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How to Do a Content Audit for SEO: A Comprehensive Guide
Julia McCoyFriday, 2nd Jun 2023
Julia McCoy5 min read · Jan 11 2022
How is your blog doing? Is it meeting your goals? Or has traffic plateaued?
Not everything you publish will be a smash hit. Even the best content writers and search engine optimizers experience occasional flops that fail to rank and get buried in search results.
Don’t just delete them or ignore them until they fade into obscurity.
What you need is to identify these less-than-stellar pieces of content, find out what went wrong, and take action to correct your mistakes.
In other words, learn how to do a content audit for SEO.
Are content audits worth your time? Just look at the numbers:
- Smash VC increased its organic traffic by 76% after a content audit.
- Pruning old content has become one of the most efficient SEO tactics for 51% of companies.
- Repurposing existing content has led to successful campaigns for 42% of marketers.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of how to do a content audit for SEO so you can improve your website’s performance on search engines.
We’ll cover everything from analyzing your website’s content to implementing changes based on audit results – all with the goal of helping you create stronger content in the future.
Table of Contents:
- What is an SEO Audit?
- How to Evaluate Your Website’s Content
- How to Do a Content Audit for SEO: Content Audit Checklist
- 1. Content Inventory
- 2. Content Performance Metrics
- 3. Content Relevance and Accuracy
- 4. Content Format
- 5. SEO
- 6. Content Consistency
- 7. Content Engagement
- 8. Content Goals and Objectives
- 9. Content Organization and Structure
- 10. Content Repurposing Opportunities
- 11. Content Gap Analysis
- 12. Content Audit Documentation
- How to Optimize Your Website After a Content Audit
- How Often Should I Conduct a Content Audit?
- Repeat Your Content Audits Regularly for the Best Results
- FAQs – How to Do a Content Audit for SEO
What is an SEO Audit?
An SEO audit is like a physical check-up for your website’s health — analyzing its performance, finding out where it’s ailing, and how to bring it back to life.
Why Do You Need to Audit Your Content?
- To keep your content up-to-date: The internet is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging every day. What was popular yesterday may not be relevant today. By regularly conducting SEO content audits, you can ensure that your website content is up-to-date with current information. Not only does this help keep your readers engaged by providing them with fresh insights, but it also signals to search engines like Google that your site is actively maintained and provides valuable information.
- To improve SEO opportunities: Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting more visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). One way to improve SEO rankings is by optimizing existing content based on keyword research. A thorough content audit helps identify areas of improvement in terms of keywords used within the text or metadata descriptions. This allows you to update outdated or irrelevant keywords while adding new ones that better align with current user intent searches.
- To ensure consistency with your content marketing strategy: Your brand has a unique voice and message that should come across consistently through all forms of communication, including written pieces such as blog posts or social media updates. By conducting regular audits of past and present efforts, consistency will remain a top priority and ensure that messaging remains aligned on all channels.
Auditing your website content regularly helps you identify gaps and opportunities as well as keep it optimized for search engines.
What’s Included in an SEO Audit?
- Technical analysis: Checking page load speed, mobile-friendliness, crawl errors, broken links, sitemaps, and more to improve user experience and search engine indexing.
- On-page optimization: Evaluating individual pages for title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and keyword usage to target relevant keywords and provide valuable information for users.
- User Experience (UX): Analyzing navigation, calls-to-action, and design elements to keep users engaged and on-site longer.
- Off-page optimization: Examining the quality and quantity of backlinks to boost your site’s credibility and ranking potential.
Don’t be intimidated by an SEO audit. Breaking it down into manageable components makes it easier for marketers and business owners to improve their online content.
When to do a content audit from Ahrefs
How to Evaluate Your Website’s Content
High-quality content is the backbone of successful SEO strategies.
Ensure that the material you publish is relevant to your intended audience and keeps them hooked.
A content audit for SEO starts by gathering data. A tool like Screaming Frog can crawl your site and collect information about your web pages.
Once you have the data, it will be easier to determine what changes you need to make.
User Engagement Metrics
Gain insights into how your content is performing by looking at user engagement metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and click-throughs using Google Analytics.
Duplicate or Thin Content
Duplicate and thin content can hurt your search engine rankings so avoid them at all costs.
Use Siteliner to detect any duplicate content issues within your site’s pages.
Readability is key to user experience and engagement, so use tools like Hemingway App or Yoast’s Readability Analysis tool to improve sentence structure, paragraph length, and overall readability scores.
Keyword Usage and Rankings
Make sure your target keywords match the terms and phrases that users are searching for, but avoid over-optimization like keyword stuffing.
Content Freshness and Accuracy
Regularly update your content with fresh information and accurate data to maintain a strong online presence.
Set up a schedule to review and update older articles, ensuring they remain relevant and valuable to readers while adhering to current SEO best practices.
Identify and fix any broken links on your site using Broken Link Checker to avoid creating a negative user experience.
Backlinks and Social Shares
Quality backlinks and social shares are indicators of well-performing content that resonates with your audience.
Examining the material on your website in-depth will give you a great basis to make educated decisions for SEO.
Sample content audit from Screaming Frog
How to Do a Content Audit for SEO: Content Audit Checklist
Performing a content audit helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your existing content, which allows you to make informed decisions about what changes need to be made.
To ensure that you don’t miss anything important during your content audit process, we have created a simple checklist for you.
1. Content Inventory
- List all the content pieces on your website or platform.
- Include details such as URL, page title, publication date, and author.
2. Content Performance Metrics
- Analyze metrics such as page views, time on page, bounce rate, and conversions.
- Identify the top-performing and underperforming content based on these metrics.
