When was the last time you looked at your content? Is it this year? What happened last year? What was it like five years ago? Never?
You're not alone if it's been a while. Many content teams neglect to conduct a content audit in order to focus on producing new material.
That new stuff is critical. However, if you want your material to outsmart the competition, you'll need a solid content strategy. A web content audit may also assist you in developing a plan that not only enhances your rankings but also meets the needs of your audience and builds brand loyalty.
The value of an SEO content audit is immeasurable. The majority of the task can even be automated. So stay with us and we'll take you through the procedure step by step.
A content audit includes lead generation landing sites, blog posts, articles, white papers, ebooks, checklists, FAQs, videos, presentations, infographics, tools, and more.
It's critical to measure everything during a content audit against performance KPIs based on your SEO and marketing strategy goals.
A content audit can help firms who don't have an SEO-focused content marketing plan uncover strategic and competitive gaps:
A content analysis, on the other hand, isn't just about spotting flaws. Large brands, on the other hand, frequently have the OPPOSITE issue: a bloated website with much too much content.
Consider the following scenario:
Your marketing team ramped up content creation to cater to each buyer persona at every point of the customer journey. Maybe they even hired an agency to create material for them. Month after month, the deliverables continued coming in, and the quality was outstanding. However, the agency failed to consider the SEO ramifications of overproduction, and your website now contains a large volume of duplicate material. As a result, content performance in organic search is declining, forcing your team to spend more money on PPC to drive traffic and conversions.
A blog content audit can help you organise, categorise, and streamline your content creation so that you can get 10X the results. It allows you to keep track of what you have, connect each url to a keyword, and spot any gaps. Then, for your blog strategy, you can create a content plan that fills in the gaps, refining what didn't work and leveraging what did.
Your content audit provides you with the information you need to evaluate each piece of content separately and determine whether to leave it as is, improve it, consolidate it, or remove it.
A content audit reveals frequent blunders, allowing you to optimise your SEO performance. You'll most likely come across information that:
Large brands frequently create content to satisfy a volume or frequency objective rather than to suit an SEO or audience need. That's what happens when you have rudderless material. Informed, KPI-driven content, on the other hand, generates a lot of organic traffic.
A content audit forces you to target more value keywords strategically, better match search intent, and increase engagement. All of this will help you improve your ranking in the SERPs.
Whether you need to optimise ecommerce product pages, fine-tune your B2B SEO strategy, or just increase website crawlability and UX, we've got you covered. Before you can take action, you must first inventory your content.
An ecommerce content audit, for example, may lead to the addition of popular category pages to your main navigation or footer menu.
An audit of your blog's content may identify "orphan material" that has no links at all.
Alternatively, you may discover that you need to improve your content in order to catch up to the competition. It's possible that you'll need to add a few relevant keywords, extend the length of the article, or make it more appealing for backlinks.
Why is it necessary to prune content that is too thin?
Even if you have a lot of material that no one reads, it will still be crawled. As a result, instead of contributing weight to your successful pages, your crawl budget and link equity are split thin over multiple pages.
One of our clients in a highly competitive area had a lot of thin, low-quality content that was slowing down SEO performance. Following an assessment, we discovered that they needed to eliminate over 80% of their content. And have a look at the outcomes:
Within eight months, organic sessions grew by 425 percent!
What's more amazing is that over the same time span, this client only wrote five new blog entries. Focusing on old content, particularly eliminating it, had a greater impact than developing new stuff.
When you remove low-quality content from your site, you enhance the likelihood that search engines and visitors will encounter high-quality information. Over time, this will also create trust and authority.
It's simple to keep writing about the same topic as a content marketer simply because it's easy to write about. Are there any high-value subjects, keywords, or audiences that aren't getting enough attention? A comprehensive content audit will identify the percentage of each sort of content marketing on your website, allowing you to remedy imbalances and fill in gaps.
Content audits can also help you figure out how well you're covering each stage of the conversion funnel: awareness, consideration, and decision. All three stages are critical to your business's success. And each of them necessitates a distinct type of material.
For instance, your B2B content marketing plan might solely include themes related to the "awareness" stage (ToFu). Taking a complete content inventory can help you come up with innovative ways to fill the lowest stages of the sales funnel (MoFu and BoFu).
