Content marketing is an ever-changing field that takes work to get just right, and then it changes again. As you learn and test things out and your content improves, you need to go back and perform regular content audits for updates, clarity, and search engine optimization.
Maybe you’ve seen the joke,
“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of the Google search results.”
As content ages, it moves further away from that coveted first page of results. But you don’t have to let your old content die a slow, painful death. By auditing your post’s critical features, you can keep it fresh and give readers a great user experience.
To audit your content and make it great and re-engage readers focus on clarity, story, visuals, and search engine optimization.
Have a clear purpose when writing content
For content to hit a home run with your audience, you need to think about deeper goals than just making the next sale. As you perform your content audit, as yourself:
What is the intention behind every piece of content?
Are you just adding to the noise, or are you sharing something with a goal in mind?
Create appropriate goals for the different types of content you have.
Content goals include:
- Building curiosity
- Instilling a sense of community
- Teaching a skill
- Easing a fear
Think about the purpose behind the content you are auditing and see if it’s working. If the goal is not being met, think about ways to change that.
Make your content about the customer
If your content is lacking or completely falling flat, check to see if it is about you or your customers. If it is about you, work to change that and put the spotlight on your customers. Take the primary purpose you came up with for your content and explore how it can relate to your customers’ wants and needs.
This is where great customer research comes in. Interview your customers, run polls, and ask questions. Spend some time where your customers hang out online and off.
What do your target customers read? Where to they live online and offline? Do you know what they care about? Add the words they use in your copy. Address their fears, hopes, and dreams.
Make them feel like you get them and understand what they need. Focus on how your message can help your customers solve their challenges. Then share with your customers how you can help them. You can do this with stories.
Add great stories to your blog writing
You’ve probably heard a lot about storytelling in marketing over the last few years because it makes your content writing more engaging and memorable. Storytelling creates connections and builds customer loyalty. It makes someone care about your business and choose you over your competitors.
As you do a content audit, look for areas in your marketing where you can add some great stories that share your point in an engaging way.
” Alfred Hitchcock defined a good story as ‘life with the dull parts taken out.’ Good branding is the same. Our companies are complex, for sure, but a good messaging filter will remove all the stuff that bores our customers and will bear down on the aspects of our brand that will help them survive and thrive.” Donald Miller, Building A StoryBrand
You can use case studies to add stories to your content also. Show rather than tell whenever you can.
Remove jargon and clarify your messaging
Look for places in your copy with a lot of jargon that readers may not be familiar with and remove it. Find replacements that are in plain English. If it is appropriate for your business, write as you would talk.
Also, look for areas where the copy sounds stiff and unnatural and figure out how to improve it. You can do a Google search for similar but more causal phrases or use an idiom or online slang dictionary to search for alternatives. Some results may be too causal for your business tone, but it is a great way to explore alternative phrases that will pull your audience into the content.
Don’t create distance between you and your customers by trying to sound smart. Make sure you use words and phrases that make your audience receive your message. If you struggle with this, try a resource like the Hemingway editor to catch complex sentences.
Or even better, hire a professional editor to review your content. Now on to making it more visually appealing.
Break up text for content readability
Another area to audit as you go through your content is how it looks visually. Are there long paragraphs that are hard to read? Is the content lacking appropriate headers? Could you add a bulleted list?
So much content is read on smart devices and small screens. How easy is your content to read and digest on different devices?
“The growth of mobile has subsequently influenced several types of online behavior, with research showing that mobile is now central to almost all kinds of internet activity.” Google Consumer Barometer Study
How you present content visually is just as important as the content itself. Don’t give potential customers an excuse to click away before they even read your message. And to get eyes on your content in the first place, you have to optimize.
Optimize your content marketing for SEO
Before you dive into your content audit, check your analytics dashboard to see what keywords your content is ranking for and if there are any similar keywords or phrases that you could add. You can use a tool like Surfer SEO to review your content and get specific steps for improving on-page SEO for your existing content.
You have to start with readers in mind, but focusing on SEO content writing is crucial if you want potential customers to find your content.
Search engines want to rank fresh content at the top of search results. Updating your existing content to make it relevant again will give viewers a better user experience and make the search engines happy. Get help with your content audit if you need it.
Hire an industry expert for your content audit
If you struggle with your content, hire a professional writer to refresh your older posts. A writer that knows your industry well can look at your old posts and see what needs to be updated and how the content can be significantly improved. Often a brand is too close to the content to see it with fresh eyes the way an outside writer can.
Not every writer can write well for every industry. That is why here at ClearVoice, we have a pool of blog content writers and industry experts in a variety of fields, from health and finance to tech and SEO professionals.
Speak to a specialist today if you need content writing services.
Keep coming up with great content marketing ideas
Are you wondering how you come up with good copy and content marketing ideas? Ways you can improve your marketing copy? Steps to crafting a potent piece of copy or content?
As you perform your content audit, look around you for inspiration. Explore great copy on the web as you go through your day-to-day activities. What content makes you stop scrolling and pay attention? Why?
Always explore and write down ideas. Save links for content that you find intriguing. Pay attention to both long-form content and short and how they are written differently to make the right impact. An industry expert can help you come up with ideas also.
Now it’s your turn.
Choose your first audit piece
Find a good but not great post, and see how many tips you can implement to improve it. Is the post lacking an applicable story? Add one. Are there areas containing too much jargon bogging the post down? Remove it. Are there outdated or broken links? Replace them.
A few quick tweaks can bring life to your content again and make readers want to come back again and again.