So, you have an awesome WordPress website and you’re investing a lot in optimizing it for search engines. Yet, you’re not sure what strategies work or don’t work for you. This is where a content audit steps in.
Yep, I know. This is definitely one of those words that send chills down every marketer’s spine. Even though this an extremely frustrating practice that may make you pull your hair out, it is still an integral part of your SEO strategy. It helps you assess the effectiveness of your tactics, identify and fix problems on time, and make wiser, data-oriented decisions in the future.
If you have never done a content audit before and you would like to learn more about it, don’t worry. We have you covered!
Why is Auditing Content Important?
The aim of a content audit is to assess the quality of your content and see how well it performs. When done properly, a content audit provides you with invaluable information about articles that don’t have optimized meta tags, lack focus keywords or have a low keyword density. Apart from these obvious benefits for your SEO efforts, a thorough content audit gives you the opportunity to identify poorly-written or outdated posts and update them, as well as see what forms of content, topics, tone, and voice resonate with your target audience. By answering these questions, you can focus on those tactics that work for you, keep your WordPress site fresh, and increase your SEO and content marketing ROI.
SEO and Content Go Hand in Hand
Before you start working on your auditing strategy, you need to know what types of audits there are. There are two immensely important aspects of digital marketing that require content audits and, you guessed it, these are SEO and content marketing.
By combining them, you will have a full insight into every aspect of your marketing strategy, from the crawlability of your URLs and keywords to the size of your content and people’s engagement with it. This big-picture view lets you address the major problems related to your content marketing strategy and start generating higher traffic and engagement over time.
It is also important to understand that a thorough content audit is not something you can do in 10 minutes. This is an extremely complex, time-consuming process that requires lots of patience, dedication, and analytics. Most importantly, your marketing team needs to work consistently and be equipped with the right tools.
Just like the old saying says, don’t bite off more than you can chew. If your site is new and you’re still not sure whether you have the right tools and knowledge to carry out your audits efficiently, maybe you should work with a digital marketing agency. In digital marketing, time is literally money. Fixing the mistakes you make may be far more expensive (and nerve-wracking) than outsourcing your work to professionals. They have the tools, teams, and knowledge required to do comprehensive content audits and help you refine your strategy based on them.
Start by Creating a Spreadsheet of all your Content Pages
The first step you need to take is to enter all of your WordPress site’s content in a Google Spreadsheet. Even though this may sound tedious to you right now, don’t give up. Entering your content data may be time-consuming, but it’s not that difficult. Of course, you can manually gather and enter each of your URLs.
Let’s say you want to start from the “About us” section. This section further branches out into numerous subcategories, such as “Our Story,” “Our Mission,” “Our Values,” and “Testimonials.”
There are also numerous content audit templates you can use instead of Google Spreadsheets, such as Content Audit & KWM Template, Content Quality Audit Template, or Content Audit Template.
Collect your Data
Now that you’ve created a spreadsheet, you can roll up your sleeves and start gathering your data. Of course, there are a few ways to do so:
Collect your data manually
If you have a smaller site, this is probably the easiest way to collect your information. The most important part of this process is finding all your URLs and copying them to the spreadsheet, so make sure you enter them correctly.
Let a Tool Collect URLs for You
On the other hand, if you have a big WordPress site, collecting data manually would eat up lots of your time and probably result in making numerous mistakes. To avoid that, you should rely on a web crawler. For example, Screaming Frog is a great tool that will provide you with invaluable insights into your page URLs, title length, meta descriptions, headings, broken links, word count, and so on. Most importantly, it lets you compress your data into a CSV file and download it.
Another great tool you should use is Google Analytics. Choose Site Content in its Behavior section and then hit All Pages. You will notice the Show Rows option and you should increase the number of your URLs to, let’s say, 1000, so the tool can create the report for all of your URLs. Once you do that, go back to the top of the page, export the report to Microsoft Excel, and download it.
Review and Customize your Content Data
Now that you have entered your URLs into Google Spreadsheets, you need to start analyzing their performance. First, you should determine the key performance indicators you want to focus on during your content audit. Narrow your metrics to those that are valuable to you and that can help you improve your strategy.
Here are a few ideas that may help you:
First, you need to check how optimized your content is for search engines. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Are there any broken links on your website?
- Does your visual content (images, videos, infographics) display properly?
- Do your pages have optimized meta tags?
- How many internal and external links are there?
- What is the length of your posts?
- What is the keyword density on your content pages?
Check whether your content is readable. Here is what you need to consider:
- Check your readability score using the Yoast plugin.
- Is your content pleasing to the readers’ eye?
- Have you left enough negative space to make your content easier to follow?
- Are your headings and subheadings used right?
- How consistent is your content?
The next step is to check whether your content is user-friendly and easy to consume.
- Is your website architecture simple and logical enough?
- Are your site and content responsive?
- How easy is it for people to find the desired content on your site?
- Is your content available to visitors using different devices, browsers, and online channels?
Finally, your goal is to check whether your content resonates well with your target audience and inspires them to convert.
- Are there any outdated or poorly-written posts? Can they be updated?
- Is your content still relevant?
- How engaging your content is? Check how many likes, shares, and comments your content receives.
Analyze your Data and Take Immediate Action
Once your audit is over, don’t let your data sit somewhere on your computer. On the contrary, use them to refine your SEO strategies. It’s important to know that there is no unique strategy that can be applied. So, don’t worry if you notice that the metrics you’ve chosen or the steps you’ve taken are done a bit differently. Your action plan needs to be tailored to your needs and goals, letting you understand the major strengths and weaknesses of your content.
To make your action plan more transparent, you can simply add the “To-Do” column in your spreadsheet, where you would highlight how each of these pages should be improved in the future.
Over to You
A good content audit is the backbone of your online presence. Once you start auditing your WordPress site regularly, you will be able to make informed decisions and take your SEO strategy to a whole new level. Most importantly, the mere process of auditing content will become simpler once you establish a system that works and set the right goals.
Is there anything you’d like to add? Tell us about your experiences with content audits in the comments below!