Questions to Ask When Completing a Qualitative Content Audit
When completing a content audit, you not only have to look at what content you have, but also how effective each piece is overall. That is where the qualitative audit comes in, as it allows you to see just how well your works support your target audience. And with that, you can determine if the content is best positioning your brand for success now and in the coming years.
Although this might sound complicated, it is actually quite easy once you know what to look for and how to proceed. To complete this process, all you have to do is take a close look at each piece of content and answer the following questions. Then, record your findings in a spreadsheet for fine tuning as needed to align your content with your audience needs and business goals.
Which Audiences is the Content Created For?
Before you can create and properly distribute content that resonates, you must clearly identify your target audience and verify each piece speaks to any or all of those groups. Otherwise, you will be pitching ideas to the wind, counting on chance above all else in hitting your targets.
So, as you look at your content, ask who this piece is written for and what does it offer the reader. You should be able to match the identified audience to your buyer personas for your brand.
If the content does not speak to audiences you have identified as relevant to your brand, it may need to be removed. Or if it comes up often, you just might need to define that audience with another buyer persona. Record your audience data in the spreadsheet using your buyer persona names and undefined for those that do not fit.
Is the Content Well-Organized and Easy to Read?
Even if you have the most profound information plastered across your website, if it is not well-organized and easy to read, it is likely to get overlooked. For that reason, you need to gauge the quality of each page of content on your site by looking at its structure.
Check that it has:
- Title and subheadings that are easy to skim
- Short paragraphs of two to four sentences each
- No typos, grammar mistakes, and other glaring errors
- Just enough internal and external links without feeling overwhelming
- High-quality images that support the content’s message
Give one point for each of these areas, rating each page on a scale of five for this section.
Can People Easily Find the Content When They Need It?
No matter how useful your content, if it is not easily accessible, then your audience will fail to hear your message when they need it most. If you sell aftermarket automotive parts, for example, your customers should be able to find installation instructions with a quick search or visit to your site. If they have to dig through the navigation links or perform 10 searches to find your content, then you have a lot of room for improvement.
To assess this area, you will need to try to find each piece of content on your own using your onsite search bar and navigation links. Then, head to your favorite search engine and try to find the content yet again, noting how and where you found it, if you did. Once you have spent time looking for the content, you can rate the effort it took on a scale of your choosing.
Is the Content Up-to-Date and Relevant to Your Brand?
If your content is out of date or outright irrelevant to your brand, it could prove confusing at best. Your audience needs to remain confident that your brand is always providing up-to-date content that fully answers their questions. Furthermore, they should find that your content always closely align with the mission and values of your brand.
If it does not, then you have to decide if the piece will be removed or updated, as it cannot stay as it is for much longer. So, provide a pass or fail rating for this question as you fill out your spreadsheet.
Does the Content Have a Strong Call to Action?
By the time your audience finishes reading through your content, they should have clear next steps in mind. The content may inspire them to share with their friends, family, and neighbors, spreading your message far and wide. Or simply help them move forward in the buyer’s journey, perhaps even by completing their purchase.
Whatever the case, your content needs to provide a clear call to action to follow, providing the guidance your audience needs. If you determine that there is a compelling call to action in place, give the content a passing score. Otherwise, mark it with a zero and plan to update that piece in the near future.
Unlike quantitative audits, this process goes beyond raw data, requiring direct analysis by your team. So, you will have to skip the technical tools and move through your content piece by piece to create a big picture overview of where you stand.
If you need help moving through this process with confidence, you can reach out to our team at WriterAccess. Our content strategists can assist in completing your qualitative audit and all other tasks needed to optimize your marketing efforts. So, reach out today to see how we can help and free yourself from having to complete your audits on your own.
Marie A. is a talented copywriter and content strategist who can help you achieve great success with all your digital marketing campaigns. She can write up all the web content you need to promote your company and build a loyal following. She also provides content strategy services to help you establish and follow an effective inbound marketing plan. She writes shareable copy with a clear call to action that inspires your readers to move forward in their purchase journey. Her content will always reflects your company voice and mission while adhering to your preferred style guide. Through the creation of optimized webpages, blog posts, whitepapers, and other works, she can help you speak directly to your target audience and build brand loyalty.