How to Run a Content Audit

How to Run a Content Audit

Have you thought about running a content audit of your website?

Content needs to be updated regularly, to meet search engine optimization standards and your online marketing goals. Make sure it’s performing well, to get the most out of your content.

Brands use online content in so many ways; from explaining who we are and what we do to updating customers on our latest products and services, content is how we communicate.

What is a Content Audit?

A content audit is just as it sounds: it’s a comprehensive audit of all the content assets that reside on your website. It’s a way of evaluating what’s working well and what could use some work.

It also helps you to clearly see what the next steps should be to optimize your content, while prioritizing the highest critical needs all the way down to the options that would be nice, when you have time.

A content audit is very detailed, so it can seem tedious, but the results are worth it. At a glance, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of how your content is doing. In this way, you’ll not only know how to step back and optimize content that’s already there, but also how to proceed in the future with content that reflects what’s working well.

It may feel time consuming now, but it can save lots of time and guesswork in content creation down the road.

Why Does My Website Need a Content Audit?

You should carve out the time to do a content audit to see where the gaps are and to start creating better content.

Why should you do a content audit? There are a number of reasons a content audit can help your website perform better.

  • It provides a full inventory of all the content that’s already been created, including what could be repurposed for future campaigns.
  • It analyzes how content has performed in the past or is performing now, so you can identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • It gives you an overall picture of your content flow by showing you who is creating content, when it’s getting posted, and more.
  • It provides a framework for creating a content strategy moving forward.

Still not sure if your website needs a content audit at this point? Here are a few signs that it may be time:

  • If your website has been around for a number of years.
  • If you have content living there that you can’t remember or aren’t using actively.
  • If your team is creating content haphazardly, without a clear plan.
  • If you’re struggling to know what to create or post next.
  • If your content is starting to feel dry and lifeless and you aren’t inspired to make more to support your brand’s marketing strategy.

Determine Your Content Audit’s Purpose

Before you dive into the detailed steps of a content audit, take a moment to consider your particular goal for this audit. What are you hoping to get out of it?

The only way this can be successful is if you know what the definition of success will be for this task.

Your goals will also help to determine which areas of the content audit you need to focus on most, to gather the data you need.

  • Are you trying to up your content marketing game?
  • Are you ready to put a content strategy in place?
  • Are you pulling data together for your team to analyze?
  • Are you interested in improving the SEO of your website?

If your goals are related to technical SEO, and making sure that the technical details of your content are helping your website be more visible, then check out this page about how to optimize your website. This article details how to conduct a technical, SEO-driven content audit, that can support your content marketing goals overall.

Content Audit Tools

As you are deciding whether you need a content audit right now, and what your goals will be in the process, you may want to research a couple of tools that can help you along the way. These can save you some time and manual effort so you can get to the results faster and start implementing those next steps right away.

Ubersuggest

Especially if you are looking to improve your SEO, Ubersuggest can help you see how well your website is performing overall. Just enter your URL, click “Search,” and click “Site Audit” on the left. Think of this as a quick, free overall look at how your website is doing.

You’ll also get a snapshot of which SEO issues are most prevalent on your site and how critical they are.

Google Analytics

Another tool to use, if you’re not already, is Google Analytics, which can provide valuable data about how your content is performing and how users are interacting with it.

Broken Link Checkers

As you’re analyzing your content, you’ll want to find and fix broken links. Integrity and Xenu Sleuth can help you there.

Content Inventory

You could manually pull each content link associated with your website, but that could take far too long and you could risk overlooking some things. Instead, you may want to try a content inventory link such as Blaze, DynoMapper, or ContentWRX Audit.

Content Audit Steps

Although there are a number of tedious tasks associated with your content audit, the overall flow is pretty straightforward.

#1: Create a List of Your Content Assets

First, you need to make a list that contains all the data you need. You need to see your content assets and associated data all in one place. This will allow you to move methodically as you compare, prioritize, and update each asset.

