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How To Conduct A Content Audit Step-By-Step

Are you wondering if your website's content is up to its potential? It's no secret that even the most talented content writers and SEO experts can miss the mark from time to time. Despite putting in your best efforts, some pieces may end up buried, struggling to rank in search results, and failing to contribute to your overall goals. That's where a content audit comes in. In this blog post, seobase will explore the importance of conducting a content audit, provide you with a comprehensive content audit checklist, delve into the world of content SEO audit, and guide you on effectively performing a content audit. So, let's dive in and discover what a content audit is about and how it can revitalize your website's content strategy.

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What Is A Content Audit?

A content audit is crucial for organizations of all sizes and types. Furthermore, it involves systematically inventorying and evaluating the various types of content published on a website. For example,

  • Webpages
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • Product descriptions
  • Videos
  • Slide decks
  • Whitepapers.

Performing a content audit helps optimize content for search engines and ensures that it addresses specific search queries. Also, it might seem intimidating and dull if you're new to content audits, but fear not! Let's discuss what a content audit entails and how to do a content audit effectively using a content audit checklist. Content audit

Why Do You Need To Audit Your Content?

Even the most solid content can become outdated in the ever-evolving information landscape. Furthermore, the Internet age has magnified this process, making regular content audits essential. Conducting a website content audit is crucial to keeping your content up-to-date and improving search engine rankings. By addressing key questions like the nature of your existing content, its value, discoverability, performance, and accuracy, you can ensure high-quality content that aligns with your content marketing strategy. To perform a content audit effectively, you can follow a content audit checklist, which will guide you on how to do a content audit thoroughly and efficiently.

How To Conduct A Content Audit

Having understood the importance of regularly auditing your content, let's delve into the practical aspects of performing this essential task. Now, let's explore the step-by-step process of conducting a content audit, ensuring your content remains optimized and up-to-date.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

To make your content audit process efficient and effective, it's crucial to establish clear objectives from the start. Clearly defining your goal will help you avoid wasting time and energy.

  1. Begin by identifying at least one primary goal driving your content audit.
  2. Then, determine the metrics you will use to measure success.

These metrics can encompass areas such as;

  • Enhancing SEO results for specific pages or the entire website
  • Increasing engagement and conversions
  • Eliminating outdated or redundant content
  • Improving the quality of existing content pieces
  • Devising a new organizational structure for your site.

Setting these objectives and metrics allows you to create a content audit checklist that aligns with your goals and guides your website content audit process.

Step 2: Collect And Categorize Content

Once you have established your objectives, the next step is to inventory the published content. Begin by identifying the types of content you will review and gather their respective URLs. For this task, you can create a manual spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheets or employ online tools like seobase, HubSpot, Semrush, or Screaming Frog. After creating a spreadsheet containing the content targeted for the audit, it's time to categorize it. Some online tools can assist with this categorization process. In a separate content details audit spreadsheet, track the following information for each piece of content:

  • URL
  • Author
  • Producing team (content team, social team, SEO team, etc.)
  • Production time: How long it took to create the content
  • Title
  • Date
  • Content type (blog post, infographic, case study, etc.)
  • Content goal (backlinks, traffic, conversions, etc.)
  • Word count
  • Comments
  • Shares (breakdown by social network and total)

Organizing this information will help you identify which existing pieces are satisfactory and which require updates or removal. You can structure this information based on your specific goals. Additionally, you may consider indicating the products or services the content supports, the targeted keywords, and the word count to further enhance your content audit process. content SEO audit

Step 3: Track Metrics And Analyze Data

Now that we have laid the foundation of our content audit, it's time to analyze its performance thoroughly. During this stage, it's crucial to identify tangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that enable us to evaluate our website's overall health and effectiveness.

Perform A Past Audit

Evaluating the performance of your existing content will provide valuable insights into the types of content you should focus on creating in the future and what you should avoid. Although this part of the content audit may initially require a significant time investment, it is worth the effort. To initiate the content audit, determine the timeframe you want to start reviewing your content and gather the corresponding URLs. Fortunately, collecting past content URLs does not have to be a manual and labor-intensive process. Website analytics tools like Google Analytics can leverage sitemap data to compile your content inventory swiftly. This will provide you with a comprehensive list of content URLs to include in your content audit.

Prepare Yourself For Ongoing Audits

Once you have included all of the content from the previous year in your Excel document, you can establish a routine to regularly audit new content every week. By conducting these smaller, more frequent audits, you can streamline the process and effectively track the performance of your content. Updating your Excel document with the data from the latest content is much simpler when you only need to review and input data for the past week. Regularly uploading the most recent numbers and statistics into your Excel document ensures you have up-to-date information for analysis. Over time, it's essential to pay attention to any significant changes that occur. Keep an eye out for notable shifts in performance, as sometimes evergreen content may take several months before gaining traction. Also, you can maintain an organized record of your content's performance and make informed decisions for future content strategies.

