The Five Most Common Mistakes
Thinking about creating new content? Start by considering your existing channels and evaluating where they are and aren’t working. Reviewing your existing content to establish gaps should help to establish what content needs to be created, removed, or amended.
So, what is a content audit and why do one?
The purpose of a content audit is to evaluate your content and determine whether it is valuable, relevant and useful. It often helps to point out where content is missing, what needs work or what is perfectly fine as is.
The five content auditing mistakes most often made
Mistake 1: Confusing your content mission with your business mission
Your content mission is not the same as your business mission, nor is your content a medium to convey your business mission. Your audiences are interested in how your business relates to them, how it eases their pain points, how you provide value to them.
They aren’t interested that you want to ‘be the global leader in your sector’, they are interested in how you’re going to get there. Be clear on the distinction.
Mistake 2: Using vague objectives and criteria to evaluate the content
Vague evaluation criteria will take you longer to determine whether it’s useful and will likely result in an output that won’t yield clear recommendations.
Here’s an example:
Wrong: Content should express we are the global leading brand in our sector.
Right: Content should express global leadership by demonstrating how we enhance productivity; our ability to grow in developing markets and how we break into emerging markets.
Mistake 3: Only looking at copy
Copy is not the only form of content, it may seem like a pain or too costly to have to re-visit videos, or re-design infographics, or replace photography, but it’s important to review all of the content types that make up a page.
We often see new sites launched with up to date copy but then old infographics and videos that date the page instantly and are often either; off brand or no longer accurate in term of the information.
Mistake 4: Not having clear take-aways once it’s done
The inventory of a site and an analysis of each page is only half the job. The other half is making sure that off the back of your page review, you’ve got a clear idea of the jobs to be done.
If a page isn’t meeting your criteria, what are your recommendations to get it where it needs to be?
Another part of the analysis should be broader over-arching observations.
An example of this might be that you’ve noticed inconsistencies in content creation caliber, or that some sections have more content than others.
Your take away shouldn’t just be page specific. Additionally, you should start making some broad stroke analysis along the way to see if you can spot some wider issues in content creation that needs addressing so you don’t end up in the same place.
Mistake 5: Doing a content audit in isolation of other audits
There are also additional forms analysis that can really contribute to the overall assessment of your content. Content really isn’t just about what you put on each page. There’s way more to it and getting it right requires looking at it from all angles:
Data analysis: How content it performing based on data analytics, like page traffic, time spent or bounce rates
SEO / keyword analysis: A review of SEO performance for the existing site against keywords and competitors
UX analysis: A review of the site journeys and architecture
Taxonomy analysis: How is content tagged to filter properly and connect content together
It isn’t always about how to. It’s useful to look at where things may go wrong, so you’re careful not to make these mistakes when you embark on your content audit journey.
Next post on all-things content, we’ll go through what it takes to get it right.
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How do you know you’re giving your customers what they truly need? Are you measuring it? What systems do you currently have in place that will give you real insight into what they are experiencing?
Lately I’ve been seeing project briefs that go like this: Background, challenge (you know, like what’s going wrong that could be going better), objective (are we looking to raise awareness or change perceptions), audience, spec, budget.
Look at your brand messages and the content you’re considering creating and identify its strengths, weaknesses, and ensure there is alignment between what you want to say, and what your customer needs.