I mentioned a few tools that will pull the content data for you. A quick Google search will uncover more. Note that some of these have a trial period, after which you have to pay for ongoing crawling and inventory updating. For very large websites, this may be worth the cost. For others, you may just want to pull the data and move on. Some websites may be small enough for you to take inventory yourself.

However you approach it, make a spreadsheet, which will allow you to list not only the links to the content, but also the meta data, descriptions, word count, creator, date posted, and more. Here’s a snapshot of a quick Google Spreadsheet you can make for your content audit.

Content Audit Templates

As I explained above, you will want to build a content audit spreadsheet so you can keep all the data in one place. You can build one from scratch, download one of the following templates, or use these as a launching point and customize your spreadsheet.

Keep in mind the goals we discussed earlier. There are lots of stats or data points you could pull with each content link. However, some data is going to be more relevant to you than others.

If you are using this audit to improve your content marketing engagement, you will want to check information about click throughs, social media engagement, comments, and so on.

If your goal is associated with SEO, you may want to include warnings and recommendations you gather from Ubersuggest.

#2: Create List of Content Issues to Identify

After you’ve made your comprehensive content spreadsheet, it’s time to analyze it. What’s sticking out as a major problem or gap? Where are some factors that you can address right away to improve how your website is performing?

Again, go back to your goals. Are you trying to improve technical SEO? Are you evaluating your content strategy to create better content moving forward?

Some issues will have overlap, improving all areas of your content as you update them. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Duplicate Content: Search engines prioritize fresh content. If you have a lot of duplicate content living on different pages or posts, you’ll want to go back and fix that so there isn’t repetition.
  • Outdated Content: This is important from a personal and technical perspective. People don’t want to read outdated content, and search engines overlook it too.
  • Evergreen Content: On the other hand, evergreen content can be a versatile tool in your content toolbox, providing relevant information to customers anytime. Identifying your evergreen content will let you make use of them by sharing them again and to refresh and update it as needed.
  • Content Gaps: What’s missing in your content? Are there topics you haven’t addressed yet? Target markets you haven’t spoken to? Being able to look at everything at once can help you find the gaps, and fill them in.
  • Target Keyword: In your spreadsheet, you can include target keywords that pieces of content were meant to address, and how well they were incorporated. You can also do some keyword analysis to ensure you are incorporating effective keywords and continue to do so in the future.
  • Meta Data: Have you written metadata descriptions for all pages? This spreadsheet is going to help you see which ones need to be written and which ones are repetitive and should be updated.
  • Image Data: Do you have alt texts on them? Now’s a good time to make sure your images are SEO and accessibility friendly. Complete the alt text for the title and description of the images you use.
  • Word Count: Do your pages and posts have enough words to optimize for SEO? Or are they too long? Check that word count to see if pages need to be updated or edited down.

Maybe it’s as simple as realizing that certain people are posting more often than others, or that certain topics are being addressed too often while others are overlooked.

Whatever is standing out to you, start making a list of issues to address.

#3: Address Content Issues

You can’t do everything at once, so take your list and start to prioritize based on how critical each issue is and how time consuming or difficult it will be to address it.

When you run an SEO audit on Ubersuggest, as I showed above, you’ll receive recommendations with these priority factors listed. You can use that as a guide for all your content issues. Here’s a review of how they are ranked on UberSuggest.

How much impact will it have?

How difficult is it?

Do the critical (SEO Impact) easy (Difficulty) ones first, then move on to the harder but still critical, as well as the less critical but super easy. Finally tackle the low priority, difficult tasks.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially with the time consuming or technical tasks. You can hire someone to dive in and update duplicate content, add meta descriptions or alt tasks, or fix broken links.

Conclusion

The idea of a content audit may feel overwhelming at first glance. Don’t let that stop you.

A content audit is one of the best first steps you can take to improve your content marketing strategy. Once you see everything together, you can be empowered to use all that content in better ways.

Furthermore, once you do this comprehensive content audit, you’ll have the spreadsheet and data to work from in the future. You’ll be able to quickly go in, make updates, compare stats, and see what’s working. You may even choose to keep your spreadsheets updated on an on-going basis.

