Why You Should Do an Audit of Your Own Content


Andy Crestodina has been in the interactive marketing space on the internet for 18 years, during which time he’s helped thousands of people get better results online.

He’s infused his marketing know-how into a book called “Content Chemistry,” which contains some of the most useful marketing information Andy has picked up over the years.

Aside from the book, Andy spreads his knowledge through a national series of lectures and conferences.

Not only is Andy the co-founder of Orbit Media, a company that specializes in web design and development, but he’s also the founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing firm.

In this podcast, Andy goes into detail on why doing an audit on your own content can work wonders for your marketing strategy.

What Are the Benefits of Doing an Audit on Your Past Content?

For those who have been publishing content for a while, Andy believes you can get much faster results of a higher quality by updating something old, as opposed to creating something new. Instead of having 1,000 articles, focus on having 100 great articles. In other words: quality over quantity.

However, it’s not as simple as copying and pasting an old piece of content. Andy’s strategy involves going back to old content that performs well and sprucing it up, to push it over the edge into greatness. Andy practices what he preaches, as the last five or six articles he’s written have been repurposed from articles that are around four years old.

Applying the 95-5 Rule

Andy finds this technique to be so effective, he’s modified the old 80-20 rule (20% of your activity gets you 80% of your success) into the 95-5 rule.

He emphasizes the importance of focusing on content that had some success already, whether it brought in more subscribers or got a larger reaction in social media streams.

After you’ve chosen a piece of content, you’ll want to add more to it, such as images, quotes, and links. This allows you to have what is essentially a new piece of content without changing the URL.

Using the Same URL

Because the URL is going to stay the same, you never want to put a number in the URL.

For instance, if the article was originally a “top ten” piece, but you’ve now added five other subjects to make it a “top 15,” you wouldn’t want the URL to still have “ten” in it.

How Do You Choose Which Content to Repurpose?

The best content to repurpose is the content that’s already performed well.

The High Performers

The first kind of high performers are traffic generators. This is the content that brings in the most views. You can find these by looking into your site analytics, where they should jump out immediately.

The idea is to find the pieces that are at the bottom of Google’s first page or the top of the second and use them as leverage to get to the very top.

The second kind of high performers are the pieces with the highest conversation rate. These might not be the most popular articles, but they result in the most subscribers or followers.


The ultimate idea is to repurpose both the traffic generators and the articles with high conversation rates, then link them together.

As Andy says, the traffic generators are the cheese and the articles with high conversation rates are the mousetraps.

Making Use of Your Old Email

Andy adds that old email content can be easily reworked for social media. For example, email subject lines work great as a social media post, as both are designed to catch the reader’s eye quickly.

To go the other way, you can also use social media analytics to find your best performing posts and repurpose them for email.

As for the worry that people might notice you’re reusing old material, Andy believes that most people won’t notice, and even if they do notice, you are adding content to the original piece, so there is something new.

However, you might have to delete any comments on the piece, as they could give away the actual date and confuse new readers.

What Do You Do Once You’ve Attracted People To Your Site?

After you’ve successfully repurposed content and received some traffic, you’ll want to use that information wisely. This involves having some kind of call-to-action attached to every article. Through that call-to-action, you can track the conversion rate on individual articles.

The conversation rate should be given a higher precedence than the number of conversions. This is because one post might have 100 conversions, but 100,000 visits, while another might have only 10 conversions, but 50 visits. The latter is clearly the more effective article and the one you’ll want to repurpose.

The difference between conversions and conversion rates isn’t the only kind of data that can be confusing.

Many people will interpret social media data wrong, such as not accounting for how long certain posts have been published when tallying performance rates. A newer post might have fewer visits, but when its lifespan is taken into account, proves to be the higher performer.

In your content, Andy stresses the importance of internal links, especially between a post that overperforms in traffic to a post that overperforms in conversions. These links should be naturally placed about half-way down an article. Meanwhile, clumsy advertisements, such as banners, tend not to work as well.

Examining Your Past Will Guide You Forward

Doing an audit on your own content might seem like a lot of work, but Andy insists that it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

In fact, it’s quite doable.

Because you’re only focusing on your traffic champions and high converters, you’ll only have to rework a minority of your content. And reworking content is a much faster job than creating new content from scratch.

It could even be said that doing an audit on your content is less daunting than the alternative.

If you’d like to know more about Andy Crestodina and his marketing ideas, you can find him on his company’s website, Orbit Media, where he writes a blog every two weeks.

For those unable to see Andy personally at his many speaking events, he can be found on various social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.



Andy has been in the web design and interactive marketing space since January of 2000. In that time, he’s helped thousands of people do a better job getting results online. He’s a true evangelist for content marketing and ethical digital marketing.

Together with the team at Orbit Media, Andy has put out some of the best digital marketing advice available in hundreds of practical articles, including posts on virtually all of the top marketing websites. Then there’s the book, Content Chemistry, which is currently in it’s third edition.

Andy is also a regular speaker both locally and nationally. Not only is Andy a founder of Content Jam, Chicago’s largest content marketing conference (currently in it’s fifth year) but he’s also a regular face on the national circuit. If you go to a content marketing conference, the one Chicagoan you’re mostly likely to hear is Andy Crestodina.