Columnist Thomas Stern shows how to do the right content audit to assess whether your content is relevant to your brand goals and SEO goals, and whether it's driving what your customers want.
Google has changed a lot in terms of marketers over the past few years. From major algorithm updates to voice search, all of these changes follow Google's ultimate goal of providing its users with the best possible search experience.
As a result, it is not enough to simply develop and optimize website content for search engines. With better language processing the focus of improving search results, your brand's website content is no longer just for search engines, but for real people.
To attract users and search engines, brands must go through an audit process to evaluate their website content to see if it's working properly and identify areas for improvement. A website content audit is the cornerstone of your entire content marketing.
Content auditing, in the right circumstances, can help determine whether your website content is relevant to your branding and marketing goals, and whether it is relevant to your customers' needs. Audits can identify issues of accuracy, consistency, voice, and intonation; but also provide direction for SEO.
Reviewing existing content
Not every content review is the same; it takes familiarity to set up a successful framework across many different digital marketing channels. However, every content audit has some things in common, such as quantitative and qualitative metrics that evaluate each page of your website.
The first step in a content audit is to document the existing content of all sites. At ZOG Digital, we found it easiest to centralize data and break down information like URLs, page titles, conversion rates, meta descriptions, and more in a single spreadsheet to start our process.
Take the time to evaluate your audience's search habits and any historical data you have at your disposal. Some of the tools we like to use include:
Screaming Frog crawls a website's pages, links and images and allows us to export the data to a spreadsheet.
Google Analytics can export success metrics for each page, broken down by marketing channel.
Ahrefs allows us to view the backlink profile of each target page.
Next, we stratified the qualitative data for the pages at the brand level and the content quality level. For our clients, we measure key pages against target audiences and brand goals. As you evaluate each page, you should be able to rate each page appropriately and determine next steps for them.
With each content audit, you need to define your site's overall health and identify any strengths and weaknesses. If you think the content lacks substance or has poor traffic but is really essential to the brand, then the content needs to be changed based on the existing audience. You'll start seeing themes in each category page and be able to provide helpful suggestions for each section of the site.
Audience Segmented Content Creation
Once you've determined the next step, you need to execute it effectively for your target audience. Successful content marketing is about targeting an individual and then, of course, maximizing its engagement and revenue. Audience segmentation allows you to develop strategies around each audience type.
For organizations with large B2B audience telemarketing list segments like GE, product page or case study content may be the most important content for their target audience. For Nest, innovative home and security brands, videos and personal testimonials may be more effective at establishing examples and value.
When it comes to reaching your target audience, you must optimize your marketing strategy in a thoughtful way. While defining, segmenting, and targeting your audience, you also need to be clear about which content types will fill the gaps in content moderation while also resonating with your target audience.
This is where many brands will struggle - they need an agile team of experts to address issues uncovered during an initial content review, while also aligning with their target audience. After evaluating all aspects of your current website content, you can bridge the gaps and create a more engaging video for your target audience. Few brands have mastered this technique, and the key is to pay attention to their strategy and how to validate success.
Mercedes-Benz, for example, is positioned to ensure that much of its content is designed for an audience willing to pay for a high-quality car. However, they know they should also get into the younger driver crowd. That's why they also create content and products that align with youth values, such as high value at affordable prices and strong customer brand relationships.
You'll notice in the screenshot below that the first feature listed on the page is a phone connection, not something like mileage or horsepower.
Meanwhile, Toyota has marketed their Prius Prime. Car companies claim this is their most advanced hybrid y