Today, we’re continuing with part two of our three-part series on content auditing. In part one of this series, we defined content auditing and shared why your company needs to perform an audit. In this post, we’re giving you a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a content audit.
Step One: Create a Spreadsheet
Content auditing begins with creating a spreadsheet to list and organize your content inventory. This list should include all content that is available for indexation by search engines. Your spreadsheet should include columns such as:
- Content Url
- Content Title
- Action to take (keep, improve, merge, remove)
- Content details or description
- Page type (landing page, blog, products/services, etc.)
- Alt tags
- Most recent update date
- Internal links
- Audit date
This spreadsheet will serve as your permanent content audit sheet, and provides an accessible way to navigate the pages that need auditing and allows you to work on your audit at your convenience. Additionally, your spreadsheet allows you to easily track your movements and to collaborate with other employees.
Step Two: Retrieve Metrics and Categorize Content
Use Hubspot or Google Analytics to view the metrics for all of your site’s content. There, you will be able to view the metrics for your site’s most visited pages first. A few of the metrics you will use in your audit include:
- Main keyword ranking
- Content title and title length
- Search volume for main keyword
- Average organic search traffic and overall traffic per month
- Meta description
- URL ranks
- Social shares
Along with a number of others, these metrics will help you fill in the blanks in the columns created on your content audit spreadsheet.
Step three: Review Content
Once your content is categorized, each page should be reviewed for a number of reasons, including proofing for typos or mistakes that could discredit the reliability of your content. In addition to identifying issues within the content, this review should also be used to determine if your pages’ current metrics are optimized for top search engine rankings. You will answer questions such as:
- Are the page URLs indexed? If not this may be sign that the page is of low quality.
- How unique is the content? Sites such as Copyscape and Siteliner are helpful in finding this data.
- Is there a sufficient amount of internal links? Your most important pages should also have the most internal links.
- What are my revenue or conversion rates?
- How much traffic have my pages received from organic searches in the last 90 days?
- Are the pages mobile-friendly?
- How fast do the pages load?
Again, these are just a few of the questions you should be able to answer from the data you’ve gathered. You will use the answers to these questions to determine your next steps.
Now that you know the gist of what happens during a content audit, it’s time to figure out what to do with the information you’ve gathered. In our next and final blog in this series, we’ll talk about your next steps and how you will use this information to create a new content strategy.
If just reading about content audits is enough to make your head spin, we’re here to help. Click here to contact us for help with your content marketing strategy.