You often hear about content audits and some of us don’t know what they are. A content audit is evaluating pieces of content making sure they are up to date, not anywhere else, and compliant with Google policies. A content audit is usually done every few months, and the process becomes much easier when you have a team to help. However, I’m surprised at the amount of people who still don’t conduct an audit, and this hurts their rankings within the SERP’s. If your site is full of auditing problem, then it can even be removed from the search engines completely. Remember, it’s all about the user experience in the end.
Today, we’ll be looking over the top methods to conduct a content audit on your website. I have collected feedback from the top bloggers, and what they do in order to accomplish this task. Let’s get started, and your feedback will be appreciated.
Create A List of Entire Content
In order for you to start auditing your content, you have to create a list of your entire published content. Depending on the amount of content you have published, screaming frog is a great tool to use to create a list quickly. The FREE version will scan up to 500 URL’s and sort them in Microsoft Excel. However, anything bigger you’ll have to use a paid version. Next,
Depending again on your size, you can go through manually conducting an audit on each, however this will be a much lengthier process. This step is very easy because many tools will generate the list, it’s going forward where you’ll have to look over DATA, etc. As mentioned, this is a lengthy process however it’s only something you do once a year, and can even hire a team to help.
Look Over Metrics
A very important step in order to know what’s performing well or under performing. By analyzing your metrics, you’ll be able to see a trend within your content. For example, how do you know when your content needs to be tweaked? Simpleâ€¦ you look over the trend in recent months, and how it’s changed. If you notice a sudden drop then you know it can be due to:
- Competitor content
- SPAM links
There are many tools you can use but the two popular are: Google Analytics and Ahrefs. Both will provide trends over a certain amount of time and even top content, keywords, traffic, links, etc.
However, you have to pay close attention to specific metrics like:
Category – I like to start by dividing up my content into the right categories. This way I know what content belongs under what topic. This will also help me determine the highest performing content and where to focus afterwards.
Search Volume (Main Keyword) – Knowing what main keyword you have been focusing on is very important. This will allow you to see what keyword links you have built, and how performance to that keyword has increased on decreased.
Organic Traffic – A good idea to build an organic traffic profile. This will tell you how much free traffic you are getting to your site. It’s a great indicator of how things are changing in terms of traffic over the months.
Monthly Traffic – Total amount of traffic to the page, content and keyword. Look for the changing trends.
Number of Backlinks – You should have a clear idea of how many backlinks are pointing to each page. You’ll know if SPAM links have been built by looking at how the profiles have changed.
Average Time on Site – This is something that is very important because it will tell you how people respond to your content. The longer people spend on your website, the better because it shows you provide value. However, if bounce rate is high then you can determine the reader doesn’t spend too much time on page, and doesn’t check out any other content.
Identify Your Reader
In order for you to understand how your content is changing, you have to identify who should be reading it and why. This is why it’s important to have a complete reader analysis done. Once you determine your readership, and know who responds to your conduct, then you’ll be able to find gaps in your strategy. There are a few areas you should be focusing on and I’ll identify them right now.
The Audience – In order for you to understand what type of content is performing, it’s important you know who your audience is. You have many tools which will help you through the entire process so make use of them. First, Google Analytics will provide a great breakdown of where your audience is coming from. Next, you can visit a competitor blog to understand their audience better.
Their Interest – Once you have identified your audience, it’s important you understand what type of content they love to read. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
Social media – Check what content is being shared increasingly with your audience. Shares and Likes is a great way to find out.
Comments – Where are people posting most of their comments. The more comments, the more opinion people have.
Time on page – Through Google Analytics, you can find out where people are spending most of their time. Look for average time on page because a higher time shows interest in that type of content.
Understand Topics and Keywords – Once you have determined your audience and their interest, then it’s important to know what content you should be focusing on going forward. Remember your ultimate goal is to write content which your audience loves to read and share. You have to narrow your focus to write more content which increases engagement. In the end, that’s the bottom line because it will help you convert your audience and increase profits.
Before, you can start to write your content, it’s important you do the next step to understand your topics, writing strategy and if it can be improved.
Google Keyword Planner – If I know about my audience then I can use Google Keyword Planner to do some searches to help find topics. For example, make a list of your main keywords and head over to Google Keyword Planner. Type each one into the tool and see related keywords + search volume.
Google Trends – I love to use this tool because its shows how things are changing within the search. It also gives you a chance to get a jump start on your competition because you’ll know what’s trending before them. However, you have to make sure each search using Trends should be conducted with a list of target keywords.
The Content Gap
What does this mean? This means you have to find out and analyze what you have discovered through your audit so far. After, you can see how much of the DATA is matching up between what you uncovered, and what you have published so far. For example, if I know my guests love content based on link building, but I have been focusing on content marketing, then I’ll have to adjust my writing. Keep in mind, your engagement will only increase if you are able to give your readers the kind of content they are looking for. If your audit shows they like a certain type of content, and you writing a completely different type, then you’ll slow down your engagement.
Conducting a content audit is very important is you plan on increasing engagement, and loyalty among your website. Through content audits, you’ll be able to determine what type of content your users like, and this will bring you closer to your bottom line. However, doing a complete audit can be very tedious which is why I recommend you should spread out the entire process. For example, follow the steps above to get started, and here they are in short form again.
First, start by organizing your content right now and creating a list of your existing content. This will allow you to go through each and know what content is published, and what remains. It will also give you a chance to organize them into the right categories i.e. link building, content marketing, social media, etc.
Secondly, use the tools you have available to look over the metrics. I like to use Google Analytics and Ahrefs.com because they’ll provide a complete profile. You can also use GWT to find internal and external links, however from my opinion it’s a good idea to use Ahrefs because it’s an all-in-one solution to your requirements. With that said, you have to create a list of the following:
- External links
- Internal links
- Organic traffic
- Average time on page
- Top content
Third, understand your audience, and what they are leaning towards in terms of content. For example, you’ll notice some content resonates more with your readers. It’s important you focus on the same type of content because this is what ultimately builds momentum with readers.
Fourth, analyze the gap within your content so you can fill it in afterwards. For example, if you know your readers love link building content, but you’ve been writing content on marketing, then it’s time to switch it up, right? This way you’ll have more content that your readers love and this will increase the likelihood of a conversion. However, I’m still surprised at the amount of visitors which don’t understand their audience enough.
It’s time to go through each element adding it to your content auditing so you can get a better idea of the type of content you should be focusing on for conversions, and user engagement.