What Is A Content Audit?
A content audit is the process of systematically looking at all the content on your website and analysing its strengths and weaknesses.
But that sounds like it will take forever? Why Would I do that?
Yes, a content audit is time consuming and requires careful planning. You will need to define your goals and set some metrics before you begin so you are able to assess how each piece of content is performing.
Why Would I do that?
A thorough content audit helps you to improve the performance of your website. Whether you want to increase audience engagement, give your SEO a boost or ramp up conversion rates, a content audit will give you the insights you need to make the required changes.
– Search Engine Land
And yes, we really do mean ALL the content on your website!
Goals Of A Content Audit
Most content audits are conducted to improve SEO results. Some more specific goals you might want to set for your business include:
- Identify what type of content your audience engages with the most. This will help you generate new ideas as part of your future content marketing strategy.
- Remove or update content that is no longer relevant and/or is having a negative impact on your SEO
- Consolidate content that overlaps
- Identify which pieces of content trigger the most social engagement
- Look for keyword opportunities
Ultimately, a content audit will ensure all the content on your website is up-to-date and relevant to the people visiting your site. In turn, this will minimise errors on your site and improve the ranking of your pages.
– Search Engine Land
Now you’ve set your goals, you can now start analysing your content. Get your spreadsheets ready!
What To Look For
There are no hard and fast rules for organising your content audit spreadsheet. You will need to capture the same basic information for each page including the page name, type of content, date of publication and URL, but after that you can choose the metrics that you think will help your business the most. Some ideas include:
- Title tag and meta description
- Word count
- Sessions and average session duration
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rates
- Natural backlinks
- Date last updated
- Social Shares
It is also a good idea to add a column for comments, where you can make notes of things that need to be addressed later.
Whatever metrics you decide on, make sure you allocate yourself enough time to complete your content audit properly if you want to get the most out of it.
There are content audit tools (most require a subscription) that will make the process easier, or you can access a list of all your pages through your CMS. A sitemap is also useful for a content audit.
Once all the data has been analysed, you have the unenviable task of creating an action plan for every piece of content. You can break this task up over a period of weeks and months to make in easier. Mostly, you will be expanding content, updating content and deleting content, although sometimes you may be able to repurpose content. If you remove content, make sure you use 301 redirects to avoid 404 (page not found) errors.
You may also need to update and/or remove images, links and videos, as well as optimise your call to actions and metadata.
That’s it, you’re done! Until next time….