The quality of content you publish on your website is a direct reflection of the service you provide. Therefore, running an audit over your existing content ensures you are projecting the right image.
A content audit also enables you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your website, which pages are driving traffic and conversions and which pages are redundant. The majority of metrics you will assess in a content audit can be done in Google Analytics.
Targeting pages you want to rank
Search engines don’t rank websites. They rank pages. But the more pages you successfully rank in high visibility positions, the more credence your website has.
The first task of a content audit is to identify which pages are ranking and which are not. Once you have done that you can improve pages you want to rank higher and optimise content that is working well to drive conversions.
- Open Google Analytics
- Run a report on all your page visits
- List the pages in order of page visits, highest at the top
- Assess pages for performance (length of visits/bounce rates)
- Assess pages for conversion rate
This list will give a quick overview of your website. Now you have some decisions to make:
- Which pages do you want to keep as they are
- Identify pages that need improving
- Can content can be reused
- Which pages can be binned
Now you have a list of actionable points for each page, it’s time to improve your content. Before you do that, take another look at your keyword strategy and assess whether it is up to date with today’s algorithms.
Redefine keyword strategy
Whilst updating content, redefine your keyword strategy. Since Google launched the Hummingbird algorithm, a thick spread of keywords or keyword stuffing is not necessary.
Furthermore, search engines rank pages before they rank a website. To rank your website, you have to earn Trust and Authority scores with search engines.
It may therefore be the case that you need to adapt your keyword strategy. Identify your most important pages – products and services – and give them each a separate keyword.
From that one keyword, write a list of keyword phrases that end-users are most likely to type into a search engine. This list of phrases should be included in your content.
You also need to make sure that keywords are included in the following spaces of a webpage:
- Page title (and url)
- Opening paragraph
- First 100 words
- At least one subheading
- Alt tags in images
Once you go through the above process, you have a list of actionable points. Now you need to create another column or colour co-ordinate your spreadsheet and prioritise each page.
Point 1: Pages you can keep as they are
Content that is performing well in terms of traffic and conversions can be left alone for the time being so is given a 3rd tier priority rate. When you do assess these pages, look for ways of improving key terms and conversions.
We put this as a 3rd priority because points 2 and 3 are more important. And because action is required for points 2 and 3, it gives you more experience and ideas to find ways of improving content that is already performing well.
Point 2: Pages that need improving
Content that is receiving traffic, but not converting needs a 1st rate priority. These are pages that need improving. You might want to improve the content itself and provide more or better information, or include indicators that will increase conversions.
Including inbound links to service pages can increase traffic and link juice. Set up silos to your service pages and use anchor text with matching keywords. This informs search engines what your most important pages are and they will rank them higher.
Also include a call to action at the bottom of the page – even on blogs. Customers need to know where to go to take the next step. If you have lots of products and services and don’t provide a link, customers may not be able to find the relevant page.
Point 3: Content can be reused
Pages that have low numbers of traffic or use the same keywords as higher ranking pages can be reused. Search engines rank pages that provide in-depth information higher than they pages with lower word counts.
Therefore, revisit content that is not receiving traffic and add it to a relevant page to bulk out that content. Your content maxim from now on is ‘quality over quantity’.
If you have been publishing 500-word blog posts, you can probably extend one piece to 2000-words and receive more traffic from one page then you receive from all four combined. This task should be given a 2nd tier priority rate.
Point 4: Which pages can be binned
Before you rush into deleting page content, conduct audits on all pages that fall into the first 3 points first. You may find that pages you flagged up for deletion could be reused. The only time you would bin a page is if you no longer run the service or product.
Broken links can affect the performance of your page rank. Therefore, use a tool such as SEMrush to identify low-quality and broken links in your content.
Content is a key driver behind how well you rank in search engines. It is therefore one of the most important SEO audits to perform. Make the changes above and you should notice a difference in SEO results.