Table of Contents

A Practical guide for your next content audit

Table of Contents

The word content audit is enough to strike fear among the most experienced marketers and bloggers.

Content audits monitor and organize all the important content from blogs to product and landing pages. It helps you to understand what content performs well in terms of search, free trials, and paid signups. 

A content audit on an annual basis can provide you with significant insights into your content marketing strategy

If you take a look at the numbers, there are about 4.4 million new blog posts published every day across all platforms.

But more often than not, marketers are creating content to suit their current strategies and never revisit them again. 

As a result of which, the best content becomes outdated and irrelevant to your audience with time. 

And to avoid such a situation, you need to return to your content now and then to ensure everything is updated, crisp, and fresh. 

In this post, we’ll cover:

What is a content audit?

Content audit includes assessing all the content on your website, including its strengths and weaknesses. This is a qualitative assessment and evaluation based on KPIs you choose beforehand.

Running a content audit helps you have a clear vision regarding the next steps to optimize your content. It feels overwhelming and tedious in the initial stages as doing a content audit is a very detailed process, but the results are worth it.

Speaking about a good content audit example would compose all search data (clicks, average position, % of organic visits, bounce rates, etc.) and conversion data (call, form fill, email click, revenue, etc.). 

Benefits of the content audit

1. Conversions over traffic

This is one of the prime reasons to do a content audit on your website. A content audit calls for a close examination of the top landing pages along with their design, CTA, and content. And this is not a straightforward process.

It may take days or even months to figure out what works for your website and landing pages. And to cut this duration short, you need a well defined strategic planning, analysis, and an audit that can successfully reward you with increased ROIs.

A periodic content audit on your website provides you with insights to update your content and highlights opportunities where you can convert the traffic you get.

2. Eliminates the complex user journey

If you think having a website that’s adorned with heavy and complicated designs is something that will earn you conversions or sales—then yes, you’re wrong. The purpose of your website is to help the visitors with the next steps without confusing them with the complicated CTAs and buttons.

A content audit will help you spot those areas that need a more simplified structure, content, and design.

3. Finding content gaps and opportunities

A content audit sheds light on those areas in which the site lacks ample information. And this gap could be something that your audience is looking for and wants to read. 

By spotting these content gaps on the website, you will be better equipped while creating fresh content pieces for the website.

4. Better SEO – helps identify your core pillars

SEO has evolved a lot in recent years, and with regular Google updates in the algorithm, you must update everything periodically. A strategic website audit will analyze your SEO and enhance the overall user experience.

So to improve it, you need to strike a balance between pleasing Google and creating valuable content that serves your audience.

P.S. Google wants to display the websites with the best content. So, if you focus on search engines rather than user experience, you’ll witness a steep decline in visitors and an increase in bounce rate. 

A website audit will scrutinize your SEO and align it with the overall user experience.

Things to do before a content audit

Before we dive into the step by step process of performing a content audit, you need to answer a few questions.

Why do I need a content audit?

Performing a content audit just because everyone else is doing it is a wrong strategy to execute. Instead of just going with the crowd, you need to find your reason for a content audit. There could be n number of reasons for the content audit.

Generally, there are two prime reasons to conduct an audit:

SEO

Conducting a content audit for SEO reasons helps you recognize any weak areas in your website’s search engine optimization. By listing different keywords, optimized images, word counts, and other elements associated with every content asset on the website, you can determine the required changes for your website.

After listing your content assets and comparing them to the current page rankings, you must think about changes that you need to make to improve the site’s search rankings.

And as you eventually want the most traffic from organic sources—it is a crucial matter you need to do at least annually.

Content Marketing

A great reason for a content audit is to analyze the current health of your content marketing efforts. You need to concentrate on page length, social shares, and visit metrics, not page optimization factors. 

This will help you determine your audience’s reaction to each content piece you’ve created.

What are the resources available to you?

An effective content audit is a time-consuming process. And if you’re currently drowned in other priorities, beginning a massive project can be a waste of time or energy. 

So if you can’t devote yourself to the process now, it’s better to wait until the right period.

And you don’t have to do the entire audit process by yourself. You can delegate the data-gathering work to another employee in your organization or outsource it to a content marketing agency like Contensify

What’s my goal with this content audit?

Before you begin with a content audit, you need to be clear about the reason you’re doing this content audit in the first place. 

And as we mentioned before – you can have more than one reason to conduct a content audit.