Metrics To Track:

Some metrics are essential to track for  your content data audit

When conducting a website content audit, it is important to consider the value of a properly moderated comments section. Furthermore, this section can contribute valuable user-generated content to your blog posts and articles. If your content goals include community building, it becomes crucial to identify the content types and topics that generate meaningful conversations. Additionally, incorporating the UGC link attribute in your content ensures compliance with Google's requirements for link markup. In cases where comments are not allowed on your blog, you should review any comments on your social media posts related to your content.

While some marketers may dismiss social shares as mere vanity metrics, it is essential to recognize their significance. Moreover, monitoring the social popularity of your content provides valuable insights into the topics that resonate with specific social audiences. For instance, businesses that observe a majority of their conversions originating from Facebook would prioritize creating content that appeals to Facebook audiences. Utilizing a content audit checklist can help businesses analyze past posts that received the most social shares on Facebook.

In an ideal scenario, your content would attract substantial organic traffic. However, if you find yourself lacking organic traffic, it could indicate a potential issue. This serves as a red flag, suggesting potential problems with your content strategy, content distribution methods, content type, or the content itself. You gain valuable insights by regularly evaluating organic traffic metrics as part of your content audit, content audit checklist, content SEO audit, or website content audit. These insights allow you to determine when to acknowledge successful efforts and when to reassess and make improvements.

Determining if visitors are arriving on your webpages but leaving without engaging with your content is crucial. In Google Analytics, it is considered a bounce if no scrolling, clicks, or other interactions are detected before a user departs. A high bounce rate can indicate poor content quality. Ideally, your content should act as a gateway that attracts users from search results entertains or informs them, and guides them to explore more content based on their needs. If users spend a significant amount of time on a page and exhibit a low bounce rate, it signifies the presence of "sticky" content that captivates users and encourages them to explore additional content. Understanding what constitutes a good bounce rate can vary depending on your niche.

Prioritizing high-quality backlinks that significantly boost your website's credibility is essential. Tracking the backlinks generated by your content regularly serves two critical purposes.

  • Firstly, your backlink profile will naturally evolve. You may initially acquire a few backlinks upon publishing a new piece of content. However, the backlinks may increase substantially, reaching hundreds or even thousands, as the content is promoted, discovered, and shared.
  • Secondly, it is essential to recognize that not all backlinks are beneficial. While having 589 backlinks may seem impressive, it is vital to assess their quality. A substantial number of backlinks could be harmful, leading to spam, paid links, or low-quality websites.

Furthermore, it's advisable to conduct a content audit; refer to a content audit checklist to evaluate and manage your backlink profile regularly. This enables you to identify and remove any unnatural or detrimental backlinks, ensuring your website's overall health and reputation. content audit

If you have a long-form blog post comprising 2,500 words and the average time on the page is only 18 seconds, it indicates an issue. This metric is a valuable indicator to determine if your content is not resonating with your audience. It suggests that either the content is unsuitable for your target audience, or if it is, you may need to create more content focusing on similar topics. To address this concern, perform a content SEO audit. These evaluations help assess the quality, relevance, and appeal of your content to ensure it aligns with the expectations and interests of your audience.

Web admins aim to attract many unique visitors to view the content and maximize the overall views for content. Increasing the views offers greater return on investment (ROI) opportunities through conversions, engagement, shares, and backlinks. To achieve this, conducting a content SEO audit is beneficial. These evaluations allow to assess our existing content's effectiveness, identify improvement areas, and optimize content for better visibility and engagement.

Monitoring the number of pages users view after engaging with your content is valuable for understanding their behavior and preferences. It provides insights into the effectiveness of your content in driving further engagement and exploration on your website. Additionally, identifying the specific pages users navigate to after consuming your content is crucial for understanding their interests and guiding their journey on your website.

While attracting returning users and customers is valuable, targeting and attracting new users through your content is equally important. Striving for a balanced mix of both returning and new users is ideal. To achieve this, performing a content SEO audit is essential. These evaluations help assess your content's effectiveness in reaching and engaging with a diverse audience. By analyzing the audience demographics, behavior, and engagement metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and tailor your content strategy to attract new users. The ultimate goal is to attract a wide range of returning and new users to maximize your content's reach and impact and ultimately drive business growth.

To gain insights into your traffic sources, it is crucial to identify and define your main traffic channels. Understanding where your traffic originates lets you make informed decisions about your content strategy. If you observe that a significant portion of your content's traffic is generated from Facebook, it is advisable to increase the frequency of content postings on your Facebook page to capitalize on this traffic source. On the other hand, if your email newsletters are not driving much traffic to your content, it may be necessary to reevaluate and restructure your email marketing approach.

