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Content Audit – A Complete Guide

Dev eWayCorp October 26, 2022 2 MIN READ

Digital Marketing

content audit 1

Do I need to run a content audit for my site? Or is a content audit essential for digital marketing success? The answer to these questions lies in the rest of this blog post.   

If you are running a business, you must have a well-established website and publish new content regularly. However, the content you post on your website can become irrelevant and outdated with time.  

In simple terms, some of your content will stand the test of time, while other content might wane in terms of relevancy. According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of marketing content remains unused by the sales teams as it’s either hard to locate or irrelevant. Hence, the best way to deal with this situation is to conduct an SEO content audit.  

Is Content Important?

Content is King. It’s the content that can keep your visitors glued to your website for a long time. When you provide some good and relevant content, your audience will want more similar content. This is when you might need to publish new content. 

There is no denying that with some good content, you will be able to get some quick conversions for your business. In other words, good content can convert your leads to sales. Hence, the importance of fresh content shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Publishing fresh content is important to attract visitors and keep them hooked to your site. But what role does content audit service have to play in this whole thing? 

Content Audit: A Synopsis

Creating and posting fresh content might be a key part of your content strategy. But just publishing and posting new content on your website isn’t enough. Rather, you need to have a good content management strategy in place. Without a proper content strategy, you won’t get to see any significant results.  

For instance, you will need to organize and manage the content created.  At the same time, you must track the performance of your content. The job of managing the content or tracking down high-performing content posts calls for scrupulous content management, which includes an SEO content audit. 

A content audit is a process that helps you to identify the key strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your content. With regards to SEO, content audits allow you or webmasters to evaluate the current content on your site, including landing pages and blog pages.  

Basically, in this audit, everything gets addressed, such as header tags, meta titles, meta descriptions, structured data, body content, and ALT tags. This content audit process lets you evaluate every piece of information on the website methodically.  

You can do this whole process yourself or take the help of any reputable site audit company. 

If the audit is done effectively, you will be able to pin down the content gaps. Accordingly, you can take some measures to serve your audience in a better way. For instance, if sales show an upward trend, some features on your site need attention. With content audits, you can effectively manage your site over time and serve the needs of customers. 

Types of Content You can Audit

Whether you seek the help of content audit service professionals or do the audit yourself, you need to know the types of content that can be analyzed and audited. They are: 

  • Core Page of Website 
  • Website Landing Page 
  • Blog Posts 
  • Guides 
  • Learning Articles 
  • Podcasts 
  • Webinars 
  • Videos 
  • Benchmark Reports 

The list goes on. 

Why Conduct a Content Audit?

Are content audits important?  The answer is an obvious – Yes! 

Audits play a crucial part in ensuring the success of your blogs, page SEO, and content marketing strategy. The SEO content audit becomes essential for the following reasons. Let’s have a look. 

Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy 

Content audits let you develop a digital content strategy for your business/website and deliver relevant content to your target audience efficiently and effectively.  

The audit can help you to examine the optimization efforts and even assess whether the efforts are helping you to reach your set goals. With the audit report, you can get some idea about the types of content that must be focused on to stay ahead in the competitive race.  

From the gathered data and insights, you can improve the site’s SEO, understand the target audience, discover new topics, reveal strengths and weaknesses of the site, and look for opportunities to scale. 

Build Your Brand & Reputation 

Every piece of content on a site is supposed to communicate a message to the target audience. Your content shouldn’t look careless or behind the industry trends. With your brand or services evolving, you need to stay ahead of the game.  You need to tune your content with the brand image. 

With content audits, you will be able to maintain tone consistency in your content. Also, you can maintain information accuracy and ensure a proper online presence. The audit will ensure that every encounter with content is a positive one for the visitors. This will generate trust and authenticity in the brand. 

Improve Organizational Output 

Complete content audits help to create and even maintain a content inventory for any business. So, when you carry out an audit, you can create a library that can be accessed by other departments as well. The content can be easily repurposed for developing new materials. This saves time and even improves content quality. 

For instance, if the content team has easy access to the sales content or branding, and even the PR (Press Release) content, they can weave unique content for your site and even insert contexts based on departmental requests. 

Instances When You Should Run a Content Audit

You must evaluate your content regularly once it gets published. If you are not doing so, you might be missing some crucial insights about your site’s current state and performance.  

Web content requires proper maintenance. So doing an audit is a good idea. Setting up a proper content audit frequency is important, but there are several instances when one should run an SEO content audit.  

Keep on reading to know more. 

Your Organic Traffic is Going Down 

If you notice a significant drop in organic traffic, then you should be concerned as this will lead to a drop in your organic search rankings.  

