If it's been a while since you assessed your blog content and you don't think every single post is making a positive contribution to your business agenda, it may be time to perform a content audit. This is when you analyze all the content on your website and determine whether each blog post should be kept, updated, or deleted depending on how it affects your conversions.
The end result of an audit is that you end up with high-quality content that serves a purpose while leaving everything that doesn't behind. Taking the right steps can boost traffic to your site. As an example, Ahrefs conducted a content audit and saw a 7.57% increase in traffic on its website within two months.
Having low-quality content on your blog can reduce the amount of traffic to your website and decrease the number of potential conversions you make. Ultimately, this can affect the performance of your entire business. It can also affect how Google indexes your website because having several low-value-add URLs can negatively affect a site's crawling and indexing. This includes duplicate content, low-quality and spam content, soft error pages, and more.
When performing a content audit, there are certain steps you need to take to complete it successfully, including:
- Determining your audit’s goals
- Taking inventory of all indexable content
- Analyzing your data
- Organizing your content into different categories based on what you’ll do with them
- Following up on the results
Here is how you can perform a content audit for your blog so that your website performs at its best.
Determine your goals.
It'll be difficult to gauge what to do with all the content on your website if you don’t know what you're trying to achieve. There are so many different possibilities for your content that if you don't map out your goals, you'll get lost trying to determine which pieces to keep and which to discard. Taking the simple step of determining your objectives with your content audit will save you time and resources because you'll know exactly what you're doing and why every step of the way.
You want to determine your goals in plain terms. Write down what you're trying to achieve by flushing out old content and restoring it with something new.
Some common goals marketers and blog owners have when conducting content audits are:
- Increasing levels of engagement
- Optimizing SEO
- Increasing conversion rates
- Improving content quality
- Offering high-quality, valuable information
There's going to be content you want to keep as part of your audit because you believe it adds value to the reader and to your business as a whole. On the other hand, there will also be tons of articles you want to discard because it doesn't meet your goals or serve a purpose being on your website. But how will you know what to keep and what to get rid of? The only way to organize your content successfully is by taking inventory.
It's time-consuming but completely necessary if you want to improve your blog content and enhance the experience for your audience. First, you need to collect all the URLs you have on your website. You can do this using Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and XML Sitemaps, which all help you to gather the webpages you need.
Analyze your data.
In order to determine what you'll do with the content on your blog, you need to take action based on factual data. It's essential to analyze your data to make informed decisions about your content so you don't get rid of content that drives traffic while keeping content that sits on your website bringing no positive results.
Google Analytics is your best bet for determining how the different webpages on your site are performing. You want to keep everything in one place, so keep all your webpages with URLs in a spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Having everything consolidated in one place will help you organize your content and determine what should stay and what should go.
Pay attention to the following key metrics:
- Engagement: Likes, comments, shares
- User behavior: Average session duration, bounce rate, page views
- SEO: Organic traffic, keyword rankings, number of backlinks
- Sales: Number of conversions, ROI, number of leads
Organize your content into categories.
Once you have data to make informed decisions about your audit, it's time to organize your content into different groups based on what you'll do with them and where they'll go. That way, you're able to stay focused and keep frustration at bay. When there's a lot of content to go through, which is more likely than not when performing audits, it's essential to stay organized so it's clear where everything goes and you don’t waste time.
It helps to organize content based on the following categories:
- Content you'll keep
- Content you'll discard
- Content you'll edit and update
The content you want to keep is the pieces that already perform well on your website. Visitors love these pieces and continue to come back, share, comment, and repost them on social media and other outlets for further visibility. This is content that stays relevant and rarely needs to be updated, if at all. Examples include evergreen content, basic information about your business, FAQ pages, etc.
The content you want to discard is pieces that no longer hold relevancy or interest for your target market. They don't add value to their lives and don't solve their issues or relieve pain points. They rarely receive engagement or feedback and kind of just sit on your website collecting cobwebs. If it isn't serving your overall content marketing objectives, it should probably be thrown in the bin. Examples include anything irrelevant to your business that doesn't serve a clear purpose and duplicate content.
The content you want to update is pieces that show potential in helping you reach your business goals. These posts received engagement and likeability, however, they may need to be updated so they're relevant or need to be written from a new perspective. If they cover important topics you believe will prove valuable to your audience, they're worth editing for potential conversions. Examples include content that's relevant to a certain time period, content with lower traffic and engagement, trendy topics and statistics.
Follow up on the data.
Once you've flushed out your content and put everything in its rightful place, it's time to sit back and see what happens. You can't simply stop at deleting content and think you're done. If your blog is going to see positive results, you need to keep up with the data and watch how users interact with your audited content. Now is the time to gain further insight and draw conclusions about what works for your blog and what doesn't so that you can continue creating and offering value to your readers.
Refer back to the goals for your audit and determine whether or not they get reached because of your updates. If not, you know there's still work to do and more data to be analyzed. More likely than not, an audit will do your blog good and bring about positive ROI as well as increased traffic and engagement.
One of the best things you can do as a blogger, especially if your blog has been around for a while, is to perform a content audit. This refreshes your website and gives you an opportunity to improve your conversions, increase engagement, and revamp your site's content. If your blog is going to thrive, it needs to have high-quality content that serves a purpose and offers your audience value.