Quick Content Audit for Beginners to Instantly Uncover Content Gaps

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By Tomislav

Key Takeaways

Essential Yet Efficient Auditing: Content audits, integral for a robust content marketing strategy, are streamlined in this approach, encompassing all content regardless of age and focusing on advanced search intent categorization.
Advanced Search Intent Categorization: This method divides search intent into four key categories – Problem Aware, Solution Aware, Product Aware, and Purchase Ready – aiding in identifying gaps and guiding customers through their purchasing journey.
Practical Audit Process: The audit involves six steps, from gathering and categorizing content to analyzing results for gaps. It incorporates elements of traditional audits, utilizing tools like Google Analytics for performance evaluation.
Strategic Content Enhancement: Aimed at both beginners and experienced marketers, this audit method facilitates strategic interlinking, competitive analysis, and continuous improvement in content strategy.

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What is a Content Audit?

Content audits are often seen as daunting by many marketers.

Traditional content audits are time-consuming, taking days or even weeks, and hence are typically done no more than once a year.

Yet, performing a content audit annually is crucial for staying on top of your content marketing strategy.

What is a Traditional Content Audit?

A traditional content audit is the process of evaluating content against set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

This means reviewing past content to assess its performance.

Note: It generally takes 8-12 months for new content to mature and rank in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Thus, content less than a year old is often excluded from traditional audits as its performance is not fully measurable yet.

However, the content audit I propose, which is not traditional, includes all content, regardless of age.

The specifics of this audit will be clarified further in the article.

Why Do You Need a Content Audit?

Content marketing can sometimes feel like a hit-or-miss endeavor.

It’s essential to publish voluminously and track performance in SERPs.

Despite efforts to consistently publish high-quality content, it’s hard to predict which pieces will perform best.

A content audit is necessary to identify successful content and refine your content marketing strategy.

Traditionally, this involves compiling all content into a spreadsheet, then analyzing SEO metrics like backlinks, bounce rate, session duration, social shares, conversion rates, CTR, etc.

The next step is comparing data points to evaluate the performance of each content piece.

Yes, it’s labor-intensive.

But, it’s essential for effective content strategy to:

  • Remove ineffective content
  • Merge thin content into more substantial pieces
  • Enhance content that’s good but not great
  • Identify and focus on high-performing content
  • Strategically interlink content
  • Discover content gaps

The focus of this article is on the last two points – strategically interlinking content and discovering content gaps.

In my view, this type of audit aligns with the 80:20 rule, achieving 80% of results with 20% of the effort.

This audit is centered around advanced search intent categorization.

So, let’s dive in…

What is a Content Audit Based on Advanced Search Intent Categorization?

To understand a content audit in the context of advanced search intent categorization, let’s first define the term.

Advanced search intent categorization means analyzing search intent through a problem-solution dynamic.

I term it “advanced” because it focuses on identifying problems and offering solutions – a central concept in content marketing.

This approach is relatively new, hence the label “advanced.”

In essence, this categorization divides search intent into four key categories:

  1. Problem Aware – The user knows they have a problem. Your role is to empathize and indicate the existence of solutions.
  2. Solution Aware – The user is aware of solutions. Your task is to demonstrate how your solution benefits them.
  3. Product Aware – The user knows about your solution. You need to show why it’s the best choice for them.
  4. Purchase Ready – The user is prepared to buy, convinced by your solution. Provide them with the necessary purchasing information.

Creating content tailored to these categories means guiding potential customers through their entire purchasing journey – a crucial element in your content marketing strategy.

What are Content Audits Based on Advanced Search Categorization Useful For?

The primary goal of such a content audit is to identify gaps in covering the purchasing journey.

This audit can be applied on various levels:

  • Single product or topic – Ensure comprehensive coverage of a single product or topic.
  • Product range – Assess content related to a range of products, covering all popular options.
  • Category – For websites with multiple topics, use this audit to discover unaddressed sub-topics.
  • Niche or website – Evaluate your entire website to gauge niche coverage and refine your content strategy.

Tip: While auditing, use this opportunity to interlink your content effectively. This minor effort can yield significant SEO benefits.

Additionally, this audit method is invaluable for competitive research.

To assess how well competitors cover a topic, use the Google search command:

                “Site:yourcompetition.com intitle:keyword”

This helps identify their content gaps, allowing you to create more comprehensive content. Plus, it’s a great source of content ideas.

Performing a Content Audit Based on Advanced Search Categorization in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1) Gather all relevant content pieces into an Excel sheet, depending on your audit scope.

Step 2) Classify each content piece under one of the advanced search intent categories: Problem Aware, Solution Aware, Product Aware, or Purchase Ready. Remember, a content piece fits just one category.

Step 3) Assign a unique number to each content piece.

Step 4) Create a funnel-type image to represent the advanced search intent categorization. This can be done using any tool like Paint, Canva, or graphic design software.

Step 5) Place the numbered content pieces within the appropriate sections of the funnel.

Step 6) Analyze your results. If there’s a lack in a category like Solution Aware, it indicates a need to create content that introduces ‘your’ solution to users who know a solution exists but not yours. This step is critical for filling gaps and enhancing reach and authority.

Introducing Elements of a Traditional Content Audit

If no significant gaps are found, or you wish to conduct a traditional content audit, that’s beneficial too.

Traditional content audits help identify content that’s underperforming, doing okay, or excelling. The aim is to improve or emulate these pieces.

Start by creating an Excel sheet and pulling in the KPIs for your audit.

Free tools to aid in a traditional content audit include:

  • Screaming Frog: for crawling your website and extracting valuable data.
  • Google Analytics: for metrics like bounce rate and session duration.
  • Google Search Console: for CTR and backlinks.

Paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz can offer more comprehensive insights.

This part of the audit is laborious but crucial. Analyze and grade your content based on performance.

Based on the grades, decide your action plan:

  • Content graded 1 or 2: remove.
  • 3 or 4: needs significant improvement.
  • 5 or 6: requires some enhancements.
  • 7 or 8: can remain as is.
  • 9 or 10: should be promoted as high-performing content.

Important Note: This is a basic overview of a traditional content audit. It’s a start, and as you gain experience, your audits will become more sophisticated. Do your best and continually improve.