A Thorough Guide to Conducting a Content Audit
Audits can be scary. After all, nobody likes to see discrepancies and flaws in their strategies. However, website audits like an on-page SEO audit, backlink audits, and content audits are sure-fire ways to determine where you stand, and how can you make your SEO and content strategies even better in order to gain more traction in your website conversions.
Content audits, however, can be quite tedious and boring to perform, but they are absolutely necessities.
So here are a few steps you could take to make your content audit a breeze.
1. Start With a Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet is the linchpin of your content audit, it’s where you store all your data, analyse, and filter it.
So from the beginning only, maintain a spreadsheet for your content, and whatever you think is necessary and requires to be documented. So when you finally get around to audit, you have some idea over where to begin.
If you have no idea about the format of your spreadsheet, consider these useful spreadsheet templates by Digital Marketing Institute, Buffer, and Alexa. You can customise the templates as per your needs.
2. Gather a List of Metrics for Tracking
While you might find some metrics valuable for your website, others wouldn’t feel the same way. Therefore, after choosing a template, add metrics that you want to track and remove the ones you feel won’t be of much use in your audit.
There are a few core metrics that should have a place in your template:
- Page title
- Meta description
- Target keyword per page
- Word count
- Upload date
- Last updated date
- Visits per page
- Bounce rate
- Target keyword per page
These core metrics can give you some valuable set of insights, which could help you boost your website’s traffic and ranking on its own.
There are a few more metrics that you ought to explore as well, depending on how much you want to dig deeper during the audit, how much of a significant change you want to bring about in your website, or how much time you have at hand to achieve certain goals for your website. Potential metrics could be:
- Images per page and their ALT tags
- Internal links on each page
- Comments per post
- Number of Social shares per post
- CTA and ways to improve it
- Number of inbound links per page and their linking sites
- DA of linking websites
- Broken links per page
- Keywords for which the page is ranking for and the potential keywords it could rank for
- Search volume and competition for each keyword
You don’t require data for all of these metrics; it depends on what you aim to achieve. Are you focusing on the merely content audit? Your social media marketing campaign? Or do you want to rank better for certain keywords?
For example, if you are trying to figure out how to rank better for a certain keyword like Spectrum cable customer service, focus on the keyword and its search-relevant metrics. Have a look at your page’s internal linking structure and see whether your blog posts are linking back to your product/service naturally.
To collect analyse these metrics, you would require the use of various tools to acquire all that data for your spreadsheet.
To have a broad view of the type of content existing on your website, go for tools like Screaming Frog, which lets you crawl 500 pages. Moreover, if your website exceeds the 500 limits, its premium version could help with the audit under a budget.
3. It’s Time to Scrutinise and Analyse
Once you have gathered all the data you require, it’s time to run a thorough analysis and elicit the answers you need.
How you go about your analytics process, its scale and method rely upon how much time you want to dedicate to audit, the expertise and experience you have with content and its performance, and your audit goals.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Concentrate on the metrics whose improvement could bring in a lot of ROI, such as pages with no images, images without ALT tags, pages without any internal links, pages with the highest inbound links and identify reasons for those high-count links, keywords with low competition and high search volume, pages with low word counts, etc.
- If you have a certain goal in mind, then it is better to ignore other pages for the moment and focus on pages relevant to your goal.
- Also, keep your target audience in mind. If you are focusing on selling to a particular segment, analyse the pages that you need to improve in order to appeal to that specific segment. You can analyze the other pages later.
- Once you are done with the most-pressing content audit, give time to the rest of your data. Sift through all of the pages in order to identify whether you want to keep, delete, or update those pages. It would be great if you don’t skip anything, you never know what valuable treasure you could uncover.
After auditing your content, you know what to do and how to do it in order to uplift your website’s traffic and rankings. Once you have audited, you better implement changes around your content such as deleting, updating and overhauling the existing pages.
It’s important that you run a content audit at least once a year to stay ahead of your SEO game. Your audit should be a customisable process as per your website’s and SEO goals. It’s good to follow the best practices, but only you know what works best for your website.