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3 Tips for a Web Content Audit that Boosts Conversions and Sales

By Kathryn Hawkins. Business Tips Content Content Strategy and Marketing
Image Credit: mihalec/depositphtos

If you're not generating enough leads, it's time to take a fresh look at your website by conducting a content audit. Here's what that means and how to do it.

Most entrepreneurs live in fear of audits—the financial kind, that is. But when it comes to your web content, a comprehensive audit can be the ideal way to streamline your messaging and optimize your conversions.

First things first, what is it?

A content audit refers to the process of evaluating your existing content and how it is laid out within your website’s navigational structure. It means looking for problems both technical in nature (i.e., a link that leads to no man’s land) and issues relating to tone, messaging, and redundancy. Content audits can include written content alone, or may include all multimedia content, such as embedded videos and graphics.

Once you’ve decided what content is no longer relevant, you can get rid of it, create a new information architecture if necessary, and add in new content to fill in the gaps. Check out my recent article for Intuit for a few more of the nuts and bolts of the process.

Organizations frequently choose to undertake content audits when they’re building a new website or making substantial changes to an existing one. For instance, our agency just started working on a content integration project for a university that’s merging with another school, and needs to add the other school’s web content to its own site. They’ve solicited our help in deciding what stays, what goes, and how to mix it all together in the most user-friendly way.

But even if you’re not planning to launch a new website, a content audit can still be an extremely valuable tool for your business.

By analyzing your existing content and paying attention to how visitors are engaging with it, you can optimize it to make a greater impact—and ultimately generate more leads and sales.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your messaging consistent with your business goals.
    If you built your website a long time ago, your business goals may have shifted since you originally developed your copy, and so should your messaging. If you’ve grown from a mom ‘n pop shop to a big fish in a small pond, you’ll want to take the folksiness out of your tone, and use language that helps your prospects take you seriously.
  • Make sure that users can easily get where they want to go.
    It’s easy to keep adding content to a website without clearly mapping how to get from Point A to Point B. As your site grows, solicit user feedback to find out whether they were able to accomplish their goals easily. Check out Usereffect’s website usability checklist to make sure that your navigation paths are clear and your site design is user-friendly. Some sites with large volumes of blog content include a “Start Here” page to keep new visitors from feeling overwhelmed, which often includes a brief introduction and a compilation of posts divided into different categories, such as this one from Zen Habits.
  • Make every page a landing page.
    Website visitors may land on blog articles more often than they do on your home page, thanks to social media and search traffic referrals. When that happens, it’s important to keep your visitors engaged with your content and encourage them to learn more about your business. Every webpage should include links to your main navigation menu. Including a sign-up form for your mailing list can also help boost your subscriber numbers, giving you the chance to continue marketing to these new leads.

If you want to learn more about content audits, I recently served as a guest panelist for AWeber’s Twitter chat. You can read the discussion below:

 

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Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is principal and chief content strategist of Eucalypt Media. She has worked as a freelance journalist for media publications and managed inbound marketing and content strategy for corporate and nonprofit clients for more than a decade.

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