A traditional content audit requires inventorying every piece of content on your site. With two minutes spent on each posts at 1000 posts, you’d be looking at a week of non-stop work, just to get to inventorying being done.
No one wants to do that. The more posts you have the more daunting the idea of an audit gets. Enter the shortest possible version:
The 30 Minute Content Audit
Make it painless as possible
The idea is that done is better than perfect taking a realistic approach that you can find the time to do.
Grab a sheet of paper and make three columns with the following:
- list of your categories, tags, key content assets, with a count of articles for each grouping on
- list your top typical customer segments – I prefer buying mindsets or something that indicates what their customer journeys look like
- list your products
For our purposes, we’re just trying to group your users, customers, clients, whatever, into common sense breakdown of the typical problems they come to you with.
Looking at the page, you should be able to see some clear patterns emerge in relationships between categories, typical mindsets, and your products.
Draw lines wherever they make sense to connect concepts: between categories, from categories to tags, between products and mindsets, mindsets and categories, etc.
v2 – Revise it down
At this point, redraft your three columns, but this time include rows for each customer mindset (journey, segment, whatever you want to call it).
Group related categories and related products into clusters. Look for groupings that make the most sense with your mindsets.
Then fill in the groupings of categories and products that best match the mindsets you have in the same rows as your products.
- If a category or grouping works for multiple mindsets or products, that’s totally fine – you can put them twice and make a note with an asterisk or star if you’re having fun.
- If you have miscellaneous items, that’s good to know! Put them below your table in their respective columns.
Sleep on it and come back to it in the morning. Is anything important missing?
Make any necessary tweaks. Your audit is complete.
A couple thoughts on page-by-page content audits
If you’re looking to prune content and reposition content for better visibility, you’ll need a spreadsheet of your pages with the meta data.
These might help give you a head start:
- It might be worth having someone scrape your sites pages and extract the important bits on each page to give you a head-start on your spreadsheet. Upwork is great for just this (our best filters for finding experienced, reliable web scrapers here)
- You can also go to a list of your pages in Google Analytics, and export to CSV to get a running start on your spreadsheet.
- If you have a sitemap.xml file, you can copy the URLs and paste into a spreadsheet – keeping in mind that some of your pages may not have made it to the sitemap – even if dynamically generated.
- If you’re on WordPress, there are a few plugin options that allows you to export your posts with some meta data. Other popular CMSs probably have something similar.