Content audits are necessary when redesigning or creating your website, or in general when updating your site. Outdated content can take up valuable storage space on your website – slowing it down – and can cause confusion for users if the information is irrelevant or outdated, so it’s a good idea to audit this regularly.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is the process of taking inventory of your content to understand how it works individually and together as a whole on your website. It includes evaluating current content to see what works and what doesn’t, and identifying any gaps for future content.
Performing a content audit is a smart and strategic way to analyse your content to see how it is helping you to grow and meet business goals, acting as an opportunity to identify gaps in your content offering and help you to get ideas on how to improve and move forward.
A content audit is also required to review what content you need to move to your new website or platform. If you have an existing site, it’s best to do a content audit before designing your new site, so that you know which content needs to be transferred.
How To Do A Content Audit
Although a content audit may seem daunting at first, getting a process in place can make it seamless.
In general, a content audit has the following 5 steps:
- Evaluate goals
- Choose what content to audit
- Gather, organise and categorise content
- Audit and analyse
- Take action
1. Evaluate Goals
Firstly, take some time to decide what goals you want to achieve, to ensure that your content helps you to get there. Decide what you hope to accomplish with your content audit and content as a whole.
See two examples below.
Goal: New website, ensure all content added is up-to-date
Action: Remove outdated, irrelevant content
Goal: Improve ranking to boost traffic
Action: Focus on SEO, by identifying topics and keywords that help your site to rank for queries from your target audience
2. Choose Your Content
To make your content audit more manageable, you can choose which type of content to analyse first, such as blog posts, case studies or pages. Don’t forget that PDFs count as content too!
Next, you need to organise your audit. One way to do this is to use Google Sheets or Excel, by making a list of your content that you’re going to audit with relevant areas to review.
Examples of areas to review include:
- Content type (page/post/case study)
- Content title
- Last updated
- Word Count
- Focus keyword
- Meta title
- Meta description
You could also use a tool such as Semrush Content Audit Tool which gathers URLs and backlinks.
Now you can start the auditing process to rank all pieces of content on the above areas. You may also want to ask yourself:
- Which content isn’t performing as well as you’d like?
- Which content is performing well?
- Which content is outdated or irrelevant?
- Which content has been shared the most on social media?
- Do links work?
- Is there missing information such as meta titles?
5. Take Action
Now you can take action – each piece of content should fall into one category – keep, update, rewrite, or remove. See a breakdown of how content falls into these categories below.
If the content is still relevant and performs well, and is high-quality, you will want to keep it.
Content that is still relevant, but may need a few tweaks – such as outdated statistics or areas that you want to improve. Content that has missing elements such as meta titles or descriptions will also need to be updated.
Where you like the topic of the content but it is poor quality, you may want to rewrite it. Alternatively, if the content is evergreen but has not been updated for a while, or traffic has slowed down, you may want to rewrite it to attract new users.
Remove outdated, poorly written content. Whilst it is fairly easy to remove content, if you are deleting pages or posts remember to set up 301 redirects.
When working on your content audit, you may decide to either start with the easiest content or time sensitive content that needs to be published as soon as possible.
You should repeat your content audits regularly to get the best results, and always make sure that content does not become irrelevant.
If you are having a website redesign, a content audit is paramount – after all, you’ve spent so much energy on a new website, it would be a shame to have low quality content taking up space!
Help with Content
During the website design or redesign process, we can help with the content population. Our content writing services help you to review current content, to optimise what is shown on your new website – supporting you if you need expert help or don’t have the time to work through content. Contact us now to level up your website content.