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How to conduct an effective content marketing audit

How to conduct an effective content marketing audit

A content marketing audit is essential if you're creating content on a regular basis. Search engines like to see up-to-date and relevant content so ensuring that your existing content has the latest stats and information will help you to keep your content at the top of the search engines.

You might think that the key to an effective content marketing strategy is writing and sharing a tonne of new content. However, if you never look back at your previously published content, you’re missing out on a significant part of your content strategy.

61% of marketers conduct content audits at least twice a year. Analysing and updating your content through a content marketing audit helps ensure that all of your content is high-quality and performing well -  helping boost your rankings on the search engine results page (SERPs).

In this guide, we’ll break down what a content audit is, why it’s important, how to conduct a comprehensive content audit and the best tools to use.

What is a content audit? 

A website content audit refers to categorising and analysing your existing content and creating an actionable plan to improve or update your content. Different businesses carry out content audits for different reasons. Still ultimately, the main goal is to improve your existing content and use the insights gained to inform your future content strategy. 

Benefits of a website content audit

Conducting a content marketing audit can help:

  • Identify gaps in your content strategy 
  • Understand how your content is performing (what works well and what doesn’t)
  • Improve your future content marketing strategy 
  • Boost your SEO performance by removing duplicate or old content
  • Make your website easier for users to navigate 
  • Identify content that needs updating or revising 

How to do a content audit

Completing a content audit can be challenging, especially if you’ve not completed one before or your site has a lot of content to analyse. We’ve broken the process into five simple steps to make it easier:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Take inventory of your content 
  3. Categorise and analyse your content
  4. Create actionable steps
  5. Adjust your content marketing strategy  

1. Define your goals

The first step should always be to define your business goals for performing the content audit. 

For example, your goal might be to improve your site’s SEO rankings. If this is the case, you might focus on identifying low-quality or outdated content that needs to be removed or revised, checking external and internal links are functional, and ensuring all your content is optimised for relevant keywords. 

2. Take inventory of your content 

The next step in the content audit process will involve assessing all of your site’s content and compiling all of the URLs into a comprehensive spreadsheet or content audit template. The content you’ll need to take into consideration might include:

  • Blog posts and articles 
  • Product or service descriptions 
  • Landing pages
  • PDFs or ebooks
  • Videos and graphics 
  • Interactive content, like games and quizzes 

If you have a small website, you can do this by manually adding links. If you have a larger website or have written a lot of content, you might want to use a tool like Screaming Frog. This tool can scan your site for SEO issues and download URLs into an organised spreadsheet. You can scan up to 500 URLs with the free version. 

3. Categorise and analyse your content 

When compiling your content into your content audit spreadsheet, you might want to include the following information:

  • URL
  • Page title 
  • Targeted keywords and current ranking positions 
  • Backlinks 
  • Format and type of content 
  • Funnel stage
  • Publication or modification date 
  • Topic cluster
  • Meta titles and meta descriptions 
  • CTAs

The goal of your content audit will determine what information you include. If your goal is to boost your SEO rankings, you’ll want to take note of keywords, backlinks and page speed, which are important factors for SEO. However, if your goal is to identify high-performing content, you might want to include traffic, click-through rate, and conversions. You can use Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Semrush Position Tracking to source the data for your content audit. 

Although it might be tempting to include all the information you can find, this might mean you have too much information to analyse effectively and run out of time (or willpower) to complete the audit. Instead, try only to include the information you need to help you reach your goals. 

Categorise your content

Once you have compiled all the necessary information into your content audit spreadsheet, it’s time to start analysing and categorising it (according to your goals). You might want to use a colour coding system that lets you quickly see which content is performing well (ranking highly or has a high click-through rate) and which is underperforming.

Here are some things you might want to make note of:

  • Content that’s underperforming 
  • Your best-performing content 
  • Old or outdated content 
  • Content with broken links 
  • Content with missing meta titles or descriptions
  • Content that’s not optimised for relevant keywords 
  • Particular topics that are performing the best 

You might want to group your content into potential issues that you observe. For example, you might notice that many of your blog posts are ranking highly and getting a lot of traffic but have a low conversion rate. This might be because this is top-of-the-funnel content or is designed to help with brand awareness, or it could be because it’s lacking a clear CTA or the topic doesn’t appeal to your target audience. 

4. Create actionable steps 

Once you’ve categorised and analysed your content, it’s time to create some actionable steps.

You’ll want to add a final column to your spreadsheet with the action you want to take for each piece of content - keep, re-purpose, update, rewrite, or delete. 


If your content is performing well and is still relevant, you probably don’t need to make any changes. This content might include evergreen blog posts or product descriptions. 


If you have a piece of content that’s highly performing, you want to use this content across other channels. For example, you might use it to create a lead-gen piece of content. 


You might identify content that’s very old or contains outdated information (such as statistics or legal information). This content must be updated with new information to remain relevant and valuable. 

Rewrite or edit 

There might be some content that’s really underperforming or is not optimised for any relevant keywords. However, if you think the topic and content concept is relevant, it will need re-writing or editing to help it perform better.


Your content audit might identify some issues with content that need fixing to help it perform better. This might be fixing broken links or adding a meta title or description. 


If there’s content that you think can’t be improved, is no longer relevant, or doesn’t appeal to your target audience, then it’s best to remove the content from your site entirely. This might be old product information, duplicate content or blog posts about products or services you no longer offer. 

Once you’ve got a list of content with the steps you’ll need to take to improve it, you can decide which steps are your biggest priority. 

For example, if your goal is to improve your SEO rankings, your first step might be to delete any completely irrelevant content, as this can be accomplished quickly. Next, you might update any old pieces of content with irrelevant information or fix any missing or broken links. 

5. Adjust your content marketing strategy  

It’s important to take what you’ve learnt from your content audit and use it to inform your long-term content marketing strategy. This can help you perfect your content strategy and create more content that resonates with your target audience, ranks highly and drives conversions. 

For example, you should note what topics are performing the best and create more content around those topics. You might also want to look at the format, tone and style of content that is performing highly (long or short blog posts, factual or humorous posts, number of images and videos, and best calls to action) - all this information can help you create better content in the future. 

The best content audit tools

Here are some of the best tools to help simplify and streamline your content marketing audit.

1. Screaming Frog

This useful tool allows you to search up to 500 URLs for free - it can collect URLs from your site and create a list for you to use for your content audit. 

2. SEMrush

With this comprehensive paid tool, you can conduct an effective site audit. It will crawl your entire site for any SEO issues, like broken links or duplicate content, which is particularly useful if your goal is to improve your SEO rankings. 

3.  Ahrefs

This is another paid platform offering a site audit tool (as well as tools for keyword research and competitor analysis). You can select what you want the site audit tool to show you based on your goals, from showing meta information to the number of backlinks. 

4. Google Analytics

Although there is no specific content audit tool, you can use GA4 to find useful information to include in your content audit, such as traffic, views and time on the page. This is helpful if the goal of your audit is to increase website traffic or boost conversions. 

PageSpeed Insights is another useful and free Google tool if you want to include information on page speed on mobile and desktop devices in your audit. 

Key takeaways 

Conducting a comprehensive content audit is a powerful way to make the most of your existing content and perfect your long-term content marketing strategy. However, implementing an effective audit can take a long time and can be tricky if you don’t have the necessary tools or skill set to analyse the data and turn it into a useful action plan.

If you’d like a good place to start, why not request a free digital marketing audit

Our team will look at your current digital marketing performance (including content, SEO, paid social media and PPC), analyse what your competitors are doing and make some recommendations for improving your results!

Blog written by

Lucy Forrest
Digital Account Manager

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