If you’re like most business owners or content marketers, you understand the importance of having high-quality, engaging content on your website. But what do you do when your content starts to feel outdated? How can you tell if it’s time for a refresh or improvement?
The answer is simple: conduct a content audit!
Auditing your content is an SEO-related process that helps website owners revamp their old or underperforming content to improve their ranking on search engines. Your auditing process can slightly change according to your performance and overall business goals.
Today, we’ll show you how to easily and quickly conduct an audit of your website (plus, we’ve included a handy checklist template).
That way, you’ll garner organic traffic to your website more easily. So let’s get started!
When Should You Run a Content Audit?
That’s a great question! Here are some good times to do it:
- When you’re redesigning or relaunching your website, and you want to make sure your old content is still working for you and your users.
- If you’ve noticed a drop in website traffic or engagement, a web content audit can help you figure out what’s causing the problem.
- If your business has shifted its focus to a new target audience or changed its goals or content strategy, you’ll want to check if your content is still on point.
And, of course, it’s always a good idea to do regular content audits, just to keep your content fresh and relevant.
Determining the Type of Content You’ll Improve
Conducting an SEO content audit can be a bit daunting, but it’s an essential part of your content strategy to help you optimize your website and boost your search engine rankings. The first step in this process is conducting a content inventory.
Think of a content inventory as a “stocktake” of all your pieces of content on your website. It involves making a list of URLs, pages, blog posts, images, videos, and any other type of content that you have on your website.
This step is important because it gives you a clear understanding of what content type you have and how it’s performing.
Now, let’s imagine that you run a pet store and you want to conduct an audit. You would start by creating a content audit spreadsheet using tools like excel or google sheets where you list out all the pages and posts on your website related to pets, such as:
- Home page
- About us
- Pet supplies
- Pet food
- Pet grooming
- Pet adoption
- Blog posts about dog care
- Blog posts about cat care
- Product description pages for specific pet supplies
Once you’ve listed out all your content, you can then start analyzing it to see what’s working well and what’s not.
This analysis will help you identify areas where you can improve your content to better meet the needs of your target audience and improve your search engine rankings.
“So… how do I determine the content I’ll improve?”
Easy-peasy! You’ve two routes to breeze through the process:
- Content gap analysis
- Content audit tools
Let’s explain them one by one.
1. Content Gap Analysis
Irrefutably, the simplest way to reoptimize your content is to identify existing gaps between what you’ve written and what Google is recommending on its result pages.
Analyzing the similarities and differences between your page and your competitors’ pages allows you to see opportunities that you’ve missed.
That way, you can strategically refresh your outdated content so that visitors get the most relevant and engaging information for each topic or keyword. Now, you can do that manually or by using specialized SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Frase.io, and so on.
If you’re interested to learn how you can analyze gaps, check out our beginner-friendly guide on how to perform content gap analysis!
2. Content Audit Tools
As their name suggests, auditing tools give you insights into how your activities are doing.
They also provide suggestions for improvement to help you enhance the quality you offer to your audience.
With auditing tools you can:
- Identify old content that you should revise as well as the ones you should remove.
- Mend or remove broken links.
- Evaluate the overall performance of your published activities.
- Save so much time and effort.
- At the end of the day, there are only so many hours in a day.
So instead of evaluating each page, you can quickly scan your site and generate an effective report with all the areas that require improvement.
Some of the notable tools include:
- Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Google Search Console (GSC)
- Frase.io Analytics
How to Use Analytics Tools to Reoptimize Your Old Content
1. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Google Analytics provides analytics metrics that you can use to track how your website visitors interact with your website.
These metrics help you monitor your website’s user acquisition, traffic acquisition, engagement, and conversions.
Here are the ones you should mainly look at:
- New users
- Event name and count
- Average engagement time per session
- Engagement rate
- Engaged sessions
- Bounce rates
By keeping an open eye on your performance, you can detect underperforming content and reoptimize it quickly.
2. Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console (GSC) helps you make strategic SEO decisions and boost the quality of your website efforts.
