An effective content audit helps you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your content efforts.
Most of all, it gives you a data-driven approach to finding pages to update, redirect, or delete to improve the overall SEO performance.
Whether you’re a business owner, marketing freelancer, or SEO beginner, this guide will walk you through the steps of conducting an effective content audit (with examples).
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is a process of analyzing your existing content to find the scope of improvements by updating, redirecting, deleting, or merging content pieces. It includes analyzing SEO performance, conversion metrics, and technical issues of a website’s content inventory.
The auditing process analyzes different types of website pages, such as:
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Product or service pages
- Lead magnets
- Category pages (for eCommerce sites)
- Other important pages like home, case studies, about, and contact
What Should a Content Audit Include?
A content auditing report format depends on various factors, such as content types, website performance, business goals, etc.
However, the most important elements of an SEO content audit report include:
1. Buyer’s Persona
The audit experts will first understand your target market, business offerings, and goals to create a buyer persona overview.
After going through an intensive audience research process, you’ll get a detailed buyer persona including points like who your audience is, where they spend time online, their challenges, etc.
2. Customer Journey Analysis
A customer journey analysis report is one of the important areas of a content audit process.
A detailed customer journey helps you understand what type of content to create for each buyer’s stage to improve traffic, website engagement, and overall conversion.
3. Content Gap Analysis
An effective content assessing report will help you find content gaps based on your existing content and competitor’s content strategy.
This identifies whether your site has enough content to generate traffic, backlinks, and conversion.
4. Competitor Research
Competitor research consists of analyzing competitors’ websites in terms of content quality and quantity, backlink strength, SEO performance, etc.
This way, you can outrank your competitors by targeting their weaknesses in terms of content, backlinks, and low-competition keywords.
Here, you can download a free SEO competitor analysis template (by Moz).
5. SEO Performance Report
SEO performance analysis will walk you through the underperforming pages of your website. For example, you’ll get a list of pages with:
- Low to no organic traffic
- Least conversion rate
- Number of backlinks
- Ranking positions
- Target keyword
- On-page issues
6. Clear action items
Every audit report is incomplete without clear action items consisting of:
- What action is required
- Why it matters
- Who is responsible for the task
A content audit really is the foundation of a successful digital strategy. After more than 10 years of working with content and SEO, I’ve found that it is always the very first thing I do when starting a new project or role because it helps me understand the audience and identify content gaps, before optimizing for performance.
– Daniel Tolliday, B2B SaaS Content Marketer
How to Conduct a Content Audit In 2023?
Here’s the step-by-step process for performing a content audit.
Step 1. Align Your Business Goals
When it comes to auditing website content, there are dozens of metrics to choose from. This is why you should focus on areas that matter to your business goals.
Common business goals are regarding:
- Conversion (leads/sales)
Consider an example where the business goal is to increase organic traffic by 70% in the next 12 months.
Now, after the first quarter, your content audit will focus mainly on metrics related to traffic or reach. This includes analyzing the
- Ranking position of keywords
- Target keywords (do they have enough search volume?)
- Traffic sources
- Pages with the maximum and lowest traffic
As you can see, the above metrics will help you analyze high-impact pages to meet business goals (increasing organic traffic).
Likewise, every content auditing format will depend on the end goal and what you want to accomplish.
💡 Action items:
- Ensure you have clear business goals before hiring audit experts
- Add a deadline to your business goals so you can measure the performance after every audit
With that, let’s move on to the next step which is organizing the content inventory.
Step 2. Create Content Inventory
Creating and organizing the content inventory is crucial as it gives you an overview of what content assets you have along with useful metrics like metadata, URL, headings, word count, etc.
To start with content inventory, you can use tools like Screaming Frog, Semrush, or Ahrefs.
Here’s the process of creating a content list using Screaming Frog:
1. Open Screamingfrog and type your website URL
2. Click on the ‘start’ button to start the crawl
This will crawl your website pages along with key data like metadata, structured data, headings, and others.
3. Export the content asset list in a CSV, Excel, or Google Sheets format.
4. Organize the content inventory
This is how the final report will look like:
The best part is that Screaming Frog crawler gives you the page URL list with key information to organize the pages.
- Headings (H1, H2, etc.)
- Meta description
- Metadata pixel length
- Word count
- Structured data
Likewise, you can get the internal page inventory using Ahrefs’s page explorer tool.
Once you have created the content inventory sheet, move to the next step of analyzing content performance.
Step 3. Analyze Content Performance
By assessing the content performance of each page, you can focus on the most effective content type in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversion.
Here are some metrics you should track and how:
1. Low-performing Pages
Sometimes removing or redirecting pages can improve the overall site quality. For example, you may find pages with little to no organic traffic, a lack of business relevance, and zero backlinks.
These pages tend to add no SEO value to your website’s authority and performance.
In this case, you may choose one of the following actions:
- Delete the pages
- Redirect to a related page
- Merge the content of these pages to another page
Here’s how to find low-performing pages using Ahrefs:
Go to Ahrefs’ ‘Top pages’ report where you can sort pages by traffic. This will show you pages with no organic traffic from Google.
Next, manually analyze whether to keep these pages on the website or take necessary actions (delete, redirect, etc.)