You’ll be poised to take your content marketing and creation to the next level.

What’s stopping you from tackling your first content audit?

5 Ways to Perform an Effective Content Audit (FREE Template Included)

5 Ways to Perform an Effective Content Audit (FREE Template Included)

Ever heard of the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule?

It’s the theory that states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Why am I telling you this? 

Because it applies to your websites content.

Take a look at your content. How well is it ranking?

If you’re not ranking in the top 10 on Google for your main keyword or, even worse, you were ranking but you aren’t anymore, then maybe it is time for a content audit.

Pareto principle

In this article you will learn how to find content in need of a refresh, how to actually go about improving it to boost your SEO as well some useful content re-optimisation tools. 

Sound good?

What Is A Content Audit?

A content audit is an exercise in which you evaluate the performance of your existing content (blog posts, FAQs, guides, lead magnets etc.), identify its weaknesses, and make improvements.

These improvements are done by adding new content, editing the existing content, or refreshing and updating your published content to make it more accurate and relevant.

It is one of the low hanging fruits in SEO and content marketing.

Why?

Because your old content is already indexed in Google Search (even if it’s nowhere near page 1), ranking for a few keywords, and pulling in some traffic.

Plus, it’s much more cost-effective to edit and upgrade old content and build on its success instead of creating a new piece of content from scratch.

Just a word of warning though:

A content audit/refresh doesn’t mean completely gutting your old stuff to make way for the new. 

This could seriously impact your rankings and traffic.

Instead, think of a content refresh as a chance to improve content and bring older pieces up to the standard of newer ones.

But why should you do this? I’m glad you asked:

Why content (sometimes) needs refreshing

Sometimes content needs updating because of increased competition, maybe you’ve recently purchased a site and it is poorly optimized, or the content could be improved by sharing more examples or stats or maybe the information is simply outdated. 

In some cases, you might update your content even if it’s ranking well and bringing in a lot of traffic just to strengthen your position even more.

To start your content audit, you first need to find the content that needs to be improved.

To be more specific look for the following things in your content.

  • Loss of organic traffic or possible even NO organic traffic.
  • No direct engagement (low time on page and other engagement metrics).
  • Little to no social engagement. 
  • Poor post metrics. 
  • No follow through to content despite social promotion.

How to find underperforming content

Now you know what you are looking for, it’s time to get to work.

Here is what you’ll need:

First you need to make a copy of the Google Sheet. 

Now it’s time to gather up your website data and add it into this sheet:

Step 1 – Get Google Analytics data

First up, we need to get pageviews from Google Analytics:

  • Go to Google Analytics >>> Behavior >>> Site Content and the select All Pages
  • Change your date range to show the last 6 months of data and hit apply.
  • Depending on the size of your site: select more rows to show. I like to show 1000.
  • Now export to CSV.
  • In the sheet, go to the analytics tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Step 2 – Get Google Search Console data

Next up is to head over to Google Search Console:

  • Select your site
  • Got to the Performance report
  • Make sure all the metrics are selected (clicks, impressions, CTR and average position)
  • Change the date range to Last 6 months
  • Now select Pages and export (the small arrow above the data)
  • In the sheet, go to the search console tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Step 3 – Run your URLs through Ahrefs batch analysis

This is an optional step. 

If you don’t have access to Ahrefs, the spreadsheet will still work, you’ll just be missing some keyword and backlink data.

We’ll be using the Batch Analysis tool that quickly gets a bunch of data for domains or URLs in bulk. To get it setup:

  • Go the the Batch Analysis tool over at Ahrefs
  • In the Overview tab of the sheet, copy the URLs (column B)
  • Paste them into the batch analysis box.
  • Underneath there are three option boxes, make sure you set it up like this:
    • Protocol – As specified
    • Target mode – Exact URL
    • Index – Live
  • Now hit analysis
  • Now export
  • Go back to your sheet and go to the ahrefs tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Now you’ll have a finished spreadsheet full of underperforming content that is ripe for a content refresh. It should look something like this:

Content Refresh Finder

What does this spreadsheet show you?

