As you start to plan for 2023, it’s a good time to review how the year went to make better content for the new year.
What should you prioritize next year? What content actually resonated with your audience? You can intuitively gather this information, but I like to do some analytic digging to see what the top-performing posts were.
You can use this same system for other content marketing platforms. If you have Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or a podcast, use this same step-by-step system.
Blog Audit Steps
1. Start by pulling the data
First look at the full year of what the top blog posts were. Note that the newest ones won’t have had as much time to accrue pageviews.
You can pull this data from Google Analytics or I’ve used the Jetpack plugin for WordPress.
Look at your top-performing posts and your bottom-performing posts.
You’ll this as information on what to write about in 2023, what to make adjustments to, and how to create better content for your ideal readers. More on this later!
2. Review the data and categorize
Your lowest-performing posts could mean a few different things. It doesn’t always mean that the content wasn’t good – or that you shouldn’t continue to post it. But it does mean that it hasn’t gotten traction.
Here are a few reasons why your blog post might have flopped:
- It hasn’t gotten enough promotion. Have you pushed it out more than once or twice? Across platforms. What does well on Google rankings might vary from Pinterest or Instagram.
- It needs some tweaks to become more valuable and worth reading.
- It’s not targeted enough to your ideal audience.
3. Audit your top-performing blog posts
First, plan to promote these top posts even more – or repurpose this content, so you can embed a YouTube or TikTok video to the post.
If they worked on one platform, it’s possible that they’ll work for others.
If they need updates to stay relevant in the new year, make those changes. For example, as 2023 approaches, can you make any timely changes for your promotion?
Example: Your Guide To Better Health Habits
More Relevant Update: Your Guide To Better Health Habits In 2023
4. Make a spreadsheet for your updates (if you have a lot of blogs)
You can create a spreadsheet like I did above. I have two tabs inside my ClickUp doc for my blog audit. One with overall notes about what I’ve learned while looking through the top & least performing posts.
And other is a spreadsheet with four columns to keep track of edits and re-promotion for past blog posts. As we talked about earlier, some of your top-performing and least-performing posts need more promotion.
- Blog post headline (with link to blog post to make it easy!)
- Does the blog need more promotion? (Y/N column)
- Does the post need updating? (Y/N column)
- Done (Check box)
All I did to create this spreadsheet was copy over the information and added the tabs for promotion and updates!
This way, I can keep track of the blogs that need updates and when I’ve made them. We have over 900 posts at Life Goals, so this checklist will help me to keep track of the progress because it won’t happen within a day.
5. Review your audience
Now that we have our top posts settled, it’s time to look at our demographics.
Are you hitting your ideal demographic? Take a look at your analytics to review who you’re reaching. Can you make it more specific to better align your content to your target market?
6. Review your process
Have you been consistent with your blogging this year? How has your posting schedule worked for you? Are you repurposing your content?
If you do this for other social media platforms like Instagram, it might be worthwhile to create a process for repurposing your content in a way that is more efficient for your workflow.
Look at your sales process
If you’re selling products or services and using a blog to get visibility, how are you taking someone from a blog post to taking action?
Do you have a funnel set up? A funnel is basically a flow that you set up intentionally to move someone from free to paid content. This could look like an email sequence that you have people come into from an opt-in for a free resource embedded in your blog posts.
What happens when someone lands on your blog post? Evaluate your current systems and see if there’s a way to make it better for the upcoming year. Do your funnels need an update?
7. Create your 2023 blog plan
Use all of this information to craft your blogging strategy going forward.
Create a content plan for what you’ve learned about these results. Are there patterns from the top-performing posts?
Use all of this information to guide your new content plan for 2023. What do these posts have in common? How can you do similar posts without competing with your own work?
Other metrics you can audit and review:
- Site speed
- Bounce rate
- Dead links (I use this dead link website in order to look at those)
Go through these same seven steps, but evaluate based on metrics most important to the app. Hint: it’s probably not follower count!
For Pinterest, you’ll want to look at sales, outbound links, or saves, depending on your business goals.
For Instagram, you’ll want to look at your top performing posts and engagement.
–> Ask yourself, what platforms do I want to focus on in the new year? Can I leverage existing content on other platforms like a blog?
Do some further research on brands who are doing a great job, and adjust your strategy to do more of what’s working, eliminate what’s not, and try out some new techniques to continue testing.
It’s totally normal to go through an auditing process and get frustrated that you didn’t perform as well as you hoped. Instead of getting discouraged, remember that a lot of “going viral” is luck – and it’s important to keep trying new things and see it as an experiment.
Sometimes content that takes very little time can perform better than the content you worked hours on. And even more importantly, sometimes you can’t force results. Just keep putting content out there, and something you’re not seeing results on now could still do well in the future.
It takes time to get visibility sometimes, and that’s just part of content creation and marketing!