When COVID started in 2020, you likely got onto your small business website and dutifully added information about your COVID-19 practices and how you are keeping your customers safe. Now, almost two years later, the changing recommendations and realities for handling COVID as a small business mean that first information you provided is likely out of date.
This circumstance is true for far more than just COVID. Information on your services, business information, answers to customer questions, and links to resources eventually goes out of date. This can leave customers unsure of their options and doubtful that you can provide the professional-level services they need. This is where a content audit comes in, and is a key step for any business with a website.
What Is a Content Audit
As a content marketing company for small businesses, we always recommend adding new content to your website on a consistent schedule. Fresh, quality content keeps you at the top of search results. But as you add more and more content, out of date and underperforming content is still lurking on your site.
A content audit is a systematic review of the different pages on your website with the goal of updating outdated content, refreshing irrelevant content, and defining your online marketing strategies going forward. Here we’re going to focus on updating old information to be sure that your customers always have the knowledge they need to proceed with your services or purchase your product.
Managing these updates can be difficult, especially as your website grows. It is a time consuming process to find all out of date information and make sure it gets updated. A content audit makes the project manageable and helps you avoid missing any crucial updates.
How to Conduct Your Content Audit
Because this process will take time, the first part of the plan is scheduling. This project is best saved for a slow time of year if your business has one. These steps can also make it possible to complete the project in phases for additional scheduling flexibility:
- Set a Goal – We’ve already determined that the goal in this case is to update outdated information. But a content audit is also a good chance to examine page performance, make updates that are focused on improving sales, and implement other goals.
- Select Your Content – The average website will have service pages, contact information, blog posts, and different directories. Look over your website and determine which areas are most in need of updating from an informational perspective.
- Catalog the URLs – Once you’ve determined what you want to update,make a list of all the associated URLs on your site that you need to review and potentially make updates to.
- Determine How to Handle Each URL – For every URL, you’ll either need to update, rewrite, or delete that page. It is helpful to compile this information in an Excel sheet or similar program to speed up edits.
- Make Your Updates – Go through each page on your website systematically and carry out the actions that you identified earlier. If you have outdated information, update that to be correct. Rewrite pages when needed to match your existing offerings. Other pages may need to be deleted because they are no longer relevant.
A content audit is also a good chance to find any gaps in the information you have on your website. If you have services that are not included or common customer questions that you do not address, a content audit can often reveal what is missing and guide your upcoming content writing strategy.
Incorporating a Content Audit Into Your Busy Schedule
The recommended timeline for a content audit is once every year. For many small businesses, this simply is not possible when you have many other responsibilities to take care of. You can try breaking down the process further, such as focusing on a specific update like COVID protocols or pricing changes. Alternatively, there are a variety of software and companies available that can streamline different parts of the process.
Great Leap Studios is a content marketing and SEO company. If your small business is struggling with an outdated website and content, contact us today to make your site relevant and attractive to search engines and customers.