This Google Sheets template gives you a quick top level view of your site and how it is performing.

It shows your website’s:

  • Top 100 viewed pages
  • The average position in the SERPs
  • How users are interacting with your site on Google
  • How many backlinks it has
  • The keywords it ranks for

At a glance, you’ll be able to look for pages that are in need of a refresh. Here’s just a few ideas of things to look for:

Pages that have high impressions but low CTR.

Low search CTR means that people are seeing your site in search results but not clicking on it.

low CTR High impressions

There are three things you need to see here

  • Are You Ranking For The Right Keyword?

Does your site match the searcher’s internet for this keyword? Does your page have the answers the searchers of this keyword are looking for?

For example, you might have a site about fruits and nutrition that’s ranking for the keyword “apple benefits”.

But what if all the other results are about Apple the tech company?

That’s just an example.

But it’s possible that you’re ranking for the wrong keywords which is why no one’s clicking on your page.

In that case, try aiming for long-tail keywords on the same topic that are more descriptive. 

  • Improve Your Page Title: 

Does your page title clearly tell the visitors what it’s about? Does it create a sense of curiosity? Does it make a promise? Is it using power words to drive action?

Without creating a power title, you’ll always struggle to drive clicks on your search result even if you rank for a keyword.

Here’s a really good resource for creating blog headlines.

  • Write An Engaging Meta Description

Does your page have a meta description?

If it doesn’t Google will use the first few lines of your page as the default meta description.

And that’s not good from your perspective.

Meta descriptions do not impact search rankings directly. But thy have a huge role in driving clicks om your search result.

You need to write an engaging meta description that immediately makes a promise and entices the searches to click on your search result.

This is the place where you need to show your creative writing talent.

If your target keyword has sponsored results from Google Ads, look at the meta description they’ve used because advertisers pay a lot of money to test and optimize their ad descriptions.

Pages with crazy good CTRs

It’s always good to be on the lookout for outliers. Sometimes you’ll have a page that gets a really high CTR (or other metric). 

It’s worth digging down into this and to try and reverse engineer what is working for other pages.

high CTR pages

For the pages that are driving traffic, you need to pay particular attention to Bounce Rates

If the Bounce Rate is higher than your site average, it means the visitors are not finding the information they’re looking for.

In this case, you need to improve your content and make it more valuable. Try to highlight the key items of the page at the start so that the visitors know their desired information is available.

If the Bounce Rate is fine, see how much on-site conversions this traffic is driving (for example, visitor to email subscriber conversion, clicks on internal links, etc.)

The pages that are driving search traffic are your biggest assets. Always use content upgrades, lead magnets, internal links, and CTA to convert them into something more meaningful for your business.

Pages ranking for lots of keywords

If you find pages that are ranking for lots of keywords and have a decent CTR, but aren’t retaining the traffic or routing it to the other pages on your site, then these are definitely pages ripe for a content refresh.

Chances are you need to add more content to the page and/or target the keywords better.

pages ranking for lots of keywords

The easiest way to do this is by analyzing your closest search competitors.

See how they’ve structured their content and what’s their main value proposition.

Structure your content on their model and try to offer something valuable to your visitors so that they stick on your site.

5 ways to perform an effective content refresh

Okay, so now you know what content refreshing is, why it’s important and you’ve (hopefully) identified your target pages. 

Now starts the actual refreshing.

When it comes to actually refreshing your content, you’ve got five types of things you can do to boost it.

  1. Expand your content
  2. Update your content
  3. Optimise or re-optimise
  4. Merge it
  5. Promote / build some links

Let’s look at these in more detail.

#1 Expand your content

Expanding your content is the most common way of refreshing a post. 

Sometimes you just need to write something longer and more in depth.

There’s lots of data to suggest that content needs to be longer in order to rank highly. 

In fact, if this Backlinko study is to be believed, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.

google position

Longer content also tends to attract more backlinks and generate more social share.

And it makes sense.

