When you think about spring cleaning, your website’s content might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, regularly auditing the content across your site is a hugely beneficial exercise. A content audit improves your website’s overall ranking in search by identifying outdated, incorrect, or underperforming content that can seriously damage your online authority and performance.
Staying on top of what is on your website is crucial. Read more to learn what to include in your site’s content audit and why it matters.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is a process of cataloging, analyzing, and improving the content on your website to encourage more website visitors through organic search traffic. Content audits allow you to assess how well your content performs in search and meets your audience’s needs, giving you the necessary insights into what should be removed, updated, or rewritten.
When discussing “content,” we mean more than blog posts. Your content audit should encompass all content types on your homepage, products, and services pages, including (but not limited to):
- Videos and other media files
- Product images and descriptions
- Case studies
- eBooks or white papers
Why Do You Need a Content Audit?
If you want your website to benefit from plenty of visitors and clicks and rank highly on Google, ensuring every aspect of your content is accurate and up-to-date is critical. Keeping old and irrelevant content on your site impacts your site’s perceived reliability and trustworthiness and can negatively affect your search quality ratings.
If your pages are missing meta titles or descriptions, for example, Google will complete them for you, and they’re often not optimized for your business and targeted keywords. Missing alt tags (alternative text for describing images) damage your accessibility ratings, and large media files slow down your website; the risks associated with not auditing your content are endless.
What is Included in a Content Audit?
When completing a content audit, there are many different aspects to consider when deciding whether or not a piece of content is successful. The focus of your audit depends on your specific goals, but the following metrics should always be included:
Organic Keywords and Page Performance
Analyzing page performance and organic keywords (the keywords users apply when searching for your products or services) provides insight into your audience’s needs and highlights what information they find most helpful. When you know what organic keywords your website ranks for, you better understand what keywords to focus on to grow your organic traffic. Keyword and performance data are also helpful in planning future content and deciding what existing content should be updated or deleted.
Blog Frequency, Type, and Engagement
One of the first things to consider when auditing your blog content is how often you post. Regularly updating your blog “signals” to search engines that your website is up to date with current information, so it’s important to create new content regularly. The exact posting frequency depends on what’s best for your business, but uploading new posts one to four times per week is a good rule of thumb.
Be sure also to take inventory of the types of blog posts you’re uploading and what types get the most engagement. The three most common types of blog posts are:
- Blog posts structured as a list, called a Listicle, like “Top 6 Content Creation Trends of 2023.”
- How-to tutorials like “How to Incorporate Personalization on Your WordPress Site.”
- Informational guides like “What is the Value of Google Ads?”
When you understand which posts receive the most user engagement, you can make more informed decisions about the types of posts you should create to boost organic traffic, bringing more engaged visitors to your website.
Optimization of Visual Elements
Search engines consider more than just written copy when ranking web pages; your content audit should, too. A comprehensive content audit includes looking at the visual elements on your site, such as images and videos, and optimizing their SEO components, including image alt tags, media formats, and file sizes.
An alt tag is the alternative text (or “alt text”) that describes your images, allowing search engines and screen readers to understand each image’s function on a webpage. Alt tags boost a page’s SEO by improving accessibility, enhancing your user experience (UX), and giving search engine crawlers a better understanding of the purpose of image files on your page.
Another major search ranking factor is page speed. How quickly your web pages load depends on several factors, including on-page media, so optimizing your media formats and file sizes is important. Images and videos enhance UX; however, adding too many large media files can slow your website. Using the correct media format lets you include the necessary visual elements without detracting from site speed. For example, if a page uses GIFS, consider replacing them with MP4 video. GIF sizes are about 90% larger than MP4 files, so video is the best choice from a page-speed perspective.
What Tools Are Used in a Content Audit?
- SpyFu: SpyFu’s keyword research tool helps you identify the organic keywords your web pages rank for in search. Its competitor research tool tracks what websites you’re competing with for real estate on search engine results pages, offering insights into their top-performing content so you can see why they might outrank you.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console provides detailed data on your website’s performance in Google search results. Here you can see which searches bring you the most traffic and identify pages needing fixes or missing alt tags or meta descriptions, or titles.
- UberSuggest: UberSuggest helps you generate new content ideas for your targeted keywords, while AnswerThePublic provides insights into popular user search queries you can answer on your website to feature in Google Snippets.
How Do You Optimize Website Content?
Once a thorough website audit is complete, optimizing your content through a content cluster strategy is the best next step. Content clusters boost user experience and increase search rankings using topic modeling and internal linking.
Using your keyword research and other information gathered from the content audit, you can create pillar pages (individual web pages, or hub pages, covering a specific topic) and cluster content (supporting content pieces relating to the pillar page) to guide users and search engines through your site using internal links. Implementing content clusters organizes your website’s content and improves your UX, making it easier for users to find the information they’re looking for.
Easily Audit Your Website Content
So you see, content audits are a vital exercise for every website! Prioritize your website today and schedule some content spring cleaning. If you’d prefer the hands-free, stress-free route SiteCare can help. An independent audit quickly reveals gaps that could damage your online presence and provides solutions to get you back to peak performance. Our SEO experts oversee cataloging and analyzing your site content to help you create a first-class SEO content strategy customized to your business. Contact us today.