To achieve 100 conversions (such as email opt-ins for your newsletter) within the first quarter with a new piece of content, tracking the performance and modifications resulting from that content is essential. Adding a dedicated column to your tracking sheet allows you to monitor the conversions explicitly generated from that content. In the initial week, observing only two conversions may lead to doubts regarding the content's effectiveness. However, you may notice a significant improvement by conducting weekly content audits over two months. Over time, the content manages to generate a total of 140 conversions, surpassing your initial goal. Regular content audits provide valuable context to the figures you observe, enabling data-driven decision-making. By continuously evaluating and analyzing the performance of your content, you can gain insights into its impact and make informed adjustments and optimizations as needed.

Additional Information To Track

To gather more comprehensive insights about your content, consider tracking the following details:

Add additional columns to the spreadsheet specifically dedicated to SEO fields to enhance future content optimization and consolidate all SEO titles and meta descriptions in a single location. This will allow easy reference and analysis of the various SEO titles and meta descriptions.

During a content SEO audit, it is crucial to keep track of specific promotional campaigns associated with each piece of content. It is essential to log any custom UTM parameters used to track the content to facilitate this process. This practice is valuable when creating UTM parameters for new content and retrieving data on past content in Google Analytics.

During a content SEO audit, leveraging conversion events in Google Analytics to identify the landing pages that generate the highest revenue is advantageous. By exploring the Pages and Screens report within the Engagement section, you can ascertain which website pages contribute to conversions. This analysis provides valuable insights into the content types and topics that positively impact your return on investment (ROI).

When conducting a content audit, it is vital to evaluate the performance of your content when shared with your email list. Monitoring metrics such as opens, clicks, and forwards is crucial if email engagement is a significant objective for your content strategy. Tracking these indicators allows you to identify which content resonates the most with your audience and performs exceptionally well in email engagement.

Repurposed Content

As part of a content audit, it is valuable to keep a record of content that has been repurposed, whether it involves transforming a collection of posts into an ebook or vice versa. By tracking such repurposed content, you can combine metrics from the original main content and the additional related content. This analysis enables you to evaluate how repurposing contributes to the overall effectiveness of your content strategy.

As part of a content audit, it is crucial to determine if a specific piece of content achieved and maintained a top position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for its target keyword phrase. By monitoring the best keyword rankings and their duration, you can gain insights into the types of content that achieve long-term versus short-term search wins. Utilizing tools like the seobase SEO online tools can significantly assist this process.

As part of a content audit, it is essential to assess if any influencers were engaged to promote your content and determine their impact on generating traffic or social shares. By identifying the influencers who contributed the most to the success of your content, you can consider collaborating with them again in the future, particularly for similar types of content. This evaluation helps optimize influencer partnerships and leverage their reach and influence to maximize the content's exposure.

Step 4: Take Actionable Steps And Develop A New Content Strategy

After conducting a comprehensive content audit, you should now possess all the necessary information to evaluate the performance of your content and determine the required improvements. To facilitate this process:

  1. Insert an additional column to your spreadsheet. It will indicate the specific action required for each piece of content. These actions may include deleting, refreshing, rewriting, or reusing the content.
  2. Consider the time and effort involved. Deleting content is typically a quick and straightforward task. Refreshing may affect minor updates to facts or links, while a complete overhaul could be significant.
  3. Add a priority column to the spreadsheet. This will help you identify and address the most pressing tasks promptly.

Simultaneously, while the content audit brings hot topics and successful posts to your mind, it presents an ideal opportunity to develop a new content strategy. Define how and why your marketing content will be utilized and how it aligns with specific goals you aim to achieve. Incorporating these elements into your content strategy ensures that future content is purposeful and contributes to your objectives.

Audit Content Often: Conclusion

In conclusion, content audits may not possess the glitz and glamour of other marketing activities, but they are essential for sustained success. It is crucial to acknowledge that what proves effective today may rapidly lose its impact tomorrow, and even your top-performing pieces can swiftly become outdated in the ever-evolving digital landscape. To ensure that your hard work yields the maximum benefits, it is highly recommended to perform content audits regularly. This practice serves as the best way to monitor the overall health of your website, providing valuable insights into the performance and relevance of your content. Moreover, content audits enable you to identify new opportunities and align your efforts to reach your goals more effectively. By embracing the practice of content audits, you stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing trends, and ensure that your content strategy remains optimized for success. So, don't overlook the power of the seobase content audits tips—make them an integral part of your marketing endeavors and propel your digital presence toward sustained growth and accomplishment.

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