Compare your content strategy to those of competitors, as well as specific pieces of content.
There's a reason why other material is outranking yours in the search engine results page (SERP). Find out why, and then develop your content so that it fits (and even exceeds!) the length, format, substance, and tone that resonates. Most essential, improve content so that it adds more value to the reader than any other SERPs material.
You can incorporate an interactive template in your piece if the competition has a text-based blog post for a specific target keyword. This results in a better user experience that caters to your audience's specific requirements. It also increases the likelihood of them linking to your material.
More engagement implies better content. More likes, shares, downloads, sign-ups, time on page, and pages per session. The more people you can truly engage, the more likely you are to convert them.
But how can you tell if your audience is really interested? Wouldn't it be great if you could see where they glanced and clicked, as well as how far down the page they scrolled throughout your content audit?
You certainly can. With the use of behavioural analytics.
Through heat, click, and scroll mapping, tools like Mouseflow, Hotjar, and Decibel allow you to see a user's digital body language. With this knowledge, you can figure out what works on your site — what attracts visitors – and what doesn't.
You can attempt other techniques once you've figured out what's not working. A/B testing is the most effective technique to see which new tactic succeeds.
Let's say you notice your visual CTAs aren't working. Instead of testing CTAs one after the other, you may use A/B testing to compare a text-based CTA to another sort of CTA. Alternatively, compare a behaviorally-based CTA to a static CTA, and so on.
Then, with a more conversion-driven emphasis, tackle outdated content, adding subliminal or clear calls to action (CTAs). While you don't want to overwhelm your audience, you do want to provide them with as many options for clicking or engaging as feasible (insofar as it makes sense).
Even if your material is of good quality, as sections of it grow old, trust in otherwise excellent information might erode over time. Take, for example, the content we create at Stridec. Many of our articles are "evergreen" advice that will still be relevant in a few years.
But, based on our current understanding of how Google search works, that advice is frequently backed up by current studies. Small discoveries that have changed, data that is no longer useful, or tools that no longer exist may weaken the evergreen aspect of a piece like this after a few years. Updating successful content will maintain your voice trustworthy, avoiding conversion blocks caused by a lack of trust.
A company's enterprise level content strategy may still be haunted by the ghosts of previous content strategies. And it's highly likely that some of those content initiatives failed to take brand voice into account. It's also likely that you've gone through a few of rebrandings since the original material was published, and the voice of your previous content isn't consistent with your current identity.
During your content audit, you may come across content that is still performing well organically. However, it lacks the attitude, values, and tone that your organisation aspires to right now. You'll be able to categorise content like this as "enhance" so you can make sure your firm is presenting itself in the best light when visitors arrive.
Depending on your objectives, the format you use and the data you gather and analyse will differ. As a result, a generic website content audit worksheet may not be useful. On the other hand, if you've never done one before, starting from scratch can be intimidating.
To get started, feel free to download this SEO content audit template. It has columns for all of the key metrics you'll need to evaluate your site.
Any of the general benefits we outlined above, such as improved engagement and conversions, can be included in your content goals. You assess performance and define success, make sure to develop particular KPIs and SEO indicators.
Those metrics can cover a wide range of topics. Google's organic traffic and ranks. Conversions and engagement (time on page, scroll depth, bounce rate, click-throughs as part of a funnel, post interaction). Backlinks and social media shares are two types of backlinks. Improvements can also be made within a certain audience segment, persona, or funnel segment.
Use a website content audit tool like DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, or URL Profiler to scan the site. Connect third-party APIs like Google Analytics, Search Console, Moz, Majestic, and Ahrefs to your account. For example, Screaming Frog lets you select each metric you want to include in your final report. Simply tick the boxes for:
Once your crawl is finished, you can export the data into a spreadsheet that includes a large list of URLs as well as columns that track other data points. You can use any software you're used to, such as Excel or Google Sheets. This tutorial for directly exporting data from Google Analytics into Google Sheets may be handy.
Add columns for any additional data that would aid your team in determining the best type of content to yield the best results, such as author, page length, downloads, CTA click-through rate, and so on.
You'll wind up with a lot of data, so divide it apart as necessary. If, for example, all website content is indexed and canonicalized as it should be, such columns can be removed. Be warned: while automatic objective measures might get you a long way here, there's no way to avoid going to each URL and reading the content for yourself.
