How to Improve Organic Search Performance: Complete a Content Audit

Posted by Megan Fox

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Oct 9, 2018 3:16:50 PM

Have you performed a content audit on your website lately?

If not, you may want to invest the time to do so and continue to perform one annually.

Auditing your content is a good way to boost SEO and to better your content marketing efforts.

A content audit may be time consuming up front, but you’ll be able to determine:

  • Topics your audience prefers
  • Boost engagement in the future
  • Increase your SEO ranking and website visit metrics

Keep reading to learn how to conduct a content audit.


Why is Content Important

Let’s start by backtracking a few paces. Why is content important to your site in the first place?

According to HubSpot,

  • Content marketing brings in 3X as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62 percent less
  • Small and midsize businesses that use content marketing get 126 percent more leads than those that don’t
  • Sixty-one percent of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog
  • Companies that publish 16+ blog posts PER MONTH get 3.5 times more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month

The more relevant, reliable and recent content you have, the more leads and business you can expect.

 

What is a Content Audit?

A content audit is when you take a look at all the content on your website (yes, all) to assess your site’s strengths and weaknesses. The insight will allow you to better plan your future content marketing efforts.

Many times, we write a piece of content only to publish it and forget it. After awhile, it becomes stale and outdated. Performing content audits keep us accountable. You always want to make sure every piece of content is relevant, reliable and recent.

When you perform an audit, you will be able to answer what posts are performing best, which topics your audience prefers, as well as:

  • Identify ways to improve organic search performance
  • Locate gaps in the content you’ve provided for different stages of your sales funnel
  • Discover pages to consolidate because of overlapping content
  • Highlight pages with high impressions but low conversions
  • Eliminate content that no longer reflects your business

Auditing your content will help your future content marketing efforts.

By assessing page length, visit metrics and social shares, you will be able to determine how your audience is responding to each content piece you’ve created. This, in turn, will help you alter your content marketing efforts in the future because you’ll be posting content your audience wants to read.

Content Audit


Why Conduct a Content Audit

  1. You have a lot of website traffic but not many qualified leads. According to eMarketer, one-third of B2B marketers don’t track where their leads come from. If you aren’t tracking where leads come from, how do you expect to know which marketing channels work and which ones you’re wasting money on? Once you take a look at lead generation, you may find that even though you have high website traffic, none of those people are qualified leads. This is often a content problem. When qualified leads are not coming in, maybe the content was not written with a clear buyer persona in mind. The content may not address a specific need or pain point of that audience.

  2. Your blog doesn’t play a role in sales. According to Huffpost, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67 percent more leads than those who do not. Yet, many companies do not use the blog as part of the sales process, which means no leads or opportunities come through because of the blog. This can be because the sales and content marketing teams are not aligned. The blog should help push leads down the sales funnel, helping to produce qualified leads. A company’s blog can also help provide sales teams useful nurturing content as they help prospects navigate the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the buying process.

  3. You haven’t met your lead or sales goals. If leads or sales metrics are falling behind, this could also be because the content strategy is not aligned to the sales strategy. Before revising the sales process, performing a content audit could uncover why certain goals aren’t met (maybe you’re writing about the wrong topic, etc.).

  4. Your blog subscribers aren’t even reading your content. If people that have actively subscribed to your blog content aren’t reading it, then you have a problem. By finding out why these people subscribed in the first place, you can start to get your content back on track.

 

How to Conduct a Content Audit

When launching a content audit, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the content value-driven? Does your content help people? What are you offering them? What will they get when they read your content?
  • Is the content persona-driven? Does your content align to the needs, interests and wants associated with your target audience?
  • Is the content results-driven? Does your content assist in the conversion of leads and sales opportunities? Which content assists in conversions of leads and which content does not?
  • Do you have a content strategy? Have you invested the appropriate amount of time and research to create the best content strategy?
  • Are your Sales and Marketing teams aligned? Content can play a huge role in sales, so identify the weak points in the sales process and align marketing strategies along those points. Have you found opportunities to educate and guide buyers through the sales funnel?

THE CONTENT AUDIT PROCESS

  1. Create a spreadsheet of all your content: Find all your content, and input all the URLs into an Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Gather asset data:
    • Page title
    • Focus keyword
    • Meta description
    • Page headings
    • Inbound links
    • Images used
    • Image ALT tags
    • Date last updated
    • Page visits
    • Page bounce rate
    • Average time on page
    • Word count
    • General topic
    • Assigned tags or categories
    • Author
    • Number of comments
    • Number of social shares
    • Accessibility on desktop and mobile devices
    • Calls-to-action
    • Conversion data
    • Associated sales funnel stage
  3. Analyze: Once you gather your data, you’ll need to spend a substantial amount of time analyzing the details so you’re able to take action. Create a section in the Excel sheet where you list what you will be doing with that piece of content (keep, update, consolidate, delete). Based on the metrics you deem most important, could be page visits, time spent on page, social shares, comments, conversions, etc., grade your content. Keep your posts that earn an A or a B. Update or consolidate your posts that receive a C or D. Delete your posts that receive a F. Use the results of your content audit to come up with five to ten actions you’ll take after completing it, based on any patterns that emerge from your data. This could be creating similar posts to the highest converting posts, posting more videos or infographics if each respectively get a lot of social shares or spending more money promoting the highest converting pages on social networking platforms.  

In addition to assessing your website content, you can apply the content audit process to your other marketing channels.

If you run print ads in trade publications, try to decide how many inquiries you’ve received from each ad. You can also delve into your email marketing campaigns. Is the content in your automatic emails still up-to-date? Do you have some messages that have a higher open rate than others?

While a content audit may seem tedious, all the manual labor will be worth the increased traffic and leads. Plus, you’ll have a verified plan moving forward.


InnerAction Media | Content Strategy

By carefully studying your existing content and assessing the data you’ve gathered from your content audit, you can make informed marketing decisions that will help you in the future.

If you need help developing a solid content strategy moving forward, we have a team of professionals ready to help. We can access your current content strategy and provide advice and actionable items that will get your business more qualified leads.  

Call us today: 304-241-4959

Megan Fox

Written by Megan Fox

Megan received degrees in journalism and communications media at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa. Megan is responsible for creating content for all our clients, whether that be in the form of blogs, news releases, web or social media. She uses various social media platforms and HubSpot to increase client's brand awareness for their existing and potential customers. Megan also conducts interviews with clients to help tell their success stories that are published various ways.

Topics: Strategy, SEO, Content Development, Content Process