Content Audit: The dormant potential in existing content
As part of content marketing, more and more content is being produced, and assistance is being provided on various topics. The set goal was better rankings and more reach via social media platforms. But it doesn’t always have to be new content. Sometimes there is enormous potential in existing content that only needs to be optimized. The content audit can help here. It helps to understand which content works well and still has the potential to rank better.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to the procedure for a content audit and show you how you can make better use of the potential of existing content. Here we go!
What is a content audit?
A content audit analyzes all content on a website for different purposes. It can be about the quality of the content, the rankings in the search engines, or the reach of content seeding. The goal is to optimize the existing content and thus generate more performance in content marketing.
The findings from the content audit can help to discover “dusty” content, optimize it, and thus “revive” it. In addition, it helps to better understand the information architecture (IA) and thus rearrange the information on the website in the overall website structure. The content audit can be helpful, especially against the background of SEO goals. You can quickly see which content benefits from SEO traffic and which content leads to conversions. In other areas, content becomes visible that may no longer be technically correct because it is outdated.
For many companies, it is worth carrying out a content audit at regular intervals and checking the content inventory for various factors. However, there are other occasions that make sense for a content audit, such as:
+ the relaunch of a website / online shop
+ changes in the content marketing team
+ strategic changes in the content marketing strategy
+ changes on external content platforms
The analysis of the content starts with the goals of content marketing, and the first step is the collection of content. This can quickly become a mammoth task, especially for large websites with several hundred subpages. Against this background, working with website crawlers such as the Screaming Frog is recommended.
Evaluation criteria in the content audit
Before you start the actual analysis, it should be clear within the context of the content audit which evaluation criteria should be used to carry out the content audit. In addition to quantitative evaluation criteria such as the scope of the content, the focus should above all be on qualitative criteria.
Possible evaluation criteria in the context of the content audit can be:
+ User Experience (UX): Data from web analytics can help to understand how users interact with the website and at which points the bounce rate skyrockets or the average time on site falls significantly below the website average. As part of the web analysis, you quickly get initial empirical values to determine at what point in the content there is a need for optimization.
+ SEO goals: Which subpage ranks how well? – Against the background of search engine optimization, you can and should also evaluate the content. Optimization fields often arise in the scope and degree of updating of the content. But sometimes there is also further potential in the area of meta data that is not yet aligned with the search intentions of the user.
Audit objectives are important to guide the content audit in the right direction. With that in mind, the audit process is crucial. We will show you the process of a content audit as an example.
Content Audit: Data Collection with the Screaming Frog
As mentioned at the beginning, the challenge lies in capturing all relevant sub-pages, especially for large websites. This is where the Screaming Frog can help.
The OnPage Crawler checks all subpages for various factors and allows the content manager to identify gaps in the content with regard to set headings, missing meta data, and so-called “thin content” (pages with too little content). In the extended version, this data can be enriched with Google Analytics data, and thus more specific statements can be made about the user experience on the site for the individual subpages.
At the beginning, there is the on-page crawl with the Screaming Frog and the data collection. Other tools can also be used at this point, such as XOVI, SISTRIX, or RYTE.
We consider the following test criteria as part of the content audit with the Screaming Frog in order to be able to adequately evaluate the content:
1. Status code of the URL (Is the content accessible at all?)
2. Page title and meta description (do I “want” to click the search result?)
3. H1 heading (Has an H1 heading been set? If so, which one?)
4. Word count (how many words does the subpage have?)
5. Internal links (To which instances does the post also link?)
With this data in combination with the data from Google Analytics, optimization fields that contribute to better content can be quickly identified.
Content Audit: Recognizing and Avoiding Duplicate Content
A frequent problem in the field of content marketing is content that is accessible twice, i.e., under different URLs. Especially from the point of view of search engine optimization, this situation is suboptimal. This is often due to technical problems, such as the accessibility of the content under http:// and https://; the content audit and the SEO audit should go hand in hand here.
Content Audit: data, data, data…
Data is also crucial in the field of content marketing. Only those who know why their content works can create similarly good content and remove content that doesn’t work from their website.
With the data collected from different sources, you should now go into the evaluation and derive a recommendation for action for each subpage. These can manifest themselves in measures such as:
+ Content expansion / content
+ Further measures for content seeding
+ Enrichment with images / infographics
+ Adaptation of meta data
+ Elimination of content
to express. It is important to combine data from different sources and check the plausibility; only data from sufficiently large periods of time can be interpreted, and the number of cases in the data is large enough to show statistical relevance. In any case, pay attention to valid data sets when analyzing the web so that you do not run the risk of making the wrong decisions.
Conclusion on the content audit
The content audit is fundamentally important for performance in content marketing and can help make your website and content easier to find in search engines. In addition to the findability, you also increase the quality of the content itself through the targeted content audit, which, at the end of the day, leads to happier users and thus more conversions.
We would also be happy to put your website and the content it contains to the test and, with our content audit, ensure high-quality content that is easier to find and converts better. Contact our online marketing experts without obligation.