A content audit is the process of putting together a list of all the content on your website. This can be time-consuming, so you may be wondering why do it at all?
First, a content audit will help you assess the relevance of your content for your audience and whether your content is moving your business forward. Second, a content audit will help you assess whether your content is getting noticed, which is related to relevance and SEO. A content audit can raise up SEO issues that you can correct. Third, as mentioned above, content audit can be an important tool for strategy and planning.
So, how can you do a content audit? Donna Spencer, an Australian website designer, speaks of three different levels of content audits.
A full content audit is a complete list of every piece of content on your site, including pages, posts, downloadable files and videos.
A partial content audit may be based on a time period, like the last year or six months. It could include a Google Analytics report on your 100 most visited pages over a given time period.
A content sample is the simplest level of a content audit. In a content sample, you’re simply collecting examples of the kind of content that you have on your site like blog posts, sales pages, FAQ, etc. This is also the least helpful of the levels of audit.
If any level of audit seems too difficult for you, there are Content Analysis Tools available. If you are ready to do your own audit, 4Syllables.com recommends first deciding on your goals before you start. Once you know what you want out of your content audit you can decide what level of audit you want to do, and eliminate the information collecting that is not helpful to you at this point in your business life.
Once you’ve identified what you want out of your content audit, put together a full list of the pages on your site. Put your page list into a spreadsheet including all the urls from your pages. This is your basic content inventory and this will help you organize the rest of your audit. 4Syllables has put together a spreadsheet that you can use and it’s here.
Next, analyze your content.
– What can be removed (these are pages or posts that can be exiled to the island of misfit webpages)?
– What can be improved to get more views and actions? If your content is not evergreen it may need to be updated (or sent to the island of misfit webpages). If your content doesn’t reflect well on your business it should be removed or improved.
– Is your SEO helping you? Page titles, keywords, metadata, headings and image tags are all important for optimized SEO. How well are you doing on this?
– What content can be consolidated? You may have a number of blog posts on the same subject that can be put together to create one blockbuster blog post.
– What gaps are there in your content? Are there topics related to your niche that you haven’t covered?
– Is your content easy to find? If your site is difficult to navigate, this should be exposed in your audit and corrected.
– Is your content logically organized? If your site is a hodge podge of unrelated subjects put together without any recognizable scheme, this could be a turn off to potential readers and customers.
A content audit may expose problems that need to be addressed immediately. If you are more ambitious, a content audit could lead to a full or partial redesign of your website. An audit might suggest that this is an important and necessary step to build your business.
In this post, I have only scratched the surface of content audits. If you want to go deeper, these are some posts that helped me understand the importance of content audits and how I can do them for my website and business.
Great Posts on Content Audits
How To Do a Content Audit – Step-by-Step (moz.com)
How to Conduct A Content Audit (uxmastery.com)
How To Conduct A Content Audit (marketingland.com)
Why You Need a Content Audit (And How to Run One) (mightybytes.com)
Content audit guide and template (4syllables.com)
As always, I invite your comments and questions, your likes and shares!