Year in Review: Perform a Content Audit [Example]

2012 Content Audit

As we approach the end of the year, there are certain tasks that should be on your New Years Resolutions list. One is a full content audit.

For sites that aren’t updated that frequently, this is a piece of cake. For me? Well, this is a bit more of a process. Counting this post, I’ve published 324 blog entries during 2012. That doesn’t include navigation pages, landing pages and product pages.

Use my audit as a starting point. Use it as inspiration to get going on yours. If I can sift through all of this madness, so can you!

Filtering the Data

Before I start digging into this, we need to trim a bit of the fat.

During 2012, I’ve changed my content strategy. There was a time when I posted about personal use of Facebook and use of other social networks. More recently, I wrote about blogging strategies and SEO.

But today and going forward, I publish content exclusively centered around Facebook marketing. Because of this, I am going to eliminate everything not related to that topic.

Sweet. Now I only have 282 blog posts to evaluate!

Content Categories

What I did next was break down my content into specific categories to get a better sense of what types of content worked (or were viewed, which doesn’t necessarily mean “worked”) and what types didn’t.

The categories I used, in order of highest frequency, are as follows:

  • Guides
  • Tutorials
  • Editorials
  • News and Information
  • Podcasts
  • Research
  • Reference
  • Product Launches and Site News
  • Facebook Ad Coupon Codes
  • Interviews
  • Product Reviews

Now let’s dig into each category to explain more about what this content covered and sort out what I found.

1. Guides

There is often a fine line between Guide, Tutorial and Reference. But the difference eventually became quite clear.

A Guide is anything that provides guidelines for performing a general task or process. So it could be How to Succeed with Facebook Ads, for example. Very general action items as opposed to stepping through every key stroke.

Something to keep in mind here is that many of these guides were early in the year, so that’s weighing down my median. There were two guides that received at least 13,000 page views in 2012.

Published: 50
Median Page Views: 607
Maximum Page Views: 15,583
Most Popular: The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Timeline For Pages

2. Tutorials

This is getting down into the nitty gritty of how to do something. Click by click, often accompanied by a video. An example could be How to Convert Your Facebook Profile to a Business Page.

In general, these tended to do very well since the median number of page views was quite high. Not surprising at all since “how to…” is going to turn up in a lot of search engine queries.

Tutorials consistently get solid traffic, and I need to keep them as a central part of my strategy.

Published: 50
Median Page Views: 1,517
Maximum Page Views: 15,525
Most Popular: It’ll Cost Ya: Facebook Offers Now Available to All

3. Editorials

This is any blog post based primarily on opinion or storytelling. I have the most fun writing these blog posts, though they don’t always get consistent traffic the way tutorials, in particular, do.

Still, there are some solid numbers here, and I’m dedicated to adding more storytelling to my content strategy.

Published: 41
Median Page Views: 559
Maximum Page Views: 6,440
Most Popular: Should You Buy Facebook Likes?

4. News and Information

This is simply reporting the news around Facebook marketing. It could be the launch of a new feature, for example. But this is drier content with limited opinion and without enough information to start digging into the “how-to.”

The median page views for this type of content are on the lower side. This isn’t surprising since the shelf life of these posts would be shorter.

Published: 38
Median Page Views: 408
Maximum Page Views: 8,426
Most Popular: Facebook Timeline For Pages: Recent Posts by Others

5. Podcasts

This is self-explanatory. I started a podcast mid-year and recorded 28 episodes. The blog post itself had a brief overview of the podcast, which was then embedded in the post itself.

I’ll admit that these numbers are a bit disappointing. That said, how popular should I expect an audio file to be on a blog post? This does not include iTunes subscriptions and listens, which would certainly change these results (though admittedly, I don’t have that data).

During 2012, I chalked this up to experimental. I’m committing to better podcasting (and tracking) in 2013, but I’ll need to see results this year.

There’s a potential lesson here regarding naming convention. I’ve fallen into the habit of having the title of each podcast simply be the episode (Jon Loomer Talks… Episode #28 [Podcast]). The most popular episode, however, had a custom title.

Published: 28
Median Page Views: 40
Maximum Page Views: 175
Most Popular: 16 Steps to Take on Your Facebook Page [Podcast]

6. Research

I’m a numbers guy, so I love breaking down the data. But do my readers love them, too?

These posts are focused on sharing my Facebook Insights and associated graphs and results.

Overall, my research posts seem to get pretty consistent traffic, though nothing’s really caught fire yet.

Published: 26
Median Page Views: 751
Maximum Page Views: 2,841
Most Popular: Is Facebook Viral Reach Down? A Problem Spotted in Insights

7. Reference

“References” would be glossaries; Facebook rules associated with contests, pages, offers and ads; and general specs and dimensions.

A big number is about to jump out at you. My most popular blog post was an infographic that brought about 25% of my traffic this year. While that kind of traffic is the exception, the median page views for reference documents was quite high.

Published: 15
Median Page Views: 1,967
Maximum Page Views: 372,578
Most Popular: Reference of Dimensions for Facebook Timeline For Pages [Infographic]

8. Product Launches and Site News

This is general site news associated with product launches and service announcements. It also includes announcements of other sites (like ShortStack) launching products.

I’m actually surprised that the numbers are as good as they are here. People don’t typically like marketing, and most of this content is blatant marketing and hard sell.

It should be remembered, of course, that these are also pages that I am going to want to lead people to in most cases, so I will go out of my way to get them viewed.

Published: 11
Median Page Views: 460
Maximum Page Views: 11,019
Most Popular: Facebook Timeline For Pages: Free Facebook App Icons

9. Facebook Ad Coupon Codes


Back in the early days of my site, I would write blog posts explaining how to get free Facebook ad coupon codes (back when they actually existed legitimately). Those days, this was a very easy way to get traffic — and one of the only ways I was consistently getting traffic. So I went to the well a few times.

You’ll see big numbers here, but they aren’t sustainable. Free coupon codes no longer exist, so I can’t continue to write about them. Consider this content stream dead.

Published: 10
Median Page Views: 6,728
Maximum Page Views: 53,548
Most Popular: How to Get a Free $50 Facebook Advertising Coupon Code

10. Interviews

This is the feature I started late in the year, interviewing some of the big names in Facebook marketing.

I’m actually a bit disappointed in the numbers, but I think part of this is that the feature still needs to gain traction. I went to providing tutorials and guides every day to switching to this interview format. People need to warm to it.

And really, the traffic for this feature isn’t that important to me. Granted, I want the interviewee to get traffic to their site, but one of the main goals here is getting to know these people better.

Published: 9
Median Page Views: 166
Maximum Page Views: 623
Most Popular: One on One: Burning the Boats with Amy Porterfield

11. Product Reviews

Occasionally, I will review products. This initially included all digital marketing products, not necessarily connected to Facebook. I have removed such reviews from this study.

Looking at these numbers, this is a feature I need to revisit. Small sample size, granted, but this content did quite well.

Published: 4
Median Page Views: 1,097
Maximum Page Views: 11,680
Most Popular: Review: Create Custom Facebook Tabs With ShortStack

Now What?

I’ll discuss my plans for 2013 in more detail soon. But there are a few things that jump out at me here. The main being that I need to continue focusing on references, tutorials, research and guides; and I should consider writing more product reviews.

Have you run an audit of your 2012 content? How does it impact your plans for 2013?