Content is key for a successful inbound marketing strategy. Businesses need good quality content to attract, engage and convert their target customers. However, creating and publishing content is not enough to ensure great results. To make the best use of your content, you need to audit it. When you conduct a content audit, you keep a track of all the pieces of content you have and find out how to make improvements.
Sometimes businesses keep publishing new content and overlook the previous content. This means that they are not efficiently using the old content to generate leads. Businesses forget that old content can help them in their marketing efforts. Hence, an audit helps to keep track of all the content including blogs, social media posts, web pages etc. It also enables you to analyze and gauge the performance of your content marketing efforts. When you gather insights about any underperforming content, you can update it to drive conversions.
If you don’t have your content organized, then a content audit can help you. In this article, we will discuss how you can conduct a website content audit that enables you to better organize and manage all your website content.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is the process of collecting and analyzing your content assets on a website, such as landing pages or blog posts. Content audit helps you keep a track of your website content and provides insights into which content needs to be updated or removed.
How to Conduct a Website Content Audit?
Determine your goals
The first step to running a successful audit is to know what you are trying to achieve. When you have your goals in mind you know how to conduct your audit and classify it. This makes it easier for you to manage your content.
A content audit helps you identify content that engages your audiences and track your SEO efforts. Your goal may be to improve your content with SEO, in this case you will look for pages that need to be optimized. Another goal could be to find out content that is more engaging for your visitors. Figure out which topics your visitors are interested in and determine what type of content generates the most engagement.
When you identify your goals, you can conduct an audit that will help you manage content as well as make improvements that drive better results. It helps you update your content strategy with your goals in mind.
Gather all content
Before you start your audit, you need to figure out what type of content you are going to audit. It is important to decide which content you want to review. The types of content you can review are blog posts, product/service descriptions, landing pages, educational content and more. To gather your content, you can start collecting the URLs of the pages you wish to audit. If you have a small website, you can do this manually. However, for a big website you can use tools such as SEMrush, HubSpot or Screaming Frog.
SEMrush and Screaming Frog can help you audit content based on sitemap data and provide you with the list of URLs and related metrics. A sitemap is a file that has all the information about your website, and it can be created online for free. Sitemaps are useful for content audit and they also help search engines find all pages and understand your website structure.
Sort your content
After gathering all your content, it’s time to sort them out by different categories. Use any online tool or a spreadsheet to categorize all the information you have gathered. Sorting your content can help you organize it and effectively conduct your audit. These categories can include content types, content formats, publication date, topics etc.
Metrics are another way to categorize your content. Some online tools can include them in the audit, but if you can also use Google Analytics to help you track important metrics. Metrics provide important insights that you can use to analyze the performance of your content. Sort your content out based on these categories to proceed to the next step.
Once you have gathered and sorted your data, the next step is to analyze it. Analyzing your content helps you measure its overall performance. In your analysis you can look at the following areas:
- Look at all the content and find out if there is anything missing. Have you covered all the topics your audiences find engaging? If you find any content missing you can focus on creating that type of content.
- Find out pieces of content that are not performing well. You can then update or remove this content.
- Next look at any outdated content you may have that needs to be optimized. This content can be improved and updated to generate better results.
- Lastly, identify content which performs well.
After you have analyzed all the content, organize it based on these different areas so that you can come up with an action plan.
Create an action plan
After analyzing all your content, you need to come up with an action plan to make improvements. The action you create should be based on your goals and key findings of your content analysis.
You can create a separate column in your spreadsheet for making notes about the required action on a specific URL. Create another column to note down the priority of that specific content. Here are some actions you can take to improve your content:
Reuse content: When you have any old pieces of content you can update it or use it to create another format like infographics or e-books and publish it again.
Rewrite content: If you have any content like a blog post that is not performing well, you can rewrite it using relevant keywords and adding fresh insights.
Refresh content: You don’t have to rewrite certain articles; you can just add some interesting and relevant information to refresh it. For example, adding current statistics can update the article and make it more interesting.
Expand content: Longer pieces if content have the potential to gain more traffic. You can expand some articles and add more information to it.
Structure your content: Any content needs to have a clear structure. Organize your content using H2 and H3 tags to make it easier for users to interpret your content. This helps you highlight relevant information and boost user experience. A well-structured page is more likely to rank for Featured Snippets.
CTAs: You can update your existing CTAs or add new ones if any article does not have them. Add CTAs in your blog posts that lead users to interesting offers or content pieces that are relevant. Relevant CTAs can help boost your conversion rates.
Add videos or images: Incorporating videos or images can help improve your engagement rates and search engine rankings.
On-page SEO: Review your titles, meta descriptions and H1 tags. You can rewrite these to include relevant keywords that help your page rank better on search engine results.
Add internal links: Internal links are useful in helping the search engines understand if your article has in-depth information. When you add links providing more information on a related topic, you can rank better. Moreover, users can also find all the information they need. Optimize your articles with relevant internal links.
301 redirects: Use 301 redirects for web pages that have been removed from your website. This can enable you to avoid “not found” pages and improves user experience.
When you add all these points in the action plan column, your team can easily view what changes need to be made for different URLs according to their priority. This makes it easy for you to make the required improvements to your content.
Optimize your Content Marketing Strategy
The main aim of a website content audit is to bring significant improvements to your content strategy in the long run. It helps you review your existing content strategy and come up with new plans to update it. Based on these results you can gauge the overall performance of your content strategy. For example, if you find that most of your content pieces are not bringing in the desired results, it means that you will need to work on your overall content strategy. You can improve your SEO efforts and write on topics that are interesting to your target audiences.
To drive better results you can also look at your competitor’s content strategy. What kind of topics they write on or what formats they use? Based on this you can improve your own content.
Content audit is needed at least once a year. This ensures that you’re taking the right steps to create content that meets your business goals. There are many opportunities you may be missing out because you overlook reviewing your previous content. There are always going to be new updates in your industry or products and these need to be reflected in your website content. Keep your content updated and fresh to improve your traffic and conversions.
Website content audit is needed to track the overall health of your content marketing efforts. Now you know what to look for in your content audit and what all changes you can make. Every business is different and may approach content audit differently. However, if you are not sure you can start off with the points outlined here and then customize your audit as needed. Content audit can help you manage your content better and meet your desired goals.
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