Mapping success for a solid website creation
When building or redesigning your website you look forward to fully taking advantage of your business’s existing content. You want to make sure it is the relevant content to maximise your brand’s online presence goals.
A content audit is an inventory of your business’s existing content. An analysis of your most and least popular content, content that is outdated or inaccurate and content that is not performing so well in the search engines.
Two types of Content Audits
Quantitative Content Audit
Often referred to as a content inventory, a quantitative content audit includes just the facts. It is a comprehensive compilation of all the content pieces present on your website, catalogued along to their respective locations.
This type of audit provides essential baseline performance data that aids in making informed decisions regarding which web pages to retain, refine, or remove.
Qualitative Content Audit
Considered as the best practice for content auditing, it yields business-driven and audience-driven insights. Primarily focusing on the quality, relevance, and strategic alignment of each piece of content, a qualitative content audit is a deep and insightful examination of your website’s content.
Beyond merely cataloguing the content that already exists (as in the quantitative content audit), a qualitative audit delves into the value and effectiveness of that content in meeting both audience needs and business objectives.
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Why conduct a Content Audit?
A content audit is your ally to identify gaps in your content strategy, showcasing areas where to improve content quality and actions to take to boost your SEO rankings. This may involve: updating existing content, creating new content, and sometimes deleting content that is no longer relevant.
Conducting a website content audit is a valuable exercise for several reasons:
- Improvements in Content Quality: Ensure that your website remains a trusted source of information by identifying outdated, inaccurate, or low-quality content that needs to be updated, enhanced, or removed.
- Boosts on SEO Performance: Assess each piece of content for its optimisation, highlight areas for improvement (from meta descriptions to keyword targeting), and potentially increase your rankings in the search engines.
- Enhances in User Experience (UX): Identify broken links, redundant pages, or confusing navigation for necessary changes, and create a smoother, more engaging, user journey.
- Identification of Content Gaps: Analyse producing more material as areas where content might be lacking come to light, catering to your audience’s needs and prospective search traffic results.
- Alignment with Business Goals: Ensure that your content still aligns with your goals and represents your strategic objectives as your business evolves.
- Evaluation of Content Performance: Determine which content resonates with your audience and which doesn’t, by analysing metrics like page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates.
- Increases in Conversion Rates: Identify underperforming content or calls-to-action, and improve how to guide visitors towards your desired actions like signing up, making a purchase, or any other conversion goal you have.
- Optimisation for Mobile: Ensure your content is mobile-friendly and responsive, as the number of users accessing content via mobile devices increases.
- Streamlines for Content Management: Map the outline for removing duplicate content, optimising tags, and categorising content correctly, and define the structure to manage your website efficiently.
- Reduces on Risk: Ensure your website is in compliance with laws (e.g., copyright, GDPR) and that all your content meets regulatory standards.
- Budget Allocation: Determine which types of content yield the best ROI, and allocate resources more effectively for further content creation.
How to define the process?
To begin, establish clear goals tailored to your specific objectives: what do you want to achieve with your content audit? Are you trying to improve your SEO rankings, generate more leads, or increase brand awareness?
Once you have your answers, conduct a comprehensive inventory of your content, categorising it in types such as blog posts, articles, landing pages, product descriptions, and social media posts. In LightSpeed we use a content management system (CMS) or a spreadsheet to organise and track content effectively.
Metrics such as traffic, leads generated, social shares, and SEO rankings provide valuable insights, the next step involves collecting and analysing data to dig into the performance of each piece of your content and its interactions with your audience.
Now you are ready to develop your content strategy plan based on your findings. You can even make adjustments to your overall content marketing strategy based on the audit’s outcomes. For instance, if specific content types exhibit strong performance, consider prioritising their creation in the near future.
As a bonus step, draft a schedule to review your content regularly. Make it a habit and be sure that it is still relevant, accurate, and performing well. Content audit is an ongoing process and a crucial component of a successful content marketing strategy.
Further Content Audit tips
Insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your site’s content are highly valuable for ensuring your website remains relevant, effective, and aligned with both your users’ needs and your business objectives.
Preserve search rankings
Before content removal, use tools like Moz to check if any page you’re considering removing is ranking for valuable keywords. If the page to be deleted ranks for essential terms, consider repurposing the content or redirecting the URL to a relevant page.
Identify content gaps
Check your in-site search data in GA4 to see which terms users frequently search for but exit without finding. These indicate potential content gaps.
Then, utilise audience journey maps and content maps to align your content with specific audience personas and stages in their buyer journey. Heatmaps on FAQ pages, like those provided by Hotjar, can give insights into areas that need content improvement or additions.
Uncover hidden content
Older content not viewed recently might not appear in typical analytics but can be spotted with tools like ScreamingFrog. This is especially useful if preparing for a website relaunch.
Understand your website’s anatomy
Use ScreamingFrog to generate reports that detail the content structure of your site.
This will provide insights about:
- Content types present on the page (e.g. text, images, videos).
- Whether the page is indexed by search engines.
- Metadata like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
- Information about links on the page and more.
Lay a strong foundation
Address technical issues highlighted in the ScreamingFrog report or similar tools.
A technically sound website:
- Ensures a better user experience.
- Is favoured by search engines.
- Serves as a robust platform for future content additions.
Collaborate with technical teams
While some data from these audits might be technical, make sure you share findings with your web development team or partners. Addressing errors can improve site performance and search engine rankings.
Regularly update your Sitemap
Use the insights from your content audits to keep your website’s sitemap up to date, making it easier for both users and search engines to navigate your site.
Remember, just as you wouldn’t want a house with foundation issues, a website with technical and content gaps won’t perform optimally. Regular content audits ensure your site remains relevant, functional, and effective.