Your website is nothing without content. Content drives conversions by speaking to your customers, guiding them through the buyer journey, and giving them the information they came to find. If you aren’t careful, however, your content could be sending the wrong message. Old, outdated, or irrelevant content could mark your company as dated…and untrustworthy.
Running an effective website content audit could give you insights into where you can improve content performance. You can address red flags, overhaul old content, and improve your position on the SERP (search engine results pages) by boosting search engine optimization. Follow these steps for a content audit that gives you the answers you need.
Identify Key Performance Indicators
The key performance indicators (KPIs) are data points you will address during your audit to gauge how your current content is performing. You and your team must decide on the KPIs prior to your audit. The data points you choose to assess should answer questions such as, “Which pages perform the best? What topics result in greatest user engagement? Where am I losing customers?” The best KPIs during a content audit include:
- Unique visits
- Mobile visits
- Bounce rates
- Time spent on each page
- Heat maps
- Click patterns
- Page views
- Social sharing
Your KPIs should give you insights into how many users your content currently attracts, how relevant it is to their needs, and how well it produces engagement. Once you have identified your KPIs, go about your audit with the purpose of focusing on these data points. Otherwise, you may not know what to do with the data you collect. Establishing KPIs beforehand will give your audit a path and help you reach your goals.
Look at All the Content on Your Site
Don’t only focus your efforts on certain pieces of content, such as your product descriptions, and neglect other areas of your website. An effective content audit takes a comprehensive look at all the content on your website. It is crucial to assess every word of your homepage, About Us page, products and services, blog, etc. during an audit. Otherwise, you may be losing customers on certain webpages that aren’t properly optimized. Your audit should be qualitative, addressing all strengths and weaknesses in every piece of your content without discrimination.
Create a Content Inventory Spreadsheet
Now, start your actual audit. Several programs exist to help conduct a content audit. These tools can give you clarity as to how well your content is performing and what you can do to improve its effectiveness. Many of them allow you to make real-time changes as you conduct the audit. If you don’t want to use a tool, you can go about the audit yourself by creating a spreadsheet that inventories your content. Record your past content’s URL, author, time it took to produce, title, content type, content goal, word count, user engagement, and date.
Creating a spreadsheet will give you insights into what type of content works and what doesn’t. Patterns may start to emerge, such as more comments and shares on longer pieces of content. Don’t only look at what works. Look at what doesn’t work to inform your future strategy. Conducting your audit by hand could take days, as most experts suggest looking back at the content for at least the past year. Most companies rely on automated technology to conduct their actual content audits, rather than filling in spreadsheets by hand.
Use Automation to Your Advantage
Google Analytics is a great way to create a list of articles on your site that Google has indexed. Doing this can save you a great deal of time inputting URLs manually. If you have a website with a large amount of content, trust an audit program such as SEMrush’s Content Audit to quickly gain insights into how well your content performs by simply copying and pasting your page domain.
SEMrush will download sections from your sitemap, identify red flags, and recommend ways you can improve your content – such as making updates or removing pages altogether. You can then connect your Google Analytics account with SEMrush for insights into user engagement. Using an online tool for content audits is best practice for more marketers.
Make Sense of the Results
You’ve established your goals, input the data, and completed your content audit. Now for the most important part: putting your information to work. To make sense of the data you will receive from your audit, go back to your list of goals. Remember why you conducted the audit in the first place. You may have wanted to increase your brand’s authority in your industry, or uncover ways to get better user engagement. Remind yourself of the main goals for the audit. Then, look at each piece of content to see how it measures up to your goals.
If your auditing tool shows that your blogs aren’t getting any engagement, ask yourself why that might be. Perhaps the content is over a year old and irrelevant. Maybe it’s relevant, but it needs a few statistical updates. Create a plan based on the data gathered during the audit. Your plan should include pieces of content that are worth spending time improving, pieces of content you can leave as-is, and content you can remove. Use the information from your audit to decide where to allot your team’s time and energy.
Once your team has optimized the content currently on your website, map a content strategy for the future. Look at what content performed the best in the past. Did you use certain keywords? Speak on certain topics? Do longer or shorter posts perform best? Do your best to repeat past successes by asking yourself why good pieces performed so well. Then, create new content to publish consistently with your customized best practices in mind. If your team doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to content creation, outsource to a trusted provider.
Run an Audit Annually
You do not want to wait longer than a year to perform your next content audit. Waiting too long could give old content an opportunity to bring down your SEO. Stale content left on your website too long could have a measurable impact on your brand reputation and bottom line. Conduct content audits at least once per year to keep your content at its best. Refreshing your content often keeps your brand new, exciting, and relevant.
Do More With Your Content
Your content is the heart of your website. Without optimized content, your brand could be suffering. You may slip down on the SERP or damage your SEO. Spend the extra time and money on conducting content audits to remain at the top of your industry. Master Web Creations offers digital marketing packages, content creation services, website redesign, and many other services to help you break the mold. We can conduct content audits and make improvements using data from your site. Learn more today at Master Web Creations.