So to measure it in a way, you need to set clear goals before your efforts pay off. And for that, you need to create SMART goals:

  • Specific – You need to be certain and confident regarding that one goal and make sure that there is no room for ambiguity.
  • Measurable – If you can’t measure it, you can’t track it. So find a way to measure the results objectively.
  • Achievable – There is a thin line of difference between a realistic goal and an illusion. So to set a realistic goal, you need to assess the current situation.
  • Relevant – Your goal should connect to that one big mission. For example, your goal is to rank on the first page for your main keyword, but you’re spending the time ranking for a keyword that’s not so directly related to your business. That’s absurd, so make sure your goal aligns with your vision.
  • Time-bound – Unless you set a time for something, you cannot dedicate yourself to it. So you must set deadlines for each prime stage of the project.

How to do a content audit?

1. Define your goals and metrics

The goals you set for your website content audit, creates a great impact and here are some examples of goals you can set for it.

  • Example 01- Increasing audience engagement
    • Look for the most engaging content format for your audience.
    • Decide the kind of content that generates the most social engagement.
    • Determine the kind of topics your audience is most interested in.
  • Example 02- Enhance your SEO results
    • Analyze and optimize your internal linking
    • Recognize web pages with high SEO potential to rank in the top 10
    • Look for content you need to update or remove from the website.

Once you’ve determined the goals, you need to align them with the right content metrics. Content marketing metrics are primarily divided into four categories:

  • Sales metrics
    • Number of leads
    • Conversion rates
    • ROI
  • User behavior metrics
    • Average session duration
    • Pageviews
    • Bounce rate
  • Engagement metrics
    • Shares
    • Comments
    • Likes
    • Mentions
  • SEO metrics
    • Keyword rankings
    • Organic traffic
    • Dwell time
    • Backlinks

For example, your goal is to improve the SEO score for your website, then check the number of backlinks and analyze your current ranking in search engines.

2. Analyze your content inventory

Before you jump into creating an inventory of URLs and metrics, it’s crucial for you to decide the kind of content you’re going to review. You can audit your internal content, such as news, blogs, videos, product descriptions, landing, and sales pages, or external publications.

Gather your URLs

Begin by collecting all the URLs of pages you want to analyze. But you should have the sitemap data to analyze. In case you don’t have one then use a sitemap generator tool to create one for your website.

A sitemap won’t only make your content audit useful but also make it easier for search engines to understand the website structure and look for all the pages you feel are important.

Index your content

Once you’re done with collecting the URLs, you can use a spreadsheet or any online tool to group them by different criteria and track them along with the team members. Here are some of the examples you can use to group your content:

  • Number of words
  • Content-type
  • Content cluster
  • Buyer’s journey stage
  • Content format
  • Date of publication
  • Author

To take it to the next level you should also collect the metadata for every content piece so you can check and update all of them in one place.

Gather and study the data

The collection of data is a lengthy and tedious process. Mostly you’ll need to recover data from multiple sources and add it manually to the spreadsheet. You can also use any content audit tool that can automatically collect data and add it according to the goals and metrics.

3. Interpret your content audit data

Once you collect the data, you need to analyze your content metrics to have a complete and clear picture of the current state of your site’s content.

For example, your web page is attracting a lot of traffic but has a high bounce rate and low retention time. This is a sign that users are interested in the topic but the content is not offering them the exact material about the topic they want to know.

Analyze the content assets

With the data and metrics you’ve collected, try to analyze every content piece as per the goals. And allocate any one of the following statuses:

Update

A content audit will help you to find the least performing web pages. So review such content and figure out a way you can make it more effective. You must also look for content pieces with outdated content and statistics. Nothing else will turn off Google other than the outdated information.

Keep

If there are some content pieces that are performing well and remain relevant then you don’t need to update them. You need to think about repurposing this content in a way it aligns with your goals and current marketing strategy.

Remove

If you cannot update an existing piece of content, then removing it from your website is a feasible option. You can also find some seasonal marketing campaigns that no longer serve the purpose.

Create an action plan

Once you’re done with analyzing the content, you need to create an action plan to enhance it. Pay attention—your action plan should look like a road map that takes you to the goals.

4. Put your plan into action 

Before setting up a course for each URL, refer to the goals that you set out in step 01. Because every hour and resource you invest in the content plan should align with the business goal.

The next step is to emphasize your actions on how achievable are your business goals with the effort required. And create a column on your spreadsheet about priority after you’ve weighed up the resources that are required regarding the expected results.

