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Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere? It can be frustrating when we put in a lot of effort, yet don’t see the results we were hoping for. That’s where the content audit process comes in! Content audits help businesses identify their strengths and weaknesses within their content marketing strategy. Once they know what needs to be improved, it becomes much easier to make changes that will have lasting effects on their SEO ranking.
Usually, we post some content and then forget about it. We don’t link to it from other posts, we don’t promote it on social media and we definitely do not optimize the page for SEO. It just sits there on our website collecting dust…
Content audits are a great way to understand what you already have and where it can be improved. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of conducting your own content audit so that you too will see results!
What Is a Content Audit?
A content audit is a process that helps you identify the quality of your website’s content, create better content and improve user experience. It is not just creating a content inventory, though an inventory is needed. A content audit is a comprehensive look at all your website’s content and how it can be improved.
- Which content is performing the best?
- What topics does the audience connect with the most?
- What needs to be updated, improved, or removed?
The SEO content audit process will answer these questions and more. Once you have all the data, you can start improving your website’s content. The purpose of a content audit is to help identify the quality, gaps, and opportunities for improvement in your website’s existing content. It’s not just creating an inventory; it’s about collecting data so you can prioritize how to improve each page on your site based on its current state.
Why Should You Conduct a Content Audit?
If you’re not conducting regular content audits, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to improve your website and search engine rankings. SEO content audits are a must if you plan on standing out from your competition. Here are just a few reasons why you should conduct a content audit.
Realign with Your Goals
Goals change over time. In today’s competitive digital world, we always need to keep adapting to the market. So, content from even a year or two ago might not reflect your current company goals. Unless you run a content audit and assess their performance, you may not know if your older webpage or blog post is meeting your updated goals. For content to be as relevant and effective as possible, it needs to align with your current goals. If you’re not sure about the alignment of older content then we recommend that you realign them!
Is It Fresh?
With the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, your content can become outdated. It’s not only information but your designs and styles may grow outdated as well. A properly done website content audit will help you identify these points and improve the performance of your web pages. This will not only improve your content quality but help keep people interested in your site, as well as improve your search engine ranking.
Step-By-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Audit
Regular, well-planned content audits can help you identify outdated content, content with a low view-through rate, and content that doesn’t meet user expectations. Conducting a content audit can be a time-consuming process, so making sure you have the right tools at hand will help speed things along. We have an easy five-step guide to help you conduct a content audit.
Step 1 – Establish Your Goals and Metrics
The first step is to establish clear goals and metrics. Take into consideration the business goals, what you expect to achieve, and the benefits you will gain. Once you have set these goals it will be easier for you to carry out this time-consuming process. Here are some goals you can use for your website content audit.
Improve Your SEO Results
The goal of a content audit will be to improve your SEO results. After a content audit, you can identify which web pages have a high SEO potential. You can use this information to optimize your website’s performance. Apart from that, identify what content needs to be updated or removed from your website. Check and optimize your internal links and website for better user experience and engagement.
Increase Audience Engagement
Another goal of conducting a content audit could be to identify audience engagement. You will be able to identify pages that create more engagements, and content that your audience loves. It will also help you to understand which type of content format is preferred by your audience. Once you get this data, it will be easier to create content that is more engaging for them in the future.
Improve Conversion Rate
The next goal will be to improve the conversion rate. A content audit can help improve the conversion rate by ensuring that content is organized properly. A content audit will also ensure there are no errors in the content or broken links so your visitors don’t get frustrated when trying to find what they need. By performing a content audit, you’ll be able to better understand how users interact with your site and ensure a better user experience.
If you’re really serious about content and conversion rate, then I recommend reading the guides on content strategy. Content research is another way to understand how your content should be formatted so it’s easier for users to find what they need.
Content Marketing Metrics
Once you have established your goals, you need to combine them into your Content Marketing Metrics. Content Marketing Metrics is the performance of Content Marketing. Content marketing metrics are important to understand if you want your Content Marketing strategy to be successful. Like any business goal, it’s critical that we measure our efforts and results. Then optimize for better performance in future campaigns!
- Organic traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Dwell time, etc.
User Behavior Metrics
- Average time on page
- Bounce rate, etc.
- Mentions, etc.
- Number of leads
- Conversion rates
- ROI, etc.
Step 2 – Carry Out an Inventory of Your Content
A content inventory is a list of all the existing content assets on your site. Your inventory will typically include text, images, documents, and application codes. You can create your content inventory manually, or you can use content audit tools to help automate the process. The advantage of using a tool is that it will crawl your entire site and identify all the files on your site.
Content inventories vary from site to site. But the following data points are usually included in a content audit spreadsheet. Make sure that these are included in your website content audit checklist.
- Unique content ID
- File format (HTML, PDF, DOC, TXT…)
- Author or provider
- Physical location (in the content management system, on the server, etc)
- Meta descriptions
- Categories/ Tags
- Dates (created, revised, accessed)
Step 3 – Collect and Analyze Data
After collecting the raw data in your inventory, they need to be turned into useful information if you are to take full advantage of your content audit. The data needs to be cleaned, organized, and analyzed.