There could be many reasons for the same. It could be for internal website changes, the emergence of new competitors, Google algorithm updates, and many more reasons.  

With so many factors being present, it’s hard to pin down the precise reason for the drop in organic traffic. However, the best part is that all these problems can be addressed.  

For instance, if you are not getting organic traffic for some top pages, it’s time for some investigation. With the help of Google Search Console (GSC), you can notice the drops in impressions or average position for some of the pages. Not only that, but with this content audit, you can also check the performance of each page in GSC. 

To check the performance of a particular page, you should open the Google Search Console. Next, you should click on Performance and then the Search Result. Here you will be able to switch between Pageviews, and Sessions for each page. 

During CMS Upgradation  

Another instance that makes content audit most appropriate is during CMS upgradation. It’s perfect when you are not going for a complete website redesign; instead, you are planning to just upgrade your CMS.  

For example, if you just want to upgrade to WordPress plugin for your site, you will need to carry out the SEO content audit. You will need to convert the existing page-based content into individual blocks.  

During upgradation, some content blocks might need to be customized. Migrating or upgrading outdated content doesn’t make any sense. This is when you would need the audit. Similarly, when you are going through a website redesign, you should perform content audits. 

Your Site Content is Out of Date 

Content is important for your site. But if the content is more than 2 years old, it should go through an audit. 

Updating content is very important, especially when you want the site to be authoritative in its space. Being authoritative means staying relevant. To remain relevant, you must keep track of the content that needs to be updated, deleted, or even archived. 

The whole process might seem to be a bit cumbersome and time taking. But if the content audit is done properly, it will give you great results.  When you are keeping your content up to date, you are not only ensuring a positive user experience, but also helping the content to rank high in the SERPs. 

Whenever you update old content, it gets a new publishing date. Also, the search engines recrawl and reindex the content. 

Running Out of Content Ideas 

The content audit process is helpful for businesses, especially when they are out of content ideas. Often, business houses think that they have nothing more to say about their brand or services, as it’s already defined on their website.  

However, content audits give businesses some new ideas or some new perspectives on their published work. For instance, after auditing any published content, you get an idea about your content. With the available information, you can identify the content gaps that need fixing. 

Adding New Products and Services 

Another instance of carrying out a comprehensive SEO content audit is when you plan to add a product or service page to your existing site. You need to be careful enough; hence, check how the new pages are going to do within the site’s ecosystem. 

In other words, you need to ensure that the information on the new page fits in flawlessly with your business model. If you have no idea where you can start, there is no need to freak out. Take the help of a professional site audit company that will be more than happy to assist you with this job. 

So, when you add a new product to an existing page or add a new page, audit professionals will have a proper understanding of the site’s content inventory and the user journey. Accordingly, they might add or delete content. 

Competitors Outranking You 

Competition is everywhere. This is very true for online businesses. To succeed in online business, you must beat your business rivals. For this, you will need to implement various strategies. Among various strategies, publishing fresh and relevant content is important. Without relevant content, your site’s ranking might get affected. 

Your business is enjoying a top rank in organic search results. But you can’t tell when your ranking might drop. It might happen any day. If such happens, it might be because your competitor has outranked you.  

Gaining a top rank or losing the rank is a common game. This happens when a business starts to neglect its content development efforts. On the contrary, your competitors carry out proper research and might have even audited your site to find its strengths and weaknesses. Once they get the data, they work hard to top the ranking back. 

In case you want to beat them and win back the top spot, you must carry out a complete content audit of your website and even of your competitors. You will get an idea about the strategies that your competitors have taken and accordingly fill the gaps. 

Going Through Site Migration 

Content audits are necessary when you are migrating to your site. For instance, if you are migrating your site from HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS or migrating your eCommerce site from Magento to Shopify, and so on.  Even if you are moving to a new server or making any subdomain or subfolder changes, an audit is mandatory. 

Before getting started with the audit process, make sure you are aware of what content you are going to audit. After all, content audits let you declutter, merge, and even get rid of any useless content from the site.  If done properly, you can stay assured of your migrated site and pages perform well. 

Keep in mind the key to a smooth content audit process is planning. You can carry out the audit of every page content with various tools. Or you can simply get the help of a professional site audit company. 

Have Established a New Tone & Voice 

The voice and tone are going to be the brand personality for any business house. It’s going to be the way through which a business is going to express its value proposition to the target audience. 

For instance, if you are running a law firm or a hospital, your tone and voice should be assertive. Similarly, your tone would change if you were running an amusement park. Picking the right tone and voice for a brand might sound easy, but it’s not the case always.  