With GSC, you can uncover well-performing and underperforming content, along with suggestions for improvement.
The primary SEO issues that Google Search Console detects include:
- Broken external or internal links
- Duplicate content
- Page speed
You can use this data to audit your content and decide the pieces you’ll refresh, reoptimize, or remove to keep up providing high-quality content that stands out amongst competitors.
In case you want to learn more about the inner workings of Google Search Console, check out our step-by-step guide on using Search Console. You can thank us later!
3. Frase.io Analytics
Frase.io Analytics helps you track the performance of your published blog posts and articles on search engine result pages (SERPs).
With Frase.io’s analytics tool, you can track SEO metrics in your pages and queries such as:
- Ranking status
- Click-through rate (CTR)
By examining the performance of your pages and queries, you can easily perform your content audit and weed out low-quality content that risks bringing down the average overall performance of your website.
As a result, you’ll rank higher on SERPs, increase your traffic, boost your users’ engagement, and improve your conversion rates.
If you want to learn the ins and outs of Frase.io’s analytics feature, check out our article.
11 Key Elements to Assess to Improve Your Content Performance
Since your ultimate goal in content auditing is to maximize your website’s performance to drive more conversions, let’s go beyond content gap analysis and content audit tools.
It’s time to come up with a plan to improve it. This plan should be based on your goals and the conclusions you drew from your analysis.
It’s important to make a priority list based on the goals you set in step one. Every investment you make in your content plan should align with a business goal.
To give you an example, let’s say you want to improve your SEO results. You might find that adding a few links to an article requires very little work and can bring great results. On the other hand, creating a big e-book may require a lot of work but bring poor results.
To skyrocket your refreshing process, take into consideration the following nine elements:
- Focus keywords
- Meta title
- Meta description and excerpt
- Search intent
- Closing statement
1. Focus Keywords
Keyphrases are words or phrases related to the article’s main topic that draws in more readers and increases the article’s visibility on search engine result pages.
As time goes by, the keywords people use to search for a specific topic might change, and so should your primary keywords.
pro tip: As you audit your article, try to Include one keyphrase in every 250 words. that can significantly improve your on-page SEO and attract more readers to your content.
2. Meta Title
Also referred to as “SEO title,” your meta title is your main headline that shows up on the SERPs.
Creating an attention-grabbing title for your article is essential if you want to draw readers in. this should be informative, yet intriguing enough that it entices people to click on it and read more.
To help you craft the perfect headline, here are some tips for you.
1. Use Attractive Adjectives & Power Words: Start off by selecting words that will grab the reader’s attention right away such as “revolutionary,” “amazingly simple,” or “mind-blowing.” These types of adjectives can make any title stand out from the rest of its competitors in search engine results pages (SERPs).
2. Incorporate Numbers & Statistics: Including numbers within your titles helps give them structure since they provide concrete evidence on what information can be expected inside the blog post itself.
For example, say you were writing about how social media affects business marketing strategies; instead of saying something generic like ‘Social Media Marketing Strategies‘, try using ‘7 Social Media Marketing Strategies That Can Boost Your Business‘. This way potential readers know exactly how many strategies there are before even clicking through – making them more likely to do so!
3. Add clickthrough rate (CTR) Booster Words: Another great way to capture someone’s eye when scrolling through SERPs is by adding CTR booster words into your titles, such as “how, “why, or “when.”
4. Keep your title between 50-70 characters: By doing so, you’re making sure that it displays properly in search engine results pages. This way, readers can easily find your article among all the other search results out there.
5. Use your primary keyword in the title tag: this tip lets search engines know what your content is all about and can improve your chances of ranking higher for that keyword.
when auditing your content, Put in mind grabbing your reader’s attention from the get-go and keeping them interested until the very end. That means writing an intro that’s captivating, engaging, informative, and relevant all at once.
Here are a few tips to help you write an enticing introduction that will hook your readers:
- Stay on topic: Your intro should be directly related to the subject matter of your article or blog post. This helps your readers understand why they should care about what you’re writing and keeps them engaged as they read on.