Content that is more in-depth generally offers more value to the readers as a result of which more people link to it.

Your starting point for expanding content is keyword research.

You need to know if your content is or isn’t optimized for any of the keywords that are going to drive traffic to your site.

By performing keyword research, you’ll be able to see what gaps are in your content you can fill in.

However, avoid just expanding content for the sake of it. Be critical and ask yourself: 

Should I expand this post?

Are there questions about this topic that I haven’t answered?

Is my resource giving comprehensive information to the readers?

An easy way to find this is by looking at the “People also ask” section of SERPs for your target keyword.

In this section, Google lists the most common questions people have about a topic.

Quickly go through the list and see if there are any angles or topics that you can add to your content to make it more valuable.

Maybe your original post lacked context or needed some supporting info to make it more relevant, or perhaps missed out a topic completely.

Either way, be sure to do a quality check on your content before diving in and expanding it.

Another aspect of expanding your content is to add things that make it more impactful and credible.

For example, if you’ve shared a strategy or tips about achieving something, why not share a couple of real-life examples with it to give the readers more value?

Similarly, if you’ve made a claim or shared an opinion in your content, why not back it up with solid research or scientific data evidence so that your arguments become heavier.

These things make your content more effective and leave an impact on your readers.

#2 Update your content

Google likes fresh content for some searches and sometimes information can become outdated.

Moz Fresh Score

Here’s the type of posts you should look out for and consider updating:

  • Posts that mentions of dates
  • Posts with lots of screenshots (especially of software tools as these get updated and re-skinned)
  • Outdated information
  • Topics that have since changed

You want your content to be as accurate as possible for both users and Google. 

It’s quite common that over time information in content can become outdated.

Here’s a quick list of things you can change, add, or remove from outdated posts:

  • Remove any content that is no longer relevant.
  • Update any outdated content.
  • Replace outdated data with up to date ones
  • Update screenshots if things have changed
  • Add any new best practices that have emerged (things in SEO change fast)
  • Check and update internal links
  • Potentially update CTAs

#3 Optimize or re-optimize

Sometimes content drops off because it could be better optimised. 

On-page SEO plays a big part in how your content is performing, so make sure to check the following for the best rankings:

  • Ensure the title tag includes the main keyword.
  • Use a H1 that also includes the main keywords.
  • Add a meta description.
  • Use variations of your main keyword in subheadings.
  • Add keywords to the URL (but keep it short)
  • Optimise images – compress them and add relevant alt text.
  • Check on technical issues like page load speed
  • Make sure your site uses a responsive design that’s easily accessible from mobile devices as well.
  • Add more internal links to your content wherever they make sense.

Another easy way to improve your ranking is to look for the keywords that you’re already ranking for in search results on Page 2 and 3.

You can find them in Google Search Console.

You’ll be surprised to see that your content might not even be optimized for some of the keywords you’re ranking for.

Filter them out and naturally include them in your content where they make sense.

#4 Merge Similar Content

So you’ve been blogging for a while and now your website is full of content.

Chances are though, there will be some duplicate or overlapping topics going on.

If this is the case, consider merging multiple blog posts together.

Having one strong resource on a topic that covers it in-depth is better than a handful of articles that all include roughly the same information.

If you’ve done your keyword research, you should have a list of related keywords, so should be able to plan out what keywords can be grouped together in a single post. You can then scale this by using content templates.

The end goal here is to have a few high-quality articles on your site vs lots of mediocre ones.

#5 Promote it / Build some links

Sometimes, a new round of promotion and link building is all that’s required.

If you are looking to perform a content refresh on old content, chances are you have published lots of new content since them. 

This is a great opportunity to build internal links to it.

A quick site search will show you lots of internal link opportunities. Just head to Google and search:

site:URL KEYWORD

(example site:rankxl.com content marketing)

Switch out KEYWORD to the main topic of the post you want to build links to. 

Google will show you the pages on your site it thinks are related. 

These make great targets to go add internal links from.

Don’t forget you can also re-promote old content to your email list of on social media as if it was new content and even consider driving paid traffic to it.

