Content audits are beastly projects. And like any major initiative, proper preparation makes life a heck of a lot easier when you actually get to the execution part.
To prove just how important it is to prepare for a content audit, I’d like to tell you a story. Let’s call our main character Dan.
Dan was asked to perform a content audit. After getting over the fear and anxiety of spending his working hours sifting through asset after asset, he dug into the project. He turned on his Content Audit Playlist and started to organize content by publish date, author, and category.
Days passed. He started to hate his Content Audit Playlist. When the project was done, he attached a massive Excel spreadsheet to an email and pushed send. Dan did a happy dance.
A reply came through to his email. “Can we get all this categorized by persona, too?” Dan stayed cool, calm, and collected.
But he wondered, “Why didn’t I confirm exactly what we needed to know about all this content before I started?” Back through the spreadsheet he goes.
Don’t be like Dan.
Here are 3 steps to make sure you’re ready to dive into a content audit. And if you’re looking for a free tool to help you avoid being Dan, give the Content Auditor a shot.
Pull your content into one, manageable location. This step can be a huge chunk of your workload, as often times, content is pushed across channels without any sort of system for keeping track of where it goes or how it’s doing. Many companies use a spreadsheet, digital asset management application, or content marketing software.
The next step is to figure out how you want to organize your content. This is where Dan slipped up.
Define exactly what categories matter to you, and set up a system for tagging your content with that metadata—past content and all future content, too. For example, do you care about buying stage and persona? Theme or author? Write down every field that matters to you, and confirm those fields with whoever will be reviewing the audit once you’re done.
Think through how you want to handle your content once the audit is complete. You’ll want to refresh the best performing and still relevant content, revise and update anything that’s important but outdated, and get rid of any assets that are completely off message. Make sure to mark content with one of these three suggestions as you go through and review/tag it.
By taking these three planning steps, you’re ready to perform a content audit that will not only give you insight into the content you’ve created, but will help you manage your content moving forward.