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What is a content audit? Best practices for optimizing business content

Definition: A content audit is the process of cataloging and analyzing all of the content on a website, including its performance. Online businesses who publish content and pursue an ongoing content marketing strategy can optimize their benefits by analyzing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

Creating content? Why a content audit is necessary

A thorough content audit gives online marketers a much-needed high-level perspective of all content efforts. Audits are the ideal time to re-examine strategy and evaluate what's working and what's not. With this information in hand, the site owner or manager will be better armed to determine the company's future marketing efforts.

Content audits are primarily conducted for two main reasons:

  • **Search engine optimization (SEO).**Content audits show opportunities to better optimize existing content, and highlight weak points in a website's search engine presence. It may find, for example, that title tags could be improved or some articles could be expanded on. From a high-level perspective, a content audit can present new content opportunities that are relevant to the business.

  • Assessing existing content advertising efforts. Rather than inspecting page optimization variables, the focus will be directly on content performance. Common metrics to evaluate how content is contributing to the bottom line are micro-conversions such as newsletter sign-ups, page visits, and social shares. Content audits can expose channels that are not contributing and highlight high-performing mediums.

If your organization has both of the above referenced motivations, a content audit should serve to maximize your time and effort. Jotting down the SEO metrics while sorting through the content marketing data helps you glean valuable insights about your content base.

Best practices for conducting an ecommerce content audit

The complexity of content audits varies by the number of articles being reviewed, but involves the same general process. The most important thing: remain organized and

  • **Divide and conquer:**Consider delegating some of the data-gathering procedures to others instead of attempting to perform the entire audit yourself. Outsourcing and microjobbing services such as Upwork and Guru can complete some of the time-consuming work so you can focus your efforts on analysis.

  • **Stay organized:**Laying out the steps and staying organized throughout is paramount to a successful content audit. An audit's purpose is to evaluate all content assets, identify optimization opportunities, and target content gaps. Without careful organization, these objectives can be difficult to hone in on.

  • **Act on your findings:**Identifying problems or opportunities is the first step — but real gains are made when you respond to them. The same core team that performs a content audit should only consider the job done when findings are translated into a plan of action. Creating new content and touching up existing articles make a content audit more than worth the time.

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