It’s one thing to think that your site’s content is well-written and produced enough to generate the results you expect. It’s another for the content to actually generate traffic, get lots of social media engagement, and generate visitors into your brand followers and customers.

To know for sure, you must have a sustainable content strategy starting with a content audit. This post guides you through auditing a website’s content and understanding what you must do to improve its performance. Let’s get started!

Define Your Goals and Metrics

Make a list of the objectives you want to achieve to help you stay focused and ensure that your efforts lead to the desired outcomes for your business. 

The most common goal for a content audit is to identify issues in your upcoming targeted marketing campaigns and improve organic website traffic. Your other goals may include increasing audience engagement and enhancing user experience and retention. 

You can achieve these primarily by optimizing content creation and building authoritative backlinks. Nonetheless, you won’t know the best approach for both strategies unless you first analyze what your site needs.

Next, establish the metrics to help measure your content’s performance against your goals. Select the key performance indicators (KPIs) that best align with your desired outcomes. 

These outcomes include keyword rankings, organic search traffic, site speed, and backlink quantity and quality. Outside of these SEO metrics, you can choose audience engagement metrics like click-through rates, conversions, and comments. These will help determine the impact of your content on visitors.

Your chosen goals should align with your overall marketing strategy. You may choose one or more objectives depending on the size of your website and the resources available for the audit.

Collect and Organize All Content

Start by creating a comprehensive inventory of all indexable content. This may include landing pages, blog posts, articles, white papers, ebooks, checklists, FAQs, videos, presentations, infographics, and tools. 

You can do this using the search operator “site:[website.com]” on Google. The results show pages indexed by the search engine. You can then download the results using the SERP Minion Chrome extension as a sheet file in a few clicks.

You may find web pages that Google doesn’t index. You want the search engine to index them before including them in your list. Identify the URLs that haven’t been indexed yet and submit them to Google Search Console.

While organizing your content, categorize it according to the search intent of each page. Group pages with informational and commercial keywords separately. From here, you want to determine which informational content you should link to landing or service pages on your site. This helps improve its topical authority, resulting in better SEO performance.

Analyze Content and Metrics

With the gathered page, find out the SEO performance of each based on key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. Some common KPIs include organic traffic, social shares, bounce rate, and conversion rate. 

These help you identify how each of the content pages are performing, which ones are generating the most traffic to your site, and some that may require updates or optimization.

Check your Google Search Console to see which pages are generating the most clicks and impressions and for which keywords. Google Analytics, on the other hand, shows you the traffic from sources other than organic search, like direct traffic, social media, and others.

You can also use a rank-tracking tool that monitors your site’s SERP positions over time for your money keywords. The goal is to sustain—if not increase—your site’s high keyword positions on organic search. The higher their rankings become, the more effective your SEO campaign has been.

An in-depth review can reveal opportunities for improvement and optimization for these elements, something that Specialized SEO Auditing Services can do.

Identify Action Items

Once you’ve gathered data from your content audit, the next step is prioritizing the most critical issues that need your attention and setting up a plan to solve them. 

Below are some of the action items you can include in your content plan:

  • Content re-optimization: Identify which site pages dropped organic traffic over time. From here, consider re-writing the content to make it more helpful for readers and optimizing it for better keywords with higher search volumes and lower difficulty. 
  • Content pruning: For content pages that aren’t ranking, generating traffic, or have non-existent engagement, consider redirecting them to a similar page on your site and unpublish the old version. This helps improve your crawl budget, allowing your other pages to be crawled sooner.
  • Content gap analysis: Identify keywords your top competitors are ranking for and your site isn’t. Then, use the researched keywords to re-optimize your existing content or content ideas for your new ones.
  • Conversion rate optimization: Measure how many visitors your page is converting into customers or subscribers. It reveals pitfalls in your conversion funnel and guides you in creating content that fills the identified gaps.

Take Action and Measure Progress

From the potential action items above, choose the ones that apply to your website. For example, if your organic traffic is dropping, you must look at the pages severely and determine why. Most likely, Google penalized the pages for not being authoritative enough. This is likely due to the numerous algorithm changes it’s rolling out about E-E-A-T. So, you need to rework the pages to make them more valuable to search engines and readers. 

Aside from SEO, analyze social media and conversion rate problems your site may be experiencing. 

Regarding conversion rate, you can use a tool like Hotjar to see how far down visitors browsed your page, which buttons and links they clicked, and other engagement factors. Using the information here, consider changing the copy, size, color, and placement of the page’s buttons to drive more conversions and improve overall performance. Refer to this CRO audit checklist for more ideas for increasing your content’s ability to convert.

Once you’ve initiated the changes, measure the progress. Comparing your content’s performance before and after the audit using relevant metrics, such as organic traffic, conversion rates, engagement rates, and time on page. This enables you to assess the impact of the changes and what else you must do to improve the results further.

Conclusion

There is simply no alternative to a content audit, since performing one helps you better understand what’s working well and where improvements can be made. With the insights from an audit, you can implement actionable tasks you can implement in your upcoming content campaign.

The great thing about a content audit is you can rerun it over time once your campaign concludes. Doing so helps ensure your website stays relevant and valuable for visitors. With consistent implementation of suggestions based on your audit, you should be able to achieve your website content’s goals soon.

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