For higher competition keywords, you might need to build some new (and more powerful) links to it like via methods like guest posts or running some broken link building.

Don’t forget, the type of site you want to improve will dictate the type of links you need to build to it. 

A local lead gen site needs local links, whereas a more recognized branded site could use unlinked brand mentions whilst an affiliate site might be better off with white hat outreach.

Consider this before blindly going out and building any links you can.

Sidenote: 8 tools to help improve your content

Updating your content can be hard work.

Thankfully, there are some useful tools out three to make your life a bit easier.

Here’s a brief list of free and paid tools you can use to help improve your content:

  1. Google Analytics [FREE] – see how many people are visiting your site + other metrics
  2. Google Search Console [FREE] – see how your site is performing in search engines
  3. Ahrefs [PAID] – use this for keyword research and for spying on competitors
  4. Clearscope [PAID] – an AI tool to get the most out of content
  5. Frase [PAID] – a cheaper AI tool for analysing content.
  6. Headline Analyzer [FREE] – see how you can improve your headline/page titles
  7. AnswerthePublic [FREE] – use this to find question-related keywords
  8. Buzzsumo [PAID] – find what content is working well in your niche.

Summary

Refreshing pages doesn’t have to be a chore or seen as a step back. 

Sometimes, refreshing old content will have a more positive effect on your traffic than creating more content. 

Afterall, 80% of your traffic is likely to come from 20% of your content.

Remember: SEO is not a one time task.

It’s an ongoing process.

To get the most from a content refresh, get in the habit of performing one on your site ever 3 – 6 months.

There’s always room for improvement, you just have to look in the right places.

jake

About Jake

Jake is a marketer, writer and spreadsheet wrangler who runs Sheets For Marketers. He’s a fan of dogs, SEO, and pizza. Sometimes at the same time. 

Content Audit: A Must for an Effective Content Marketing

Content Audit: A Must for an Effective Content Marketing

A content audit is the foundation of content strategy and it governs content marketing. It’s the practice of evaluating elements and information assets of a content. This methodical auditing process enables the webmasters to publish relevant and correct web content.

With Google’s major algorithm updates recently it has become mandatory for every webmaster to put more emphasis on presenting high quality web content to their audience. Or else Google penalizes those who don’t devote enough time in producing valuable web materials. This activity has taken a toll over the last couple of years and webmasters must take this into account for effective web content management.

Google Panda’s updates make things more complicated and hence high quality content becomes paramount. According to Panda’s recent updates- it would reward high-quality websites and belittle the presence of low content-quality sites in Google’s organic search engine results or SERP.

Following are the criteria depending on which Google Panda diminishes websites:

  • Thin or weak content structure
  • Duplicate or copied content from other sites
  • Low-quality pages that lack in-depth information
  • Lack of authority or trustworthiness
  • Content farming process or a massive low – quality pages gathered from other websites
  • Low-quality user-generated content
  • Content mismatching search query – Pages that make a false promise to the audience on search results but provide irrelevant contents leading to disappointment to the viewers.

Therefore, the entire scenario has given rise to the concept of a content audit.

content-is-the-king

Content Audit: A must for an effective Content Marketing

A content audit is a content review process of scrutinizing all contents on a website and assessing those to identify their relative strengths and flaws for further prioritization. The content analysis steps include qualitative assessment and evaluation based on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Content audit for the website is necessarily a qualitative analysis of all the content on a site or social media presences.

Similarly, a web content also must go through the quantitative analysis to rank higher in SERP. Content inventory handles the process of quantitative analysis of a website. A content inventory is essential while doing a content audit because the process creates a log of all the content on your site- typically that include texts, documents, images and applications.

With Content inventory process you start with a website review, the system logs the records on a website for your reference and makes it convenient for you to perform a content audit. Further, this process of evaluation enables webmasters to take stock of onsite contents/content on print and decide for fruitful content solutions.

