How to do a content audit, KonMari style

Reading time: About 4 minutes

We’re moving to Australia next month with three suitcases and a tiny container of stuff.

We’ve had to be ruthless about what comes with and what stays behind, which is not easy when you’ve been together for 18 years, had a child, and lived in six different houses – one of them on another continent.

In other words, we’ve collected a LOT of crap.

This weekend, I had to audit my wardrobe. And who better to turn to for ideas than Marie Kondo, the darling of decluttering and organisation.

Instead of my usual “decluttering” approach of going shelf-by-shelf or drawer-by-drawer, I followed the KonMari method of dumping ALL my clothes in a pile on the floor.

That alone was quite satisfying.

Then, I picked through the items one by one, asking each if it “brought me joy”.

(I stopped short of sniffing, thanking, and hugging my discarded items, and wishing them well on their journey. That’s weird.)

But having a clear boundary – either the thing made me happy, or it didn’t – made it easier to toss items that I’d been holding onto out of guilt, obligation, or wishful thinking that it will one day fit me again.

So, in went my beloved 14-Up Dr. Martens that I haven’t worn since I was in my 20s but that are so damn beautiful and bring me ALL the joy.

Out went the burgundy, satiny, sexy maid’s outfit that my mom-in-law made for my bridal shower outfit (sorry, Sally).

In the end, I tossed three bags of shit and was left with a glorious feeling of lightness.

I realised during this process that the KonMari method is the perfect way to audit your content.

But first, what is a content audit?

A content audit is a process of dumping your content in one place and deciding what stays and what goes.

Think of it as cleaning out the cobwebs; a Spring clean to throw out the things that don’t fit, have gone out of fashion, or have unsightly stains and holes.

Return to your content strategy statement for your boundaries – the things that should bring you joy.

The goal is to identify strengths and weaknesses in your content strategy and development workflow, as well as to make sure your content plan aligns with your marketing goals.

How to do a content audit

The process is simple. How long it takes depends on how much content you have.

If you have heaps of posts, audit the ones from the last six months.

Here’s how:

1. Go through your website and gather a list of your pages.

There are three ways to do this:

    • Manually, if you don’t have much content,
    • By pulling a list of pages from your content management system (CMS), if you use one, or
    • Using crawlers like CAT, WinWebCrawler, Screaming Frog, or ExtractURL to extract a full list of pages. These are really useful if your website is massive.

2. Create a spreadsheet with the following categories:

    • Page number/ID
    • Content hierarchy/website navigation
    • URL
    • Page title
    • Metadata
    • Content type
    • Content format
    • Persona
    • Conversion funnel stage
    • Topic/description
    • Author
    • Date content was published or updated
    • CTAs
    • Actions
    • Comments

* This is not an exhaustive list. Add or remove categories that make sense to your business.

Couldn’t be bothered to create your own? Steal my template here.

 

3. Dump all your content into the spreadsheet, KonMari style.

Organise pages according to your site architecture (Home, About, Blog, etc.) and fill in the blanks.

Here’s an example of my spreadsheet (click on the image to enlarge):

 

4. Go through the pages one by one:

    • Keep it if it performs well and doesn’t need to be updated, e.g., Customer stories, FAQs, About, etc.
    • Update pages that aren’t performing well. Can you make the content more effective? Is there information or stats that need to be updated? Does the call to action need to be changed? Does it match the content experience you’re trying to create?
    • Delete content that you can’t improve, that’s no longer relevant like outdated seasonal marketing campaigns, duplicate content, and product pages for items you no longer stock.

Content auditing tips

    • Do it all in one go. Block out time to get it done, otherwise, it will never get done.
    • Be ruthless. Scrap content that’s no longer serving your business goals or customer needs.
    • Look for gaps. Have you neglected a persona in the conversion funnel? Does your content need more variety? Is the brand voice and tone consistent throughout?
    • Keep it updated. Update your spreadsheet every time you post new content or, at the very least, twice a year.
    • Keep up with the Joneses. The wonderful thing about the web crawlers mentioned in Step 1 is that you can pull a list of your competitors’ pages. In analysing their content, you might find opportunities to make yours even better.

Your action this week: Audit your content!

Recap 

Missed a lesson? Catch up here.

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