Outdated to Outstanding: The Value of a Blog Content Audit

How much value is hidden in your company’s old blog posts? It could be time to conduct a blog content audit to find out.

Not a limited scope SEO performance audit – I’m talking a comprehensive, eyes-on-every-article, content quality and performance audit. Why? For established businesses that have accumulated hundreds of pages of blog content, failing to periodically review and update that content can mean missing out on significant opportunities. Old, outdated content not only risks diminishing your brand’s relevance and authority, but also overlooks potential gains in traffic and conversions.

You could be leaving money on the table.

You could also be missing content that’s embarrassingly dated or wasn’t written by professional content writers, information that’s no longer accurate, and content and images that seem much less appropriate than they did a decade ago. But that’s just the beginning…

Here’s how to go about an effective audit.

Blog content audit illustration


Blog content audit checklist

If you’re planning a blog content audit, here are the things to check as you go.

1. Content relevance

Are the topics relevant to your current audience?

If your business has repositioned or expanded over time, the angle taken on older topics, or the topics themselves, might not be aligned with your market positioning, or not be relevant to your new audience.

Is the content as relevant as it was when published?

Concepts and topics can become dated for many reasons.

For content that’s lost relevance, consider revising or redirecting traffic to a more relevant post on a closely related topic.

  • Example: A post on solar panel efficiency from 2010 will likely need updating to reflect advances in renewable energy technology.

2. Performance metrics

Analyse traffic, engagement and conversion data.

Blog metrics

Identify top performing articles and poorly performing ones, and consider which factors are likely contributing to their performance status.

Are posts losing or missing traffic because they lack quality, depth, or up-to-date information? Identify posts that could be updated or expanded to improve results.

  • Example: A construction industry blog post about safety standards could be updated with the latest regulations, issues or safety innovations.

3. SEO optimisation

Are articles optimised as well as they could be?

On optimised posts, check keyword usage and density, and update meta descriptions, titles and headers to improve SEO.

Also consider that search terms used by your audience may have changed over time. Attitudes, trends and social norms have shifted. Google algorithms have also evolved – not only are they better at identifying semantically related words, they’re also better at identifying content that’s more up-to-date than similar articles.

  • Example: An article on a financial blog about investment strategies can be updated to include recent trends like ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing, appealing to a newer, eco-conscious audience.

4. Links and sources

Update or remove broken links and outdated references for better SEO and improved user experience.

Illustration page not found

Even established authority websites sometimes move, remove or redirect content – or fail to update it. Check external and internal links to ensure they remain relevant and link to quality information, and update where needed to better information sources.

  • Example: In a ‘tips and tools’ blog post, some tools may have vanished or become obsolete. Update the post with a fresh tool and new link.

5. Visual content

Things date! Replace or update outdated images, graphs and illustrations.

Visual content can look dated for any number of reasons, from inclusivity considerations to graphs that now look amateurish or represent seriously outdated statistics.

  • Example:  An old article focused on team building or collaboration might contain dated stock images that don’t represent the diversity of a modern workplace.

6. Calls-to-action (CTAs)

Review the relevance of CTAs.

CTA illustration

Blogs can be full of outdated CTAs – are you encouraging people to attend old webinars, click through to discontinued products or services or download content that’s been taken down? Update or redirect the URL to a more relevant page.

Where the content and links remain relevant but the CTRs are low, test out new CTAs to increase conversions.

  • Example: On an article that remains relevant but has a CTA linking to an obsolete program, tool, course or other offer, update the CTA and link to redirect readers to the most appropriate page.

7. Compliance and accuracy

Does the content comply with current legal and industry standards?

Laws and standards change. Something that was accurate a few years ago might now be inadvertently giving readers incorrect advice or inaccurate information. And that’s quite a risk if you’re in finance, accounting, law or another area where readers expect to be able to rely on your professional knowledge.

  • Example: Update an accounting blog’s old content on tax deductions to reflect the latest ATO guidelines and decisions. If the article has lost its relevance completely and can’t be updated, perhaps it’s time to create a new article on deductions. You can then redirect the old article URL to the new.

8. Content depth

Does the content cover the topic well enough?

Content marketing is increasingly competitive. What passed muster a few years ago might now be inadequate compared to competitor articles on the topic area. For many topics, additional factors will have emerged, and would likely be covered by anyone writing on that topic today.

Consider expanding superficial posts or redirecting to a more recent post that has more detail.

  • Example: A brief post on the benefits of renewable energy could be expanded into a detailed analysis of different renewable technologies and their ROI for businesses.

9. Repurposing opportunities

Look for repurposing opportunities.

Content repurposing

Are you squeezing every ounce of ROI out of your content creation? Repurposing content is a great way to do just that. It’s also useful if your content creation budget has been reduced and you need to ‘do more with less’.