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what a brand’s voice/ tone should be. But once you are done, it’s important to perform a content audit. This will ensure that the tone and voice are consistent with the whole website. 

During the Website Redesign Process 

During website redesign, content audits are important. There is no denying that content migration is the key to a successful redesign project.  

As a matter of fact, migrating content that seems to be irrelevant or outdated is just a waste of your time, money, and effort. To avoid such hassle, audits are helpful.  The SEO content audit would streamline the whole process by analyzing each piece of content on the site and thus offering you feedback on the relevant ones. 

These are some scenarios that make the content audit process an absolute necessity. After all, audits are the driving force for running a good content strategy and even help you reach an informed decision regarding digital marketing. 

Content Audit: How Does it Help?

Basically, after conducting a comprehensive content audit, you will get a complete overview of your content assets/ inventory. At the same time, you become aware of the content that will align with your digital marketing strategy.  

In fact, periodic content audits can give you some idea regarding which kind of content is popular and getting more hits or which kind of content needs improvement, or the types of content that need to be tossed into the bin. 

Know About the Benefits of Content Audits

You are now fully aware of the instances when you should carry out content audits for your website. Similarly, you should be aware of the benefits of such audits. Read on. 

On a bigger level, a content audit will not only deliver a superb user experience but will also help a site to do well in Google Search. Obviously, you don’t want your visitors to come across your poor content. After all, poor content affects the site’s ranking. 

In August 2022, Google launched a new ranking signal. It’s called the Helpful Content Update, which has been designed to reduce the visibility of any poor content.  

This is important as it can classify whether your site is useful or not. It would completely depend on the unhelpful or irrelevant content on the site. The only way to avoid this penalty is to carry out a content audit.  

In fact, there are several benefits associated with the SEO content audit process. They are: 

Improve Content Performance 

Content audits help to organize, categorize, and even streamline content production in order to deliver results 10 times faster. Each piece of content should be created in a manner that will improve the search engine rankings, enhance conversion rates, and offer a perfect user experience while aligning with the goals. 

To ensure the site content is offering results, you can ask some questions yourself: 

  • Is the content relevant to your business? 
  • Does it answer the question of the target audience? 
  • Is the content ranking on the top in SERPs? 
  • Does the content guide the users in their journey? 

If your content provides an answer to these questions, it will surely deliver results. 

Ensure Accuracy & Maintain Quality  

If you want to win in organic search, it’s important to publish high-quality and accurate content. The content should be the answer to the problems of the users or visitors. Hence, a key element of the content audit process is to ensure that your existing content perfectly aligns with the users’ purchase journey at each stage. This calls for optimizing the content for improved user expectations. 

A content audit will help you to strategically target the important keywords that match the search intent and suggest higher engagement. This will result in increased traffic and visibility across SERPs. 

Identify Competitive Gaps 

A content audit not only pinpoints the loopholes in the users’ buying journey. Rather, it also draws attention to the competitive gaps in the content marketing strategy. In short, one gets to know the areas where your rivals are holding the most share in the organic search market. 

To pin down the competitive gaps, some questions must be considered during the content audit process. They are: 

  • Do you have any content for every type of target audience? 
  • Are there any trending topics that you are not covering but your competitors have done? 
  • Are your competitors ranking for a topic that you aren’t? 

For instance, your competitor might have included a glossary of terminology related to the blog posts. You can also include a glossary list with your blog posts to deliver a good user experience and meet the needs of the audience. 

When to Perform a Content Audit?  

Content audits must be carried out once a site is live and remains active for a certain period, such as 6 months. After 6 months, you should review your site and make efforts to improve its health and performance.  

A part of the review process is the content audit. During the audit, you must analyze the pages and eventually come up with an outline that will meet your business goals. Here, you must ensure the content of your site meets those goals. You must also carry out a comprehensive SEO content audit when your site is ready for maintenance. 

What to Look for During a Content Audit?

Before you kick start the content audit process for your site, you should investigate some of the elements. They are: 

  • Poor Content 
  • Top Performing Content 
  • Content Having Low CTR 
  • Outdated Content 
  • Content Cannibalization 
  • Striking Distance Keywords 
  • High Bounce Rate Pages 
  • Content Gaps 
  • Confusing Pages 
  • Unexplored Topics 
  • Interlinking Opportunities 
  • Thin Content 
  • Difficult-to-Read Content 
  • Missing ALT Tags 
  • Poor Structured Data 
  • Missing Structured Data 
  • Content Missing Header Tags 
  • Duplicate Pages 

Is Creating Useful Content Important?

Providing useful content is mandatory. Whether you are an established business house or just a new kid on the block, your readers or visitors won’t consume any crap. To be more specific, visitors or readers don’t have the time to read content that isn’t of any use to them. 

