We all agree that content is important, and maintaining a blog to keep fresh content on your website is a must. But, over time the value of that content can dwindle if the article is outdated. We’ll show you how to do a content audit to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your existing articles.
In a perfect world, you would do a full content audit on an annual basis. If that doesn’t work for you though, then don’t. Auditing some content is better than nothing.
Choose a system that works for you. You can decide to only review content written in the past year or content written over a year ago. Instead, you can choose by category such as only blog articles or only product content.
Create a List of Your Content
Once you decide what content to include in your content audit, list it out in a spreadsheet. There are a few different methods you can use to create your list.
Manually Create List
If you don’t have much content, you can manually create a list. Copy and paste the URL of each page you want to review into a cell in your spreadsheet. This can become tedious so you may want to continue to the next ideas if you have more than a handful of articles.
Use Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog allows you to perform a scan on your website and lists every page (up to 500 for the free account). Once you perform the scan, filter the results to HTML. You can then export your results and use that as your list.
A benefit to this method is when you export the URLs you can also keep the metadata. Your export can include the page title, length in characters and pixels, the meta description and length, and the h1 tag. Exporting this data into your audit spreadsheet to easily review will be beneficial.
Use Your Sitemap
Another method to get a list of your website URLs is to use your sitemap. Your sitemap already contains your indexable URLs, which is likely the exact content you want to audit. If you don’t have one yet, this is a good time to make a sitemap.
Now that you have your list of content URLs, it’s time to add some metrics.
Metrics will help you determine what content is working and what’s not. It gives you a better idea of what is worth your time to update and what might be worth consolidating with a different similar article.
The metrics you choose to include will depend on your goals for your content.
In most cases, you’ll want to look at traffic. Metrics such as pageviews, unique pageviews, time on page, and bounce rate could be useful. However, if your goals are related to social you may want to monitor engagement metrics such as likes and shares.
Determine the metrics you want to measure, and include them on your spreadsheet for each URL.
Identify Action for Each Page
Finally, review each page and determine the action you need to take.
Look at the page URL and look at the metrics. For each URL you will choose to keep it, update it, merge it, or remove it.
When to “keep it”
If the page looks good, the content is still accurate and up to date, and the metrics you are monitoring look good; then keep it! Don’t fix something that isn’t broken.
When to “update it”
Does the article need an image? What about a video? Is the metadata optimized? Take the time to clean up the article and add the bells and whistles that may have been missed the first time around.
Don’t only add the extra details. Also review the content to make sure the data is still current and accurate.
If the content receives a significant amount of traffic you may want to consider adding a content upgrade. Content upgrades are downloadable assets related to the content such as a spreadsheet or a one-page checklist. The reader receives the asset in exchange for providing their email address.
When to “merge it”
If you have multiple articles that cover a similar topic it may make sense to merge them into one. Merging articles can make sense when one is performing well and the other poor. Review the metrics. If one gets hundreds of pageviews a day and the other gets 10 a month, consider merging the articles.
It can also make sense to merge articles for historical events. Last year having a dedicated page for the event made sense. This year, it may make more sense to merge the content in a page that provides a recap of each year for the annual event.
When you merge articles keep the article that is performing best. The poor performing page will have it’s content relocated to the better performing page and then can be removed. Remember to include a 301 redirect for the old page that sends the traffic to the new merged page.
When to “remove it”
If a piece of content isn’t performing well and isn’t relevant for your target audience, you can remove it. If there’s no benefit to keeping the content, then don’t.
If there is a relevant page on the site you can remove the page and then redirect the URL to the relevant page. If there isn’t a relevant page though you can keep it as a 404 error page. So you don’t lose people completely, include suggested page links or a search field on your 404 error page.
Make Those Edits
Once you finish your spreadsheet you’re left with a nice task list of content edits. Go through and make those changes. This will keep your content current and fresh which will be better both for your users and search engines.
Do you have a tip or trick you like to use on content audits? Please share it in the comments!
You’ve spent a lot of time creating high-quality blog articles on your website. You’ve heard there is somehow a way that you can repurpose those content ideas. Now you need to know how to repurpose content. Why should you do it, what can you repurpose, and how?
Why Repurpose Content?
Let’s start with the why. Why should you repurpose your content? It’s simple, time is a precious resource. Recycling existing content allows you to get more value out of the time and energy you already spent.
Another benefit is repurposing your content can help you reach a new audience. You may find certain content formats or platforms attract a different audience.
What Content to Repurpose?
So, it makes sense to do more with the content you’ve already created. But, what should you repurpose?
