Why a Good Content Audit Is Your Business’ Best Friend

By Marcia Riefer Johnston


What would you be willing to do to get reliable guidance on what kinds of content to create more of – and less of – to have greater impact on your business? Would you go so far as to *gulp* audit your content?

Don’t click away! Yes, a content audit can seem like an overwhelming task – “something we think is somebody else’s responsibility,” says Cathy McKnight, founding partner of Digital Clarity Group and speaker at the Intelligent Content Conference. “But it is essential to our jobs” as marketers.

This article sums up the main points from Cathy’s ICC talk, Executing a Usable Content Audit That Will Immediately Make an Impact on Your Marketing Content.

What’s a content audit?

A content audit is a review of existing content. It usually takes the form of a spreadsheet that lists your content assets – all types of content, all channels, all distribution formats – and captures information about each asset. The list itself is sometimes referred to as a content inventory; the audit is the process of assessing each item in the inventory.

There’s no universal set of information you should capture during your audit. Consider your project needs and business goals, and assess your content according to what you want to know. Consider both quantitative information (how much, how many) and qualitative information (who, what, when, where, how, why).

For examples of the types of information you might want to collect in your audit, see the section – What data should a content inventory include? – in this article.

Why do a content audit?

A content audit reveals which aspects of our digital assets need attention. Among other things, it may identify:

  • Pages that haven’t performed well
  • Outdated pages
  • Misinformation, obsolete information, and incomplete information
  • Invalid SEO information

A content audit can help you:

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