How to Automate Your Content Audits

Last Edited May 13, 2016 by Garenne Bigby in Content Audit

how to automate content audit

Performing content audits is an essential part of maintaining a website, but you cannot just jump right in and perform an audit. There are several important things that need to happen prior to starting the audit. Because some websites actually have thousands upon thousands of pages with their own text, images, applications, and documents, it is almost impossible to manually audit any website's content. Before even thinking of that, you will need to perform a content inventory. This will organize all of the information on the website into a format that will be easier to read and manipulate.


While it is possible to write your own code to run a content audit, chances are that this is not the case. Most commonly, website crawlers are used to automate content audits. These bots browse the entire website and then records the information on each individual page. The information can then be exported to a number of formats or shared on many mediums.

There are so many crawlers available online, and when picking one, make sure that it will meet your security needs, will be able to work to the scope of your own project, and it will collect all of the data that you will need it to collect. DYNO Mapper's content auditing tool will perform an audit every week to make sure that the content is in the best shape that it can be. This not only benefits the website itself, but also ensures that the content is present in search engines in the proper way.

Taking Inventory of Your Content

Content inventory is more than just knowing what information is contained on a website. It is an all-encompassing list of files that have been organized with either software or a spreadsheet that can be used to plan out content to improve on an existing website or to make a brand new website. The organization of the inventory will depend on the structure of the website. When a content inventory is final, it should comprehensively contain all content items from a website.

Creating a content inventory is extremely important for having a successful website. Your content inventory will essentially be a baseline for you to compare future version of the website to. You will be able to identify the structure of the content, measure the viewpoint of the website as-is, and will assist in projecting an estimation for the end result.

Ideally, inventory of content would be taken at prior to redesigning a website, during regular maintenance, before a CMS (content management system) migration, and after the CMS migration. With the help of the content analysis tool that is provided by DYNO Mapper, content inventory is no longer as time consuming as it used to be, and it has become easier to maintain.

Content Auditing

Once completing a content inventory, it will be time to perform a content audit. This will aid in changing the website significantly. It will determine which pages should be deleted, which content just needs to be revised, and what kind of content should be added to the website to bridge the gaps. Additionally, the content audit will help to show where content will be mapped to if it is being redirected.

It is important when considering the search engine optimization strategy, marketing plan, and the maintenance of the website as a whole. For newer sites, a content audit will help to outline what is necessary in order to compete in the market as well as show how vital it is for the website to have high quality content in order for it to succeed. Established websites can learn about the status of the vitality of their presence online while making sure that the site is modified perfectly at code level as well as content level. It provides a way for webmasters to gather which links are necessary and find new keywords that have gained popularity within the market.

The reasons for performing a content audit will vary by website owner, and then will determine how they proceed with performing the content audit. The two main reasons for performing a content audit are content marketing and SEO purposes. Content marketing is a big deal for all businesses in order to determine where they fall in comparison to their competitors in search engines. When content auditing for search engine optimization purposes, it will show any weak spots that are in the SEO.

Setting Up Content Audit Using DYNO Mapper

A content audit will not take a predetermined amount of time. The length of time that it takes will vary by the size of the website, or how many pages it has. A comprehensive content audit will be time consuming, as the analyzing phase takes up the majority of the time. It is possible to plan ahead and shave some of the time off. When using the content auditing tool that is provided by DYNO Mapper, the webmaster will have to do just a small amount of work to get ready for a content audit. All that they will need is the URL to the website that will be crawled.

Thanks to the innovation of DYNO Mapper, webmasters no longer have to painstakingly inventory all of the content and then sort it out to audit it by hand. DYNO Mapper organizes it in a way that is easy to use and easy to read and can be easily manipulated when necessary. The advanced settings that are available allow for a content audit that is the most reliable. There are options to ignore certain parts of the website, options to only focus on certain subdomains, options for when the website's code was written by hand, and much more. Pages that have unique titles and multiple pages with the same schemes both have custom options available on the content audit tool as well.

The content audit will then relay information with the help of Google Analytics, providing accurate information regarding page visitors. It will be necessary to sign into a Google account in order to sync the Google Analytics with the website that has been crawled with the content auditing tool.

