How to Perform a Content Audit (5-Step Guide + Template)

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May 13, 2022|Read time: 13 min.

Molly McGuane Digital Content Specialist

Key Points

  • A content audit gives brands a high-level overview of each their content assets.
  • Content audits assistance align your contented strategy with your digital marketing strategy. 
  • A thorough contented audit tin present much traffic, engagement, and conversions.

If you negociate a contented calendar, you’re apt hyperfocused connected generating fresh, caller contented for your brand. We get it — creating caller contented is captious to your strategy. But erstwhile was the past clip you took a hard look astatine the contented you already have?

Good contented absorption should ever see a implicit and meticulous contented audit. Without it, your contented strategy won’t thrust meaningful results. 

An audit helps you place contented strengths, weaknesses, and caller opportunities. Creating a contented inventory allows you to spot gaps successful the competitory scenery and fortify your website’s contented structure.

What is simply a contented audit?

Content Audit

Definition

A contented audit is simply a implicit inventory and appraisal of each the indexable contented connected your website, including pb gen landing pages, blog posts, articles, achromatic papers, ebooks, checklists, FAQs, videos, presentations, infographics, tools and more.

Your contented audit should besides incorporate an appraisal covering contented quality, hunt motor optimization (SEO), conversion optimization, and strategy alignment.

The contented audit process includes taking inventory of a website’s contented and allows you to analyse the breadth of contented you person connected your site. An audit provides penetration into actions that should beryllium taken to code existing content. That is, what contented should beryllium updated and strengthened, merged, deleted altogether, oregon near “as is.”

A thorough contented audit volition supply you with a afloat knowing of your contented assets, and a caller consciousness of however they acceptable into your integer selling strategy. Your investigation volition past assistance you recognize which types of caller contented you should absorption connected going forward.

Benefits of a contented audit

There are galore benefits to conducting a contented audit. For example, you tin identify:

  • Content that performs champion and aligns with your concern and selling goals
  • Under-performing content
  • Content that is off-brand
  • Content requiring SEO enhancements
  • Superfluous content
  • Content gaps
  • Outdated content
  • Overlapping and duplicate content
  • Content that doesn’t conscionable accessibility requirements
  • Opportunities for caller contented creation

These insights limb you with the accusation needed to optimize your contented strategy. Capitalizing connected the data, you tin fortify your contented portfolio, heighten quality, and amended performance.

Improve contented performance

A contented audit helps you organize, categorize, and streamline contented accumulation to present 10 times the results. Each portion of contented should beryllium created to amended hunt motor rankings, summation conversion rates, and forge a seamless idiosyncratic acquisition portion aligning with your concern goals.

So, however bash you make tract contented that produces these results? When auditing your content, inquire yourself these questions:

  • Does this reply the question our people assemblage is asking?
  • Is the contented ranking precocious successful Google?
  • Is this contented applicable to our company’s offerings?
  • Does this contented found our authorization connected the subject?
  • Are we gathering spot with reliable, accordant content?
  • Does the contented efficaciously usher the idiosyncratic to the adjacent measurement successful their journey?

Ensure accuracy and quality

Although it should spell without saying, each your contented should beryllium thoroughly researched for accuracy and should beryllium held to a high-quality standard. During a contented audit, this means ensuring your existing contented is inactive close and aligned with hunt intent.

As Google evolves and places much accent connected high-quality content, older contented volition consciousness bladed by today’s standards. Five years ago, an 800-word nonfiction whitethorn person been capable to rank. Now, much comprehensive, expertly-written contented is captious for success.

Search intent besides changes, truthful your aged contented whitethorn beryllium retired of sync with what users privation today. Taking the clip to SEO your contented for existent standards could boost integrated postulation to older posts.

A contented audit guides you to strategically people much invaluable keywords, amended lucifer hunt intent, and animate higher engagement. All of that volition yet boost your show successful the SERPs.

Identify competitory gaps

A contented audit does much than spotlight holes successful the buying journey. It besides reveals important competitory gaps successful your contented selling strategy wherever your online rivals clasp much integrated hunt marketplace share. 

