What is a content audit?
A content audit is the process of analysing and assessing all of the content on your website. It allows us to see where the strengths and weaknesses are in your content strategy, and whether anything can be deleted, redirected or repurposed into other formats. Because content audits use keyword analysis they can identify potential opportunities or ‘low hanging fruit’, allowing you to create or improve upon the pages on your site that will have the highest impact on your traffic.
Content audits also identify poorly performing pages or pages that may be competing with other pages on your site. A good content audit will therefore significantly improve your website’s performance in the long-run.
How we do content audits
The scope and extensiveness of our content audits depend entirely on the nature of the website we’re doing them for and what the client’s stated goals are.
If you’re on a retained SEO service then we’ll first decide on the relevant benefits of conducting a content audit vs doing other SEO activity that may be more beneficial in the short to medium term. With smaller websites, for example, a content audit is usually rolled into our main SEO audit, which analyses the pages on your site at a high level and seeks to understand what kind of keywords they are ranking for.
If you have a larger site, we will look to conduct a more thorough content audit, using our in-house designed Google Sheet, which pulls in data from a number of sources, including Ahrefs, Google Analytics and Screaming Frog. This allows us to quickly parse thousands of pages, in order to identify ‘low hanging fruit’ – that is, pages that are lurking in the top half of page 2 or bottom of page 1 in the search results but have the potential to be optimised and pushed into the top half of page 1 (where you can expect a lot more traffic to them).
It’s worth noting that a content audit can also identify which pages would benefit from link building in order to further optimise them.
Once we’ve identified existing pages on your site to optimise, or new pages to build, we will create a content plan for you to sign off on and then begin pushing the new content out to our team of seasoned copywriters. The speed at which we can produce this content will depend entirely on how much content is required and your budget.
A content audit provides a comprehensive analysis, which helps understand the strengths and weaknesses of your content.
Making sense of the data
Conducting a content audit requires not only the right data and the right tools but it also requires the know-how to set the parameters and interpret the data that comes out the other end.
While Google Analytics gives us a decent overview of your traffic, engagement and conversion rates on a page by page level, a content audit will give us a more comprehensive analysis, helping us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your content, as well as identifying content gaps.
At Superb Digital, we use our own custom designed tool built in Google Sheets to conduct content audits. This uses various feeds to bring in data from our suite of SEO tools including, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Screaming Frog and Ahrefs. From here, the system then identifies opportunities and ‘low hanging fruit’ with which we will look to build our content strategy around.
For more information on how we conduct content audits and how they can benefit your business, why not give us a call and we can talk you through it. Or for a deep dive, check out our blog on how to perform the perfect content audit.
Content Audit FAQ
Will a content audit impact my SEO?
Ultimately, a good content audit should boost your search engine visibility by helping you target existing pages to improve and pages that don’t exist to create. Importantly it will also identify pages that may not be doing you any good or are even competing with other pages (something known as keyword cannibalisation). This problem is especially acute on large ecommerce sites that often have thousands of tens of thousands of pages.
Optimising and improving some URLs and retiring others will often result in an SEO dividend by avoiding KW cannibalisation and putting your cornerstone content centre stage. In this sense, a content audit gives you the opportunity to really improve the visibility of your most valuable content. It will also highlight content gaps and existing pages that need improving or optimising.
A content audit can also show you where you can redirect your lowest-performing page URLs to relevant content elsewhere on your site, or whether it can be combined with another page. From an SEO point of view, it often makes sense to merge content into a long-form asset when you have multiple pages on the same topic.
How long will a content audit take?
A content audit can be a lengthy process so we start by defining your goals and setting out the results you would ultimately like to achieve. Is it about improving your SEO results? Boosting conversion rate? Increasing audience engagement?
Once we’ve done this you can start making a list of all the URLs on your site that you want to analyse. We’ll then sort your content into categories and add other key metrics that are important to your objectives, such as search ranking, page views, bounce rate, dwell-time and keyword phrases that are relevant to the page.
How often should I conduct a content audit?
For most small to medium sites, we recommend doing a content audit every year or two. But for bigger websites with lots of new content (such as larger ecommerce and magazine sites), we would suggest doing a content audit every six months.
While it can be a tedious process, keeping your website up-to-date and relevant will improve your user engagement and keep you in favour with Google’s algorithm. It will also give you the opportunity to regularly review your content back catalogue which is a useful exercise for generating new ideas.