When it comes to search engines and improving your SEO ranking, the importance of quality content is unparalleled. Google and search engines alike value content that’s engaging, offers a positive user experience and understands the fundamentals of crawlable pages.
To help ensure that your website is doing all that it can to impress the likes of Google, you can’t go wrong with an SEO content audit. An audit of your website will allow you to analyse what’s working for your content and what’s needs improving. By doing so, you’re creating content that is better equipped to delight your audience while creeping up towards that first page of Google.
What is the Purpose of a Content Audit?
The main goal of auditing your content is to get a qualitative inventory of all your site’s indexable content. By looking at all of the URLs that are branching out from your main website, you are able to get actionable insights into your content marketing strategy.
A comprehensive audit will take into account 3 different stages:
- Taking inventory and assessing the content
- Analysing the data and making strategic recommendations off of the findings
After an in-depth look at these 3 different stages, you will be able to spot the weaknesses in your content marketing strategies. Once you know where you’ve gone wrong, you can start to develop a better-equipped plan for the future and create an efficient space for those sales to come pouring in!
How to Conduct a Content Audit for Your Website:
Step One: Take Inventory of Your Existing Content
The first step in your audit is taking inventory of every URL that’s being crawled by Google. This is where utilising tools such as Screaming Frog comes in handy. Screaming Frog lets you craw up to 500 website URLs and can save you from hours of searching your content history.
Once you have your list of URLs, make sure to compile them together in a trusty Excel sheet or Google Sheet. This will keep your data and findings neat and tidy. The neater your work, the easier it will be to generate your results at the next step.
Step Two: Generate Your Result Metrics and Organise Your Content
Now that you know what content you’re assessing, it’s time to look at how well your pages are performing.
When it comes to SEO, unfortunately, there’s never a guaranteed success behind content curation. Your page’s popularity has to do with a lot more than targeting it towards a popular keyword. Retrieving metrics such as title length and word count will give you a better idea on what pleases Google the most and how you can employ these revelations going forward.
Here’s our list of metrics that have proven to be the most influential on your content:
- Your content’s title
- The length of your title
- The content’s topic and theme category
- Your main keyword’s ranking
- The search volume behind your main keyword
- Your average of organic search traffic per month per URL
- The amount of traffic you’re seeing per month per URL
- The bounce rate from organic searches per URL
- The average time spent on the specific pages from organic search traffic
- The number of backlinks generated for each URL
- Your URL’s overall ranking
- The number of linking root domains
While this data may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of analytical tools available to give you these insights. AHRefs and SEMrush are well-worth investing in if you’re serious about your website’s SEO and auditing results.
Furthermore, it would be beneficial to add in extra organisational columns for your URL’s basic information and the purpose of your content. Creating these different columns for your buyer’s journey stage, the content type, and the format of your post will give you great insights too.
More specifically, when it comes to content format, be on the lookout for if it was a text-only piece or if you used images and videos too. The purpose of your content will also determine how successful it was in achieving its goal of awareness, consideration, or decision making.
Step Three: Assess Your Data
As you have collected a good set of marketing data, you can start to get a good understanding of your metrics’ patterns and behaviours. It will quickly become apparent which title lengths, keywords, and meta descriptions work best for your website. Depending on your URL’s infrastructure, whether it’s a blog post, infographic, or landing page, you will also be able to determine if your type of content is still relevant to your audience.
As we’ve mentioned, compiling this list of data will help you seek out any errors on your pages or hindrances that are keeping you from climbing up search engines. For example, you may find that you have a few 404 pages on your site that either need to be removed, cleaned up, or restructured. Having broken links is something that you want to steer clear of when it comes to pleasing your audience and Google.
Step Four: Create an Action Plan
After going through each of these steps, you should have an in-depth understanding of your content’s performance. Through this process, you should be able to create a new content marketing plan that has been optimised with your key marketing metrics in mind.
Your new action plan should address the best way forward to optimise your existing content and how you can improve your SEO ranking as a result. To do this, it’s best to add a new column into your data sheet and mark it as “action”. In this column, add the appropriate labels that relate to the action that’s needed.
These actions could be:
- Create – if you’ve spotted a gap in your content, add this label with your idea next to it.
- Merge – if you have 2 very similarly written pieces with the same topic, it’s best to merge them into one hybrid version.
- Improve – if your content needs to be re-written or further SEO optimisations are needed
- Leave – if your content is performing well, it won’t need any editing
With consumer needs and Google algorithms constantly changing, your content is never complete. To help your website stay on the first page of Google and continue to engage audiences, it’s best to routinely conduct a content audit.