8 great tips for carrying out a content audit
The word ‘audit’ is often associated with monotonous, time-consuming tasks, so don’t worry if you’re not jumping with enthusiasm at the prospect of reviewing your website. While a content audit won’t be the most exciting task you ever complete, there are plenty of ways to make it quick, interesting and productive, so take a look at these useful tips that should help you identify those areas in need of development on your website.
1. Create a content audit spreadsheet
The dreaded ‘S’ word. But fear not, spreadsheets are designed to make your life a lot easier. Think of this as your content audit software. It will help you track what you’re doing and allow you to go away and return at any time, so head to Google Drive and create a content audit template with the following columns: URL, Date Audited, Title, Description, Keywords, Alt Tags, and Internal Links.
2. Start with the most-visited pages
When auditing, start with the pages that are visited most as these make the biggest impact. To do this, head to Google Analytics, navigate to Behaviour, Site Content, All Pages in the left hand column. Copy or export the URLs for the top twenty most popular pages, and enter them into the first column of your content audit spreadsheet. Of course, you’ll eventually want to review your entire website, but this is a good place to start.
3. Update your keyword list
Before you start editing copy, review your current keyword list and ensure you’re targeting the most relevant terms. There are many keyword tools out there to help you, so get these sorted before you progress and ensure everyone on your team has an updated word list. Both short and long-tail keywords are important, but try not to ‘keyword cram’ as this can look unnatural and might negatively impact your SEO strategy.
4. Check page titles and URLs
With everything up and running, now’s the time to start checking features meticulously. Unfortunately, there aren’t many shortcuts at this point; it’s just a case of scrolling through the pages making sure every page title and URL is as relevant as possible containing the most important keywords. To make things easier, split the pages between several staff members but don’t forget to highlight or mark off the pages that have been completed to save any confusion. You can even download such software tools as Screaming Frog to help you compile an inventory of certain features of your website content, thereby speeding up the process significantly.
Note: A lot of free URL scraping tools will limit the number of URLs to 400. So if you have a large website, you will have to purchase a tool to help out.
5. Check your page descriptions
Is your website set up via WordPress? If so, consider installing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, which will enable you to edit your descriptions quickly and efficiently. Meta descriptions should offer a keyword rich summary of each page, but should be written for the reader instead of search engines. Nail this part of the job and you should see an increase in traffic and performance as your site is more likely to be picked up for relevant phrases, words, and terms.
6. Update the content
All content on your site should be relevant, readable, and interesting. Many people skim the first couple of paragraphs to decide if they’ll read on or leave the page, so get straight to the point. Of course, well-optimised pages will give you greater SEO success, but ensure all copy makes sense and hasn’t been pieced together in a bid to include multiple keywords. There should be at least 300-500 words per page, and it’s a good idea to break pages up with multiple headings and sections. If you are discussing in-depth articles on your blog, really this word count should look to rise significantly more. (Look out for the latest Google Algorithm updates which could have serious impact on your site if you have poor content)
7. Check alt tags
As the brain processes images quicker that written text, visual stimuli is a must for many websites and can work in your favour. If you do use this kind of content, however, remember to optimise for the web and check all alt tags and image titles. Tags should be descriptive and contain long-term keywords if possible. Never leave these columns blank as you’ll be missing out on a good chance to attract more traffic to your site – after all, alt tags are a simple, yet effective, form of optimisation as scraped by search engines.
8. Review internal links
It’s a good idea to link frequently viewed pages with others deeper in your site, as this network of links not only makes navigating your site easier, but it’s also beneficial for SEO. Try to include one to two internal links per page, if possible, as well as maybe one or two external links to authoritative sites relating to your industry. While backlink building is also important for SEO, it can be difficult to generate honest links back to your site. Creating a blog will help build links naturally, improve link juice, and increase your Google rankings.
Content audits should occur at least once every 6 months or more if significant website changes have been made. Remember: fresh, original content and regular updates are vital, so stay on the ball and reap the rewards.
Contact Whitefish Marketing about Content Marketing
Content Auditing is part of a bigger service of Content Marketing, which is vital in today's optimisation techniques. With the likes of Google Panda (recently rolling out Google Panda 4.1) content has become ever more key to your online success. Speak with a representative from Whitefish Marketing, and see how we can help your business. Contact us: Whitefish Marketing, The Workshop, 32-40 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1JU, 01303 720288