- Ask thought-provoking questions: When you ask questions that make your readers think deeply about the topic you’re discussing, they’re more likely to keep reading to find the answers.
- Use interesting facts and statistics: Including relevant and interesting facts and statistics can help give your writing credibility and grab your readers’ attention.
- Use the Primary Keyword in the First 100-150 Words: this can greatly improve your search engine ranking. However, it’s important to use the keyword naturally and in context, as forcing it into sentences or using it too many times can harm the article’s ranking.
Pro tip: If you want to spice up your introduction, you can use formulas such as AIDA or PAS.
4. Meta Description and Excerpt
This is probably the most essential part of content audit If you want to get more eyeballs on your content, it’s a great idea to write an illustrative meta description and excerpt for your post or page.
Think of the meta description as a little blurb that appears under the title of your post in search engine results, and the excerpt as a brief summary of the content on your page or post.
By crafting an engaging and informative meta description and excerpt, you can give readers a taste of what they can expect if they click through to your content.
This can be a game-changer for improving your click-through rate, as readers are more likely to click through to your content if they feel like it will be relevant and interesting to them.
Plus, search engines may use your meta description and excerpt to decide if your content is a good fit for a given search query, so it’s important to make sure they accurately represent your content.
Pro tip: Search engines generally display up to 160 characters of a meta description in the SERPs, so Make sure you keep your meta-description between 110 and 155 characters.
The slug is the last variable part of your article’s URL. It appears in a small font between your meta title and meta description.
Your slug helps Google crawlers (and sometimes even your searchers) understand the purpose of your page or article.
If we go back to our example about keyword research, our slug can be “keyword-research-guide.”
So make sure you include your articles’ slugs in your content audit process.
Pro Tip: Keep your slug under 55 characters.which is more user-friendly and easier for search engines to understand. A shorter slug is also more likely to be displayed fully in search engine results, making it easier for visitors to understand the page’s content
6. Content Angle
Your article’s angle is the perspective you’ll take to cover your topic.
You want to make sure that your point of view either brings new information and insights to an existing opinion (or argument) or refutes it all together.
When refreshing your website, take a look at the angles of your blog posts and articles.
What are the chances that your angle is the reason underlying your underperformance?
Is your angle relevant to what searchers are looking for on the SERPs?
Ultimately, you want to take on a unique angle that provides an interesting perspective to your readers.
For instance, if your topic is about keyword research, your angle can be comparing the pros and cons of the most popular keyword research tools.
Another angle can be providing a step-by-step guide on researching keywords to improve your SEO rankings on search engines.
If you want to read more about different types of content angles and how to set a relatable one, our article on content angle would be a great resource for you to explore.
Your body text is the middle part of your article or blog post. This is where you dig into the details of your angle until you reach your conclusion.
When you assess the body of your content for an update, make sure it stirs up your reader’s imagination.
A great way to do this is through:
- Using vivid metaphors, comparisons, and examples, can help organizations stand out from potential competitors and entice customers with a unique vision.
- Make sure to write in an active voice; that will not only keep your readers interested and advance the story but also make your writing stronger and more concise by getting rid of unnecessary words.
- Include rebuttals and answers to main objections, as they help show that you can understand where they’re coming from.
- try to be short and concise. in essence, being short is about using fewer words, while being concise is about using the right words to communicate your message effectively.
- include a reasonable number of internal and external links. that will improve your search engine ranking.
- Use bullet points to effectively break up and simplify lengthy explanations, making it easier for readers to quickly and easily understand the message.
So when auditing your body paragraphs, be sure they tick off all the marks!
Pro tip: put your audience first. Sure, getting your content to rank high on Google is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Search algorithms change all the time, so focusing solely on SEO can actually hurt your content in the long run.
8. Search Intent
We’ve been talking about the search intent for a good while now—but what is “search intent,” to begin with?
Simply put, the search intent represents the main reason(s) users are searching for a specific term or search query.
Some users search for a specific query because they want some tips and tricks about their situation (i.e., informational intent).
Another reason users enter a query is that they want to compare different available options (i.e., commercial intent).
