Content Audit vs. Content Inventory: What’s the Difference?

Content auditing and content inventory are two processes essential to every writer looking to improve their existing digital content. While these two processes may seem very similar, they also have some significant differences that are crucial to understand. 

Content auditing and content inventory work together harmoniously to provide a deeper insight into the depth of your existing content and its quality level to highlight areas you can improve on. 

Are you ready to take your content to the next level? Continue reading our helpful guide that teaches you how to utilise content auditing and inventory to enhance your content’s performance and develop your copywriting career

What Does Content Auditing Mean?

So, what do we mean by ‘content auditing’? A content audit is a process of analysing, assessing, and evaluating existing content to find any gaps where you can structure new content. It also helps you assess the quality of your existing content and whether any information needs updating or removing. 

Content audits allow you to reflect on your content strategy and evaluate whether it is working optimally or if there are any areas you can improve on. 

Rather than constantly churning out a steady stream of mediocre content, these audits can help you make the existing content on your page more accurate and effective. Optimising your content might mean repurposing, updating, or removing parts to improve and grow your content strategy.

What Does Content Inventory Mean?

A website content inventory is exactly as it sounds- a comprehensive list of all the content on your website. Content inventories are necessary to perform a successful content audit, which is why the two terms are closely linked. 

A content inventory is an extensive overview of all the digital content you have published on your website, including: 

  • Blog posts

  • Landing pages

  • Articles

  • Images

  • Press releases

Maintaining an up-to-date catalogue of all your content can help you build a complete overview, showing you what content is where and who owns it. This overview can also ensure you are keeping content consistent and allows for accurate, in-depth audits to take place. 

Content Auditing and Inventory- How Are They Different? 

Now that we understand what content audits and inventories are let’s look further into their key differences. While these processes work together to give you a detailed insight into the quality and extent of your content, they each have unique functions and capabilities. 

Quantitative Content Analysis

Content inventory focuses on the quantity of your content, looking at insightful metrics that answer questions such as, ‘How many blog posts are on my website?’ Or, ‘How often is new content published on my website?’

At this stage, you are not looking for a detailed content analysis. You are simply identifying what content you already have. Content inventories are especially useful if you work with hundreds or even thousands of content in varying formats. 

Since content inventories are more of a comprehensive list or overview of your content, documenting them on a spreadsheet is often the best option. This list should contain standard information about each piece of content, including the content type, file size, formats, word count, and other essential data.

Once you know what content you have, it is time to evaluate. 

Qualitative Content Analysis

Now it gets extremely interesting, as it is time to conduct an eye-opening content audit. Here you will discover your content’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Unlike a content inventory, an audit aims to dig into your catalogue of existing content and assess its value. 

With a content audit, you can easily identify areas for improvement, optimising content to be easier to understand or to include more images and videos. Content audits can also help you evaluate your copy to be more engaging and boost your SEO score. 

SEO optimisation is crucial to copywriting, ensuring your website content ranks on search engine results pages. Content audits allow you to see whether your content is up to scratch with the current SEO standards, and whether you need to make any improvements to boost your content’s SEO score. 

If you want to enhance your SEO capabilities, why not look into some incredible tools such as Surfer SEO, AHrefs, or Google Ads

Case Study

Emily is a professional content writer who was struggling to keep track of her content assets. She did not clearly understand her existing content landscape and often duplicated topics. She also found it difficult to assess the impact of her content and whether there were any opportunities for improvement. 

After creating a content inventory and running an audit on her content catalogue, Emily was able to transform her content creation process. She now has the insight she needs to produce meaningful and unique content, as well as identify areas where she can improve her existing content. 


Why Are Content Auditing and Inventory So Important? 

Running a content audit and keeping a cohesive content inventory is crucial to ensuring that the content you publish on your website is successful. It is easy to forget to maintain an accurate content inventory and conduct regular audits when you are focused on constantly producing new content. However, there are several reasons why these processes are so important to remember. 

Identify Gaps in Your Content

Content audits can help reveal gaps in your existing content strategy, opening new avenues for content creation. These gaps could include varying content topics, formats, or audiences you are missing in your current content. You can then begin to prioritise certain content to fill in these gaps. 

Make Informed Decisions

Content auditing can undoubtedly help copywriters make more informed decisions. Rather than guessing what content will resonate with their target audience, writers can look at key metrics such as page views, engagement, and conversions to see what kind of content drives results. 

Having a clear view of existing content and its quality can also help writers align their content with the overall content strategy of their business or project. You can create well-informed content that aligns with bigger objectives by understanding what content you already have and the areas that could use some attention.

Understand Your Content

Content inventories can help writers understand the depth and breadth of their content. This process can help you map out and categorise your entire content library to gain a holistic view of everything published on your website. 

You can categorise your content based on different parameters such as topic and format, helping you see exactly what content you have, its purpose, and where it is on your website. Understanding your content has many benefits, helping you create more impactful written content that reaches the correct audience and hits targets. 

Key Fact

According to Semrush, content audits can increase website traffic and improve your engagement with readers.

Start auditing your content and find new ways to repurpose and improve your old published content to provide a better experience for your readers. 


How to Run an Audit on Your Content Inventory

After all this talk about content auditing and its many benefits, you might wonder how to run one on your own content library. To start, you need to inventory all your existing content- that’s right, all of it! If you have never inventoried your content before and you have a lot of it, this step could take some time. However, the results and insights are well worth the additional effort!

If you don’t fancy manually entering the URLs for all your content into a spreadsheet, there are some handy online audit tools available that you can use. After compiling all the content URLs that you want to audit, you will want to categorise them into groups such as author, word count, time, date, content type, and content goal. 

Now that you have a clear view of all your content, it is time to assess, analyse, and evaluate your past content. Decide how far back you wish to go (at least a year) and assess how well each piece of content has performed. By doing this, you will see a pattern of things that worked well and fell short. 

Running regular audits on your content will help you when inputting data and see any drastic changes over time.


What is the Goal of A Content Audit?

The primary goal of a content audit is to assess the quality of your existing published content through analysis, including data analysis, gap analysis, and competitive analysis. Through this analysis, writers can see what content is performing well and hitting objectives and what needs to be tweaked or removed altogether. 

What Should A Content Inventory Include?

Your content inventory should include a list of all the published digital content on your website. A content inventory aims to conduct quantitative analysis, seeing what content you have, where it lives, and what you are missing. 

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