Website Content Audit: Check your Content Quality and On-Page SEO

We, digital marketers, spend a lot of time and effort creating quality content.✨

Content creation enables you to reach target audiences with the information they are searching for. It also lets you create a trustworthy relationship with them. After all, the best way to keep the audience coming back is to write excellent, valuable content.

But, content creation is not the only component of a successful content marketing strategy. 

Have you ever thought about organizing your content? Optimizing it for better search engine ranking? How about repurposing in different formats? Maybe tracking its performance? 🤔

All of these beneficial things can be accomplished through a website content audit. 

Content audits are great for planning your future content creation, as well as organizing and analyzing current content. You can refer back to any high-performing posts and use them for multiple purposes. Also, you can see where some content is lacking and requires updates and increased SEO efforts.

In this article, we’re gonna dive into what a content audit is, why your website needs it and how you can achieve the best results for your content strategy and overall performance of your website. 🚀

What is a content audit?

Content auditing is the process of collecting, organizing, and reviewing all of the content on your website, like blog posts, product pages, landing pages, etc. It keeps a content inventory and assesses its strengths and weaknesses to see what needs more attention and what you can put less focus on.

In short, it should clarify which content you should keep, which to delete, and which to optimize. 

In-depth auditing will help you identify any gaps in your content and map out any rough patches. It will also help with developing the content plan and improving your writing process so that your business can serve your audience more effectively and efficiently. 

Make sure that the results from your audit are implemented into the content plan and aligned with the marketing goals and overall business objectives. 

The whole point of a content audit is to make your existing content bring results. 📈

But let me make one thing clear: Content auditing is a time-consuming process that requires your undivided attention and resources. That’s why, to make things easier for yourself, it’s important to clarify what the main purpose of the audit is and establish what you need to get out of it.

Why does your website need a content audit?

There are many reasons why you should run a content audit on your website regularly. Before you even begin, make sure you’re clear on what those reasons are. You don’t want to waste any time and resources. 

Content auditing can pinpoint how you can improve your organic search performance, identify pieces of content that perform the best, point out which pages have a high number of impressions but have a low conversion rate, generate ideas for future content pieces and much more.  

All of these things influence the performance of your sales, marketing, and even financial operations. That’s why they’re vital in the success of your website, and with that, your business. 

If these reasons aren’t convincing enough, here are some more. 

Boosts your overall SEO

A large part of SEO includes the use of content audits, which help you identify new SEO opportunities. They also help you spot any errors. By collecting and comparing SEO variables and metrics to your current page rankings, you will know when and where changes need to be made.

For example, not using keywords in the headings of your blog posts, or if you have broken links on some of your pages, a content audit will point them out. 

The main thing that content auditing reveals is which parts of your site are not optimized for ranking in the search results. 

Improving your rank in the SERPs will help transform the success of your content. That’ll work out by providing better-qualified leads for your sales funnel. Because of this, I recommend running a content audit at least annually. Even better, quarterly. 

Improves your content marketing

Content auditing evaluates your content marketing and gives you insights on how you can improve its performance. It also gives a better understanding of how your audience interacts with your content. The result of that is making data-driven decisions, rather than just assuming and hoping for the best. 

When you have a better understanding of your content and where it needs to change, and also what your audience likes or dislikes, content planning and maintenance become a lot easier. 

It’s helpful to have a bird’s eye view of what you have across all pages. Sometimes, some pieces of content might be repurposed or deleted from some channels as demands shift or as you grow and evolve as a business.

How to run a content audit

Now that I’ve explained what a content audit is and why it’s important to do it regularly, it’s time to dive into how to actually run one for your website!

Depending on the size of your business, the number of pages on your website, and the time and resources available to you, you can run a content audit with a few steps and use metrics that indicate success in a way that suits you in the areas you want to focus on. 

It is completely possible to do all of these steps manually, but using tools will make things a lot easier. I’ll be referencing Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs. 

If you’re not sure which one of these tools to use and how to use them, we made a comparison of Google Search Console vs Google Analytics for SEO to explain what they are best used for, the difference between them, and how you can connect them. 😉

#1 Gather all your content

The first and most obvious step in your content audit is, you guessed it – gathering all your content. 

If you have a small website with a couple of dozen pages you can definitely do this manually, but if you want to save time, use Google Search Console or any other tool you prefer.

The tool of your choice should effectively crawl your website and collect all its page URLs. You can also pull other data from the crawl, like metadata and H1 tags.

Search Console URL crawl

If you’re a Search Console user, go to Coverage in the Index tab and you can export your data from there.

Ahrefs URL crawl data

If you’re using Ahrefs’ Site Audit you can export all the data by going to Site Audit > project > Bulk export.

#2 Organize your content

After you’ve gathered all your content, you want to organize it. This will help you tremendously when analyzing it and also prevent you from going insane throughout the process. 😅

Organize all your content in a spreadsheet. You can make one yourself in Excel or Google Sheets or just download a content audit template of your liking. There are tons of free templates online with all the variables needed. If you’re feeling fancy, you can use a tool for this also, but it’s not really necessary. 

Once you’ve put the content and the data collected so far in a spreadsheet, add columns for metrics you would like to track.

content audit spreadsheet template

For SEO purposes, you would definitely want to put in:

  • meta title and meta description;
  • H1 title;
  • target keywords
  • internal and external links;
  • broken links;
  • images and ALT tags;
  • site speed;
  • mobile optimization etc.

For content marketing purposes, you would for sure need data on:

  • type of content;
  • content topic;
  • date of publishing;
  • author;
  • word count;
  • buyer journey stage etc.

