A content audit is done to help you understand the behavior of the visitors that visit your website or the reasons why your marketing strategies aren’t as effective as you expected. Additionally, conducting a content audit helps in finding any problems with your SEO activities so that you can implement the necessary changes and receive an increased amount of traffic.
If you wish to build and retain an audience, then you have to keep posting high-quality content as often as you can. Likewise, you need to face the fact that older content on your site might not be as relevant as it was when you first wrote it. When you perform a content audit, it comprises analyzing the information on a website and assessing and enhancing its quality.
A successful content audit can lead to more organic traffic coming to your website. What you’re essentially doing is cleaning up the content pieces that don’t provide a lot of traffic and enhancing content to increase its potential to gain traffic. A study said that organic search comprises 51% of all web traffic and drives 40% of revenue as well.
This article will discuss a few factors that can help you improve organic traffic; all you need to do is follow this quick and simple content audit.
Step 1: Make a list of your content
Being the first step in the process, you need to know what sort of content you have in your inventory. Make a collection of all the URLs and add them to a spreadsheet, so you have an organized list of your content. This can be done manually if your site is small and doesn’t have that many pages, but otherwise, you can take the help from the likes of Screaming Frog to come up with a comprehensive list.
Step 2: Categorize the Content
After you’ve collected all the URLs, you can sort them out in terms of different criteria and then track its performance. This can be done in various ways, as mentioned below:
- The content type
- Content format
- Number of words
- Date of publication/modification
- Metadata (Title, meta description, H1)
- Buyer’s Journey Stage (Awareness, Consideration, Decision)
- Author Bio (If you have several writers)
After that’s done, make columns with metrics to collect the data for each web page.
Step 3: Define Goals and Metrics
You can’t work your way towards your goals if you don’t have any goals identified in the first place. Once you know what your business goals are, you would be in a better position to make the right changes that will have a robust impact. Here are some common goals:
Goal – Improve SEO Results
If you wish to improve the results from your SEO efforts, then you need to look for web pages that have good potential to rank at the top of the SERP. Additionally, you need to sieve through your content to find what pieces need to be removed or updated.
After that, you should figure out the type of content that gets the most interactions so you could use that to your advantage and churn out more content like that.
Goal – Increase Audience Engagement
If you want to increase your audience engagement, you need to figure out the most engaging types of content for your audience and then start using that type more often.
If you know what topics excite your audience, you can churn out more high-quality content that sticks with them even after they leave your website. Knowing the type of content that gets your community involved can help in getting you more organic traffic. When you know what resonates with your audience, you’re more able to cater to them.
Goal – Improve Conversion Rates
If you wish to improve conversion rates, you need to find out which page provides the best user experience to your visitors. You should also figure out the best performing content that can generate maximum leads. After that, you need to determine the most efficient kinds of content for every stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
With your goals clearly defined, you will have a better understanding to reach those goals, and you can match them with specific content marketing metrics, like:
- Engagement metrics: Shares, likes, comments, mentions, etc.
- User behavior metrics: Bounce rate, pageviews, average duration per session, etc.
- Sales metrics: ROI, conversion rate, number of leads, etc.
- SEO metrics: Keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlinks, dwell time, etc
If you wish to find out the topics that interest your audience the most, you should consider checking the user behavior and engagement metrics. If you want to understand your SEO performance, you should check the number of backlinks, keyword volume, and your rankings on search engines.
Step 4: Analyze the Data
After collecting all the data you need, defining your goals, and understanding the steps needed to move forward, you can begin to analyze the data with SEO tools.
When you connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to a content audit tool, you can improve the level of data and have an in-depth analysis of the website. You can find other metrics, such as the number of page views, the average session duration, and the bounce rate, along with other important metrics. – Dileep Thekkethil, StanVentures.com
With the use of these auditing tools, you can have a better understanding of the content that performs the best in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversion. You can even estimate how efficient your content was in reaching your marketing goals.
There are different tools that allow you to have a detailed view of the file types, metadata, and other details about the page like videos, images, and documents. There are content auditing tools that also let you analyze user behavior. This is great when you want to know which content piece is performing well and which isn’t.
Step 5: Content Assessment
With the data collected and the metrics mentioned in an earlier section, you have to try and assess each piece of content in relation to the goals that you’ve defined. Post that, you can place them into these categories: Keep – Update – Delete.
- Keep: If your content is performing well and is relevant even today, then there isn’t a need to update it. You can reuse the content as a part of your Content Marketing strategy.
- Update: When you do a content audit, it might help you find web pages that are not performing as well as your other pages. Review the content and see if you can enhance or improve it. You may also find content that contains old information; for those pieces of content, you can revise and update them.
- Delete: When you’re crossroads and can’t improve the content or update it would because it would take a lot of time, a simple solution would be to delete that content from the website. Also, you might have some articles or landing pages that were made for seasonal marketing campaigns. If you don’t have plans to update them or use them again, you may as well delete them.
Step 6: Create a Strategy
You’ve listed out the URLs that require changes, defined the goals, understood the metrics, analyzed and assessed all the data, so now it’s time to create an efficient strategy to improve the traffic to your website.
Your action plan should take your goals and the concluding analysis into consideration. Here are the actionable tips for your content audit:
- Reuse/Rewrite/Refresh Content: As mentioned before, you can try to merge different content pieces to form a completely new piece. Or you can refresh older articles by adding relevant information to the existing piece. Alternatively, if you know there are posts that aren’t doing so well, you can rewrite them and add relevant information instead.
- Update CTAs: There’s a good chance that you have outdated banners on your web pages or on your blog. It will be better to replace them with relevant offers in order to reactivate your Content Marketing funnel and improve conversion rates.
- Add Videos/Images: Did you know that videos can drive up to 157% of organic traffic to your website from search engines? Users will spend more time on a web page if it has a video. Also, by using images and videos, you make your content more engaging and attractive. Incorporating videos and images on a web page can increase the probability of appearing in the SERP.
- Structure Content: When you have a clear structure, both bots and users will better understand your content, resulting in an increase in rankings. For example, a well structured “How to” content piece has better chances to rank for the Featured Snippets section rather than an unstructured article.
- Use 301 Redirects: For the removed web pages from your website, it’s suggested to use 301 Redirects that allow you to avoid any “not found” pages and boost the overall user experience.
Step 7: Track the Results
SEO is different from a lot of processes. You can’t implement changes and just hope for everything to be okay. You need to track your results and keep changing your tactics to keep up with the current trends. When you track results, it can lead to a 13% increase in conversion rates. If you don’t track the implemented changes, it would be significantly harder to tell if you’re heading in the right direction. You can always use content tools that make tracking results much easier, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
You can’t consider a content audit a one-time procedure. It’s a constant practice that you need to implement into your websites and other marketing channels to make sure everything runs perfectly.
When you carefully catalog your existing content and assess the data you’ve gathered for each URL, you would be able to make better, more informed marketing decisions that will definitely help you cut costs, grow your brand, save time, and increase your advertising ROI.
You need to keep making changes to ensure you stay ahead of the competitors. By performing these audits multiple times in a year, it’s a great way to follow up on your adjustments.