Conducting an SEO content audit on an annual or quarterly basis offers great insight into how your website’s pages are performing. Done as part of a comprehensive SEO and content marketing strategy, an audit allows the marketer to identify copy that can be improved to provide more value to customers. And, it helps companies target text that’s actually hurting their site.
Your website’s traffic and your sales largely depend on the content you publish. If you don’t dive deep enough into a topic you won’t stand out to Google or to readers. Use the wrong keywords and you’ll confuse users if they even find your pages to begin with. A content audit can discover pages that are not engaging and this can cause Google to depreciate the value not only of the page, but of your entire site. A content audit can discover pages that don’t convert, because the intent of the keywords used to find the pages do not match the intent of the content on those pagse.
Performing regular content audits can be the one of the foundational tactics to consistently improving in search results instead of becoming irrelevant.
Ready to learn how to perform a content audit? First let’s talk more about why it’s so important.
How Does an SEO Content Audit Plan Benefit Your Business?
When you perform a content audit, you take a look at all of the blog copy on your website and determine its strengths and weaknesses. This helps you zone in what factors are affecting your search results, and it tells you a good deal about how you’re communicating your message to your audience.
A well-conducted content audit sheds light on your marketing strategy and delivers insight into the scope of value you’re actually offering. Often, we post something and then never go back to share updates with our readers. We might let content sit on our website that is no longer accurate.
This is not a good way to become valuable.
Periodically executing a content audit ensures that everything on our website is – at least once a year – fresh and full of current benefits for buyers.
Why an SEO Content Management Strategy Benefits Users
The content we post on our websites serves various purposes, but at the end it’s supposed to benefit the reader. By conducting consistent content audits, we provide value by:
- Identifying gaps in content
- Prioritizing content that’s relevant now
- Improving the readability of old content
- Allowing our content to be found easier in search
- Consolidating topics that overlap or are repetitive
- Organizing content through better linking structure
The content audit’s primary purpose is to improve the user experience and to build perceived trust. Of course, there are other benefits and many serve you, including boosting page rank.
At Galileo Tech Media, we conduct a content audit of our website regularly to make sure we’re delivering the greatest value for our target audience.
How to Conduct a Content Audit
You can offer constant value to your readers and increase website traffic by regularly conducting a content audit. To perform an audit, you basically update “so-so” content to make it mind-blowing (or extremely value-filled). Or, you just get rid of it altogether.
“So-so” content is content that’s too short, not focused or lacking depth. It’s the content that we might have been able to get away with a few years ago. Not very substantial in terms of originality and probably far-from-ideal in terms of keywords used.
To execute your content audit, you’ll need to search all of your website’s pages and identify those that don’t get many hits. All irrelevant copy (content that’s no longer correct or is outdated) should be targeted for deletion and 301 redirection. Blog posts and articles that need updating will be merged or expanded as appropriate, therefore providing a better experience for readers.
In short, here are the key steps to take when conducting a content audit:
- Create a Google or Excel sheet of all the URLs on your website. We love to use Screaming Frog to crawl our site to get a full list of each URL, title tag and meta description.
- Add per-page traffic to your list. Log into Google Analytics to find out how much traffic each of your pages is getting.
- Analyze the backlinks for each page. Make note of the total number of backlinks for every URL.
You’ll also want to add in some columns where you can make notes on “Action Needed” and “Redirect To.” This will be helpful as you decide to delete, optimize, redirect or leave your pages as is.
When you’ve completed your spreadsheet, it’s time to manually review every URL and select a course of action for each one. If pages are popular, you may want to optimize them to boost traffic. If they get little or no search traffic, you’ll probably be best off deleting them (and 301 redirecting).
Pages on your site that are similar may do better if they’re merged. Sometimes, you won’t need to do anything with a page.
One point to mention is that when you’ve created a new live link as a result of your SEO content audit, you should perform a Google Search Console reindex so that Google knows the link has been updated.
Having a solid SEO content management strategy is just one of many steps you can take to make sure your website’s copy is always fresh, accurate and value-filled.
To learn more tips on optimizing your content for search, contact Galileo Tech Media.