10 Benefits of a Website Content Audit

Last Edited June 8, 2016 by Garenne Bigby in Content Audit

Website Content Audit Benefits

Having a content audit performed on a website or brand is one of the most important things that can be done to develop a strong website and marketing strategy. This is essentially taking the time to fine-tune your website and addressing the issues that will improve its performance. This can be done on your own or by an online marketing company that would use specific content audit tools to find out how to improve the content and information provided on your website.

Determining Problems in Content

As you begin to perform a content audit and review the innards and assets of the site, you can start addressing aspects that may cause problems with the working of the site. These could be improving issues with performance, fixing any links that may be broken, and improving overall accessibility to the site. Addressing these issues will increase the website's search value as well as make it more appealing to returning visitors in addition to new visitors. This means that all titles are relevant to the body, all tags are applicable, and the message of the body contains ideas and information that is new, relevant, and exciting. Content audit tools will point to the detrimental facets of a website, allowing you to see exactly where the problem is.

Identifying Areas for Content Repurposing

A website's usability, visitor loyalty, and search ranking relies on valuable and up-to-date information. Even when taking this into consideration, it is not always necessary to create brand new content totally from scratch when there are contributed articles, blog posts, and other marketing media that are available to be repurposed in order to accomplish a specific objective. When performing a content audit, take note of any subject matter that is still relevant but would really stick out to your readers with new facts or statistics. It is more than just rewording a blog post—it is about adding more value to it by incorporating information that is new.

Finding Content Gaps

A content audit not only provides a way to get a record of the information present on the website, it also brings to light the areas in which the site is lacking information.

  • This could be potentially valuable information that the audience is seeking. By locating the content gaps on the website, you may become better equipped when creating new content that will add value to the site and the brand alike.
  • You may discover new topics while expanding the target audience. When you appeal to a larger audience (but not too broad) there becomes more opportunity to convert the traffic into sales. Content audit tools can provide the visual that is needed to see exactly where a gap in information lies.
  • When there is no structure to the content that is posted on your website, visitors won't even know if they are in the right place to find what they are looking for.

Content Quality Evaluations

When performing a content audit on a website, be sure to evaluate the quality of all existing materials.

  • Would you say it is high, medium, or low quality?
  • Is it short and light content or lengthy and rich content?

Website crawlers with Google are aware of content that is not valuable, short, and repetitive and will penalize the website and search rankings for content that is seen as inferior. If the content on your website is deemed low-level, it will not rank high in the search rankings. Evaluate the real quality of the content. There are so many ways one thing can be said, and try not to fall in line and publish content that will be found on many other websites. It is possible to use content that is not a new concept, but try looking at it with a new perspective and in such a way that it is enticing to readers. A website can contain a lot of information, but if the information is not valuable to the reader, it has very low quality.

Improvement of Information Structure

Having strong content on the website is not helpful if the content itself is not accessible to the reader. Use analytics data that is relevant and pertinent—this includes search terms. Doing this will make sure that the content is easy to find by search engines and easy to find by the audience.

  • It should not be hard for the audience to find the content on your website, and there should be a limited number of options for them if they need to search the website for something specific.
  • Be careful not to use search terms that are too broad, as these will not bring the audience that is intended. The terms should be precise but not too specific as to cut out a large portion of internet users.
  • Content audit tools will share how to present the information in a way that makes sense to the reader and will engage them while encouraging them to explore other parts of the website.

Better SEO

Search engine optimization has drastically changed in recent years, and this change is for the better. On average, Google will make about 500 changes to its SEO algorithm each year. What we know to work now will likely be different than what will work next year, or even next month. Good SEO focuses on providing the ideal user experience first and pleasing the search engine second. When chiefly focusing on users, this protects you from constantly analyzing every detail of your search engine optimization. Remember that Google wants to display the very best websites when users perform a search.

  • If users are not having good experiences with your website, your repeat visitors and bounce rate will decline, and this is the data that Google can use against you.
  • A decent website audit will assess your SEO and how it connects with the overall user experience so as to find a balance that makes both Google happy and the content of value to users. Content audit tools will help to catalog different tags, optimize images, and word counts as well as other elements associated with each content asset on the site, and then compares them to the current ranking of the page. This will help to determine what changes should be made in order to improve the natural search performance of the website or blog.

