Posted at Oct 15, 2021 7:45:00 AM by Nicholas LeTourneau | Share
It’s no secret that performing regular content audits are beneficial to your website and business, but how do you go about that in a timely manner? Something so important and, depending on the website, so daunting must take forever, right? Thankfully, there are ways to quickly perform content audits that make it quick and easy to understand by having a plan.
How to Quickly Perform Content Audits
Planning Out Your Audit
The biggest mistake people end up making when starting the content audit process is to go in there without any plan. Aimlessly reviewing content arbitrarily won’t do anything for you or your website except waste time and become discouraged.
When laying out a plan to do a content audit, you need to think of four things:
Have a reason why
Know what you will be auditing
Have clear-cut goals and calls to action
Have a Reason Why
Know why you are doing this content audit or what you want to get out of it. Maybe you want to put together a guide or eBook from the content you have already created, auditing your website could lead to opportunities.
If there are pages that are outdated or have performed poorly so they’d be better served being deleted or updated, that is another reason to perform an audit. Identifying what is holding your website back and what people want to interact with are crucial when planning for future content strategies.
Know What You Will Be Auditing
Before beginning the content audit process, you need to know what pages to look at. Instead of doing entire audits of the website as a whole, break it into segments. Take one audit to look at service pages, another to examine blog posts, and a different one to dive deep into your landing pages. Not only does this let you stay focused but it also makes the task much less daunting.
Have Clear-Cut Goals and Calls to Action in Mind
When starting, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of actually performing the audit but it’s important to always be orienting yourself back to goals and calls to action your website has. The point of doing content audits like this is to make sure your content is up to date, aligns with tangible goals to help your business, and makes sure everything is the best it can be.
Plan How Far Back You Will Look
Another big thing that is easy to overlook is planning how far back you are going to look at your content. Are you going to start at the beginning and work your way to the most recent? Are you only going to look at content created in the last quarter or 12 months? Depending on the size of your website and how much content you have to audit, any of these options could be on the table.
The larger the site, the more you should break it up. If you are a website that published 100+ blogs last year, maybe break it up by month. If you are a small website that has only 25 pages total, you could widen your range without adding a lot of work to your plate. Only you know how much work can be done at once, but don’t stress to get everything done at once.
How to Execute Monthly Content Audits
Now that you (hopefully) have a plan in place, we can talk about how to actually execute routine or monthly content audits. The first thing you need to do is create a checklist or standard operating procedure that touches on everything that needs to be accomplished.
Don’t get bogged down by including unnecessary things, try to only focus on what is important to your reader and what will help you rank higher in search engines. You want to always refer back to this checklist or procedure to ensure you are being consistent and thorough every time you do this audit.
Next, you need to set a deadline. Depending on how large your site is, you might have different reporting cycles. If you are a large site, you should probably be doing this every 30 days to make sure everything that needs assessing and addressing can be handled.
If you are a small site that doesn’t make frequent updates or posts, you should probably fix that and start posting more but you could get away with auditing your content every 60 or 90 days.
As mentioned above, it’s important to only include information that matters. This means laying out your essential information in a document that is easily understood and contains all the information needed. Starting a color-coded excel document is a great place to begin.
Creating a sheet for each type of content, laying out essential information and notes, and being able to keep track of all your information in one place is essential for reporting what you find and knowing what was done in your last auditing cycle.
Finally, it is important to document what is doing well and what is doing poorly. You can use other tools to help assess your pages like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see exactly how things are doing for that specific page. If you have a page that used to get thousands of impressions but now gets only a hundred or so, find out why.
If you have a page that used to not do so well but all of a sudden starts getting a lot of new queries pointed towards it, document it and try to apply what is working on that page to others. Paying attention to how your website is performing in Google Analytics and Search Console is central to having an understanding of your website and audience.