Interpret Your Content Audit Data
You need to look at the collected data as a whole to assess the state of your website content. You will also be able to see what content is worth keeping and what content you need to improve or get rid of.
The analysis stage can be done in a number of ways, but the most important part is that you make sure it is thorough. You need to look at all aspects of your website content including page title, meta description, alt text, target keywords, all the URLs, landing pages, content pages, etc.
Assess Your Content Assets
After you have gathered and assessed your data, the next step in content audit is using your collected data, to assess each piece of content according to your goals and metrics. You can measure each content asset in multiple ways, so choose the ones that are most relevant for you. Here is an easy guide to assess the content on your web pages and blog posts.
The content audit will help you to identify the content that is performing well and is up-to-date. This means that you can let them carry on as they are for some time until the next audit. Don’t forget, no matter how good your content is performing now, it can always change.
Update and Repurpose
The content audit will definitely help you to identify the content that is not performing well, update them, and reuse them. Update the information if it is no longer valid or add new insights to make it more engaging. You can also repurpose the content into different formats like SlideShare presentations, videos, infographics, or even podcasts.
After the content audit, you will find content that is no longer valid, and outdated, or there may be duplicate content. You may not be able to update, repurpose them or improve them in any way. Then it’s time to let go. Even if they have performed well in the past, it’s time to say goodbye to them.
Step 4 – Devise an Action Plan
To successfully conduct your content audit the fourth step is to devise an action plan. Make sure that you have a clear goal in mind. You can then use an action plan to list the steps required to achieve it.
Prioritize Your Actions
After writing your goals, begin working on them one at a time according to priority. This way, if something gets in the way of completing one step successfully it won’t bring down all your efforts!
Create an Action Plan For Each Content
After an SEO audit, each piece of content should have its own action plan. Without a proper strategy, your content will be unorganized and, may turn ineffective. Creating a clearly defined action plan for each type of content will ensure that they are optimized for and reach the right audience.
Reuse Your Content
Repurpose your existing content to create a new content asset. This is a highly effective approach to improving your content. Maybe a blog post that had a lower reach can be more successful as a podcast. You will never know unless you try.
Rewrite Your Content
Rewrite your underperforming blog posts with new and exciting content. Change your tone, write in a simple language your readers find easy to follow. Organize the flow of the post so that the information gets transferred smoothly.
Expand Your Content
Having short may affect the ranking in search engines. Make your content more informative with information from high authority sites. Use examples so that the readers can understand difficult concepts.
Refresh Your Content
Sometimes, rewriting your articles is not necessary. You can freshen them up with updated statistics or information from relevant sources, and maybe some interesting infographics to present them.
Structure Your Content
You can update the structure of your content to create better user engagement. Guide your users reading through carefully structured content. Break longer texts with headings and paragraphs. This will make it easier to engage with longer content.
Update Your CTAs
Your call-to-action (CTAs) might be featuring offers from the last season. It will discourage users from engaging with your content. Make sure your CTAs are up-to-date with brand new information.
Video content is more engaging. Including interesting and relevant videos in your posts will generate more traffic to your site.
Features such as Google Images in search engines prioritize images. Your content should include images for both SEO and user engagement.
Rephrase your website’s metadata; page title, meta description, alt text, etc. Add meta descriptions with relevant keyword-rich phrases. These will be picked up by search crawlers as better options because it tells the algorithm what the content is about.
Optimize Internal Linking
Content that creates awareness should be leading to content that promotes consideration. From there the user should be directed to decisions making content. Ensure that your internal link-building strategy is optimized to this flow. It will be more effective.
Use 301 Redirects
If you have removed a webpage from your site, a user clicking a link to that page will be disappointed when they get an error message. It may cause them to leave your site. But redirecting users to the relevant, updated page would keep them engaged longer.
Step 5 – Revamp Your Content Marketing Strategy
Revamping content marketing strategy is essential for any business today. While developing content plans and strategies may seem like a simple process, it can be challenging to find the right mix of content types and topics that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
One way to help keep your content marketing strategy is to regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Take a look at your analytics data to see which content is getting the most engagement (shares, comments, likes, etc.) and try to create more of that type of content.
Conducting a content audit is a must for any organization, whether it’s a business or content creator. A content audit will identify the areas that need improvement, while also serving as an internal guide for what works well and should be continued, all of which is done with SEO in mind. We hope that this step-by-step guide has shed light on the long and difficult path of running a content audit for your content and its potential for improvement.
The content audit is a critical step in improving your website’s SEO. By taking the time to review your content and making changes where necessary, you can improve your site’s ranking on search engines and bring in more organic traffic. Content audits take a lot of time and effort, but the results are well worth it. After you’ve completed your content audit, don’t forget about SEO – continue optimizing your content.