Only if they find the content to be relevant and unique will they read it and even share it with others. As a part of your content marketing strategy, make sure you optimize the content with proper keywords. But don’t overstuff it with keywords as this will do more harm. 

Previously, it was possible to manipulate a site’s page ranking by stuffing the content with many keywords. Now, things have changed. Google and other search engines can easily filter out pages stuffed with keywords. Rather, search engines would consider such pages to contain irrelevant content. Hence, it won’t rank the page.  

Visitors are always looking out for actionable content that they can use. So, make sure your web content is offering your visitors and readers some solid information that they can rely on. It’s best to keep the content topic based on the user’s search query. 

How to do a Content Audit?

It’s true that content audits are time-consuming. But they are important for producing high-quality content that will improve your brand image, brand reputation and enhance brand recognition. This, in turn, will boost the overall performance of teams. In fact, it will help to keep your audience glued to the website. 

Let’s take you through a step-by-step process for conducting a content audit. 

Step 1: Determine Goals 

Your content goals should include the broad benefits of any business, such as organic search traffic, conversions, and engagement. Make sure to establish certain marketing KPIs as well as some SEO metrics for measuring performance and determining success. 

These can include: 

  • Google Organic Rankings 
  • Organic Traffic 
  • Backlinks and Social Shares 
  • Leads 
  • Brand Perception 
  • Sales 
  • Engagement 
  • Brand Love 
  • Improvements for Some Sections 

Step 2: Identify KPIs 

There are four distinct groups of metrics that you must use for tailoring the message and for targeting the content. These data types are scientific, measurable, as well as qualitative. However, each data type and metrics are important. 

The four metrics are as follows: 

SEO Metrics 

  • Target Keywords: You must check what your target audience is looking for or what specific phrases they are using. Also check which target keywords your competitors are optimizing for. 
  • Target Keyword Monthly Search Volume: With this metric, you can research keywords with enough search volume. Also, you can target long-tail keywords with low search volume. This helps any content acquire great audience coverage. 
  • Target Keyword Rank: Keyword rankings are an apparent yet critical SEO metric. It helps to gauge your progress and offers an early sign that will make the SEO strategy work. 
  • Backlinks: Backlinks are crucial Google ranking factors. In most cases, a domain authority gets boosted if it gets relevant backlinks from high-quality domains. However, backlinks from high-quality domains that have not been used to link previously are more powerful than the ones from sites usually used in the past. 

Behavioral Metrics 

These metrics offer an in-depth look into the ways in which a visitor engages with a website or behaves with your site. It gets divided into: 

  • Page Views: It tracks down which web pages and how many web pages are viewed. Also, it notes down how long the page has been viewed. It also provides proof of the types of information users might be interested in. 
  • Scroll Rate: It helps to understand whether the visitor is liking your content piece or not. You might gather many page views but if they are abandoning the content without scrolling, then the content won’t serve its purpose. So, with scroll rate one gets to know how far down the page has been scrolled by the visitor. 
  • Bounce Rate: Google Analytics calculates the bounce rate automatically for the whole domain and individual pages also. This information can be used to locate the poor-performing pages. Accordingly, strategies can be decided to lower the bounce rate. However, some pages have a high bounce rate, yet they offer a great user experience. Informational websites usually get a higher bounce rate than eCommerce sites. 
  • Conversions: Conversion rates are crucial. These help you to gauge whether you are getting the right kind of traffic to your site. In case your site gets high traffic, but the conversions are low, then it indicates that you are not getting the right traffic. 

Audience Data 

Another important metric that shouldn’t be overlooked during content audits. It takes into account the target persona of buyers and their pain points. 

  • Target Persona: Make use of the buyer’s persona to understand the customer experience from the perspective of the audience. Keep in mind that each marketing persona represents a certain segment of real people. These people need tailored messages that meet their needs. 
  • Journey Stage: This stage maps the customers’ journey. It consists of three main experience stages. They are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. 
    • Awareness: During this stage, prospects realize that they have a problem. But they don’t fully understand the issue or identify the cause.  
    • Consideration: At this stage, the prospective buyers are aware of their problems and actively look out for brands and their solutions. During this point, webinars, white papers, videos, and social media posts help them to move ahead in their journey. 
    • Decision: In this stage, a customer compares your brand with others on factors like pricing, benefits, case studies, reviews, etc. It is crucial to structure the content and message in a way that pushes the customer toward the finish line. Thus, helping them to reach a final decision. 

The digital customer experience can be improved by updating old information. Refreshing the old content helps build trust and credibility around the brand. 