Why should you use content audit

Content marketing plays a huge role in the brand promotion and developing business recognition. A business shares relevant contents in the form of (texts, images or visuals) to its audience through various media- print (marketing collaterals), social media or website to tell them about the company, the products and services, It also offers other essential information that might benefit the readers too. Developing a content marketing strategy is quite critical because presenting valuable contents to the audience is a necessity.

content-marketing

Develop an effective content strategy and take your business to the next level.

A content audit provides an answer to the question – if the content is of any good or not.

Derek Slater states that with content audit you can find answers to the following five questions:

  • What content does the website already has?
  • Who is making this content?
  • How people find the content?
  • How is the content performing in a search engine?
  • Is the content current or an outdated document?

A content audit has become an integral part of content marketing. There are specific best practices which you need to follow if you want to rank in search results. By investing a little time, you can produce perfect and accurate materials for digital and print media.

Let’s delve into the purpose of a content audit that affects your SEO:

  • Find out ways how to escape a search engine ranking filter or penalty
  • Discover those contents that need editing to enhance the quality
  • Review those contents that require updates
  • Consolidate those contents that have overlapping topics
  • Removing materials that are no more relevant to the site
  • Determine the following content gap opportunities:
    a) Content ranking for which particular keywords.
    b) Which page adds to the strength of a domain and what should you do to leverage them.

How to conduct an audit

There are some services and tools to conduct a content audit. Additionally different medium requires separate treatment. Several content marketing experts suggest about two types of auditing processes – a full content audit and partial audit.

As the names imply, a full content audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a web content whereas partial review focuses primarily on a subcategory of the site. Moreover, there are content sampling that examines samples of content. You may select any method according to your requirement.

It’s quite natural for you to look for content audit best practices. Here’s a detailed website content audit checklist which you may refer to and conduct content audit efficiently.

Checklist 1: Deciding on the following audit goals and essential metrics before beginning the audit process

  • Determine web pages with high SEO potentials
  • Infer what kind of content update you require to make it more valuable
  • Assess and optimize internal content linking
  • Find out the most engaging types of content for the audience
  • Identify those topics that are sure to interest your visitors
  • Figure out what kind of content generates more engagement amongst your audience
  • Discover the best lead generation content
  • After determining goals correlate with relevant content metrics

discover-the-best-lead-generation-content

Checklist 2: Creating an inventory of all published contents

Before starting with the audit process, it’s essential to collect URLs and data. Decide what kind of content you would like to review – the list can be huge: landing pages, internal content, blog posts, product descriptions, educational materials. Here’s the checklist for completing the evaluation process efficiently.

  • Gather URLs of those contents that you want to assess. You can use website analytics to audit your content. Additionally, it would provide you with the list of important web pages.
  • List the names of the content with the help of an online tool or a spreadsheet to sort them by different criteria.
  • Create the content audit worksheet based on the following categories:
    • Stages of a buyer’s journey
    • Type of post- blog/product description/ landing page
    • Format of the post- text/images/videos present
    • Word count
    • Publication dates and/or last modification dates

An example of HubSpot content audit process and the content audit worksheet.

content-audit-worksheet

Checklist 3: Collecting and assessing all Data

Data collection is a tedious process and requires extensive research. Hence you need to use content audit tool to collect data based on your goals and metrics automatically. One of the best and most used tools that help in effective audit process is SEMrush. Using this tool you can find data of social signals from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and  LinkedIn, backlinks, as well as user signals – for e,g average session duration and bounce rate. Finally, using each of your collected data and metrics, start to assess each piece of content according to your goals- which ones to keep, ones to update and ones to remove.

Checklist 4: Presentation of the summary and  reporting

After completion of all the above steps, write a report and present a summary of the entire process. Include details of your content audit criteria etc. Create recommendations for the contents of internal audit report and summarize your findings.

Rounding off

A content marketer today needs to understand the importance of content audit. Every business owner must have an in-depth idea of the major aspects of auditing and evaluation. He must consider the process for immediate use to streamline his content marketing strategy. The old websites that have extensive content structure require pruning. With this fruitful content marketing strategy, these websites can develop value and weight.