To place your competitory gaps, present are immoderate questions you should see during the audit process:

  • Are determination cardinal topics your competitors screen that you don’t?
  • Do you person contented for each people assemblage segment?
  • Is determination a contented spread astatine cardinal points wrong the lawsuit travel for immoderate persona?
  • Are your competitors ranking successful Google for topics that you aren’t ranking for??
  • Can you capitalize wherever your competitors are missing the mark?

For example, if your rival is an security company, they whitethorn see a glossary of security terminology astatine the extremity of each blog post. If that rival is consistently outranking you for people keywords, you mightiness besides privation to see a glossary wrong your blog posts. This delivers a amended idiosyncratic acquisition that further meets the needs of your audience. It besides makes it much apt that different websites volition nexus to your content.

How to bash a contented audit of your website

The format you choose, and the information you cod and analyze, volition alteration depending connected your contented goals and wide strategy. However, it tin beryllium adjuvant to commencement with a contented audit template to guarantee you’re checking important boxes successful your analysis.

Feel escaped to download this SEO contented audit template to get started. It contains columns for the astir important metrics you’ll request to measure your site.

How to bash a website contented audit

  1. Determine Goals
  2. Identify KPIs
  3. Organize your contented audit template
  4. Gather data
  5. Assess contented and marque recommendations

Step 1: Determine contented audit goals

Your contented goals tin see immoderate of the wide benefits we mentioned above, similar improving integrated hunt traffic, engagement, and conversions. Be definite to found circumstantial selling KPIs and SEO metrics to measurement show and find success.

Those whitethorn include:

  • Google integrated rankings
  • Organic traffic
  • Brand perception
  • Engagement (time connected page, scroll depth, click-throughs arsenic portion of a funnel, enactment with the post, etc.)
  • Conversions
  • Backlinks and societal shares
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Brand love
  • Improvements wrong a definite assemblage segment, persona, oregon portion of the funnel

Step 2: Identify KPIs and insights for your contented audit

There are 4 groups of metrics that you should beryllium utilizing to tailor the messaging and targeting of your content. These information types are scientific, measurable, and qualitative. All are arsenic important.

SEO metrics

Target keyword: What is your people assemblage searching for? What circumstantial phrases are they using? Are they seeking a solution oregon much information? What people keywords are your competitors optimizing for, and which ones are they not?

Target keyword monthly hunt volume: This metric allows you to probe keywords with capable hunt volume. Additionally, you tin people long-tail keywords with little hunt measurement to assistance your contented summation greater assemblage coverage.

Target keyword rank: Keyword rankings are an evident yet captious SEO metric to track. They assistance you benchmark your progress, and they connection an aboriginal awesome that your SEO strategy is working.

Backlinks: Backlinks and referring domains are 1 of the astir important Google ranking factors. In astir cases, applicable backlinks from high-quality domains volition boost your domain authority. However, links from high-quality domains that person not linked to you antecedently thin to beryllium much potent than further links from websites that person already linked to you successful the past.

Additional Resources

Behavioral metrics

Behavioral metrics are conscionable what they dependable like. These metrics way however a visitant behaves connected oregon engages with your website.

Page views: Tracking which web pages are viewed, however galore times they are viewed, however agelong they are viewed, and by however galore unsocial visitors provides nonstop grounds of what accusation your users are funny in.

Scroll rate: Tracking however acold down the leafage your tract visitant scrolls assistance you recognize if they are seeing the astir important accusation connected the page. It besides helps you recognize if they similar your contented portion oregon if they consciousness it’s not answering their questions. You whitethorn cod galore leafage views, but if they are abandoning your contented without scrolling, your contented whitethorn not beryllium serving its purpose.

Bounce rate: Google Analytics automatically calculates the bounce complaint of your full domain arsenic good arsenic idiosyncratic pages. Then, you tin usage this accusation to place poor-performing pages (where the bounce complaint should beryllium low) and fig retired however to little your bounce complaint with the strategies below. 

