Outdated texts or images, broken links, 404’s or content that is never viewed? Time for a Content SEO audit! Your content ages and changes rapidly. For example, because of new wishes of your visitors or technologies, changes in service or product offerings, changing seasons and so on.
Don’t you adapt the content in time? This makes your website less effective, lowers your search engine ranking and lowers your conversion rate. All this can be prevented with a content audit: an inventory and qualitative inspection of your content with which you know which content can be removed, modified or added.
Content SEO audit = health check for your content strategy
Usually, a content audit is defined as the process of inventory and analysis of the content on the website, including its performance. It is therefore already a ‘strength-weakness’ analysis, or a ‘health check’ of all the content on your site: text, images, videos, downloads, microcontent, but also meta tags such as the page title, which is important for search engines, for example. Do you want to know how up-to-date and relevant your current content is? What is quality? And how well does the content reach your target group? Then do a content audit!
Examples of outdated content: your price has gone up and you are still showing the old price, there is a sunny summer photo with an article about winter tires, the interesting background article on another site has been removed, but your link to this page still exists and now gives a 404.
These are all moments when your visitor can get confused and drop out. And you don’t want that!
When do you do a content audit?
Reasons to do a content audit are:
- Check How well visitors find, understand and do something with your content;
- Know how you rank in the search engines;
- To determine the content strategy;
- Before the launch of a new site and perform a content migration. With the audit you determine which content is useful and performs well and is allowed to go to the new site;
- You want to know which content visitors are still missing (the content gap) or which content you can optimize;
- As a regular check to optimize your content.
The goal of a content audit: measuring = knowing = improving!
After performing an audit, you know how (un)healthy your content is. And then what? Then you can start improving! With insight into the quality of your content, you can determine action points to solve the current bottlenecks, optimize your content, or still create missing content. This improves the findability of your content and increases conversion. This way you not only help your visitor but also yourself/company to achieve the objectives.
Take your time
Yeah, an audit’s a lot of work. Especially if you have a large website with a lot of content pages. On the other hand, it also provides a lot of value if you implement the points for improvement from the audit. So plan enough time for your audit. Both for the inventory, the analysis and the implementation of the points for improvement. Determine whether you want to assess all content for each audit, or perhaps only certain content or pages. This already makes a big difference in the amount of work. Or maybe you have a colleague who is willing to help? My experience is that the initial inventory of the URLs, goal, target group and content owner is the most work. Therefore, record the results well! Then you have a format that you can use again and again. Keep it up to date when you delete or add a URL so that it remains clear.
FLM Marketing SEO Health Check
To get you started, FML Marketing offers a comprehensive Website SEO Health Check. You can use this as a start, and it is completely free. Learn more: https://fmlmarketing.com/seo-service-marbella/seo-health-check/
Another possibility is to do a representative sample. For example, do you have thousands of content pages and types on your site? Then you can choose a number of pages to perform the audit instead of all pages. Then choose the pages that are important for the goals of the organization, for the main user groups, for different content owners and at different levels in the site. So not only landing pages and homepage, but also the pages deeper on your site.
Automated inventory check
Tools are available to automate part of the inventory. For example, Content Insight, Screaming Frog or Google Search Console. Such tools provide an overview of URLs and sometimes more data. With large websites, this quickly saves a lot of work. However, the qualitative assessment of the content and the definition of the points for improvement are always a matter for people. After all, you also need knowledge of the organization, the objectives, the market, and the visitors. You just can’t automate this.
Do the content audit in 5 steps
Let get started with the Content SEO audit: check the health of your content strategy. Below, I will explain how to perform a content audit in 5 steps.
Step 1: determine your starting points
First, you determine your starting points, your context, for the audit. For this, you need to know the business, marketing and communication objectives. A company that, for example, has a target of concluding at least 90% of its lease contracts online and has a formal tone-of-voice, will have different objectives than a youth forum on how to use social media wisely. In addition, it is important to know what the purpose of your visitors to your site is. The wishes and tasks that a visitor performs on your site, determine which measurement points you include in your audit. For example, visitors to the intranet of a financial services company are well-known employees who look for information and take care of human resources, while a website with garden furniture gets unknown visitors who want to see product information and prices, compare and buy furniture.
