Audits: The Ins and Outs (Say that 5x)

This week I will discuss:
     - Auditing (analyzing) and reporting on your content
     - Well-executed and poorly-executed content

Auditing (or analyzing) your content is highly important. If you do not know what content you already have and how successful (or unsuccessful) it is, then you will not know what to create next. This concept, however, is easier said than done- and cannot, I REPEAT CANNOT, be skipped over. Kristina Halvorson gives several examples of why audits are so advantageous. An audit will give you and the team reference of all existing content and where the company stands on different issues. An audit will help you budget for the future content you wish to publish. And perhaps most importantly, a proper content audit will “give you a clear understanding of what you have and where it lives”.

audit-meme

Photo credit: MemeGenerator.net

First, you need to create a content inventory. Halvorson gives an excellent example of a concise and easy-to-understand content inventory, which (I assume) she uses at her company, Brain Traffic. More or less, this is a quick overall view of what your company is doing and where it is doing it.

Now that you know what content you have, how is that content organized? This quantitative audit includes what pages on your website the content can be found on and who is creating (and maintaining) this content. If no one is actively involved in monitoring content, you need to assign someone that duty. Yes, it actually is necessary to have someone who consistently and meticulously maintains your content, so it stays relevant and helpful.

cartoon-02.gif

Photo credit: Unknown

Next, is the qualitative audit. Knowing what you have and where it is, is helpful to an extent, but you need to know the “quality and effectiveness of the content”. A qualitative content audit will include questions like:

  • What is the content saying?
  • Is the content accurate?
  • Is this content useful?
  • Is the content actually being used?
  • Is the content user-friendly?
  • Is this content profession?

good vs bad chart.png

Check the post prior to this one for a refresher on “good” vs. “bad” execution in terms of content overload on competing banking websites.

Of all the things that make up content creation, I find this to be the most straightforward.

During my last semester of graduate school, I worked at a company in Manhattan that was very keen on putting out scores of blogs per week. Blogs about trends, about past trends, about upcoming trends; blogs about celebrities; blogs about vendors; blogs about themselves… Long story short, I knew I was writing blogs that would NEVER be read by anyone other than the CEO. And that is something I think is hard for a lot of CEO’s to understand: you should not be blogging for the sake of blogging. Content Strategists at Contently agree, “60% of markets focus their efforts on blog content, but only 29% of consumers will likely read those blog posts thoroughly”.

TWENTY-NINE PERCENT?! YIIIIIKE. Sorry not sorry, I do not think it is a wise use of time or resources to be pumping out a consistent blog if less than one third of my audience is going to even engage. The article, found here, goes on to break down analytics in an easy-to-read infographic that I recommend before writing that next post!


Next week check back for info on:
     - Ethical troubleshooting
     - Legal troubleshooting
And a special *sneak*peek* for what is coming in the coming weeks!
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