What Is Website Content Audit & How to Do It (A Checklist)
A website content audit is a process of assessing and analyzing the performance of your site content.
Conducting such audits is absolutely necessary.
Poor on-page search engine optimization (SEO), broken links, and disorganized posts are some of the many issues that can arise when you create content at scale. Also, with the passage of time, these issues can compound, hurting your rankings, conversion rates, audience engagement, and eventually your bottom line.
Plus, if you don’t revisit the content, it can rapidly lose its relevance, become outdated, or get outperformed by your competition.
A content audit helps you take a detailed look at your website’s content to see how it’s performing and to make sure your content is relevant, engaging, and effective.
If you want to know more about a website content audit and how to successfully perform it, read on:
What Is a Website Content Audit?
A content audit is a process in which you systematically analyze and assess all your website’s content. Regardless of a corporation or a small business, a website content audit can benefit any company irrespective of its size.
Performing a content audit is a time-taking process, but it’s an incredibly effective method that helps you understand the performance of your website to take necessary actions. The knowledge you gain during the process sheds light on your audiences, your organization, and helps elevate your content strategy.
Why Do You Need to Conduct a Content Audit?
Running content audits is important if you want to move ahead in your industry. You need to dedicate time to run such audits in order to know about any gaps and to produce better content. You can’t just keep producing content and forget about it, thinking your job is done.
Take a look at these stats that emphasize the importance of performing a content audit:
- 65% of companies whose content marketing is successful perform content audits more than twice annually.
- 46% of companies whose content marketing did not succeed in 2021 didn’t perform any content audits.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of running such an audit:
- Analyzing your content’s performance helps in making data-backed decisions about the pages you should improve.
- You are able to recognize SEO opportunities and content gaps, which you can fill with fresh, interactive content.
- You get to know the pages on your site that aren’t optimized for SEO. For example, some pages may have a poor heading structure.
- You get to improve the quality of content on your site and offer an upgraded reader experience.
- It helps you check for content that you can repurpose.
There will be times when performing a content audit becomes absolutely essential. Run a content audit if:
- You are redesigning your site.
- You created your website a few years back and haven’t performed an audit till now.
- You have inherited a content marketing strategy from another team or simply don’t have a clear strategy.
- You think you’ve produced content on all possible topics that fall in your niche.
How to Approach a Content Audit?
How you should approach a content audit depends on your goal behind conducting it. Here’s a detailed look at some possible content audit goals:
1. Improve SEO Results
If you want to conduct a content audit to improve your results from SEO, then you need to perform an SEO content audit and an overall SEO site audit. The reason you need to conduct the SEO audit is to know which pages are getting the most organic traffic and/or which pages are ranking.
Tip: Use Google Analytics to identify the pages that have garnered the most views over time. You can then use this information to recognize pages that hold the potential to rank in the top 10 search results. Also, when you conduct the SEO content audit, you would need to look at title tags, duplicate content, meta descriptions, backlinks, and alt text.
2. Boost Audience Engagement
If you want to use a content audit to boost your audience engagement, you can focus your content audit process on recognizing what kind of content your audience loves to engage with the most. This information will help you generate that content in the future that you know is going to be popular among your audience.
3. Increase Conversion Rate
If you are looking to boost overall conversions with the insights you gain from a content audit, you need to check the pages with the best user experience and the pages that get you the most leads and sales. Doing so provides valuable information that will help you improve your other pages.
Content Audit Tools
Before we discuss how to conduct a content audit, you should know about some important tools. Certain software tools form a crucial part of the process of content auditing. You can use them to automate a greater part of the process instead of doing everything manually. Here’s a list of these tools:
Ubrersuggest can help you conduct a content audit to improve your SEO. All you need to do is open the tool, type in your URL, click “Search,” and then click “Site Audit.”
The result will be a snapshot of the prevalent SEO problems on your website and how critical they are. This offers a quick overall look at how your site is doing. And the best part is, it doesn’t cost anything.
2. Google Analytics
You can use Google Analytics to determine traffic data for all the pages and compare the performance of each page.
Note: In favor of Google Analytics 4, Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. Before completing your content audit, you should make the switch to GA4 (if you haven’t already).
3. Broken Link Checkers
4. Content Inventory
Use a content inventory tool such as DynoMapper or Screaming Frog instead of manually pulling each content link associated with your site. It will save tonnes of your time and you eliminate the risk of overlooking anything.
How Do You Perform a Content Audit?
If you want to know how to conduct a content audit, here is a complete list of steps:
1. Make a List of Your Content Assets
As a first step, create an inventory of your content assets.
Why, you may ask?
This is because when you see all of your assets in a single place, it’s more convenient to analyze content performance, highlight areas that need improvement, and update each content asset in a methodical way.
A tool you can use to extract content assets from your site is the Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Tool. When you use this tool, ensure you export the data into a spreadsheet and add relevant data points such as target keyword, meta description, number of images, word count, etc. for each content piece.
Another thing you need to include in the spreadsheet is traffic data for each page. Take the help of Google Analytics for this. This way, you will be able to analyze content performance alongside technical SEO metrics.
Note: You can add a lot of data points and stats alongside each content piece. But you need to see what data is relevant to you according to the goals you want to achieve by performing a content audit.
2. Make a List of Content Issues to Check For
You need to analyze all your content assets after adding them in a single place.
Check each content piece to know how it’s performing. Typically, here’s a list of things you need to check for:
- Content Gaps: Go through your content assets and check whether something is missing in your content. Are there target markets you haven’t spoken to? Are there topics you haven’t produced content on yet?
- Outdated Content: You need to check for content that you need to update. Your site visitors don’t want to read outdated content. Even the search engines overlook it.
- Target Keyword: Check if a content piece targets a particular keyword and include it in the copy.
- Duplicate Content: Search engines give priority to new content. So, if you have duplicate content on your posts and pages, it’s time to remove or rewrite them.
- Metadata: See if you have meta descriptions and titles for all pages. You also need to check which of the descriptions need to be updated.
- Word Count: Check the word count of your pages to see if it needs to be cut down or updated for any of the pages. Your pages and posts should have enough words to optimize for SEO.
- Image Data: Go through the images and see if they have a descriptive title and alt tag. This helps make sure your images are accessibility-friendly and optimized for SEO.
Note: When you check for content issues, ensure you write a note next to every asset stating why it needs improvement, if any.
3. Resolve Content Issues
The last step in our list of content audit steps is resolving content issues.
As you can’t address all your content issues in one go, you need to prioritize which ones to tackle first. One strategy you can follow is group to each optimization issue and resolve them together. For instance, you can fix all the image issues, then update meta data on every page, and so on.
Another route that you can take to prioritize which content issues you should tackle first is to use the tool Ubersuggest. All you need to do is perform an SEO audit on this tool, and you will get recommendations on the basis of an issue’s difficulty as well as SEO impact.
To get a number of quick wins, consider tackling tasks with a high SEO impact and low difficulty first.
Note: At the time of addressing content issues, don’t be afraid to ask for help to split up the work. You and your colleagues can work on different issues instead of one person handling all the work. This will help save tremendous time and improve overall efficiency.
Wrapping It Up
You may get overwhelmed by looking at all the content audit steps at first. But this shouldn’t stop you from conducting an effective content audit. Performing content audits helps you move in the right direction when it comes to improving your content marketing strategy.
Sure, performing a content audit will take up your resources and time, but it will also help you gain some extremely valuable insights. So, it will be worth it in the end! Perform a new audit at least once a year to check for gaps in your content and to know what and what isn’t working. All the best!