Business to Business (B2B) marketers are acutely aware of the fact that content is everything in this day and age. You can find businesses of all sizes and types adjust their content and content strategies to the ever-changing market trends. So, it might come as a surprise to know that, 55% of B2B marketers are actually unclear on their content marketing effectiveness.
Many brands know how to create content and are often effective in their content marketing efforts. However, evaluating content to discern what is effective and what is not is a whole new story. How do you tell what kind of content works best? The answer is to perform a content audit.
If you have never performed a content audit on your website, this article is for you. We will discuss everything about B2B content audit, from what it is, what are the benefits of auditing the content on your website, to how to effectively perform a content audit.
What is a B2B Content Audit?
A content audit is a process that involves analyzing your content with the ultimate aim of improving its overall quality. A content audit can be targeted or general.
A general or overall content audit involves analyzing all your content forms, including webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. And, a targeted content audit, as the name suggests, involves auditing a particular type of content or to achieve a specific goal. For instance, doing a search engine optimization (SEO) content audit means checking if all your website content follows the latest SEO rules.
When you are auditing your content, you are essentially deciding what to do with the existing content on your website, whether you want to retain, repurpose, update, and/or remove them from the website.
Why Should You Perform a B2B Content Audit?
Okay, so you now know what a content audit is. But the question remains, how essential is performing a content audit on your website? The answer is it is not just necessary, it is one of the most crucial parts of ensuring your content marketing achieves what it’s meant to, i.e., keep bringing in organic traffic to your website and generate high-quality leads.
As you probably know, the market is incredibly competitive, which means that your target audience has multiple options at all times. The process of content auditing helps you stay relevant to your target audience by ensuring the content is findable and adds value to your customers so that your brand keeps staying in the customers’ focus.
If you want to stand out to your audience and be their go-to brand, your content must continuously engage them, provide valuable information, and retain their interest, thus solidifying their loyalty to your brand.
So, let us get into the many benefits of performing regular content audits.
Benefits of a B2B Content Audit
Content auditing yields a myriad of benefits. Here are a few:
Keeps Your Content Up-to-date
Outdated content can have a massive adverse impact on your brand. In this day and age of instant information, people expect to find credible sources of information at the click of a button. If they stumble onto your website and find outdated or incorrect content, their first impression of your brand will be untrustworthy and poor. A content audit will help fix that.
Improves the Overall Quality of Your Content
Maybe your content was written or presented the best it could have been. But there might still be a whole truckload of problems with it. For one thing, the general rule of presenting content has had a massive overhaul over the past few years based on studies, surveys, and so on. A content audit can help you to not only take care of regular content errors like grammatical and sentence formation mistakes, but also presentation issues such as readability, and so much more, ultimately making your content easy to read and engaging.
Generates New Content Ideas
When you audit your content, you are essentially figuring out whether the existing content on your website still works or not in achieving your content marketing goals. You get a deeper insight into which parts of your content are the most effective and the parts that have the least impact. Based on this, you can drum up new content ideas that will result in better and improved customer engagement, thus boosting lead generation and sales conversions.
Improves Your SEO
Google updates its web page indexing algorithm all the time, which means that your old content may not be aligned with today’s SEO practices. Performing a content audit can help you rectify this, getting rid of outdated SEO practices, implementing the new ones on your existing content, hence helping to ramp up your current SEO rankings.
For all the latest SEO tips, tricks, and guidelines for B2B businesses, read B2B SEO Strategies: How to Rank and Generate Organic Sales in 2021
Steps to Run a B2B Content Audit Correctly
Now that you know what a content audit is and why it is important, here are the steps you ought to follow to run your B2B content audit correctly:
Consider Your Goals
Sounds obvious, but performing a B2B content audit is useless unless you know why you want to have one in the very first place. Meaning, you need to ask yourself why you want a B2B content audit. After all, there is no point in fixing something that is not broken.
Given below are a few notable and valid reasons to conduct a B2B content audit:
- To find out which of your content pieces are performing the best
- To find out which of your content pieces are performing poorly
- To generate better content ideas for future posts
- Find out what kind of content your target audience is after
- To improve organic search performance by implementing best SEO practices
Create an Inventory of Your Current Content
After deciding on why you would like to have a content audit on your website, building an inventory of all the current content on your website is the first step to running the content audit.
You can then consider using a content audit tool to get a crawler to identify the most important pages on your website.
The idea is to get a list of the URLs to your major blog posts and cornerstone content in a single Google sheet and start the audit. Using a content audit tool will also help you understand how Google’s search engine views your website pages.
As you capture pieces of your website content while building an inventory, be sure to also capture the main elements of every URL, including meta description, title tag, major headings, backlinks, etc.