Something you would need to check for both SEO and content marketing:

  • date of the last update;
  • page visits;
  • bounce rate;
  • conversion rate;
  • CTR;
  • average time on page etc.
content audit spreadsheet

After you’ve entered all the data, your content audit spreadsheet should look something like this. All other variables are further to the right on the spreadsheet. Add as many columns as you like. 

#3 Analyze your content

Now that you’ve organized all the data, it’s time to analyze it. ✔️

First, give each piece of content a score or grade. That will give you an idea of what the next action step should be.

For example, if you’re grading the content from 5 being the highest score to 1 being the lowest, the ones with a 5 and 4 score can be your best performing content. Content with a score of 3 could mean that it needs some updating or optimizing, and content scored as 2 or 1 could mean that it should be completely rewritten or even deleted.

This grading method will also give you an idea about what content is missing that your audience is interested in. Use any evaluation method that works for you.

Review the content quality

No matter what type of page it is, your website should have high-quality content. When I say high-quality, I mean it should be informative and valuable to your audience, and follow the search intent.

Also, make sure it’s well written and structured, easy to understand, is not filled with grammatical and spelling errors (please don’t ❌), and of course, there is no duplicate content or plagiarism.

Create an outline of your content before you actually start writing. Use subheadings to separate your content and include images, graphics, etc. to bring it to life and make it visually appealing. 

Don’t use an overly-formal language. There is no point in creating content that your audience doesn’t understand. 

And if writing high-quality content is not your cup of tea, then maybe you should give outsourcing content writing a go!

Optimize the pages for the right keywords

The most important things when choosing the right target keywords are traffic potential, difficulty, and search intent.

Another note: you don’t have to optimize every single page on your website for the target keywords. For Contact pages or About pages it’s not really necessary.

First and most obvious, you will have no benefit by optimizing for keywords that don’t bring any traffic to your website. Next, you don’t want to pick keywords that have a high difficulty as ranking for them will be tremendously hard, unless you’re an enterprise business. 

Last, and what I believe is the most important when choosing your keywords, is the search intent.

If you don’t already know, search intent is the reason behind what someone is searching for on search engines.

When you know what kind of search intent your audience has it makes SEO a lot easier and you can serve your audience better. For example, the keywords “fuzzy socks” and “best fuzzy socks” don’t have the same intent.

transactional intent example

When I searched the keyword “fuzzy socks” oh Ahrefs, you will see that most of the search results are product pages. That means that the audience searches with the intent of buying rather than looking for something informative.

informational intent example

On the other hand, when I searched for “best fuzzy socks” you will see that most of the search results are comparison posts, blog posts, etc. That means that the audience wants to learn more about fuzzy socks and is not yet ready to buy them.

Check the metadata on all pages

When it comes to metadata (meta title and description), there are two reasons why they’re necessary for SEO. 

The goal is to make the audience searching for that keyword visit your page instead of others.

Also, including your primary keywords in the meta title and description in a way that’s not squeezed in unnaturally will help search engines recommend your content when your audience makes a search query.

So, by auditing your website, you will see which pages are missing meta titles and descriptions, which pages have them but are not unique, which are too long, or have multiple titles and descriptions in the formating. Once you know this, you will have a clear picture of what the next action steps would be. 

metadata errors

For this, you can use Ahrefs’ tool Site Audit;

metadata errors

Or you can install the WordPress plug-in, Yoast.

Or, you can simply inspect and check the page HTML code if you are a bit more tech-savvy.

Spot any broken pages and links

It’s pretty obvious why you shouldn’t keep broken pages or links on your website. It gives the impression that your site is neglected and outdated. That may signal search engines that your site is unreliable. 

If you have a link to a resource on your website that no longer exists, chances are it’s a broken page. And if you have a link from a third-party website that links to one of your pages that no longer exists, it’s probably a broken link.

But fear not, you can easily spot these with tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or a Chrome extension.

broken pages and links

#4 Update your content

You made it to the final stage, yay! Now it’s time to take action. 

Update and optimize the pages that need it, merge content pieces together, get rid of anything that doesn’t bring any kind of value or results. Create new content that fills in your content gaps and repurpose your top-notch content for other marketing channels.

You can add your own steps to this content audit process. If you want to take it even further, you can do a brief analysis of your competitors’ websites, audit your off-page SEO and take the auditing process to your other marketing channels. Make it work for you and your business.

Summary

Content auditing is the process of getting a complete picture of all the content on your website.

When you have a better understanding of your content and its purposes, writing and maintaining it becomes so much easier. You also get to see what your audience wants more and less of.

Gather all your content first before you start auditing. Organize all your content together in a spreadsheet. Rate each piece of content on a scale of your choice, that should help you identify which steps to take next.

Review the content quality, optimize the pages for the right keywords, check the metadata on all pages, and spot any broken pages and links. Be sure to update and optimize the content on your website that needs updates. Merge content pieces, get rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to success.

To conclude this blog, I want to leave a quick note.

This might look like a long, complicated and difficult process. But, don’t let the overwhelmingness of it all get in your way! 

If you don’t run a website content audit regularly, you might face low rankings and with that, you’d be missing out on a lot of potential customers and potentially get overlooked.

If you feel like this is something you need help with, you don’t have the resources for it or you wish to seek out professional help, Backlinker.io can run a comprehensive website content audit for your website free of charge! 

Don’t sleep on this. A content audit is one of the best things you can do to improve your sites’ SEO and content marketing.

Author avatar
Neda
An SEO Content Writer and Growth Marketer that enjoys any kind of creative endeavour. ✨