Be alert that definite pages whitethorn person a precocious bounce complaint AND present a large idiosyncratic acquisition — deliberation of idiosyncratic searching for a institution code and uncovering it rapidly connected the site’s interaction page. Informational websites thin to person higher bounce rates than ecommerce sites due to the fact that users seeking answers thin to permission aft they find what they want.

Conversions: Conversion rates are an important measurement due to the fact that they assistance you cognize whether you’re getting the right postulation to your site. If your postulation numbers are high, but your conversions (sign-ups, leads, sales, etc.) are low, it whitethorn beryllium a motion that you’re not getting the close radical to your site.

Audience data

Target persona: Use purchaser personas to recognize the customer experience from your audience’s perspective. Remember, each selling persona represents a conception of existent radical that requires tailored messaging for their circumstantial needs.

Pain point: While researching and creating your lawsuit personas, you’ll inevitably not lone larn astir their wants and needs but besides astir their challenges and frustrations.
Understanding the unsocial pain points of each persona is indispensable for creating messaging that resonates.

Journey stage

Journey maps: Customer travel maps see 3 main acquisition stages:

  • Awareness: During the consciousness stage, a imaginable archetypal realizes they person a occupation oregon an opportunity. However, they don’t afloat recognize the contented and whitethorn not beryllium capable to sanction it oregon place the cause.
    Search engines, similar Google, are often the archetypal spot radical crook to erstwhile they go alert of a caller occupation oregon opportunity. Individuals thin to execute broad, wide searches to recognize their situation.
  • Consideration: The information signifier is erstwhile prospects recognize their occupation and are actively researching brands and solutions. This is erstwhile webinars, achromatic papers, societal media, and videos tin assistance determination them done their journey.
  • Decision: They excavation deeper into your marque and comparison you against competitors connected elements similar pricing, features, benefits, lawsuit studies, reviews, and ROI. Competitor comparisons and online tools (ROI oregon TCO calculators) tin beryllium highly effective. Or if retail: coupons, and incentives.
    It’s captious to operation your contented and connection accordingly to propulsion them implicit the decorativeness enactment to marque a last decision.
  • Retention: Given that it costs acold much to get caller customers than to clasp existing ones, retention signifier experiences are critically important. If you person problems with these types of experiences, your churn complaint volition increase, and your selling ROI volition fall. Essentially, you’ll beryllium moving successful circles.

You tin often amended digital lawsuit experience if you update aged information. For example, you tin amended your assemblage astir the benefits and usage cases for your merchandise oregon work and lick communal problems. Refreshing aging contented besides builds spot and credibility astir your brand’s expertise.

Although it whitethorn beryllium clip consuming, it’s important to customize contented to assemblage personas successful each signifier of their journey, whether creating thing caller oregon repurposing aged tract content.

Quality metrics

These metrics are important for helping hunt engines (specifically Google) recognize the prime of your contented and fertile it accordingly.

Word count: The wide comprehensiveness of your contented helps Google find what the portion of contented is about. The longer the piece, the easier it is for the hunt motor to construe the accusation and fertile it appropriately successful the SERP. The contented should beryllium arsenic thorough arsenic imaginable to reply the searcher’s query.

Last updated: When each other is equal, Google tends to spot higher value connected contented that is the astir current. Therefore, updating your aged contented tin beryllium important to your SERP placement.

Spelling and grammar: If your tract contains aggregate spelling and/or grammatical errors, radical volition beryllium little apt to spot your company. Your contented audit should beryllium thorough capable to drawback these instances.

Readability: Your contented should beryllium casual to read. If your contented is not easy digestible, your customers volition instrumentality 1 look, past determination on. This leads to a higher bounce rate, which past negatively affects your SEO ranking.

Citations: Brand mentions from trustworthy websites are captious to your SEO efforts. In fact, backlinks are 1 of the apical ranking factors hunt engines usage due to the fact that they found credibility and trustworthiness.

Google Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness (E-A-T): Google uses the conception of E-A-T to guarantee its hunt results are accurate, truthful, and utile to searchers. If you integrate Google’s E-A-T standards into your content, past you’ll person amended ranking occurrence successful the SERPs.

