How to conduct a content audit for your website

May 14th, 2024

Is your website content gathering dust in the digital attic? A content audit is just one type of technical audit that could help to refresh your online presence needs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to take control of your content, identify what’s working, and what needs improvement. Learn how to find outdated information, optimise for search engines, and ensure your website is meeting your business goals. By the end, you’ll have a clear action plan to revitalise your content and get the results you deserve.

Imagine your website content as a library. Over time, the shelves fill with books (articles, blog posts, pages), some well-worn favourites, some gathering dust in forgotten corners. A content audit is like a comprehensive inventory and evaluation of this library. It uncovers a wealth of information about your content’s health and helps you to make informed decisions to improve your website’s effectiveness. Here’s what a content audit can show you:

  • Content performance: An audit analyses metrics like traffic, engagement (shares, comments) and conversions (sales, signups) to identify high and low performers. This helps you understand what content resonates with your audience and what might need improving.
  • Content relevance: The audit can assess how well your content aligns with your current business goals and target audience. Outdated information, irrelevant topics, or content that no longer reflects your brand can be identified and addressed.
  • SEO: The audit might check for technical SEO issues like broken links, missing meta descriptions and inadequate keyword usage. This can reveal opportunities to improve your website’s search ranking and organic traffic.
  • Content gaps: The audit can expose areas where your website lacks content to address your audience’s needs or compete with industry trends. This helps you identify topics for new content creation.
  • Content health: The audit can uncover broken elements, outdated information or formatting inconsistencies that might detract from the user’s experience. By addressing these issues, you can improve the overall quality and professionalism of your website.

In short, a content audit can really strengthen your website. It helps you allocate resources effectively, improve user experience, and ultimately achieve your business goals online. By understanding what content works and what doesn’t, you can create a content strategy that drives traffic, engagement, and conversions.

If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve produced this easy-to-follow step-by-step guide so you can perform your own content audit. Keep reading to find a list of recommended tools and how you can use them too.

Steps for performing a content audit

Step 1: Define your goals

The first thing to do is consider what you want to achieve with your website content. Increased traffic? Boosted brand awareness? More leads or sales? Having clear goals will guide your audit and help you prioritise your findings.

Step 2: Gather your content

Make a list of all your website content, including blog posts, articles, landing pages, product descriptions and even infographics. Use your Content Management System (CMS) or website builder to generate a report or crawl your site with a dedicated tool. This will gather all your URLs automatically so you don’t have to manually track them all. Screaming Frog will allow you to do some of this for free, though larger sites may need a licence to crawl the whole thing.

Step 3: Organise your inventory

Create a spreadsheet to track your content. Include details like URL, content type (blog post, page, etc.), title, date published, author, and relevant keywords. This will be your central hub for analysis.

Step 4: Analyse the content’s performance

Pull data from your website analytics to see how each piece of content is performing. Look at metrics like page views, bounce rate, average time on page and conversions to identify high and low performers.

Step 5: Evaluate the content relevance

Is your content aligned with your current business goals and target audience? Review each piece for outdated information, irrelevant topics or content that doesn’t reflect your brand.

Step 6: Assess the site’s SEO

Check for technical SEO issues like broken links, missing meta descriptions or inadequate keyword usage. There are free and paid SEO audit tools available online to assist you with this step.

Step 7: Identify content gaps

Are there areas where your website lacks content to address user needs or compete with industry trends? Use your findings to brainstorm new content ideas that fill these gaps.

Step 8: Review content health

Look for broken elements, outdated information or formatting inconsistencies that detract from the user experience. This includes checking images and videos, and ensuring mobile-friendliness.

Step 9: Categorise and prioritise

Based on your analysis, categorise your content into different groups. This could be “keep and optimise”, “update”, “consolidate”, or “remove”. Prioritise your actions based on your goals and website traffic.

Step 10: Develop an action plan

Create a clear plan for taking action on your audit findings. This might involve updating content, optimising for search engines, scheduling content removal or creating new content. Set deadlines and assign tasks to ensure your audit translates into real website improvements.

By following these steps, you can conduct a comprehensive content audit and gain valuable insights into the health and effectiveness of your website content. Remember, a content audit is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit your findings and update your strategy to keep your website thriving in the digital world.

What tools can you use for a content audit?

It would be almost impossible to perform a content audit without the use of tools and apps that could help you. Below, you can find some of the most important and useful tools you’ll need when doing an audit of your website’s content.

Tools for content inventory and analysis:

Google Analytics & Search Console: These free tools from Google provide website traffic data, user engagement metrics, and basic SEO insights. They’re a great starting point to understand content performance.
Website crawlers: Tools like Screaming Frog can crawl your entire website and generate a report on all your content URLs, broken links and on-page SEO issues.

A screenshot of the Screaming Frog homepage

Tools for content optimisation:

SEO audit tools: Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz offer advanced SEO features that can analyse your content for keyword usage, meta descriptions, and technical SEO best practices. If you’ve never used these before, their websites have lots of guides that explain how to best use the tools and excellent YouTube accounts with demonstrations, step-by-step videos, and more.
Grammarly & Hemingway Editor: These tools help with grammar, readability, and content clarity – crucial for improving user experience.

A screenshot of the Hemingway Editor showing a readability score

Tools for content planning and brainstorming:

Mind mapping tools: MindMeister or Miro can help you visually brainstorm content ideas, identify content gaps and organise your content strategy.

Answer the Public: Simply put in your keyword or content topic and in a couple of minutes, you’ll be provided with tons of new content ideas in an easy to read format.

An Answer the Public screenshot of a wheel full of new content ideas

Remember: The best toolset depends on your specific needs and budget. Start with free options like Google Analytics and a spreadsheet, and consider paid tools as your content audit becomes more sophisticated.

In conclusion, a content audit is an invaluable tool for any website owner seeking to optimise their online presence. By taking stock of your content, you can identify areas for improvement, ensure your content aligns with your goals and ultimately drive better results. The insights gained from a content audit empower you to create a strategic roadmap for content creation and optimisation.

Need help identifying content gaps and optimizing for SEO?

Get in touch with us today for a personalised consultation on our content audit solutions.

We can help!
Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin Youtube