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How a content audit can uncover your hidden gems

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When an organization takes on a replatforming project or website redesign, one of the first steps in the process is to conduct a content audit. This is a critical step in any project—and one that can uncover hidden gems that teams can use for their benefit both short- and long-term.

5 questions to understand before starting a content audit

What is a content audit?

A content audit is intended to provide an organization with a complete inventory of their content resources, to include full breadth of coverage as well as content taxonomy and how that collection of assets is organized and presented throughout a digital property like a website, for example.

What is the purpose of a content audit?

The role of a content audit is to gain a better understanding of the different content and assets across the site, and how your site visitors are (or are not) engaging with them.

What is in a content audit?

There are four main components of a quality content audit. To sharpen your competitiveness and inform your overall content strategy, the first two steps should include a competitive and experiential audit; then, to inform what you should do more (and less) of, your team should conduct a physical audit for all your assets and metrics audits for those respective assets.
  1. Competitive audit: A competitive audit provides the team with insights into how competitors are shaping their sites, their content, and their positioning. What are they doing that seems to be working well? Do you need to shift your approach based on how competitors are messaging certain themes? In short, the competitive audit provides the opportunity to review and discuss how your competitors’ approaches can inform your own strategy. 
  2. Experiential audit: It’s important to gain an understanding of what’s working well for organizations in other markets and industries. What best practices can you adopt from them for your own site? Are there unique approaches or standout elements from others that would resonate with your audience? The experiential audit provides a starting place for these discussions. 
  3. Physical audit: The physical audit is essentially a website scraping. This means taking a look at everything across the site (content on the homepage, section pages, different assets, and more) and capturing metadata for each element so you can easily sort and filter to have an understanding of what you’re working with. 
  4. Metrics audit: Once you have a sense of all content across the site, layer in a metrics audit. This is a pivotal stage as it helps the team understand what to do more of and what to do less of by assessing the site’s key pages, and usage against those pages. In the metrics audit, the team gains an understanding of which pages site visitors are viewing most often and which pages or assets are rarely seen to help inform the site’s structure and URL structure moving forward. This allows the team to easily identify which topics, themes, and sections to put greater emphasis on based on performance and which to eliminate to free up time and focus for the higher performing elements. 

What is the benefit of a content audit?

The benefit of a content audit is that you’ll show up as competitively as possible, based on the insights gathered throughout the content-audit process.

What makes a successful content audit?

Once you’ve completed the various components of your content audit, the first step toward success is to to establish a framework so you can easily monitor and track the site’s metrics over and again to ensure your strategy is working. Next, teams should plan to monitor content and site metrics on a monthly basis at first—and then a quarterly basis to understand how things are (or are not) working. Which pages have the highest traffic, and which have the lowest? What content is resulting in the highest time-on-site? These insights allow teams to make adjustments as needed and continuously optimize the site’s performance.

How Brightspot can help with your digital content audit

The combination of the Brightspot team and Brightspot technology makes the process of a content audit seamless and straightforward.

Within the platform, teams can easily search and filter assets for quality checks and/or to quickly make changes to assets as needed. For example, you can filter for every article created with a "digital transformation" tag in the last 12 months, pull up the results, export the file and work within that document as needed or create a new workflow focused on those specific results. Through in-built search capabilities like bulk editing, you can also pull up a specific subset of content and bulk edit the collection if you need to change metadata to better align with a campaign without having to go through every asset one by one.

There’s also the availability of workstreams to deliver on changes identified through the audit as well as ease of redirects in case of content or migration outcomes. Brightspot supports 1:1 redirects on every asset, but also supports vanity URLs and wildcards, which are a particularly huge time saver when sunsetting a specific topic or section of content.

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The Brightspot platform is structured so that it fits the model of each organization’s own unique workflows—the technology doesn’t make you adjust to it; it adjusts to you and your needs.

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