It’s important to customize the content as per the audience’s persona during each stage of their journey. 

Quality Metrics 

These metrics help search engines to understand the quality of the content and rank them accordingly. It takes into consideration the following elements: 

  • Word Count: Depending on the overall range of your content, Google can decide what your content is about. The longer the piece, the easier it becomes for the search engines to understand the information and rank it accordingly in the SERP (search engine results pages).  
  • Content Last Updated: Google gives great importance to content that is new or fresh. Updating older content is important for SERP placement. 
  • Spelling and Grammar: If your site’s content contains a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, people won’t trust your brand. With a thorough content audit, such occurrences can be highlighted. 
  • Readability: Any content should be easy to read.  In case the content is hard to digest, your customers will leave the site and won’t come back. This will lead to a high bounce rate. Contrarily, if the content is easily digestible, they will visit your site again. Hence, it won’t affect the SEO ranking.
  • Citations: Mentions of your brand from trustworthy websites is important for SEO efforts. Backlinks are the top-ranking factors that search engines use for establishing credibility and trustworthiness. 
  • Google E-A-T: Google makes use of the E-A-T concept for ensuring their search results are trustworthy, accurate, and useful to the searchers. So, by integrating the E-A-T standards into the content, there is a high chance of the content ranking well in the SERPs.

Step 3: Organize Content on the Audit Template 

The next step in the content audit process is to consider which content needs to be audited. It is crucial to specify the type of content you will be auditing. Also, you should consider the parts of the content that need attention.  

You can create an SEO content audit spreadsheet in Excel and include columns like basic content information, analytics, SEO data, and final content marketing strategy. 

Step 4: Export Data from the Website 

A great deal of data needs to be examined, but luckily, there are some broad tools for content audit at your disposal. You need to use audit tools and analytics tools to make the audit process smooth and efficient. 

The Screaming Frog tool crawls important assets, such as headings and word count. It can even pull-out SEO audit data, such as internal links, average time on page, and so on.  

Similarly, Google Analytics helps to check the performance of your content, products, marketing, and more. The Google Search Console helps to analyze your site’s impressions, positions, and clicks in Google Search. With the ContentKing tool, you can customize what you want to see and receive alerts. 

Step 5: Assess Content 

As a part of the content audit process, it is important to analyze the content depending on the business goals and the metrics you have gathered. You can make an ‘Action’ column for each content on your site. Evaluate the content based on Google’s advice. 

Step 6: Make a Recommendation 

As you evaluate the content’s usefulness, you need to ask certain questions. They are: 

  • Would the target audience find the content helpful if they visited the website directly? 
  • Does the content offer in-depth knowledge? 
  • Will users leave the site after gathering required information from the site? 
  • Does the site have a primary focus? 

You have answers to the questions, but you still need to understand if the content is helpful or not. In case you find some content on your page to be of poor quality or that doesn’t target the keywords, then you can offer a removal recommendation. 

  • Update: Accordingly, the Update level can be used for identifying the content that does well or the content that is well-written but needs certain improvement. The blog URLs can be added to the content audit worksheet. You can recommend the types of improvement needed in the content. 
  • Leave It Alone: You must check if the information offered on the pages is complete and up to date. Find out if the content is engaging enough. If you find it meets the mentioned criterion, do not disturb the content. Just leave it.   

Some Added Measures 

Once the SEO content audit is complete, your job does not end. You’ll need to carry out a Content Gap Analysis and update your Content Calendar. In fact, once the audit process is complete, building a comprehensive content strategy is important.   

It’s important to build the plan in a manner that replicates the high-performance content, lets you explore new horizons for your content, fills out content gaps, and surprises the audience. 

Content Audit Tools

A content audit is usually carried out with some audit tools. The tools help with the auditing process. They make the job much faster and save a lot of time.  

For instance, you don’t have to gather the URLs manually. Rather, a tool can automatically aggregate the content and eventually display the metrics. 

Some of the leading site audit companies use one or more of the following tools. They are: 

Take Professional Help

For a comprehensive SEO content audit process, you can get the help of professionals. 

Concluding Thoughts

A complete content audit might seem to be an overwhelming task. But starting the auditing process of your website content can help to improve your content marketing strategy. It will not only make the task of compiling content assets easier, but even fix the issues on a priority basis. 

Taking your content marketing efforts to the next level won’t be that hard once you run a proper content audit process. With a proper audit, you can produce good quality content that will get you more traffic, engagement, ROI (return on investment), etc. for your site. 

Are you facing issues with your content? Need to amend your content marketing strategy? Talk to the experts at eWay Corp today! We can help to make your brand a strong one in the online space.