Improving Organic Search Visibility

Understanding what you want to rank for is the first step to increasing your search engine rankings, thus increasing search visibility. Great organic search rankings will start with a solid strategy that uses keywords.

  • You need to understand your market and your competition, then you can develop an on-page SEO plan that will integrate the target keywords in specific areas of the content and code of the website. Search engines including Google will then determine the ranking of your website based on the content and on-page optimization of the site.
  • If you do not tell the search engines what you are providing information on, how do you expect them to know what terms to serve you? Included in a website content audit, there should be research done on keyword discovery. This should then be integrated into the on-page SEO and the website marketing off of the website.
  • The keywords are not limited to the title of the pages or titles of each blog entry. The keywords are to be used on each page.
  • There should be a sufficient number of targeted long tail keywords, but do not overdo or stuff keywords. This means that the keyword should not appear more than 5 times on any given page, depending on the length of the content. The keywords should also be in alt tags.

Stronger Content

An in-depth website content audit will check things like bounce rates, page views, time on site, etc. These are all extremely important areas to be improved upon for better search engine indexing. However, both search engines and people will come back to your website time after time because of the content and quality that you have to offer them. Auditing the content will help you to understand what type the audience and search engines like, and how they prefer to view it (this would be videos, words, images, etc.). A strong strategy for content on your blog or website will help to focus on what the users specifically want, rather than something that is not relevant to their interest. Happy users lead to better organic rankings in the search engines. When a website or blog consistently contains information that is interesting or relevant to the audience, users will bookmark the site, sign up to be notified for new posts, and will systematically share the content with others.

Usability Enhancing

Your imagination is the only thing that is limiting the functionality and design of your website, unless you have a team of experts by your side then they are responsible for making your vision come to life. Believe it or not, a design that is overly complicated, web pages that are busy, and too much information are all bad for websites. If the site does not tell visitors that they are in the right place in a clear-cut and concise manner, the visitors will leave and more than likely never visit again. A content audit may help to nail down the areas of the site that need to be simplified so that you may determine what type of structure, content, and function will work best for your visitors.

For instance, if a user is searching for a cookie recipe, they will type just that in the search engine. If you run a food blog dedicated to recipes, the user will seek out your website. If you run a blog that only does reviews of food but you mention that a specific cookie is your favorite recipe (without providing the recipe) the user will be in the wrong place when they visit your site.

The purpose of your website should be clearly visible, especially on the landing page. This will make it much easier for users to know that they are in the right place for what they are looking for.

Maximizing Conversion Rates

This is likely the number one reason to perform a content audit on a website. The audit needs to examine the top landing pages along with their design, content, and calls-to-action ensuring that they maximize the conversion rate. This is not a simple process.

  • It may take months to figure out what works for your particular website. Using strategic planning, analysis, and testing an audit can successfully lead you to increased ROIs (return on investment). ROIs are directly linked to your content performance.
  • All ads and landing pages should be linked and need to look seamless. They must have accurate information and must make it simple for the user to complete the action that is desired. Content auditing tools will help you to optimize your headlines, content, and navigation—these are all things that should be concise, compelling, and user friendly.
  • Keywords also have a lot to do with conversion. Larger businesses can afford to have low converting terms, but small businesses should have geo-specific and long tail keywords in order to increase their efficiency.
  • You do not want to be spending a lot of your money on things that will maximize conversions—make the most out of what already exists, and edit as necessary. Making sure to include terms that are specific to your geographic location will ensure that the traffic is local and that the ones that can benefit from your product or services are the ones that are visiting the website.

Periodically performing a content audit on your website will not only ensure that the content is up-to-date and staying relevant, but it will also ensure that the site has the best conversion rates possible. It can be thought of as simply performing spring cleaning on the site. Content audit tools will break the website down and sweep through the information to extract the ways in which to make the website better. This could be through keywords, content, and presentation.

 


 

 

Additional Resources:

How to Create a Content Strategy (In Only 652 Steps)

How to Conduct a Content Audit for Quality and Audience Experience

How to Audit Your Website Content for SEO

Garenne Bigby
Author: Garenne BigbyWebsite: http://garennebigby.com
Founder @dynomapper
Garenne Bigby is freelance Chicago developer and founder of DYNO Mapper with over 10 years experience in both agency and freelance roles in design, development, user experience, SEO, and information architecture.

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