It’s the digital age, and all businesses are going digital. Businesspeople gradually understand the need to have websites, blogs, or e-commerce shops to either retain existing site visitors or to attract new ones. But more than merely putting out content is the need to optimize content and stay on top in SEO ranking. And, this is where content auditing comes in handy.
Site content must continually be audited to keep up with the latest user trends and optimize the website for its users. The best and easiest way to check if your website needs content auditing is to check Google Trends and see what content is trending the most, at least, for the last 3 to 5 years.
What is Content Audit?
Content auditing is a method used by content marketers to optimize a site by deep diving into all aspects of every content of a website. Whether it’s a full or partial content auditing, the importance of this process for content marketers and other e-commerce retailers cannot be overemphasized. This is a sure way to check and enhance your site’s content quality not only for the users and visitors but also for search engine rankings.
To be fair, there is a ton of work required to carry out a proper content audit, especially for websites with hundreds of thousands of published content. So, it is perfectly understandable why site owners would prefer not to conduct a review.
The goal of a content audit is pretty straightforward – search engine and user behaviour toward your site content; however, you should be prepared that the results can differ from the initial intentions. Albeit challenging to conduct a full content audit, when done properly, the outcomes can be just as rewarding.
Why is Content Auditing Essential?
As already explained, the benefits of content auditing are enormous as it increases the organic traffic of your site, thereby improving the SEO ranking of that site. Sometimes, it may require deleting some of your old and outdated content to optimize content for users based on search engine trends. However, the results and impact on organic traffic flow might just be what your site needs to thrive in this information age.
So many popular websites are cutting down on content to increase their traffic, and a notable example is how ahrefs increased their organic traffic by almost 8% after auditing and deleting 40 + blog posts.
Data Needed for Content Auditing
There is simply no one-size-fits-all format for every site as it differs from one website to another. Obviously, the info required for auditing a site with thousands of web pages is going to vary for a site with a handful of web pages. For one, there is a vast difference in the time factor.
Below are a few pointers to help you during your content auditing process:
- I suppose that the first data to analyze is the value and quality of your content. This means everything from tone, consistency, quality, readability, originality and the works.
- Always check Google Analytics of your site to understand the human behavior of your visitors. This should help you analyze why some web pages get more organic traffic than others, and possibly what it is you are doing wrong.
- Check to see if Google can index some of your web pages. This is of high importance as Google only has so much budget for indexing and if a page is not indexed, that could cause an error, which needs to be addressed.
- If you used your website as sort of a journal with low volume content, then you need to know that those are not so much as help you. You can either update them if it still has some value or you can just axe it.
- Another data to look out for is duplicated content, which typically means web pages that are pretty similar to other pages that are not getting any organic traffic. You can either choose to redirect such pages or optimize with other relevant keywords that are trending.
- Now everyone is surfing the net on their mobile phones, making it imperative to have your site’s mobile-friendliness up to par. If your pages are not mobile-friendly, visitors on mobile devices may simply not come back. And there are lots of such users.
- If you have any technical background or coding, then you might want to check out your HTTP status. However, you can just as easily mess this up if it’s not done correctly.
Other data points to look out for, include social shares, loading speed, historical URL data, and many others. It’s also wise to make copies of your content before axing any webpage.
Ways to Audit Content and Increase Organic Traffic
There are several benefits that your website can enjoy from reviewing and clearing out useless published content. Any e-commerce marketer and retailer that has gone through with this organic traffic technique will tell you only good things about content auditing.
This article will highlight three(3) ways to conduct a content audit and enhance Increase organic traffic to your site.
#1 Manual Content Review
Going through your website, page by page, post by post sounds painfully time-consuming and to be fair, only practical for new websites with a handful of content. Meaning that if your site has published thousands of content for years, the manual review might not be your first choice. In fact, this is where you’ll prefer to use an automated algorithm for auditing your content. However, you should never delete an old post based solely on the results of an automated review. The reason is that you may get your SEO ranking messed up if, in fact, those posts had little SEO ranking, which, in turn, will only hurt you.
So, yes! Take your sweet time and go through every content before making a decision. Some posts do not require a complete deletion. Sometimes, all you need to do is update the post and rejuvenate the content with better keywords, and more value; rather than removing it entirely.
#2 Update Old Content
This is another effective way to see improvements on your SEO ranking and pull in more organic traffic. You will agree with me that not all your old posts had the best content or necessarily bring lots of value to your site visitors. However, by merely updating those posts by optimizing with more relevant keywords. You can always refer to Google Trends to see which keywords are ranking more and are being searched for the most.
#3 Delete 404 pages and Redirect
The whole point of performing a content audit is to trim down the fat of your website. The ‘fat’ could be built up for a range of reasons, and 404 error pages or web page duplicates are typically part of the problem.
The ideal solution for 404 pages is to delete immediately, however, for duplicates, it’s more effective to redirect those pages to the other similar page that is bringing in some traction of traffic.
A lot of sites are suffering because of poorly written content, thereby seeing a drag in SEO rankings. However, performing a content audit might be just what your website needs to boost organic traffic and retain site visitors. This is especially useful for bloggers and content marketers looking to revive their content and enjoy higher SEO ranking.
Guest-blogger at Syncee. Gregory is passionate about researching new technologies in both mobile, web and WordPress. Also, he works on writing service review websites Online Writers Rating. Gregory in love with stories and facts, so Gregory always tries to get the best of both worlds.