How To Conduct A Content Audit On Your Own Website
The word audit can be very intimidating and daunting. It invokes IRS fears or tax phobias. But in the world of SEO, content marketing and content creation where we write awesome content, it has nothing to do with taxes. The kind of audit we’re talking about here is doing a content audit on your own site. This guide is a primer for first time website audits. We don’t want to intimidate you either.
What is a content audit?
A content audit on a website involves the collection of all the content in it and taking them for a good spin. This is done to find out if it’s still doing what you had planned it to be doing. This could involve organizing, ranking and improving data. Anything to show that the content of your website is right or wrong. Remember, the content of your website is the lifeblood of your site.
Marketing managers should be doing a content audit periodically to check in on the content’s function.
What is the purpose of your audit?
There could be many reasons why we want a content audit. But knowing why you’re doing the audit could make you focus on the important aspects and not waste time on smaller purposes. Here are a few goals you could be targeting in an audit:
- Finding out which topics are the most engaging
- Finding out which pages ranks well with your keywords
- Eliminating unnecessary filler words
- Finding ways to improve performance in search engines
- Discovering which content needs editing and correcting
What do you need in an audit?
These items may already be in your arsenal. You just need to tap them:
- Time – about 2 to 3 hours
- Technical skills – medium to zero skill level. It’s not rocket science.
- Writing skills – medium to high; as long as you can communicate
- Online Tools – Google Drive Spreadsheet and Google Analytics
- Personnel – you alone with moderate skill level
What is the process?
- Use a spreadsheet to organize your content
An audit involves collecting data. The best way to do that is to use a spreadsheet. Start with the URLs of your site and place them in a single column. You can use Screaming Frog to give you the whole website’s URLs.
- Gather targeted data points
These data points will show you how effective your website’s content is. You may opt not to use all. A few of these will still give you good results.
Data points for SEO
- Meta description rating
- Inbound links
- Page visits
- Bounce rates
- Time visitors stay on the page
- Presence of broken links
Data points for content marketing
- Content format (blog, landing page, infographic)
- Content category
Collecting is the easy part. The hard part comes when you need the actual raw numbers for each of the points you included. So it’s best to keep it simple.
There are tools you can use to help you gather some of your data.
- Screaming Frog can also give you the title tags for each URL.
- Google Analytics can give you so many details such as page visits, bounce rates and time spent on your site.
- Buzz Sumo can tell you whether your content is going viral on social media. This means the number of shares.
- Act-on can give you conversion data for each URL.
Once the data are all lined up, you can give it a score to let the A pluses stand out from the D minuses.
- Analyze the data and make your own conclusions
Gathering data may take a while, especially if your website is big. But once all are in, it’s now time to put the data into good use.
The most critical part is drawing deep conclusions from your data to help your content marketing strategies go the right way.
Here are some examples of how to use some of the raw data:
- Visitors spend more time on posts with multimedia. Direct budget into a team to write awesome content with engaging multimedia content.
- Pages that are the highest converting pages should have more of them.
- Posts have higher social shares but low conversions. Perhaps call-to-action could be weak or you’re not reaching the correct target audience.
- Careful analysis and drawing of conclusions are key to deciding what plan of action to take. A good marketer will spot the bad points and create about 5 actionable practices to do next.
This is just a primer to get started with a content audit. It’s not a simple process but rather it’s a mentality that owners should consciously apply to their websites. Why? Because in the long run, a good content audit will save you a lot more than time. It can help you make wiser marketing decisions, make your brand more visible online and ultimately, increase your marketing ROI.
Want to learn more how to leverage your online content for better results? Our newest eBook has the answers. Learn how to become a content superhero with just a few smart tricks from this imaginative collection of content marketing tips. Order one content piece today and get the eBook for free.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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