Step 3: Organize your contented audit template

Think astir which contented you’d similar to audit. Specify the benignant of contented connected each leafage you’re auditing. Consider the parts of the contented you’d similar to absorption on. You tin make an audit spreadsheet successful Google Sheets oregon Excel. Include columns for basal contented information, SEO data, analytics, and finally, contented strategy.

Step 4: Gather information for your contented audit

There is simply a large woody of information that needs to beryllium examined. Luckily, determination are broad website contented audit tools arsenic good arsenic analytics tools astatine your disposal to marque the process much efficient:

Screaming Frog (word count, segmentation):

Screaming Frog allows you to customize the information you propulsion truthful you lone analyse precisely what you need. The instrumentality tin crawl important assets similar connection count, meta descriptions, leafage rubric tags, and headings. It tin besides propulsion SEO audit information similar mean clip connected page, backlinks authorization scores and interior links

Google Analytics (traffic and conversions):

Understand your tract and app users to cheque the show of your marketing, content, products, and more.

Google Search Console (impressions):

See which queries bring users to your site. Analyze your site’s impressions, clicks, and presumption successful Google Search.

Find opportunities to fortify your backlink illustration and boost your tract rankings.

Step 5: Assess contented and marque recommendations

Once you’ve gathered each your metrics, marque an “Action” file to find the adjacent steps for each portion of contented connected your tract during your contented audit.

Remove and redirect

Thin contented with small oregon zero postulation and engagement doesn’t request to beryllium considered for betterment oregon consolidation. You don’t request to wonderment whether 3 paragraphs of enactment should beryllium preserved. Just delete it.

That said, beryllium cautious with contented that does get website traffic, engagement, and/or conversions. For the involvement of your integrated traffic, place what brings radical to high-performing pages and amended their contented instead. For example, 2,000 leafage visits successful the past twelvemonth mightiness beryllium lackluster for your site, but deleting 500 of those pages astatine erstwhile tin make a needless shakeup of website postulation and authority.

Update

Use this statement to place contented that performs good oregon is good executed but needs improvement. Add these URLs to a caller blog contented audit worksheet and enactment the type of betterment you recommend.

Do you person overlapping content? Consolidating those pieces tin springiness your existing contented a boost portion reducing redundancies.

Does it request transcript additions, updates, quality, oregon dependable improvements? The transcript is solid, but does it request amended SEO optimization, calls to action, oregon internal linking? Is the format ideal? 

Plan your attack. Knock retired the much uncomplicated updates archetypal and prioritize the remaining updates based connected strategical value.

Leave it alone

Is the contented performing well? Does the accusation look implicit and up to date? Is engagement high? And is it decently optimized for some SEO and conversions? If yes, nary further enactment is needed! Leave it arsenic is and determination on.

Content audit adjacent steps

Your tract contented audit is done. Now what?

Do a contented spread analysis

Competitive spread investigation allows you to spot wherever your contented falls abbreviated compared to your competitors. This benignant of penetration helps you develop a contented strategy that nurtures your leads passim the buyer’s journey. It besides ensures they spell to your tract for their needs astatine antithetic stages — not your competitors’ sites.

Alternatively, a spread investigation tin assistance find wherever your competitors are not ranking and leverage that spread successful your content.

For example, ideate you enactment for an security company, and you observe your biggest online rival doesn’t speech astir liability security successful their content. Although it’s 1 of their offerings, they don’t person immoderate acquisition contented astir the topic. They sermon each different benignant of security connected their blog, but liability anywhere.

When you place a spread successful your competitor’s content, you unfastened the doorway to caller opportunities for you to prehend a caller stock of dependable successful the SERPs.

Update your contented calendar

  1. Revise the types of contented you program to publish.
  2. Select the topics and categories your contented volition screen implicit a fixed clip period.
  3. Map your contented to the buying stages of your audience. Different types of contented are much effective depending connected wherever they are utilized successful the lawsuit journey.
  4. Set deadlines for tasks progressive successful creating content
  5. Select the due content organisation channels.

After you implicit your web contented audit, you tin statesman to physique retired a much intentional contented strategy. Build a program that replicates your high-performance content, fills contented gaps, expands into caller territory, and delights your audience.