You’re an entrepreneur. You write content regularly, but you need to catch up. You try to promote and push your content, but it just goes nowhere. What’s going on? It’s high time you took the right approach, even if you think you already have one. And, who knows, what you thought was helping can do the opposite.
Learn how to perform a content audit of your site with our free guide. Find out what needs to be added to your strategy, who inspires you in content, and who enjoys achieving more with less work.
Create a spreadsheet
Creating a spreadsheet to audit your website is a great way to track the content on your site. You can use this tool to create a checklist of things you need to do to improve your site, whether improving existing content or creating new content. The first step is to list out some of the main categories of information on your site, like “Products,” “Services,” and “Contact Us.”
Next, list the subcategories under each main category. For example, under “Products,” you might list “T-shirts,” “Hats,” and “Mugs.” Under “Mugs,” you could list all the different types of mugs (stainless steel, ceramic, etc.).
After you’ve listed all of the main and subcategories, start jotting down ideas for individual items within those subcategories. For example, under “Mugs,” you could have a thing for every color and pattern of a mug available for sale. You can then check off completed items as you create them or edit them on your website.
Define your goals
To define your goals, ensure you understand your audience and what they are looking for on your website when they visit. If you need help figuring out where to start, spend some time with your sales team or customer service representatives to hear from them about what questions potential customers often ask, or read through past support conversations to see where visitors have had problems finding information on your website. Music education sites should focus on providing information to help students learn an instrument or discover new music. In contrast, retail websites should focus on providing information that helps customers make informed decisions about purchasing products. Once you’ve identified what’s important, write down your goals and objectives to objectively track how well you’re reaching those goals throughout the audit process.
List your content
When you’re ready to start analyzing the data, it’s important to remember that only some pieces of information you find will be interesting or have a strong correlation with what you’re looking for. Most won’t. That’s why it’s a good idea to start by making an inventory of everything you plan on tracking and then only choosing the pieces that fit in with your goal. There are several things you can do to narrow down the list.
For example, consider how many people are coming from social media sources. In that case, it might be better to look at your Facebook fans and Twitter followers separately and see which is driving more traffic. Suppose your goal is to find out more about specific content, like blog posts or landing pages. In that case, it might be best to track those individually. And if you want to understand how different messages affect conversion rates, the simplest way would be to follow the differences between the elements of those messages and their performance individually.
Categorize the content
When performing a content audit, it helps to have some outline or schematic of the site. This will allow you to accurately and thoroughly evaluate each page’s content and its relation to other pages. A helpful method of categorizing content is using the 5 Ws and H framework: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
A helpful way to think about this framework is that it can be used to answer all of the questions a person may ask about your content. These questions will help you determine essential facets of your content: who is using it, what it is being used for, where it is being used (which could be online or in-store), when it is most needed, and why they need it (what their goal is that they’re trying to accomplish). The “how” aspect of this framework can be described as a description of which user interface elements (such as images or videos) are included to make the product more effective.
Applying these principles can help you effectively and efficiently perform content audits on your site without getting overwhelmed with too much information. Once you have identified what needs changing, you can decide how best to create a new or revised version of your website.
As the final step of your content audit, you’ll be looking at the data you’ve collected about your current pages and deciding if there’s any opportunity to improve. If you’re looking to make your page more visible in search engines, this is where you can look at your title tag and meta description. If you want to update content on an older page, you can pay attention to your most popular pages and note any gaps in what they offer.
After looking through these pages, pay attention to the level of traffic each page receives. Suppose a page gets a lot of traffic. In that case, ensuring that content is optimized for that particular search query is essential. It makes sense to take the time to look closely at the keywords Google is sending people looking for information on this topic and decide which are the most important ones to include in your content.
Finally, if there’s a page that is getting little traffic, know it’s an opportunity for improvement. Whether it needs updating or adding content or needs a good SEO push with keyword research and optimization to attract more activity, now is the time to look into it!
Learn how to do it right
As we mentioned, performing a content audit can be time-consuming and laborious. But with the right plan, you can complete the task in a much shorter time frame. Connect with us to learn more about how website audit works!