A well-conducted content audit done on a regular basis can help you improve your Content Marketing Strategy, unfortunately, according to a recent study, 37% of marketers never complete a website content audit.
In achieving your Content Marketing goals, the first thing to do is to create and distribute new content.
The opportunity to use a website content audit tool will remarkably improve your output, by analysing and assessing all of your existing content, the processes of the content marketing audit reveals the strength and weaknesses of your business and enables you to get the required goals.
Do you want to learn how to do a website content audit? Let’s go through the 5 essential tips.
STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR GOALS AND METRICS
A content audit consumes time, so you might as well start out with clear, defined objectives to make it run smoothly and successfully.
The first step, therefore, is to plan your business goals. What benefits can you draw from a content audit? Which results do you want to achieve?
To assist you we have below some goals that will be beneficial to your web content audit campaign:
Goal 1: Improve Your SEO Results
- Identify web pages with high SEO potential to rank in the top 5′
- Understand what content you need to update or remove from your website.
- Check and optimize your internal linking.
Goal 2: Increase Audience Engagement
- Identify the most engaging types of content for your audience.
- Figure out topics your clients are interested in.
- Determine the kind of content that generates engagement in your community.
Goal 3: Improve Conversion Rate
- Understand which pages offer the best user experiences for your visitors.
- Find the best performing lead content generators.
- Define the most efficient content types for each stage of the Buyer’s journey.
Once all these are determined, you need to match them with their various content metrics. These metrics are divided into four general categories:
- User Behavior Metrics: Page views, average session duration, bounce rates, etc.
- Engagement Metrics: Likes, shares, comments, mentions, etc.
- SEO Metrics: Organic traffic, backlinks, keyword ratings, dwell time, etc.
- Sales Metrics: Number of leads, conversion, ROI, etc.
To understand which topics are the most popular among your audience, you should analyze user behaviour and engagement metrics. If your focus is on the SEO performances, you will check out the number of backlinks and analyze your ranking in search engines.
Check out my previous article to find the full list of content metrics and discover tools that can be used for measuring them.
STEP 2: TAKE AN INVENTORY OF YOUR CONTENT
After mapping out your goals, and before you start collecting URLs and data, it is important for you to decide what kind of content you need to review. Apart from auditing the internal content, blog posts, news, educational materials, product descriptions, and landing pages or your external publications, you can also assess video contents, PDFs or interactive content such as quizzes, tests, games, etc.
Collect Your URLs
The best approach to this would be to collect all the URLs of web pages you want to analyze.
This could be efficiently gotten by using an online content analysis tool like SEMrush’s Content Audit. This tool quickly audits your contents based on your sitemap data and it provides you with the list of important web pages. After the setting up, you will be able to choose a particular section of your domain.
Not having a sitemap, isn’t that big of an issue, you can always use a sitemap generator tool to create one for your website. Having a sitemap is beneficial because it makes it easier for search engines to understand the organization of your website and find all pages important for your site. Check this blog post to discover other solutions or use a free sitemap generator like XML-Sitemap.com, always make sure to submit your sitemap in the Google Search Console.
Catalogue Your Content
After collecting the URLs, use an online tool or a spreadsheet to sort them by different criteria and track it with your team members.
Here are ways to catalogue your contents using the following categories.
- Buyer’s Journey Stage – This includes Awareness, Consideration and Decision.
- Content Type – This includes blog posts, manual, product description, landing page, etc.
- Content Format – This includes text only, images/videos present, within/without a call to action.
- A number of words.
- Date of publication or last modification.
It is also useful to collect metadata (title, meta description, h1) for each piece of content, this allows you to check and update all metadata in the same place, to avoid disorganisation.
Finally, create columns with your metrics to collect data for each web page. Here is what your content audit spreadsheet should look like:
STEP 3: COLLECT AND ANALYZE DATA
The data collection is a quite complex and lengthy process. Usually, all recovered data from the multitude of sources you have been added manually in the spreadsheet, but, using a content audit that automatically collects data according to your goals and your metrics, help save time.
The SEMrush Content Audit tool provides you with various data such as social signals from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and also backlinks. it also allows the automatic collection of metadata, content authors, and content length for each URL.
Connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to boost the level of your data. All additional metrics like the sessions, average session duration, page views, average time on page, and bounce rates can also be viewed.
The interface also allows you to switch between Sessions and Pageviews data for every page in one click.
Using the Post Tracking feature, you can track your external content performance such as keywords, shares, comments, and backlinks.
ANALYZE YOUR DATA
In analyzing your data, you need to examine all your content metrics as a whole to gain a clear picture of your content state. For example, your web pages can attract a lot of traffic but have a high bounce rate and low session duration, this just means that users are interested in your topics but the content offered was not what they were looking for. In this scenario, you have to access different elements of your content to understand why users are leaving your web. The problem, therefore, could be in the content relevant to titles, Call To Actions, or the page load time.
ASSESS YOUR CONTENTS
Using your collected data and your metrics, try to assess each piece of content according to your goals and assign one of the following statuses below:
KEEP: If your content performs well and remains relevant, you might not need to update it. Examples are FAQs and basic information on your business.
UPDATE: Always be in a phase of constant evolution, try to review your content and figure out how you can make it more effective, especially the outdated information and contents.
DELETE: After updating, you may find out some contents that are beyond improvement, or that require a whole lot of effort to update, you can just remove it permanently from your site.
STEP 4: DRAW UP AN ACTION PLAN
After analyzing your data and assessing your contents, you need to draw up a plan that combines your goals and draws your conclusions to your analysis.
Here are a few tips combined to make your content audit workflow active:
- REUSE YOUR CONTENT: Recycle contents by combining different pieces of contents to create one or publish it in a different format such as ebooks, infographics, slides, etc.
- REWRITE YOUR CONTENT: This also falls under the reuse banner but deals with just blog posts and texts. You could rewrite them with new examples, tips and more practical details.
- REFRESH YOUR CONTENT: Instead of a total rewrite, you could just add some relevant information like new trends, new statistics or new product ideas.
- UPDATE YOUR CALLS TO ACTION: We all have some really outdated banners on our blog that were effective a long time ago but are irrelevant now due to the trend of the society. Replace them with relevant offers to reactivate and revitalize your Content Marketing Funnel and also improve your conversion.
- VIDEOS & IMAGES ADD-ON: Studies have proven that, videos can drive up to 157% of organic traffic to your website from search engines, and that images make your content more captivating and engaging as well as attract more traffic to your website from Google Images. The integration of both will increase chances to appear in SERP features.
- OPTIMIZE METADATA AND INTERNAL LINKS: Attraction is the new action, try to rewrite your titles, meta descriptions and h1, also add keywords and links that point to new articles in blog posts with related topics, this help to improve your website organization and reduce the bounce rate.
- CHECK YOUR ISSUES: The “health” of your website can have a significant impact on SEO. Check out our recent research about 40 technical SEO mistakes to avoid and become aware of some common issues.
- USE 301 REDIRECTS: The 301 redirects allows you to avoid “not found” pages and improves user experiences.
- INFORM GOOGLE: Using Google Search Console allows you to update and inform Google of your contents. “Fetch as Google” feature allows you to submit recently-updated web pages to Google’s index.
To optimize your teamwork when conducting a content audit, you can use “Workflow” feature in Content Audit. This feature also allows you to create tasks and assign a workflow status for each URL.
With this tool, you can track how metrics change and also assess your progress directly.
STEP 5: ADJUST YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
A website content audit is a very important process for your long-term marketing strategy. Monitoring your successes as well as failures can help guide your content marketing strategies into different directions that will appeal to your targeted audiences, improve text for better organic reach and also improve conversion rates.
- Expanding on what works.
- Looking at your least successful content and look at your competitors’ similar content that worked to see where and how you could improve it.
Adjusting your content marketing strategies is something that is needed on a daily to weekly basis because search and social algorithms are constantly evolving. You have to keep up with these changes and find new and innovative ways to reach your audience.
Be in constant evolution, because what works today may not work tomorrow, so consistent adjustments are needed, So, performing contents audits a couple of times a year is a great way to see if your adjustments are working efficiently.
Have you ever performed a content audit? What were your approaches and best practices? What did you learn in this process? Share your experiences in the comment box!