Content Audit? What Does It Actually Mean?
- A content audit is a process of analyzing and making a systematic list of items of all the content on a website including the site performance, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
- In short, a content audit is the systematic review process of all the content on your website.
- A content audit for your website allows you to briefly understand and evaluate how your site performs against the business goals that are set, a wide variety of user needs, performance indicators like SEO, content use and your web analytics.
Is A Content Audit Necessary? If So, Why?
- Content audits actually provide a data-based view of the content present on your site. It allows you to look closely and see how well you are meeting your business goals.
- It is priorly important for helping you to recognize whether the site’s content follows a particular and specific template consistently, editorial styles, metadata guidelines i.e the information about the data on your site like describing the “what, where, who, how, when and why”.
- If the content audits are customized to the assumed or decided content goals, your website will have a greater chance of getting the highest possible volume of the targeted areas of content improvement.
- Content audits can expose your high performing mediums as well as expose the channels that are not actually contributing.
Advantages of a Website Content Audit
- Identifies the existing problems in your website content.
- Determines the areas where you could repropose and rebuild your content.
- Increases the conversation rates.
- Enhances content usability.
- A better and stronger content establishment.
- Improvises the visibility of your website through the organic search engines.
- Allows improved optimisation or SEO.
- Website information and its structure are enhanced.
- Allows us to evaluate and identify the quality of the content.
- Content gaps are the first to be found.
How To Perform Your Website Content Audit?
- Content audit when done correctly, you can find any gaps in your content which lets you adjust your strategy to serve your targeted and required audience better.
- Your website content should most importantly
Your content should be able to answer the audience questions which enables your site to generate more traffic organically.
Establish Your Authority:
Use quality and your own original content. Establish a personal connection by being accessible and approachable i.e comment back to the users who have commented on your blog posts. Being social and also creating a strong About page or bio helps in establishing your authority online.
Start A Conversation:
Generate content as if you starting a conversation with the reader on your site. This helps in engaging the audience and also increases the interest of the people to keep you in their mind.
- Content audits are performed mainly for two important reasons:
1) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Performing a content audit shows better opportunities to optimize your existing content and highlight weak points of a site by its presence on the search engines. For instance, by this process, you may find that the title tags can be improved or the content of the articles can be increased etc.
2) Assessing existing content and its advertising efforts
In this case, we will directly focus on the content performance online or offline. Micro-conversions like page visits, newsletter sign-ups, comments and social shares are few of the common metrics to evaluate how your content is contributing to the audience overall.
Essential Steps Involved In A Website Content Audit
A spreadsheet must be created to monitor and gather all your site’s content.
- Firstly create an audit outline form with a specific page or section and the corresponding URL in the left column. You can carry on the process by listing out and branching the subsections and the related URLs.
- If you think that it might be a hectic thing for you to do all this, there are lots of sites online that provide free templates to reduce your extra work.
- Buffer/Zoho Social/Coschedule/HootSuite – All these sites are well known for their marketing calendars and offer free templates to use for a content audit. Just Sign Up as a site member to get access to these templates.
- Suppose you are an extensive user of Google Sheets, you can use the Google Docs template instead. It is handy to use Google Sheets as it was designed for multi-user editing and sharing so that the audit template can be distributed among the other people if necessary.
The Data You Collect Should Be Personalized
Since you are done with your organized spreadsheet, you can track several required indicators while conducting your content audit. Just narrow down your indicators to specific issues.
Sample ideas to cut-short your collected data
* Do you have any broken links on your existing site?
* Are all the images and videos that are linked working?
* Is the right hosting plan being used for your site?
* Are the videos and images being displayed properly?
* Is your site content well organized?
* Is your content scoring well on the readability scale?
* Is your content pleasing and gratifying?
* Does your website have enough white space to convince the reader’s visual view?
* Are the heading and subheadings used properly?
* Is your font working properly on all the devices/browsers?
* Are you providing an easy navigation to your content?
* Is your site structure organized and understandable to the users?
* Are all your blog posts and site pages mobile-friendly?
* Is your site content accessible to all the readers and users?
* Is the content still fresh, relevant and timely?
* Have you kept your content engaging?
* If at all your content is out-dated, is there any chance that it could be updated or rewritten?
* Does your content actually reach your targeted audience?
* Does your content get likes, shares and page views?
The Data Should Be Gathered
This can be done in different ways as per your convenience.
Manually You Can Enter The Data
* If your site is small, this is the easiest way to gather the data.
* Get the URLs correctly into your spreadsheet as it is the most important part in a content audit process.
* By doing this you can quickly check that particular page and keep a track on what are all the modifications you have made.
* As a benefit, if you think of going back and revising your pre-made changes or add something new to your audit, you will have an easy access and reference point.
Enter The Data Using A Web Crawler
* If you are working with a site that is bigger, you may need to use a web crawler to easily and quickly gather the information.
* Use Screaming Frog web crawler tool to crawl your site which is a resource quickly filters your site and collects specified data.
Gather the required data points for both the SEO and Content that mostly matters to the audience to find your website on the search engines.
The SEO data points include,
- Page Title
- Target Keyword
- Meta Description
- Page Headings Used
- Images used
- Images ALT Tags that are written
- Post Frequency or the Last Date you Updated the site
- Page Visits
- Page Entries and Exits.
- Bounce Rate of the pages
- Average Time Spent on the page
- Broken Links
The Content data points include,
- Content condition (latest or outdated)
- Word Count
- Type of Content (articles, posts on the blog, landing page etc)
- Tags or Categories used
- Number of Comments
- Social Shares Count
- Owner of the Content i.e who is responsible for editing the content
- Content accessibility on Desktops and Mobile Devices
- Call To Action Triggers
- Conversion Data
After gathering all the data in the spreadsheet use SEMRUSH or Ahrefs Batch Analysis or Act-On marketing automation tools to gather data about your site such as the number of backlinks, domain/URL ranking, number of keywords each URL ranks for, social channels and page scores etc.
Analyze Your Collected Data And Create An Action Plan
From this step, you will find out which of your strategies actually worked out and which were actually not successful.
Look at the data and scrutinize for what keywords or content were the most successful and which were not working well.
Analyze Your Data by looking at the Page Score
- Keep your top priority data i.e whose Page Score is “A” and “B”.
- Update the content that needs to be improvised whose Page Score is “C” and “D”.
- Remove the content that is outdated and not relevant whose Page Score is “E” and “F”.
- The last and final step is to Consolidate the report you gathered and proceed with the optimization process so that your content gets completely original and drives huge organic traffic.
Finally, take an action plan of your own choice or depending upon the observed analysis by improvising the areas in which your content is lacking and then optimize all the necessary factors, content and data points that actually make your website or the content original, readable, easily accessible, mobile-friendly, engaging and visible to the targeted audience of your business on the search engines.