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Are you aware of the content sitting on your website? When’s the last time you reviewed and organized your blog posts so you only have the most valuable content available to your audience?
When you first create a blog, it’s easy to keep track of its content and catalog it accordingly. But as it grows, it proves more and more difficult to keep up with what content performs well with readers and what content your website could do without. The longer you let the load pile up, the more challenging it is to sift through later.
Why perform a content audit?
Did you know that 37 percent of content marketers never perform a content audit? When you consider the benefits it brings your blog or business, it doesn’t make sense why so many marketers ignore this vital process.
There are several reasons why you should perform a content audit regularly for your blog.
Auditing your blog content improves your site’s SEO so your content shows up first when your audience searches for relevant keywords and terms. As you optimize your SEO, you also drive organic traffic to your website and generate leads.
Google favors websites that offer the most recent, valuable information to readers. If your content is compelling, teaches them something new, or solves a problem, that’s a sign that it’s worth ranking high in search. Getting rid of useless blog posts makes room for what helps viewers the most.
Your website will naturally drive conversions when you offer the right content to your audience. You can refine your blog posts by including CTAs that prolong user engagement. The longer someone stays on your site, the likelier they are to take action.
If you think it’s time for your blog to undergo a content audit, here are a few ways to help you get started.
1. Set your goals
The purpose of a content audit differs from marketer to marketer. It’s a means of website cleanup but also serves several valuable purposes to foster brand growth. If you pick a couple of goals and stick to them, it’s easier to narrow your focus and follow through so you see positive results.
Remember that most content audits take a while to complete, especially if you have a lot of content piled up over time. The process requires patience, but if you stick to it, it’s worth the effort in the end.
Consider a few goals you want to focus on, including:
- Driving conversions. When you organize your content and make it easy to navigate, it encourages users to take action. Knowing what converts and what doesn’t lets you provide the smoothest UX for visitors.
- Improving SEO. It’s easier for search engines to index your website when you organize and optimize your content. It’s also easier for visitors to find your website when it’s in the top search results. If you want your target audience to find your blog, improving your website’s SEO is vital.
- Prolonging user engagement. If your blog struggles to receive engagement from readers, performing a content audit is the perfect way to revamp your content marketing strategy. People are only going to interact with what they find useful or interesting. So, when you only provide content that offers value, it encourages visitors to engage further.
2. Take inventory
Once you have your goals set in place, you need to take inventory of all the published content you have. When you have everything in front of you, it’s easier to place it into its proper category later.
Collect the URLs of all your blog posts and insert them into a spreadsheet. If you have a smaller site that isn’t too overloaded with content, you can do this manually. However, if your website has a lot to sift through, you can use software to simplify the content management process.
If you don’t already, create a sitemap to make it easier to audit your content. A sitemap is a list of all the webpages on your site. Not only does it simplify the auditing process, but it also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.
Depending on your goals, the way you categorize your URLs will differ. For example, if your goal is to improve your content’s SEO, it’s important to track your internal links and metadata. This ensures it’s up to speed with Google’s latest algorithm so your content ranks higher.
You can add the following columns to your spreadsheet to organize your existing content:
- Content type (In this case, it’s blog posts.)
- Page visits
- Page engagement
- Buyer’s journey stage
- Conversion rate
- Meta title
- Meta description
3. Analyze data
Now that you have a compiled list of all your blog posts, it’s time to analyze them and see how they’re performing with your audience. Pay attention to recurring themes and trends that may stick out as a problem or be of great interest to readers. Do they flock to your blog posts but bounce shortly after? Are there certain topics that gain more traction than others?
Use Google Analytics or other analytics software to gain insight into your data and compile it together.
Along with the metrics you added to your spreadsheet, you should also pay special attention to:
- Bounce rate
- Organic traffic
- Unique visitors
- Returning visitors
- Pages per session
Tracking the content that speaks to visitors versus the content that barely gains views or engagement will help you categorize it in the next step.
4. Categorize your content
Now that you’ve analyzed all your content, it’s time to drive a plan of action by deciding what to do with it.
Divide your content into three categories:
- Keep – You don’t need to make any further changes. Posts in this pile already receive great engagement, drive traffic, and increase conversions. There isn’t anything you need to do to improve its status on your website.
- Update – Blog posts that show potential for improvement go in this pile. If it offers enough value that it serves a purpose but needs some work, place it in this category.
- Delete – This is content that barely drives page views, receives little to no engagement, or doesn’t resonate with your audience. If it isn’t doing much to drive conversions, there’s no point of it getting stale on your website.
When you delete webpages from your website, it’s important to consider how to keep users engaged. If they hit a 404 error page, they’ll likely exit your site because they don’t know what to do or where to go next.
To improve the user experience and prolong engagement, create a 301 redirect to every post you delete. That way, if a visitor stumbles upon a blog post that no longer exists, your website will redirect them to similar content where they can continue browsing your website. Doing so increases your domain authority and improves your search engine ranking.
5. Create a new content strategy
Once you know which items you’re keeping, updating, and deleting, it’s time to dig deeper and decide how you’re going to repurpose them.
When you have both successful and not-so-successful blog posts in front of you, it’s easier to decide on the next step. You’ve already analyzed your findings, noticed patterns, and come to conclusions. Now, all that’s left to do is put it into action by refining your content marketing strategy.
There are several ways to create a new strategy that works for your brand, but what’s most essential is finding the method that works for you. Continue tracking metrics and making connections that help you determine what to do next.
Create pillar pages and focus on evergreen content that users value most. Update your old content that shows potential by adding CTAs, images, and videos. Update outdated statistics and CTAs that no longer prove useful. Build an internal linking structure that makes it easy for users to navigate your blog posts and remain engaged.
If you prefer to have your website under maintenance while you perform the audit, you can set up a coming soon plugin. That way, you can still drive conversions and keep in touch with your audience while your website is under construction.
Performing a content audit is no easy task, but it’s mandatory if you want your audience to see and interact with your content. It’s essential to continuously improve your content marketing to ensure that you’re offering value, driving conversions, and improving user engagement. When conducted with enough patience and firm goals set in place, content audits provoke brand growth and improvement. How will you perform a content audit for your blog?