Start with the Most Popular
Start by repurposing the most popular articles. Look at your Google Analytics data to determine which pages have the highest traffic. Chances are, those articles will perform best on different platforms and formats too.
Only Repurpose Evergreen Content
Make sure the content you are repurposing is evergreen content. Evergreen content means it is always relevant. It is part of your core content and not something that will be obsolete in a year.
It won’t be worth your time to repurpose content that no one enjoyed to begin with or is time sensitive.
How to Repurpose Blog Articles
You can repurpose any kind of content. From webinars to videos. We’re going to focus on repurposing blog content. Many of these ideas can apply to different types of content as well.
The goal of repurposing content is to give old content new life by making minor modifications to attract a new audience.
Republish on Different Platforms
Take an article published on your site and republish it on Medium or LinkedIn. Don’t republish it word for word. Instead, change the title and tone to match the audience. At the bottom, include a link back to the original article.
If you choose to republish your article give it some time. Wait for Google to index your original article before you publish it on different platforms.
Turn Statistics Into a Graphic or Infographic
If you have a data heavy article use that to create images. You can create standalone graphics for single stats. Or, if the article is full of data you can create an infographic.
If you aren’t a designer, Canva can make it easy to create a graphic. Canva has charts that allow you to insert your data to form a beautiful graphic. They also provide several editable infographic templates. Even with no design knowledge you can create a great looking image in minutes.
Once you’ve created the images, consider creating a Pinterest board to share them.
Create an eBook or Whitepaper
If you have a popular article that you can expand on create an ebook or whitepaper with that content.
Once you’ve created it, you can use it as a tool to capture leads and grow your email list. You can use a platform such as MailChimp to create a list with an automated workflow. That way you can automatically send out the document to new subscribers.
Roundup Post of Top Articles
You can create a roundup post to highlight some of your best articles. You can choose a theme and then include the top articles that fit the theme criteria. This helps by raising interest in older articles as well as creating a new article piece.
Convert a List Article into Individual Articles
If you have a popular list article break each list item out into its own article. This both provides good content and creates several natural inbound link opportunities.
Send Old Articles in a Newsletter
If you’re collecting an email list and sending a monthly or weekly newsletter you can include blog articles. Don’t only include your newest blog articles in your newsletter. Hand pick some old but relevant articles.
If you have an article that makes sense for the upcoming season or related to a current event share it. You can also share old evergreen articles that are a good reminder.
Create a Presentation
You can repurpose an old article into a SlideShare presentation. Even if you don’t plan to give this content as a presentation, it allows you to repackage it in a format that may be preferable to a different audience.
Create a Podcast Episode
If you already have a podcast you can create episodes using content from your popular blog articles. If you don’t have a podcast yet this is probably not a tactic worth pursuing (yet). If you do, then it’s a no-brainer.
Create a YouTube Video
Add a video to your YouTube channel. Or, start a channel if you don’t have one yet. Creating video can be time consuming. This may be a tactic to wait on if you’re still struggling to keep up on blog content. But, if you have a channel already or the time to start this is a great channel to capture a new audience.
Also, if you already have a channel take a look at what videos are the most popular. Those videos you may want to repurpose into blog articles.
What is your favorite tactic to repurpose your blog articles? Share it in the comments!
Marketing personas can be a powerful tool. However, for them to be useful you don’t just make them and check them off the list. You need to keep them in mind any time you write copy.
Let’s discuss what a persona is, why you should use one, and go over how to create them.
What are Marketing Personas?
A marketing persona outlines the exact person you’re trying to reach. The persona is a profile that describes the demographics, goals, and frustrations of your target audience.
Why Use Personas?
Personas help you talk to your targeted audience, and help you target ads.
With a persona, you know exactly who you are talking to. So, in all of your copy, whether it’s a blog, product page, or an ad, you are talking to the exact person you want your message to resonate with.
This allows you to amaze and delight one person, instead of boring everybody.
If you write copy to try and appeal to everyone, it will be vague and uninteresting to all. Conversely, if you are talking to one individual person, you can be very specific and speak their language.
Talking to that one person you care about is how you will be able to write persuasive copy that actually converts.
How Do I Make a Persona?
You want your persona to tell a story.
Add enough detail to your persona that you get a clear image in your mind of the customer.
Look at the Data
Start by looking at the data you have. Google Analytics, Facebook, and Twitter can all provide valuable insights.
Go to your Google Analytics account and look at the demographics and interests.
To view the demographics, go to Reports > Audience > Demographics > Overview. This will show you the age and gender of your users.
To view interests, go to Reports > Audience > Interests > Overview. This will show you categories of various interests your users may have.
Review Facebook Insights.