The content pages and types of these websites have different goals and therefore different starting points.
Step 2: determine measurement points and make an inventory of your entire content strategy
Now that you have determined your starting points and the purpose of your content, you start by determining your starting points and do the inventory. Measurement points are for example: page title, number of sessions, entry points, communication message present on the page, tone of voice, content owner, number / % of visitors via search engines, content type (text, video, pdf…), page loading time, bounce %, English text present, which keywords are entered on the page, etc. Choose the measurement points that apply to your site. Put them in an Excel overview with the unique URL in the first column. Then add the selected measuring points to the columns behind the unique URL. You can use this as a start and adjust it where necessary. Depending on your objectives, you can measure more or less. For example: if you have a lot of mobile views, it is also useful to measure on e.g. readability on different mobile screens. Then you start with the inventory of the current content and add all the answers in your Excel overview. The quantitative data is taken from your statistics package such as Google Analytics. Choose a period of less than 1 year to get relevant figures.
The qualitative data such as ‘communication message present, tone-of-voice’ etc. are assessed by you per content item and you fill in the relevant column.
Step 3: analyze your current content plan
After filling in the columns, the real work begins…the analysis. Look at the data you have collected and assess the outcome. In any case, be critical and honest in your answers. It doesn’t benefit your content if you work half-heartedly. You can ask yourself questions like:
Readability and quality of content
- What kind of content is this (text, download, metadata…)?
- How easy is content readable?
- Which keywords belong to this content? Are these well processed in the title, URL, headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.)?
- Is text actively written?
- Customer focus
Does content answer the customer’s question?
- What is the desired core message and does the visitor understand the message?
- Is the tone of voice the same as in the communication objective?
- Is the loading time fast enough?
- What is the purpose of the content and what do you want your visitor to do with it (download, click on the button, share…)? Does your visitor do this or do they show different behavior?
- Is the content in a logical place on the site?
- How high is the page displayed in search results from Google, for example, and how can you improve your position (findability)?
- What search terms are used to find your content in search engines? What content is missing?
- Is the content even viewed?
Correctness and topicality
- Is the content of the content still up to date, correct and in line with the communication objective?
- Are the links still working?
Retain, update or delete content?
List what kind of action you are going to take. This helps you to understand the scope of your actions and to set your priorities.
Step 4: Turn insights into actions and create new content
Now that you know which content needs to be edited or deleted, you can create an action plan. Of course, this depends on the extent of the necessary changes, whether you can do everything at once, or whether you are prioritizing and planning with quick wins and longer-term improvement points. Adjusting a number of writing errors and repairing broken links is done quickly enough. Writing, determining the right place in the navigation structure, coordinating with the content owner and publishing new content pages with downloads, videos, call to action buttons often has a longer turnaround time.
The filter on the column ‘Follow-up action’ tells you exactly which content you need to edit or delete. Determine which actions you want to perform and fill in the column ‘Remarks’. For example, adding metadata, adding a link to a video, placing a page-level higher in structure, etc. The overview of actions can now be prioritized and scheduled in your calendar.
Step 5: implement, make it measurable and optimize the new content strategy
And now it’s time to make the desired changes. Determine what your desired result is and make sure you can measure it. After all, adapting the content should lead to improved findability and conversion, and you want to see that reflected. Is the content not yet optimal? Optimize it further until you achieve the desired results. The optimization is a continuous process and not a one-off action. Make the content audit part of your management activities and make sure you perform it periodically. This will improve the quality of your content, the findability of your site, the conversion and, at the bottom, your customer satisfaction!
Good luck with auditing your website’s content! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them!
FML Marketing – Online Marketing specialist Costa del Sol
Thank you for reading Content SEO audit: check the health of your content strategy. FML Marketing is a digital marketing agency located in Estepona. With our team of multilingual, online marketing specialists we help companies in Gibraltar, Estepona, Marbella, San Pedro de Alcántara and Málaga grow. Creativity, content, SEO and high-quality design are the key tags of our company. Besides our growing client base in Spain, we are proud to operate as an international marketing agency, with clients in Denmark, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.