No One Wants to Do Them, But Content Audits Are Worth It. Mike King Explains Why at #SMX

Mike King at SMX
Mike King at SMX East

Content audits are worth it.

Or so says Michael King (@IPullRank). He’s diving into content audits in “Perfect Starts: How to Get More of the Right Traffic” at this SMX East 2015 session. Fair warning: He has a lot to say, and he talks fast — this liveblog captures the highlights.

Here’s his slide deck so you can follow along as you read the liveblog:

Why Do a Content Audit?

No one became a marketer so they could do content audits. But, you have to create things that people actually want and will provide people value — and content audits help you do that. But we often put things on the Internet and are like, hmm, did that work? This is wrong. You should PLAN out a strategy.

A content audit, then, helps you identify holes in the customer journey and leaks in link equity needed to support organic search rankings. Audits also help you figure out where the money is — what has performed in the past? Which audiences has it resonated with?

Key Questions for Content

  • What is already performing?
  • What can perform better?
  • What are we missing?

Have a clear business objective. It’s not as important to get No. 1 for terms as it is to get No. 1 for the RIGHT terms.


King is a big proponent of personas. Understand who they are, as well as the stages they go through when looking for your product or service. Use a style guide, by the way. And if you don’t already have one, check out from MailChimp.

Quickest Way to Build Personas Is Data!!!

Put your mailing list through FullContact and get a lot of data – figure out more information on them. Then use DemographicsPro and upload their Twitter handles. Now you can get a 20+ page report with all kinds of data. Also, upload that your mailing list to Facebook’s audience insights.

Now you have user insights and can better build insights.

Build a Journey Map

Start with your business goals and put your keywords in social listening tools — what questions are people asking? How are they using the terms? What phase of their journey matches up with each phrase?

King’s Content Audit Preferred Tools

• Screaming Frog
• Social Crawlytics
• BuzzSumo
• DeepCrawl
• URL Profiler
• SEO Tools for Excel
• SEOGadget for Excel
• Content Audit for WordPress
• Kapost

Final Thoughts

Keep doing pivots until your data tells a compelling story.

Remember to isolate your competitors’ top-performing content pieces, and run some analysis on them. And use data on your existing content to help you make a case for new content.

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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