To view Insights, go to your Facebook company page and click the Insights tab at the top. Click on People to view demographic data such as age, gender, location, and language.
Look at Twitter Analytics.
Sign in to Twitter Analytics. Click on Audiences at the top. This will show you gender, interests, and location data for your followers.
Talk to your employees. Specifically the ones who interact with customers such as support reps. Find out who they are talking to and who they see as the ideal customer.
Send out a survey to your existing customers.
Ask demographic information such as age and gender and also business information such as job title.
Document Findings in a Profile
Once you have your data it’s time to put it all together.
This is when you’ll actually create your personas. The fields you add to your persona will vary depending on your business goals and the data you uncovered.
The fields that I’d recommend adding are:
- Job Title
- Decision Maker?
- This field only requires a Yes or No response. If this persona is not a decision maker, you’ll want to create an additional persona for the person who will be responsible for making the decision. You’ll want to make sure you have copy in place to convince both parties.
- Personal Background
- Business Background
- Information Sources
- Where does this person look for information? Are there specific websites or locations they frequent?
- How can [company] offer support?
- What can your company do to help this person accomplish their goals and overcome their frustrations?
These fields are a good place to start. Add or remove any items you’d like until you can clearly visualize your customer.
Are there any additional fields you like adding to your personas? Let us know in the comments!
We all know that content is king. And, to rank well in Google search results, your site needs to have high-quality content. Creating the level of content that is required to dominate the search results is tough work. That’s why, when you create a content piece that is successful, you should repurpose the content by modifying it to take advantage of other formats. Let’s look at Disney to get a better idea of how this tactic works.
What is Content Repurposing?
Before we get too far, let’s talk a bit about what it means to repurpose content. Repurposing content is the act of changing one type of content to fit into another content format. Typically this tactic is specifically used on your top performing content pieces. For example, if your top blog post is a list article on the Top 5 Beers to Drink with Chocolate Chip Cookies, you can repurpose it by creating a video using the information in the article. You can also take the content and create an infographic so the content can easily be viewed as a graphic.
When you repurpose it in this manner, you can get your content in front of a larger audience by putting the content on a channel appropriate for the content type. In the prior example, the original blog would be on your company website, the video could be on YouTube, and the image can be on Pinterest or Instagram. You can even break the infographic into 5 small images to highlight each list item. The video and infographic can live on your company website as well, but adding them to additional networks will provide you with exposure to an audience you may not have otherwise had.
So… What Does Disney Have to Do with Repurposing Content?
Of course, Disney is amazing at everything they do. But, whether you realize it or not, Disney is also the master of repurposing content. You may be thinking of all of the merchandise and toys related to their movies. Granted, the merchandise is a smart move on their part, however, for the purpose of this article we’re going to look specifically at content and media formats.
The Same Great Story in More than 5 Different Formats
What happens when Disney creates a successful movie such as Finding Dory? They take that same great story that people loved, and repurpose it into additional formats for more people to enjoy. You can buy five different Finding Dory books, they all have different covers, they are different sizes, and they appear to be different books. The question is, do they include different stories? Do they have more backstory or are they short stories that just use the same characters? The answer is, no, they are all the same story. It’s the story that has already proven to be a winner but told in a format that the user wants to view.
Let’s dig deeper into these five different books and figure out how they were able to create so many different products using the same story.
- Board Book – The first book is a board book. This is an extremely simplified version of the story meant for a very young audience.
- Coloring Book – The next book is a coloring book. This format has a few more words than the prior format but it still only has one sentence on each page. It’s the same story, but on a format that allows for coloring and enjoying the story in a different way.
- Sound Book – The sound book format continues the trend of offering a book for a young audience, and keeps the same successful story, but adds buttons to hear sounds during relevant places of the story. This allows for people to not only read but also hear parts of the story. Additionally, they get to interact and participate by clicking the buttons during the appropriate part of the story.
- Paper Book – Moving to an older audience, you can get the story as a book with paper pages. The pages have more words on them and the content is longer than the prior formats, yet it still consists of the same overall story.
- Collector’s Edition – The Collector’s Edition is yet another format with the same great story. This version can be loved by children and adults alike. This format has a classic and expensive look with silver lined pages. The stories are longer than any of the prior formats, but again, it is the same story.
Not only can you find numerous storybooks to portray the same story, but you can find multiple movies. Disney has been re-releasing some of the classic movies as remastered digital Blu-rays. This is a new format to consume the same content you loved before. Why would people buy the same movie again? Because the new format is easier and more enjoyable to consume.
You can now see Disney taking this a step further. If you look at Beauty and the Beast, you have the classic animated movie and now you have a live action (non animated) version. Again, the new version uses the same great story that has already proven to work. The changes are fairly subtle to make the story work with the new content format.