3. Content Relevance and Accuracy
- Evaluate if the content is still relevant and accurate.
- Check for outdated information, broken links, or incorrect facts.
4. Content Format
- Review the structure and formatting of the content.
- Ensure it is scannable with proper headings, subheadings, and bullet points.
- Check for grammatical errors, typos, and readability.
- Assess the content’s search engine optimization elements.
- Review the title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and keyword usage.
- Determine if the content follows SEO best practices.
6. Content Consistency
- Check if the content aligns with your brand voice and tone.
- Ensure consistency in style, formatting, and messaging across all content pieces.
7. Content Engagement
- Evaluate the level of user engagement with the content.
- Look at comments, social shares, and other indicators of audience interaction.
8. Content Goals and Objectives
- Assess whether the content aligns with your overall goals and objectives.
- Determine if it effectively communicates your intended message.
9. Content Organization and Structure
- Review the content’s organization and structure.
- Ensure logical flow and coherence between sections and paragraphs.
10. Content Repurposing Opportunities
- Identify content pieces that can be repurposed or updated.
- Determine if there are opportunities to create new content based on existing topics.
11. Content Gap Analysis
- Identify any gaps in your content coverage.
- Determine if there are important topics or keywords that you should address.
12. Content Audit Documentation
- Document your findings and recommendations from the content audit.
- Create an action plan to address the identified issues and improve the content.
Remember, this is just a basic checklist and you can customize it based on your specific requirements and goals.
Content audit template from Wordstream
How to Optimize Your Website After a Content Audit
After conducting a SEO content audit, you can optimize your website by following these steps:
1. Update Outdated Content
- Identify content that is outdated or no longer relevant.
- Remove any content that serves no purpose or provides no value to users.
- Update outdated content with accurate information and current trends.
2. Improve SEO Elements
- Review your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and headings.
- Optimize them with relevant keywords and compelling descriptions.
- Ensure that each page has a unique title and meta description.
3. Enhance Content Quality
- Revise and edit content for grammar, spelling, and clarity.
- Improve the structure and formatting of the content for better readability.
- Use subheadings, bullet points, and paragraphs to break up the text.
4. Optimize Images and Multimedia
- Compress images to reduce file size and improve page load speed.
- Add alt tags to images for improved accessibility and SEO.
- Check multimedia elements such as videos and ensure they are working correctly.
5. Fix Broken Links
- Identify any broken links within your content.
- Update or remove broken links and replace them with relevant ones.
- Use tools like broken link checkers to identify broken links across your website.
6. Enhance Internal Linking
- Review your internal linking structure and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Ensure that important pages are properly linked within your content.
- Use relevant anchor text for internal links to improve SEO.
7. Optimize for Mobile Devices
- Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive.
- Test your website’s design and functionality across different devices and screen sizes.
- Optimize page load speed for mobile devices.
8. Implement Social Sharing Options
- Include social sharing buttons on your content to encourage sharing.
- Make it easy for users to share your content on social media platforms.
9. Monitor User Engagement
- Track user engagement metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and conversions.
- Analyze data to identify patterns and areas for improvement.
- Use the insights to optimize content based on user preferences and behaviors.
10. Create a Content Update Schedule
- Establish a plan to regularly review and update your content.
- Set a schedule for refreshing outdated content and adding new relevant content.
- Ensure that your website remains up-to-date and valuable to users.
Remember, optimization is an ongoing process, so it’s essential to continuously monitor your website’s performance and make adjustments as needed.
How Often Should I Conduct a Content Audit?
Now that we’ve established why regular audits are necessary, let’s talk about finding the right frequency based on our experience with different websites.
We recommend running an SEO content audit once every quarter (every three months). This gives enough time between each audit cycle so changes made from previous findings have taken effect while still allowing enough time to implement new recommendations before starting another round.
If quarterly seems too frequent for your business needs, then consider auditing every six months instead. On average, it takes around two weeks after an audit report has been generated to complete action items from that report. This means there will always be at least four weeks where nothing happens due to waiting periods.
If six-month intervals will fit your needs, then aim towards scheduling them during less busy times when traffic tends not to spike as much.
Repeat Your Content Audits Regularly for the Best Results
Content audits are a crucial part of any successful content marketing strategy. They help you identify areas where your website can be improved, and they give you valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re serious about creating high-quality content that drives traffic to your site, then regular content audits are essential.
If you’re not conducting regular SEO content audits, then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve your website’s performance. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that all of your site’s pages are working together towards meeting your business goals while keeping up-to-date with industry trends.
Incorporating regular audits into your overall marketing strategy will provide insights into how effective existing content assets are performing, leading to increased traffic and more leads.
FAQs – How to Do a Content Audit for SEO
How do you do an SEO content audit?
How to do a content audit for Instagram?
Review your posts’ performance metrics in Instagram Insights, identify trends and patterns in engagement rates, analyze captions, hashtags, and visual elements of successful posts, and adjust future strategies accordingly to optimize engagement and reach.
Which tool is the best for doing a content audit?
Ahrefs Site Audit, SEMrush Site Audit Tool, and Moz Crawl Test Tool are popular choices for conducting comprehensive website audits that provide valuable insights into technical and content-related SEO issues.
Although not the most exciting task in marketing, content audits are crucial. What may be effective today may not be tomorrow, and even your best-performing pieces can become outdated quickly.
Regularly conducting content audits is essential to maximize the results of your efforts and maintain a healthy website. By doing so, you can identify new opportunities and achieve your objectives more efficiently.
We recommend conducting an SEO content audit once every quarter or six months based on your business needs. Remember to give enough time between each cycle so changes can take effect before starting another audit.
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