Hey, you did it! You put in the blood, sweat, and tears and got your content ranking on page one of Google’s search results. Congratulations!

No, wait, hold on. Google just updated its algorithm, putting you right back where you started. Cue facepalm.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Content marketing is constantly changing, and you need to make sure your content changes with it. That’s where content audits come in.

In this article, we’ll break down the best content audit tips that will keep your content relevant, engaging, and valuable to your audience.

Let’s turn that facepalm into a high five.Choose your first audit piece

The Top Tips for Performing a Content Audit

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 article’s critical features, you can keep it fresh and continue to give readers a great experience.

To audit your content and re-engage readers, focus on:

  • Clarity
  • Story
  • Visuals
  • SEO
  • Data

As you audit and refresh your content, follow these tips to ensure success:

Content audit tips that will keep readers engaged

Have a clear purpose for your content

For content to hit a home run with your audience, you need to think about goals beyond just making the next sale. As you perform your content audit, think about the purpose behind each piece of content you’re reviewing and see if it’s succeeding. If it’s not, think about how you can refine and modify it to achieve its goal.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the intention behind this piece of content?
  • What is the value it adds to the digital space?
  • Are you just adding to the noise?
  • Are you sharing something with a specific goal in mind?

Create specific goals for the different types of content you have.

Some content goals include:

  • Building curiosity
  • Instilling a sense of community
  • Teaching a skill
  • Easing a pain point
  • Solving a problem

Make data-driven decisions

Before making any substantial changes, dive deep into your content’s performance data. Look at the relevant KPIs to each piece of content to help understand which pieces are driving engagement and conversions, and which ones are lagging. Some top metrics to look at could be:

  • Time on page
  • Page views
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate

Tools can be really helpful here. Platforms like Semrush and Hubspot can give you a wealth of information on user behavior and how your content ranks for specific keywords. Use these tools to segment your data and gain insights into how different types of content perform across various channels.

Remember, you don’t want to make subjective assumptions. Analytics will give you objective data that will inform the rest of your auditing.

Make sure your content is about the customer

If your content is lacking engagement or completely falling flat, check to see if it’s about you or your customers. If it is about you, take the original, primary purpose you came up with for your content and see how you can relate it more to your customers’ wants and needs. The spotlight should be on them.

This is where great customer research and testimonials come in handy. Interview your customers, run polls, and ask questions. Spend some time with them and ask them about what made them customers in the first place. Talk to them about how your content has succeeded with them and where they think there might be some gaps.

Ask yourself:

  • What do your target customers read?
  • Where do they live online and offline?
  • Do you know what they care about?

Take what they say and fold it into your content’s copy to address your target audience’s pain points, hopes, and dreams. Make them feel like you get them and understand what they need by focusing your message to impart how you can help your customers solve the challenges they’re facing. Then share how you can help them solve that challenge. Hint: you can do that with our next tip!

Add great stories to your blog writing

Emphasize emotion and storytelling

Bottom line, emotion and storytelling in your content can help drive engagement and increase conversion.

You’ve probably heard a lot about storytelling in marketing over the last few years. As human beings, we all love and respond to stories on a primal level. It’s been a part of the human experience since the beginning of time. In content marketing, storytelling is your secret weapon to creating a strong and fast connection with your target audience. It’s what makes someone care about your business and choose you over your competitors.

As you do your content audit, look for areas in your marketing content where you can add some great stories that share your point in an engaging and unique way. Case studies can be a great way to do that because they demonstrate how your brand has been successful. Showing is always better than telling.

“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

Simplify your language to clarify your message

A lot of us here at ClearVoice our writers ourselves. We know how easy it is to get caught up in superfluous language, especially on the subject matter expert side of things.

But you don’t want to create a distance between yourself and your customers by trying to sound smart. Look for places in your copy with a lot of jargon that readers may not be familiar with. Once you find it, break it down and replace it with digestible, easy-to-understand language that a regular person can understand. If you struggle with this, the Hemingway editor can be your best friend here.

Also, look for areas where the copy sounds stiff and unnatural and punch it up. Use Google to search similar but more casual phrases to find alternatives. Or even better, hire a professional editor to review your content (we might know a few).

Break up text for content readability

Visually break up text to enhance content readability

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.

When you’re auditing your content, look at it visually. Are there long paragraphs that are hard to read? Is the content lacking appropriate headers? Is there anywhere you could add a bulleted list or chart infographic?

These days, most content is read on smart devices and small screens. A Google Consumer Barometer study revealed, “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.”

How easy is your content to read and digest on different devices, particularly those smaller ones?

Optimize for SEO

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.

Before you fully 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, which means storytelling and engagement should come first, but focusing on SEO content writing is crucial if you want potential customers to find your content. It won’t matter how good a story you’re telling if no one shows up to hear it.

Hire an industry expert for your content audit

Hire an industry expert for your content audit

Not every writer can write well for every industry. Sometimes it’s easiest to outsource and hire a proven, professional writer with subject matter expertise to refresh your older posts and articles. A great writer who knows your industry well can bring a fresh set of eyes, easily diagnosing what needs to be updated to refine and improve your content.

Keep collecting ideas for your content inspiration

As you perform your content audit, look around for inspiration. Flag copy that you think is great and have a place to write down ideas as they come to you. If you’re hitting a wall, we’ve got one hundred ideas for your content calendar if you need them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Want a Content Audit Partner?

Sometimes, the most effective way to perform a content audit is to outsource to a trusted partner who knows what they’re doing. While they punch up your copy to drive engagement and visibility, you can concentrate on other aspects of your higher-level strategy.

If you need help refreshing one piece or one thousand (or creating new content), we’re here to help. At ClearVoice, we have a Talent Network of 4000+ top-tier, experienced editors, writers, and SEO specialists who can take your content to the next level.

Talk to a content specialist today to learn how.