How Can Disney Make So Many Different Formats and Not Annoy People?
Simple, they understand their demographic. They understand that their content is loved by people of all ages and they make sure there’s a format available for the wide range of users. They also understand the level of attachment their users have towards their content. They’re able to leverage the nostalgic feeling of their stories to justify additional formats. The feeling of nostalgia is what helped the live action Beauty and the Beast to be so successful and why they need to provide so many formats for the younger audience as parents want to introduce these stories to their children in a format their child will love.
What Can We Learn From Disney?
Have a method to introduce your content such as a blog on your company website. Identify which content pieces are popular and enjoyed. Identify different formats your audience regularly uses to consume content. Repurpose your top performing content to leverage those additional format types.
Creating content is important, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s difficult to come up with new content ideas. When you get to that inevitable stuck point, review this list to help trigger your next brilliant content idea.
1. List Article
Seeing as how this very article is a list article (sometimes referred to as a listicle) it seems to be a fitting item to start off our list. Creating a list article is simple, you choose a topic that allows you to outline multiple options. Each of those options then become a list item. The articles almost always start with a number such as 9 Incredible Ways To…, 16 Super Simple Things You Can Do To…, or The 6 Cheapest Tools To…. Titles with a number have also been shown to be one of the most commonly shared pieces of content on social media.
2. Debunking Myths
Every industry has myths. Highlight some of the common myths and reveal the truth behind the myths. You can also take the opposite route and create an article about facts. Or, you can mix the two together with an article that lists statements and then reveals if each item is factual or a myth.
3. Bizarre Holidays
There are a ton of bizarre holidays. From National Beer Day to Hairstyle Appreciation Day there is a bizarre holiday to fit almost every industry. Review the bizarre holidays and identify any that can be related to your business. Keep track of those holidays on your editorial calendar. You can create a content piece around that topic and inform your readers about the holiday.
4. Interview Experts
Interview experts in your industry. For your content piece, you can interview one or more experts. A popular method to gather this content is to prepare you questions ahead of time. Then determine the experts you’d like to interview. Contact them either via e-mail or social media and explain the situation. Let them know that you’re writing an article about a particular topic and you’re looking for experts to share their opinions. When your article is finished, reach out to each expert referenced in the article. Thank them for participating and provide the link. They will typically want to share the interview with their followers.
5. Build a Glossary or Complete Guide
Create a useful resource specific to your industry. Create a glossary defining terms, acronyms, and jargon commonly used in your business. Or, you can choose a specific topic within your business and create a complete guide explaining exactly how to do that particular item. If you decide to create either of these content ideas, make sure they are detailed, beautiful, and meaningful. If they are, they will get shared and be a wonderful source of backlinks.
6. Share a Study or Survey
Create a content piece using unique research. The simplest way to do this is to send a survey to your users and then share the results in an article. You can also share a case study. Interview a user that has been very successful with your product and outline the experience and successes. Users naturally want to share this type of content with others.
7. Post Reviews of Industry Items
Review items related to your field. This can be applied to physical items or digital items. You can review apps, software services, or physical goods. You can write an extensive review on one item, or create a comparison guide which reviews the pros and cons of multiple similar items.
Infographics combine data with visuals. Infographics are shared more often than list articles. You may already have content with a lot of data that you can build into an infographic. If you don’t have design experience, you can build an infographic easily using Canva.
If you need data, here are a few good resources:
9. Seasonal Industry Topics
How do seasonal trends affect business in your industry? Are you in the health or beauty industry? How do the seasons affect skin care or allergies? And for the automotive industry there are all kinds of seasonal tips for your car and safe driving. There’s also the more obvious seasonal trends such as the holiday rush for your e-commerce shop or the nice summer weather for your sporting goods store. Write content specific to the time of year. Try and write this towards the beginning of the season so you can share it throughout the season.
10. Industry Updates
Keep your audience up to date with the industry in general. Things are always changing, make it easy for your users to stay up to date on current trends and best practices.
11. Top News Stories
Need even more content ideas? Share current events and highly discussed news stories. Give your opinion and unique point of view on the situation. Don’t just copy and paste the same story but add value to it.
12. New Product Updates
You can also write content highlighting updates to your product. Of course, you only want this to be a small percentage of your content. However, it is valuable for your users to stay updated with changes to your product. It could also be beneficial to create tutorials and guides to help users get the full potential out of your product features.
Hopefully these content ideas will help provide inspiration for your next post. Do you have an idea for an article not mentioned on this list? Let us know in the comments.