What is a Content Audit?
A content audit involves an inventory and analysis of all indexable content on your domain which is then analysed based on specific performance metrics to determine:
- which content to keep as-is
- which content to improve
- which content to consolidate and
- Which content to remove.
Purpose of a Content Audit
A content audit is used to determine:
- How to escape a content-related filter or penalty.
- How to improve quality of your content
- How to update your content to make it more current
- How to consolidate content due to keyword cannibalization
- How to fix content gaps
- How to find out which content is ranking for keywords
- How to find the strongest pages on a domain and how to leverage them
Content audits begin with taking an inventory of all content available for indexation by search engines:
Step 1: Generate a list of all of your content
- If you have a large website, use Screaming Frog to compile a list of all the URLs on the site and put them in a spreadsheet. Enter your URL in the text bar at the top and click on Start.
- Export the results. You’ll want to keep all URLs with a status of 200.
Step 2: Retrieve metrics and categorize content
Now that you know what you have, it’s time to find out how each piece of content is doing to see if they’re getting traffic or underperforming. You’ll want to collect the following metrics from Screaming Frog:
- Title of content
- Length of title (Is each title under 55-60 characters?)
- Category – the topic of each page
- Search volume for primary keyword (Get this from the Google Ads tool.)
- Average organic search traffic per month: Go to Behaviour and select the page.
- Average overall traffic per month.
- Meta description.
- Bounce rate of page.
- Average time on page of each page.
- Number of backlinks to each page.
- Number of linking root domains.
- Get the URL rank, TF or URL rating for each page.
- Use Sharetally to find out the total social shares for each page.
Step 3: Create an in-depth customer avatar
- Define your customer avatar so that you have a strong understanding of your customer avatar.
- Find out what their interests, problems and challenges are.
- Use those insights to identify topics and keywords
- Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Bing keyword research to find more keywords and topic ideas.
- Use social Crawlytics and BuzzSumo to find out the most popular content in your niche.
Step 4: Conduct gap analysis
Now you have 2 spreadsheets:
- One with your current content and metrics
- One with all the content ideas your target audience is interested in.
Look at them together and find out:
- Pair up the ideas to content you already have. What content are you missing altogether?
- Where you don’t have matching content, you have a gap.
- Which content is not performing well in comparison to others?
- Match keywords that are getting thousands of searches per month to content that you should optimize.
- Only change stuff for pages not doing well even if the page titles are a little long.
Step 5: Create your new content strategy
Create a column for action and add any of the following labels: Leave, Improve, Merge, and Create.