They can also search for a specific term or phrase because they want to enter a specific website or platform (i.e., navigational intent).
Other users are ready enough to take a specific action that ends their buyer’s journey such as making a purchase or signing up for a specific service (i.e., transactional intent).
By being aware of the search intent behind keywords, you can create more pointed articles that fit perfectly with what your readers are looking for.
If you’re interested in getting a better understanding of search intent, we’ve got you covered with our article!
We’ve included some awesome tips and tricks that we think you’ll find really helpful. So be sure to give it a read!
9. Headings and Subheadings
Imagine reading an article that is full of endless paragraphs but you just can’t tell which section is what.
Headings and subheadings help readers understand what your blog post or article is about by just skimming it.
Your website visitors usually start by scanning your headings and subheadings and if they feel your article fulfills their search intent, they actually pause and read.
When they start reading what you have to say, they’re more receptive to the value you’re offering.
As a result, they’re more likely to take your desired action.
When auditing your underperforming content, be sure to assess your headings. They should be compelling and easy to digest.
10. Closing Statement
Closing statements are a crucial part of any presentation or speech. It’s your chance to leave a lasting impression on your audience and summarize the main points you’ve covered.
To write an effective closing statement, you need to answer two important questions: “So what?” and “What’s next?”. Answering “So what?” means explaining why your topic matters.
For example, if you were discussing the importance of recycling to reduce pollution, your conclusion might emphasize how everyone’s actions can impact the environment and encourage them to take action.
When answering “What’s next?”, focus on the steps that need to be taken for progress to occur. For instance, you could encourage your audience to separate recyclable materials from non-recyclables to help protect the environment.
Writing FAQs can be a great way to provide your readers and customers with helpful information. Not only does it help them quickly find the answers they need, but it also helps you save time from having to answer individual questions.
One of the best ways to ensure your FAQ page is organized in a logical manner is by applying schema markup (also known as structured data).
This will provide search engines with additional context about what’s on each page so they can understand its relevance in relation to searches made by users.
Your SEO Content Audit Checklist
Like with any other process, you want to keep yourself in check with your auditing process.
As promised, here’s a simple yet effective checklist that you can follow as you improve your existing content marketing strategy.
- Determine the types of content you want to improve.
- Do content gap analysis using SEO tools such as GA4, GSC, or Frase.io.
- Explore the latest blogs in your niche and make sure to list high-search volume keywords.
- Refresh your meta title to include your focus keyphrase, benefits, and excitement factor.
- Update your meta description and excerpt to include your target keyword and CTA.
- Personalize your article’s slug to match your primary keyphrase and search intent.
- Improve or change your article’s angle.
- Tweak your article’s introduction to capture the attention of your readers.
- Rewrite your body content if necessary to add more illustrations and examples.
- Assess your main keyword’s search intent to gain more visibility on Google.
- Audit your headings for readability and scannability.
- Update your conclusion to summarize your main points and end with a clear call to action.
- List some of the questions people frequently ask and provide concise, reasonable answers to them.
Next Up: Boosting Your Blog’s Rankings on SERPs
Re-optimizing your content is an integral part of any successful content marketing strategy.
Because part of building your SEO ranking relies heavily on analyzing the outcomes of your existing efforts.
By doing so, you get to see new opportunities that you can leverage to elevate your content quality and rank higher on the SERPs.
So what are you waiting for? Take your checklist and start your content audit!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a content audit?
A content audit involves making a list of all the content assets on your website and evaluating them against specific criteria. This helps you keep track of your content, identify areas that need improvement, and determine which topics to focus on in the future.
Why do a content audit?
A content audit is important because it helps businesses to improve content quality, enhance user experience, optimize content for search engines, align content with business goals, and identify gaps. By conducting an SEO content audit, businesses can create more effective and engaging content that meets the needs of their audience and supports their overall marketing goals.
What is the difference between an SEO content audit and a website content audit?
SEO audit is part of your overall web content audit. A website audit can target other elements other than SEO. However, an SEO audit focuses primarily on evaluating SEO-related metrics within your website or web pages.