 

  • Create a plan for each URL – After you’ve sorted the priority list, you need to create a plan for each content piece. Here are some of the tips to add to your website content audit workflow for individual pages.
  • Rewrite – If you’ve spotted underperforming blog posts then rewrite them with new numbers, examples, and details.
  • Refresh – There are times when you don’t need to entirely rewrite the blog but add some updated and relevant information.
  • Update CTAs – Look for any old banners and landing pages with old CTAs and update those with new and updated offers that fit best in the content marketing funnel.
  • Optimize metadata – Redraft your titles, h1, and meta descriptions. Revise them with updated keywords to make them more attractive for search engines and users.
  • 301 redirects – Once you remove the pages from the website make sure you use 301 redirects for them. It’ll allow you to avoid ‘not found’ web pages and enhance the user experience.
  • Repurpose your content – Try to think of ways you can collect and combine various content pieces to create a new one and publish it in a varied format.

5. Tweak your content marketing strategy

While you perform the content audit, you need to think about your long-term content marketing strategy in mind. Once you can track the success and failure, you can mix up the content strategy and also add different ingredients that give you a different taste at every bite.

Note down what’s working and what’s not, and expand your vision upon it. You can also look for content gaps regarding your least successful content. Check your competitors’ similar content to find spots you could improve yours.

You need to rethink your content marketing strategy at least once every year to make sure the strategies still align with the company’s goals. So if you’re tackling multiple buyer persona and industries then you need to set up periodic reviews. It can be once a month or every quarter.

Website content audit checklist

Before you dive into the process of content audit, here’s a quick overview and a website content audit checklist. You can use this every time to ensure you don’t miss anything.

  1. Set clear business goals
    • Increasing audience engagement
    • Improving the conversion rates
    • Enhancing the SEO results
  1. Align these goals with relevant metrics such as ROI, bounce rate, and organic traffic.
  2. Gather URLs of your content and group them according to the buyer’s journey stages, author, content type or format and in any other format that’s relevant for you.
  3. Compile data of all the content assets’ performance and assign them the relevant metrics and statuses: Update, delete, keep.
  4. Emphasize your actions based on the business goals and create an action plan for each content piece.
  5. Tweak your content marketing strategy based on the last year’s audit results.

Content audit tools you can use

1. Yoast SEO Plugin

If your website or blog is on WordPress, then you should use this. It has numerous features such as:

  • URL updates
  • Redirects

It also assists you while writing a blog post, and makes it easier for you to optimize any web page or article for a focus keyword. Yoast SEO solves all the primary problems of optimization, in terms of customizing the blog and the general structure.

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a robust SEO tool that has features like:

  • Domain analysis
  • Page analysis
  • Rank tracking
  • Backlink reports
  • SEO reports
  • Content explorer
  • Site explorer
  • Content gap analysis

Overall, it’s a powerhouse that assists you with content research, planning, writing, monitoring, and auditing.

3. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is the right tool for trend analysis. You can also find the right influencers in your niche with this tool.

For instance, if you search about content strategy in their content analyzer report, you’ll find the most shared blogs or articles on it.

So if you’re struggling to stay on top of trends in social media and blogs in general—then Buzzsumo is the right tool for you.

3. SEO audit tool by Contentlook

You can get a detailed analysis of your site with this tool. The content audit with Contentlook will include:

  • Links
  • Social signals
  • SEO activity
  • Site traffic
  • Blog
  • Authority status

So if you need a quick analysis of your website content audit, then you should use this tool to get the data about any broken links and how you can improve certain things on the website.

4. Google analytics

You say web analytics, I hear Google analytics. And you shouldn’t run a website without it. Google Analytics is a powerful yet simple tool. You can easily analyze if traffic is increasing and the bounce rate is decreasing.

And you can also set up goals, which lets you easily look at conversion rates and visualize the website funnel.

5. Grammarly

Grammarly is the best audit tool for your writing and grammar. When you run any text or document through Grammarly it’ll show you the aptest suggestions that’ll help you to avoid typos and grammatical errors every time you write.

6. Hemingway

Hemingway is a great partner for Grammarly. It analyzes the text for readability and will provide you with suggestions on optimizing your content level.

So ultimately, Hemingway helps you in simplifying your content.

Wrapping up

Performing a content audit helps you to reflect on your goals and progress, so if you’re starting out with strategic content marketing and haven’t witnessed significant results, then it’s time for a content audit.

And we understand performing a content audit is a lengthy process and if you don’t have that luxury in your hand— we can do it for you.

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