Creating a Sitemap by URL

Creating a site map from a URL with DYNO Mapper is extremely easy.

* From the home page in the menu on the left side, click on Create from URL. This will create a sitemap from any public website using any public URL.
* Copy the URL of the website into the space that is provided. You will need to include the “https” or “https” at the beginning of the website address.
* Click on Show Advanced Options in order to customize the settings of the crawler. These settings will change with your unique website code.
* Clicking on Tool Tip next to each option will tell more about each of the options.

Using Website Authentication will allow for the inclusion of private front end pages on the sitemap for many popular content management systems. These would be websites that are not currently able to be accessed by the public. If the CMS that you use is not compatible, contact DYNO Mapper and you will be given proper direction.

After all of the settings have been adjusted accordingly, you will need to click on Start Crawling. After doing this, DYNO Mapper will begin building the sitemap, based on the information that the crawler has received.

In order to check on the status of the site map, you will need to click on the Background Process icon. This is located in the upper right hand corner of the page. Clicking on it again will hide the process.

After multiple site maps have been created, finding them is simple when using the Search and Sort filters that are provided.

Depending on preference, you can view the sitemaps in a Grid View or List View.

Once the site map has been built, there will be a screenshot of the site map. Under this, there will be the individual menus for the site maps. When you click on the Ellipses, there will be the option to View, Edit, Share, Information, Duplicate, Export, Download, User Permissions, Refresh, and Schedule Crawls.

When the generator has completed crawling the website, click View Sitemap, a new window will open up to show the new site map.

Content Audit Features

When using content audit tools from DYNO Mapper, you are able to automate data collection as well as set objectives for evaluating the content prior to the audit. It is also possible to determine if you are gathering quantitative or qualitative data before the audit is performed. These tools will offer the ability to collect essential data in regards to the web pages. You are able to collect data such as page URLs, page titles, a list of all images, metadata, inbound and outbound links, audio, and video files.

More specifically, the content audit will report on all missing metadata, all broken links, all duplicate metadata, the optimum length of meta titles, any 4xx client errors, and the optimum length of descriptions. The audit may be scheduled to run according to what the user would like, most of the time it is either on a weekly or a monthly schedule. This makes it possible to track the progress of the website by monitoring the baseline. When the problems with the website are brought to the webmaster's attention, it is possible for them to act swiftly to fix the things that are hurting the structure of their website.

When a content audit has been performed multiple times, it will display in a line graph, while showing the dates with previous audits. The number of problems will also be displayed, so that users are able to track the progression of the website in a way that they can understand.


Other Tips


When a website is audited frequently, it will assure that the website visitors are getting what they want. Your website will continually be consistent and this will please the visitors. The business can grow with certainty when you understand the formula of the content that needs to be included on it.

When running a content audit, the tool will also run for website accessibility. After the sitemap has been created, click on Accessibility. From the menu under this, select the website that is intended. Click on Run a Test. There are multiple guidelines that the website can be run against, choose the one that applies to your website and then click on Run. This will likely take a few minutes to run completely, and then the results will be ready to view.

DYNO Mapper's content auditing tool will automatically gather keywords form the metadata in the website code. This is accessible through the analytics tool on the DYNO Mapper website.

Conclusion


Having access to a content auditing tool such as DYNO Mapper's will not only ensure that your website remains at its best, but it also guarantees that the website shows up accurately for search engines. Both of these things are important for the success of a website. Combing through the content of a website does not have to be exhausting or tedious thanks to DYNO Mapper's content audit tool. Not only will it do this for you, but it will also tell you the ways that you will need to edit the website to make improvements. The results that are provided by the tool will pave the way to edit the website to better the brand overall. One benefit of choosing to use an outside source for a content audit is that the fresh look at the content will likely catch anything that has been previously overlooked, such as gaps in content, links that are broken, keywords that have been mislabeled, and more. These are all things that are hard to comb through on any given website. DYNO Mapper was built to help with all of the website management tasks that are necessary to perform in order to keep the website working with all of the correct content.



Additional Resources:

How To Do a Content Audit - Step-by-Step

How to Conduct A Content Audit

How To Conduct A Content Audit

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

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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