strategy accordingly.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider- This tool helps in tracing a particular page for broken links and duplicates. The metadata of your pages could be analyzed along with the appropriate length of the title.
Not taking Into Account the Impact of Post Length
Huge amounts of content have been done for various blog posts. While earlier it was short and crispier posts, the trend now is to produce longish posts. However, debate is still on regarding which length to provide. If you have a huge selection of content to draw from, then you can experiment with varying lengths which can range between 700 to 2,500 words. By taking a look into the number of comments, backlinks, social shares and traffic you will have a clear idea of which kind of articles your readers prefer.
Inadequate Optimization of Powerful Articles
Once you know which of the articles are performing well, start sharing them socially to generate more backlinks. There are 2 ways to do this. The first is through social sharing button and the second is through email opt-in forms and giveaways. Placing easily usable buttons on your blog post can get you more share while email opt-in forms must be optimized on all the articles you have, especially the ones that receive majority of traffic.
Not Re-channeling Existing Content
Leveraging the existing content and using it in another way is also a great way to audit your content. Your content could have involved bad infographics, you could change it the second time you repost it. Content should be visually impactful. Include something or exclude certain points or you may also re-purpose a highly performing article in a different light. Just sue it.
Not Paying Enough Attention to Post Publication
Content promotion should also be analyzed to avoid mistakes leading to poor content audit. Evaluating content promotional strategy will help you analyze the effectiveness of the content. Finding out about the effectiveness will help in formulating content strategy.
Not Considering bad Inbound Links
Tracking broken links in your content and replacing them is essential. It is also important to keep track of how many links are being generated on each page. To get rid of such a link, write to the webmaster and ask him/her to remove it.
Removing Low Engagement Content
There might be old under-performing content which is essential to be removed from your website during content audit. Many of us disregard it but it impacts the image of the website and diminishes its brand value. You can also optimize the long-tail keywords and give it a fresh lease of life if you do not want to remove it.
As you continue to develop your niche and hoard more SEO juice for your website by publishing content frequently, you will find out which are the high performing articles and which are the ones that are under-performing. Content auditing is important because engaging the readers is core to marketing and if that goes missing, your content marketing will suffer.