How to Perform a Content Audit on Your Website
A content audit is a grueling task, but when done correctly it can help improve your website significantly. A full content audit will allow you to determine what content should be deleted or updated, if it is properly optimized for your website visitors as well as the search engines, and how you can improve your content marketing efforts to provide better user interaction and organic search engine visibility.
Content is a key component of your website, and a content audit will let you know if your website is on the right path to success or if it needs some serious help. Below we will outline the steps you need to take in order to audit your website content.
Lay Out a Content Audit Plan
It is important to lay out a content audit plan and look at specific areas of your website content in order to determine what segments you need to focus on. There are many different questions you will need to determine the answers for in order to create a plan, including these examples:
- Are you using your content as a way to attract website visitors?
- Is your content used as bait to get conversions?
- How often do you need fresh content?
- Are you creating your content in-house?
- Are you sourcing content?
The content audit plan will vary from site to site, so it is important to know what you are looking for and what details you should write down in order to allow you to view the big picture. The goal is to create a rating scale that will let you know what pieces of content are performing well and what ones need some help. This data will also give you a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, which is valuable information to use in the future when you create new content.
Quick Run Through to Delete Useless Content
Do a quick run through of your website pages and get rid of any duplicate copy or web pages that do not serve a current purpose. Don’t assume that having more pages will benefit your website. Get rid of content that will not benefit your readers or your website.
Analyze Key Content Data
There are several pieces of data that you can gather from each piece of content that will help you determine how effective it is. The point of a content audit is to determine what is not working and what is working. This information is then used to help your content strategy moving forward. Some of the data to take a look at includes:
- Page Title: Your page title is often the very first interaction a visitor will have with your content. See what titles result in the most social sharing and have the most page views.
- Content Type: There are several types of content such as blog posts, infographics, interviews, reviews, and guest posts. Determine what types of content perform the best on your website.
- Content Length: Some websites will notice that short pieces of content do the trick while some will notice that their longer and more in-depth pieces of content perform better. It really comes down to what your content strategy is based around. Some websites just want to build brand awareness while some are going right after conversions and sales.
- Social Shares: Facebook likes and shares, tweets and re-tweets, and Google +1’s are all signs that your content is popular. During your content audit make note of the number of social shares that each piece of content receives. Content with significantly more social shares should be noted, as that is a clear indication that it is popular with your website audience.
Break Your Content Audit into Sections
Some websites will be 20 page sites while some will be 5,000 pages deep, so it is a good idea to develop an audit strategy that breaks the content into sections. If your website has a lot of pages you aren’t going to perform a content audit overnight. Take your time and do it right.
Dive into On-Page Optimization
Tools such as Moz’s on-page grader are great to use during your content audit to help you determine if your content is properly optimized for the search engines. Moz’s on-page tool will give you suggestions on what changes and tweaks you can make in order to rank higher for your keywords.
Look at Your Competition
Take a look at the popular websites in your industry. See what is working for them and see how their content differs from your content in order to discover holes in your strategy. If your competition is doing something different it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right and you are wrong, but it can give you some good information to look at and consider while auditing your content. It is worth spending some time looking at what works for other websites.
An extensive content audit is a lot of work but it can be very beneficial to your overall online marketing success. If you feel overwhelmed and would like to learn more about our professional content audit service then contact us today.