2. Pages That Need Improvement
One of the easiest ways to improve your SEO performance is finding and updating pages that are already ranking on the second or third page of the SERP.
Simply visit Google Search Console’s page performance report.
Next, sort the page list by low CTR.
This will show you the list of pages that are getting a good amount of impressions in the SERP but not getting enough clicks.
By analyzing the pages, you can understand what to do to improve them.
Common actions to improve page CTR are:
- Updating the content
- Adding related subtopics and queries within the content
- Improving on-page SEO
- Optimizing metadata
- Acquiring backlinks to improve the ranking position
3. Engagement report
If engagement is one of your business goals, then measuring how users engage with your pages is important.
Open the Google Analytics dashboard and follow the below path:
Report > behavior > site content > landing pages
This will give you basic metrics to understand how well users engage with your content (bounce rate, pages/session, and average session time).
Next, find pages with:
- Above average bound rate
- Below-average average session time
These two metrics are good indicators to understand how engaging your content is and how well it serves the search intent.
5. Organic Traffic Trends of Pages
Even if you’re getting a good amount of organic traffic, you should conduct a content audit regularly to future-proof your content.
One way to future-proof your content is to improve pages with declining traffic trends.
If you compare the last 3/6 months of organic data in GSC, you will find the list of pages with declining traffic trends. Next, look into the pages and identify the reasons behind the traffic drop.
Common reasons could be:
- Google’s update
- Shifting search intent
- Better competitor’s pages
6. Goal Conversion
If you’ve set up goal conversion in Google Analytics, you can also analyze the conversion metrics of individual pages.
This helps identify what types of pages are driving the most revenue, the highest and lowest conversion rate, etc.
For example, if you find that a certain type of page is driving a good conversion rate but getting little traffic, you may focus on driving traffic to these pages.
7. Content For Each Buyer’s Stage
Now, the last but not least step is categorizing content inventory by buyers’ stage. Ideally, you should have enough content for the stage of the marketing funnel.
For example, if you find that most of your pages are for the awareness stage and little for the conversion stage, you know what type of content to focus on next.
Step 4. Create Action Items
No matter how good and thorough a content audit is, if it doesn’t provide action items, it is not good enough to execute.
This is why we, at Pazeviews, always focus on providing an easy-to-understand and executable action items report. This helps our clients know what to do next, why it matters, and the priority of the task.
Here’s a sample template to share action items:
Best Content Audit Tools to Improve Your Report
An effective content auditing process involves a lot of steps and strategies to create an effective report. And using tools can significantly impact the overall productivity and quality of the data.
Here, we are sharing the top content audit tools (including their roles) that will make your job easier.
In fact, these are the tools that we use to audit our clients’ websites and improve their organic performance.
- Screaming Frog: Helps perform technical audits of a website and organize your content inventory with key page metrics.
- Google Search Console: One of the best tools to understand the SEO performance of existing content. It includes identifying traffic trends, low CTR pages, etc.
- Google Analytics: Helps to track user engagement, and analyze various traffic sources, and page conversions.
- Ahrefs: A freemium SEO tool for performing backlink analysis, keyword research, technical site audit, and even competitor research.
- Semrush: A complete marketing tool to perform audience research, keyword analysis, content audit, etc.
- BuzzSumo: Assists in the audience research process by finding content with the most engagement all over the social media platforms.
- Google Pagespeed Insights: analyzes page performance (core web vitals) to improve the user experience.
How Much Does a Content Audit Cost?
The cost of performing a content audit by hiring content audit experts significantly depends on a lot of factors.
Some of the key factors that influence the overall cost of a content audit are:
- Website size (number of pages)
- Business goals
- Expertise level of SEO experts
- Complexity and type of website (SaaS, eCommerce, etc.)
- Additional services like content writing, SEO consultation, and others (if required)
In general, you may expect a price range of ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 for a detailed content audit report with action items.
Learn how much your next content audit will cost by contacting our content experts.
Why Choose Pazeviews to Conduct Your Next Content Audit?
After understanding the benefits of content audit, you may have decided to get experts’ help in analyzing your website’s content.
So how do you find out who is the best content and SEO service provider who suits your requirements?
Here are some reasons why Pazeviews is the right choice for your next audit.
- In-depth analysis: From audience research to giving you actionable items, every report will be detailed.
- Content experts: We have content experts with years of experience to ensure that your website gets checked from every possible area.
- SEO in mind: Our team of SEO experts will offer in-depth reports considering search rankings, search intent, on-page issues, and more.
- Actionable reports: The actionable reports will give you a list of tasks to execute (including their priority so you know what should be the next step).
- Active support: We ensure regular communication, solving clients’ queries at any stage of the auditing process.
Need help in the content audit? Book your free consultation with our experts.
Oftentimes, publishing more content isn’t the only solution to improve your site’s SEO performance.
This is why performing a content audit regularly (at least every 3 months) is required to eliminate content pieces that are not working and focus on the most effective content types.
In this guide, we have discussed all the steps and tools required to conduct a content audit. If you need help or have any queries regarding the content audit, consult our experts here.
Pazeviews Editorial Team is a team of professionals with expertise in Content Writing, Content Marketing, SEO, and more. Learn more about our editorial process to ensure the quality and accuracy of the content published on our website.