Besides your website content, make sure you capture videos, ebooks, presentations, infographics, whitepapers, and any other gated form content you may have. Once you have all your content ready, organize them according to the following categories: buyer’s journey stage, marketing funnel stage, content format, content type, total word count, publishing date, and so on.
Use Relevant Performance Metrics
The next thing to do is decide which metrics you want to consider to measure your content performance. Some of the most relevant performance metrics include:
- Word count
- Average time users spent on the page
- Conversion rates
- Number of social shares
- The volume of inbound links
- Bounce rates
For SEO, consider metrics like the title, inbound links, meta description, image, alt tags, target keyword, and so on. The important thing to keep in mind is that you need to decide on your data points and collect information based on that before you start the process of audit, otherwise you will only complicate matters.
Analyze Your Content
Now, once you gather all the necessary information, you will have to analyze it. If you want to analyze your content and make the most of it, start by assigning every piece of content an analysis score.
For example, you can give each piece a 10-point score based on what you want to achieve with the content. The 10 points can be social share, bounce rate, backlinks, and so on. Hence, if you have content that has low engagement, few social shares, it will maybe have a score of 1/10. On the other hand, you could give a 10/10 to another piece of content if it has generated heaps of traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Once you score your content appropriately, you have to then decide what you want to do with each piece of the audited content. You can keep the content, delete it, combine and repurpose it to create new content, or simply update it with the latest SEO rules and data.
Compare Your Results to that of Your Competitors
Now that you have built an inventory and scored each piece of content, you should compare your content to that of your competitors. Doing this will give you a benchmark or a standard to meet and maintain.
To use competitive analysis and capture data from your competitors, use the same tools you used to audit your content in the first step. Tools like Screaming Frog, MySiteAuditor, Marketing Grader, etc., will get the job done nicely. You will have to capture the same data elements as you did when you started to audit your own website’s content.
Follow the remaining steps mentioned and you will have your competitor’s data with a score assigned to each piece. Assess their content and compare them to yours to see where you need to improve.
Ultimately, you want to be able to optimize your content on all the performance metrics mentioned above to improve audience engagement and pull traffic to your website. With this step, you would know what makes your competitors pull traffic and engage the audience so that you can do the same with your content.
Determine the Next Steps
So, now you know where your content stands against that of your competitors. What are your next steps? As mentioned, you can do four things – keep, delete, repurpose, and update your content.
Essentially, keep, delete, repurpose, and update becomes the four categories under which all your pieces of content should be listed down.
Keep the content that you like, that you know performs the best. Such content keeps customers visiting and revisiting your page, which means you get more engagement, leads, and conversions.
Delete the content that hasn’t been performing well over time. Maybe you could delete them altogether or turn them into new pieces and see how they perform.
Repurpose different pieces of content that cover the same subjects. Maybe you could combine them. Maybe you could turn them into a series. You could also rewrite them and turn them into one long-form piece of content.
Finally, update the content that you know has potential or has gotten you some results, but hasn’t performed as well as you would have liked it too. Such pieces are maybe falling a little flat. The information may be outdated or the piece may need to be spruced up overall to meet current standards.
Repeat Content Auditing Regularly
Content auditing is not a one-time done and dusted thing. You should perform regular content auditing on your website if you want to see the visible result of your content marketing working and achieving what it is meant to.
While there is no hard and fast rule as to how often you should audit your website content, but at least once a year is a start. The best would be if you can do a quarterly performance check of all your website content.
Three Content Auditing Tools You Should Know About
Manually auditing your content can be a tedious task. Instead, you can use the following tools to automate and make the process easier:
Google Analytics is a free tool that provides comprehensive statistics that you can use to gauge your audience’s behavior. Google Analytics allows you to determine which of your posts have the highest bounce rate, engagement, traffic, where your visitors are coming from, the amount of time spent on your web pages, and so on.
Contrary to the name, this tool does not audit your entire site, but specific pages. This allows SEO experts to scrutinize every page and take care of the smallest details that could affect the page’s ranking. MySiteAuditor starts from $39 and is easy to use, producing visually appealing reports that you can download and print.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins in the market. It is easy to use, making it the perfect choice for newbies. Yoast shows you how to improve your content on every page on various fronts, including readability, meta descriptions, title tags, target keywords, internal linking, etc. It also offers content insights. You can use the basic version of Yoast for free.
Brands that are consistent in their success understand how to be effective in their content marketing. While content audits seem like a lot of work, it is necessary because it isn’t just about fixing your old content. Content audits tell you what your audience wants, giving you new insights regularly. In other words, content audits get you results, which is why they make for a crucial part of effective content marketing.
If you are still unsure about how to perform content auditing for your website, do contact us at OneIMS for assistance.