Have you been blogging for a year or more? Or have outdated website copy?
An SEO audit is very important to make sure that you always have fresh content. And to ensure that it’s performing as well as it can and that you’re refreshing your SEO strategy regularly.
Furthermore, your editorial planning will become a breeze and a content audit is well worth the time and effort.
What is a website SEO audit?
A website SEO audit in relation to blog content, is a structured process of reviewing your website’s content with the view of keeping a record of what you have live, how it can be improved and what function it serves. Broken down, that means going through every single blog post that you’ve ever published and keeping a record of it.
It helps you go through your existing content to see which pieces meet your marketing objectives and which don’t. Plus, it will provide an opportunity to see what content is missing and any gaps that need to be filled. What’s more is that you can immediately identify the strengths, weaknesses and challenges in all the existing content.
Ideally, a content audit should be performed regularly, such as every six or twelve months, depending on how often you blog. Given that SEO best practices can change quite frequently, it also helps you to keep on top of them and position yourself well.
How to do a website SEO audit
Firstly, start with a spreadsheet of all the posts ever published. The spreadsheet should contain title, topic, keyword, URL, external links, internal links, category, what type of content it is (eg evergreen, listicle, time sensitive etc) and include a section for actions required.
Although it depends on your business goals and marketing objectives, here are some basics to look for when conducting your website SEO audit:
- Where does the content fit in the sales cycle/funnel/customer journey?
- Can it be updated? Either with new references, links, statistics or timeframes?
- Which are you best performing pieces of content? How can you learn from them or replicate their success?
- Which pieces of content fit together that have no obvious link? Eg, does each blog post have at least two internal links?
- Is it written for the target audience? And has your target audience changed since you first started creating content? If so, how can you adjust your existing content to speak to this demographic?
- Are the language, tone, style and branding consistent across the pieces of content?
- Do the content articles sit in the right categories?
- Where are the gaps in your content strategy? Eg, do you have a lot of image heavy posts but light on informative, rich content and longer style articles that will help keep people on your page for longer?
- Check and fix all broken links.
- Include a call to action in each content article.
- Improve their readability score using a plugin such as Yoast or similar.
- Check the URL structure— does it include the SEO keyword?
- Is the meta data description perfected?
- Have you applied content article SEO techniques?
Once you’ve gone through the entirety of your blog posts and listed the actions required, then you can start to implement the actions. Don’t forget to resubmit your sitemap to Google once you’ve updated all your content.
Benefits of website SEO audit
Having a content audit and being able to clear see what content you have, will be useful for getting the whole team on board and utilising the content. For example, if you have a series of blog posts that answer some of the most frequent questions that your sales people have to answer, you can save your employees time and resources. This is such a prevailing step because a lot of content gets lost and not used to its full potential.
‘SiriusDecisions estimates that 65 percent of B2B content ends up languishing unused.’
Taking inventory of your blog posts will also provide an opportunity for you to view potential curated posts. As I did in Best five copywriting posts of 2018, you can see your top performing posts and curate them into one post for the ease and benefit of your readers. Be sure to write original blurbs introducing each post, rather than cutting and pasting from the original posts, to avoid Google penalties.
Using Google Analytics and your website’s own data, compile a list of the top ten (or whatever number) best performing posts. Performance can be determined in alignment with your marketing and business objectives, eg are your performance metrics based on how many people read it? Or how many conversions (eg how many buy a product from your site)?
Analyse the top performing posts and work out why they performed so well. Did they receive better attention when it came to spreading the word? Did you write about something unusual and unique? Or was it directly written to what your audience really wanted to know? One of the keys to a great performing website is to repeat what is working well.
Similarly, you can identify which content can be repurposed easily. A lot of existing content is often ripe for repurposing, not just as content articles but other forms of content (such as downloadables, ebooks, videos etc).
Having this bird’s eye view of your content will supply an easy and thorough opportunity to create recommendations for powerful content going forward.
Recommendations to capitalise on these posts include:
Here are some examples of content recommendations that I posed when undertaking a recent client content audit.
- Writing more bio articles.
- Discovering more unique and surprising content that is similar.
- Focus on people more rather than solely on the product.
- Craft more educational posts or content with an educational focus.
These recommendations will help form the basis of your topics in your content writing strategy, so you’ll never struggle for ideas.
As a bonus, you might rediscover great content that you had forgotten about. This forgotten content can be added to your social media strategy, outreach or PR campaigns.
Although it may fill you with dread and seem like it will take ages, the amount of effort and time you invest in doing a content audit each year will save you time in advance by making your content articles more useful, targeted and usable.
Here are some top audit tools to help with your blog audit.