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How to conduct an SEO content audit

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If you haven't been performing qualitative analysis, chances are you have an unorganized mass of content that is not aligned with SEO best practices

As an online media business, you have created a massive amount of content. This is great since content is the fuel running your business. However, if you haven’t been performing qualitative analysis throughout the months, chances are you have an unorganized mass of content that is not aligned with SEO best practices or your business goals. A content audit is required.

What is a content audit?

A content audit is the process of evaluating whether or not your digital content is relevant to your customers’ needs and the overall goals of the business. This review is a key part of any content or SEO strategy. An audit is required in order to give an accurate overview of the health of your website so you can better manage and govern your content.

What is the purpose of a content audit?

While this is a long and tedious process, a SEO audit is all about assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your website in order to prioritize your future SEO and marketing activities. When done right, audits will help to identify critical issues with accuracy, consistency, tone and your existing strategy, as well as identify if your customers’ needs, brand goals and marketing objectives are being met.

How to do an SEO content audit

To get started, you will need MS Excel or a Google spreadsheet, Screaming Frog software and access to Google Analytics.

Step 1 – Create a Spreadsheet of All Your Pages

Create a spreadsheet and take inventory of all the content that is on your site. If you are doing this manually, create columns for:

  • URL
  • Page Title
  • Target Keyword
  • Meta Description
  • Page Headings
  • Action (No Change, Update, Repurpose, Delete)
  • Keywords
  • Alt Tags
  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Time on Page
  • Broken Links

Step 2 – Gather Asset Data

Once you’ve created the data points to measure, take the time to complete the spreadsheet. If you’re using a software like Screaming Frog, after it crawls the website you’ll be able to export the data to a spreadsheet.

Use Google Analytics to collect information on your audience’s search habits and the success metrics of each page. The longer a user stays on your website, the more valuable Google will deem your content to be. Once you have completed the information, the resulting document is your content inventory.

Step 3 – Analyze Your Data

Now you’ll need to evaluate and score each page. You should always have specific business goals for each audit you perform. When you’re analyzing each page, the following are some of the questions you should be asking:

  • Is the content accurate?
  • Does it support business and user goals?
  • Are the pages optimized (Page Titles, Meta Descriptions)?
  • Is the bounce rate high?
  • What’s missing?
  • Does the content help the lead/conversion process?

Your best performing pages should get the top scores. These are the pages that are performing well, have no broken interlinks or broken outbound links, have content that supports your title or headline, had a positive effect on rankings and have no duplicate content, meta descriptions or page titles.

Final Tips, Tricks and Takeaways

After your data analysis, your next step is to create a plan to address all the weaknesses found.

  • Top scoring pages may only need a few tweaks.
  • Middle scoring pages should be updated to include the things that are missing, like page titles, Meta descriptions, image tags, or updating the main content with more relevant information and keywords.
  • Low performing pages should be removed and a 301 redirect created to a relevant page. Most times, it is better to start from scratch with new content that it is to fix a page that is seriously underperforming.

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