Create a "Action" column after you've gathered all of your metrics to determine the next actions for each piece of content on your site during your content audit. There are four options available to you:
Is the material accomplishing what it is designed to? Are you doing well? Is the information accurate and current? Is there a high level of engagement? Is it well-optimized for SEO as well as conversions? We don't need to do anything else now, yay! Move on after marking it as a keeper.
This designation applies to any content that is either well-performing or well-executed and mostly comprehensive. However, it may be better. This is a broad and nebulous classification. So, during your content audit, you'll probably want to add all of your "Improve" URLs to a new audit spreadsheet and document the type of modification the content requires.
Is there anything that needs to be added to the copy, updated, or improved in terms of quality or voice? Is the copy good, but it could use some SEO help, calls to action, or internal links? Is the presentation format ideal? Make a strategy. Prioritize the remaining upgrades based on strategic value after completing the simpler updates.
If you're a brand like Dyson, you can end up with 20 articles about "how to choose a vacuum cleaner" over time. Those articles will not be exact copies of one other. However, they all cover the same topic from the same perspective, and none of them offer value.
When content is repeated in this manner, the answer is rarely as simple as selecting the finest content and removing the rest. Rarely is there a single component that carries all of the information and none of the others. As a result, we designate such material as "Consolidate" rather than "Delete." You'll eventually combine all of that data into a single piece of mega content.
It's difficult to delete useless content from a website, just as it's difficult to cull your belongings before a big move. (That calculator from 1995 is no longer useful to you.) But it still works, and you never know when you'll need it!) We recommend that you follow Marie Kondo's lead and eliminate as much unneeded stuff as possible. Thin material that receives little or no traffic and engagement isn't worth improving or consolidating. You don't have to consider whether three paragraphs of work should be kept since they may include information that isn't available elsewhere. Simply erase it.
However, be wary of articles that does drive traffic, engagement, and/or conversions to your website. Identify what is sending readers to those pages and improve their content instead, for the sake of your organic traffic. Your site may have received only 2,000 page visitors in the previous year. However, eliminating 500 of these pages all at once can cause an unnecessarily large disruption in website traffic and authority.
You'll get a complete inventory of the present content on your site once you eliminate or combine the superfluous stuff (including the to-be-improved content). So here's another spreadsheet: your competitive gap analysis.
You can do a competitive gap analysis to determine where your content falls short of your competitors'. This type of information can aid in the development of a content strategy that nurtures your leads throughout the buyer's journey and guarantees that they visit your site for their needs at various stages rather than your competitors'.
SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush can help you even more by generating automated competitive gap analysis based on the keywords that your competitors rank for but that your website doesn't.
A gap analysis, on the other hand, can assist you figure out where your competitors aren't ranking and exploit that gap in your own material.
Assume you work for an insurance business. You're researching your largest internet rival. And then you notice – surprise! – that they don't include liability insurance in their text. (It's one of their offerings; they just don't have any material to go with it.) Everything else is covered in their blog, articles, and video, including auto, motorbike, renters', and health insurance. They've even included pet insurance in the package. But what about liability insurance? It isn't mentioned in any of the text.
Let's say you specialise in homeowner's insurance. In the form of blog articles, checklists, calculators, and FAQs, your competitors offer a range of homes insurance-related information. However, the entire content is geared toward families. Certain key and rising buyer segments, such as single women, are overlooked in the content. This is yet another unrealized potential.
When you find a gap in your competitor's content, you open the door to new opportunities in the SERPs for you to get fresh share of voice.
Discover your audience's level of interest in various pain areas, topics, how-tos, and product features by learning how to conduct keyword research. Use this data, as well as your business objectives, to determine how much of each sort of content to create.
After you've completed your content audit, you should have everything you need to create a comprehensive content strategy that's bigger and better than ever. Create a strategy that duplicates your high-performing content, fills in the holes in your content, expands into new territory, and delights your audience.
When it comes to enterprise search engine optimization, there's no such thing as a finished product. As a result, make "Ongoing Maintenance" a part of your content audit process. After you've fixed the original problems, keep crawling using tools like SEMRush to look for broken links and redirect chains.
It's amazing how quickly those things can accumulate, and they DO have an impact on your SEO results.