A content audit can be pretty exhausting and intimidating at the beginning. It is lengthy, complicated and the monotony is lethal. The time it would take to complete is inversely proportional to your probability of doing it. How can you just sit down, lay out all your content and evaluate its performance? It would be a never-ending job. But Voila! We will help you there! Read on to find out some useful and handy tips for content audit.
Why should you perform a Content Audit?
A very minute but an important error that occurs in an organization is that there is no one person overseeing the entire content on their site. Many organizations have built on their website over time, with the aid of numerous people contributing their content. But, due to the lack of an overseer, many a time, the content can turn out to be too outgrown, which is not at all in tandem with the user’s journey. There can be unclear paths, broken links, and outdated pages on the website. Carrying out a content audit will help you identify and fix these impairments, and in addition to this, will better optimize the content to improve the performance. Every piece of content on the website should have some purpose and add value to the users. The end goal is to create the best user experience possible.
The three steps for a Content Audit
We have divided the tasks into three steps for your better understanding and organizing, and these are –
- Taking inventory
- Identifying opportunities
- And creating an action plan
Step 1: Taking Inventory
- Crawl your site
Crawling is a much more effective solution, than the old-school route of documenting by hand. You can pull a report of your indexed pages by employing SEO spider such as Screaming Frog or SEMrush’s content audit feature. It substantially speeds up the time taken, by filling most of your blanks in minutes which would otherwise take hours for you to complete by hand.
- Create an organizational spreadsheet
It is now time to get organized by trimming down to the fields that are absolutely necessary and will help you reach your goals. You should keep a track of these important fields:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Content type (webpage, blog post, landing page, video, etc.)
- Bounce Rate
- Stage of Buyer Journey
- Session Duration
- Conversion Rate
- Reference your Sitemap
Your sitemap shall fill in whatever content is missed by the crawl. You can visualize your website, examine its flow or might as well consider refreshing it. Feel free to use a sitemap generator if you don’t have one. Keep in mind to submit your sitemap for review to Google Search Console, for search engines to better understand the structure of your website, and find your page easily.
Step 2: Identify opportunities
After you have documented and gathered a pool of content, it is time to root out the ‘content garden’. This is a crucial stage, as you have to take a call regarding what content to keep, what to discard, and revise or remove content based on its performance, relevance, and timeliness.
What to keep –
- Relevant topics
- The topic is already up-to-date
- It is well optimized
The content which is old or performing low should be revised to improve performance. Revise your content when:
- There is an update regarding a topic
- Pieces of data can be merged together
- Better keywords can be used to optimize a piece of content
- There are any grammatical, spelling or SEO errors.
Consider removing the content when it is outdated or in cases when you have new bits of information in another piece of content. Remove content when:
- Not enough content to warrant its own page
- Content is outdated or no longer relevant
- There is another piece of content that is more relevant as well as better performing
Make sure that all your content is focused on keywords that make the most sense for your audience. You can take help of the HubSpot pillar page structure to organize your content by selecting a headline topic and then tying subtopics to it. Reorganize your content when:
- You are currently lacking a pillar page or when the existing content can be used collectively to create a pillar page.
- You do not an individual and precise page for each product or service offered.
- When users are unclear to find the next step in their journey i.e. the user’s path is unclear.
This is a good time to make sure that the content is mapped to each stage of the buyer journey. Ensure that you have sufficient content for each stage, and if it is lacking, develop new content to fill in the gap.
Step 3: Creating an action plan.
This is the last piece of the jigsaw. With everything ready in hand, you now have to decide your plan of action.
Revise your content
You just have to refine and revise your content without really adding anything to it, to retain its relevance and core essence. You can repurpose the old content into new campaigns by updating the information and adjusting the keyword focus. You can do this by:
- Updating the keywords and meta description
- Make it all the more appealing by using bulleted lists, headers, and bolded text
- Structure your paragraphs well to better get your point across.
- Add images or videos
- Keep your contacts engaged by updating CTAs
- Minimize SEO errors.
Stay true to the actual goal of the content, and see where it fits into the buyer journey. This will add value to your content as well as ease your way into understanding the mindset of your customers.
If the user’s path is still not very clear, refer to the step 2 content strategy tool. This will give you heads about how users might navigate from one topic to another. Your ultimate purpose is to create a hassle-free user experience.
Creating New Content
Cater time and resources to map out the buyer journey; doing this will help you identify the gaps and what kind of content will help you fill it. You should lay out the content in tandem with each stage of the buyer journey, along with its purpose and how it helps your leads to prosper.
Be cautious to not repeat your content.
Update your Inventory
Now that you have done everything from removing, revising, reorganizing, and writing new pieces, all you are left to do is to update your inventory spreadsheet. This is a very handy and helpful habit that will keep you from repeating everything in the future, thereby saving your valuable time and energy.
Pat yourself on the back, as you have successfully learned how to carry out a content audit with all its nitty-gritty! For any further help, you can connect with Tranzdigi, a leading Digital Marketing Company in Mumbai.