  • Example: Repurpose a series of articles on recent advancements in safety technology into a comprehensive guide or webinar targeted at industry professionals.

10. Content clustering

Identify articles that you can organise into content clusters to improve SEO and user navigation. Link related articles to each other.

For those not familiar with the content cluster strategy, a content cluster is a series of closely related pieces of content around a central topic theme. Typically, the cluster has a ‘pillar’ article – a comprehensive overview of a broad topic. It’s supported by articles that each delve into the detail on one specific facet of the broader topic. These supporting articles are typically shorter, but more detailed in approach. The articles are inter-linked, enabling readers to easily find the content most relevant to them. Content clusters are also great for SEO!

  • Example: Link together a series of blog posts about different types of business insurance to create a comprehensive learning hub for small to medium businesses looking to understand their options. If you don’t have a ‘pillar’ piece, consider creating one that broadly covers all types of business insurance, and contains links to all the more specific articles.

11. Cultural sensitivity and social change

Review written and visual content for cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness.

Image Diversity

Times change! Society has evolved to better recognise the virtue and value of embracing diversity and inclusion. We now expect companies to demonstrate cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness and respect, and avoid perpetuating stereotypes in their activities and the language they use.

If your company’s blog is many years old, it’s possible you’ll find things like gender-specific job references, and out-dated terms around health conditions that would now be consider disrespectful.  Also watch for images that suggest stereotypes or show a lack of diversity in groups.

Revise or update language and images that would now be considered inappropriate.

  • Example: health sector blogs that use outdated medical terms or perspectives might need revising by a writer or editor familiar with the language issues.

12. Content gaps and opportunities

Look for gaps in your content publishing.

Common gaps include:

  1. Topics that are underrepresented or trending in your industry but absent from your blog.
  2. Too much, too little, or no content for a particular stage of the buyer journey.
  3. Too much focus on content for a particular buyer persona, or an unintentional lack of content for a buyer persona.

These gaps will become more evident to you as your content audit progresses.

  • Example: If your content heavily focuses on attracting new leads (awareness stage), you might be missing in-depth technical content that helps in the decision-making (consideration and decision stages). Developing detailed case studies or in-depth reviews could fill this gap.

13. Analysing audience engagement

Analyse how different segments of your audience interact with your content to tailor future posts more effectively.

  • Example: Determine if certain blog posts resonate better with specific industry professionals and use this insight to target content more precisely.

14. Competitive analysis

Compare your content with your competitors’ content.

Content competitor

Look for strengths and identify areas you could improve. Do you have fewer published case studies than your competitors? Are they turning out thought leadership content while your blog is limited to SEO-focused content?

  • Example: If competitors are effectively using video content to explain complex processes and your content lacks visual explanations, consider incorporating multimedia elements into your strategy.

Getting the content audit done

A comprehensive blog audit can feel so overwhelming, you might be reluctant to make a start. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all at once.

Overloaded marketing manager

Consider these two options:

Team project

Make it a team project and get more junior marketing team members involved. Share the work around by assigning a certain number of hours each person should spend on the audit each week. I recommend doing the first batch yourself and creating a set of instructions for the team. They’ll then be able to follow your lead. (I still favour using a spreadsheet for audits because I can see all of the information I need at a glance)

Rolling content audit

If you’re going it alone, consider making it an ongoing ‘rolling audit’ rather than seeing it as a gigantic task that must be done as soon as possible. Set aside a few hours on a particular weekday and do a batch each week. If you have hundreds of articles on the blog it’ll certainly take longer than a few weeks, but eventually you’ll arrive at your destination! If you decide to move on before you finish, it will be easy for someone to pick up where you left off.

Conducting a blog content audit is not just about maintaining accuracy and relevance; it’s an opportunity to significantly enhance your digital presence and drive better business results.

No time to do the content audit yourself?

Don’t let valuable content languish – we can help! Our blog management service can include a rolling content audit, content updating and revision, and content creation. It can be a stand-alone service or included in a broader retainer arrangement.

Article Writers Australia is a content marketing agency located in Sydney, Australia.

Contact us today to discuss your needs and arrange a quote.

Article Writers Australia Pty Ltd | Website | + posts

Leonie Seysan is the Director of Article Writers Australia, and manages the team of professional writers and editors. She holds a Bachelor of Communications Degree (Media Studies).

“Succinct, engaging
and accurate”

I’ve worked with the team at Article Writers Australia for over 2 years now. They’ve been instrumental in ensuring our articles and case studies are succinct, engaging, and accurate.

They do feel like they are part of my team – they know us so well I think I could write a brief on a Post-It note.

Fi Arnold, Digital Marketing Manager, Kennards Hire

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