A content audit is the process of examining and assessing a website's various content elements, including pages, posts, images, etc. This comprehensive evaluation allows you to gauge your site's quality, relevance and performance while pinpointing areas that could benefit from optimisation.
In this article, we'll delve into the objectives of content audits, outline the steps for conducting one and highlight how such an audit can maximise your website's visibility on search engines.
What is the purpose of a content audit?
In today's fiercely competitive digital landscape, having great content is crucial for securing high rankings on platforms such as Google, where demonstrating E-E-A-T elements (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) can help you stand out from the crowd. A content audit can help you assess how well your content meets these criteria and make informed decisions on areas for improvement.
Generally, content audits aim to achieve the following objectives:
Identify optimisation opportunities
Content audits help identify opportunities for optimisation to boost search rankings. For instance, you may now be adding meta descriptions to your pages as part of your current strategy, but older posts might be missing them. A content audit helps find these posts so you can optimise these pages accordingly.
Highlight SEO potential
Content audits also enable you to discover new SEO opportunities for your website, such as maximising keyword potential and improving existing meta tags. These actions enable search engines to better understand your content and match your web pages to browsers more accurately.
Recommend content improvements
A content audit is an opportunity for you to improve the content on your website for your readers. For example, you may not be aware that some of the links on one of your product pages are broken, but a content audit will alert you to fix those links.
Identify content that can be consolidated or culled
A content audit allows you to identify pages that are competing for the same keywords. If two pages compete for the same keywords, Google doesn't know which page to rank, which can result in penalisation. By consolidating the two articles and culling the lower performing one, you can increase rankings for the target keyword.
Identify new content opportunities
Assessing keywords enables you to see which keywords the content is successfully ranking for, and which keywords are falling short. Content may fall short of ranking for certain keywords because the intent is too different. This means you can earmark these keywords for potential future content.
What are the benefits of a content audit?
A content audit can provide many benefits for your website and business, such as:
- Helping you find opportunities to connect with your target audience by answering their questions and addressing their needs with your content, subsequently boosting your E-E-A-T credentials.
- Helping you understand what your target customers are searching for online by using tools such as SEMrush, AlsoAsked or Answer the Public to gather data on relevant and emerging search terms and topics.
- Helping you improve your site reach by applying effective SEO techniques and fixing errors that affect your site’s performance and user experience.
- Helping you optimise your content for better ranking and visibility on the SERPs by assessing how well the page matches user intent, targets keywords and utilises meta data, which leads to more and better qualified leads into your sales funnel.
How to perform a content audit
A comprehensive content conducted by a professional SEO agency would normally follow four key steps. These steps can maximise your site’s potential, resulting in a higher quantity and quality of leads.
1. Gather and organise content
The first step is to gather and organise all content, including blogs and site content, using tools like Screaming Frog or SEMrush. Compile data using free online content audit templates, which often include SEO audit guides and checklists. Create separate tabs in the spreadsheet for different content types, such as landing pages, blogs, and guides to keep things organised.
2. Categorise your content
Once you have gathered and organised all your content, you will need to sort it by category. Categorising content helps identify recurring themes and focus points. Customise the content audit template to suit your requirements, but essential columns to include are:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Content Format
- Content Purpose
- Customer Journey Stage
- Main Focus Keyword
- Internal links
3. Evaluate and analyse
In this step, you'll assess the quality and effectiveness of your content by evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) such as pageviews, time spent on page, bounce rate and conversion rates. You may also consider qualitative factors like relevance, accuracy, readability, and SEO optimisation. Create an additional column to indicate goals and actions needed for each piece of content.
4. Manage and maintain your content audit
The final step is to update your content audit regularly to ensure you always have a clear view of your site’s content. Every time you publish something new, add it to your audit, filling in the relevant columns as you go. This will not only save you time but help you optimise the performance of your content on a regular basis.
What are the best tools for a content audit?
If you are planning to complete a content audit yourself following an online guide, you’ll need to source the right tools for the job. While there is no one-size-fits-all option, the tools highlighted below can help you get the best out of your audit.
- Screaming Frog (free version available): This tool crawls your website and provides a comprehensive report on various metrics such as page titles, meta descriptions, word count, duplicate content, etc. It can also pull Google Analytics and Google Search Console data via API which could prove useful when auditing your content.
- SEMrush (free trial available): This tool helps you analyse your content performance based on traffic, keywords, backlinks, word count, etc. You can also use it to compare your content with your competitors and identify gaps and opportunities.
- Also Asked (free version available): This tool find the questions that people also ask when they search for something on Google, helping you identify the most popular and engaging topics in your niche and understand the search intent of your audience.
These are just some of the tools that can help you with your content audit. There are many more available online depending on your needs and preferences.
Wondering ‘do I need a content audit’?
Now you know what a content audit is and how to perform one, you might be wondering ‘do I really need a content audit?’ In conclusion, an audit can help ensure your website delivers relevant, engaging and high quality content that stands out from the competition. It can help you identify and fix issues, optimise your content for SEO and enhance the overall user experience.
However, performing a content audit can be time-consuming and complex, especially if you have a large or dynamic website. That’s why hiring an SEO agency is often a better option than doing it yourself. SEO specialists have the expertise, tools and resources to conduct a thorough and effective content audit and can also provide you with actionable recommendations for improvement.
If you’d like to find out how the Adido SEO team can take your website content to the next level, contact our SEO Audit team today.