How to Run a Content Audit

How to Run a Content Audit

A content audit is a content marketing strategy that can help businesses align KPIs and content. It involves assessing the messaging and tone of website content to ensure consistency with brand identity. By identifying gaps and new opportunities, a content audit can create a roadmap for creating relevant content that drives traffic and generates leads. Ultimately, a content audit can optimize digital marketing efforts and improve user experience on a website.

What Is a Content Audit?

A content audit provides valuable insights into website content performance, helping businesses make data-driven decisions to improve their online presence and drive results.

When Does My Website Need a Content Audit?

It’s a good idea to complete regular content audits for several reasons. First, many business goals evolve as companies add or remove products and services. Additionally, ensuring that your website still talks to your target audience is a good idea as consumer trends and needs shift.

A content audit will give you a baseline idea of where your content currently stands. It will also uncover content gaps and help your business focus on the best target keywords.

Here are a few questions you may be asking:

  • What does my existing content focus on?
  • Is my content helpful?
  • Does my content answer the questions my target audience is asking?
  • Does my content bring a user through a clear buyer’s journey?
  • How do people find my content?
  • How is it performing?
  • Does my content still accurately represent our company?

If the answers to these questions could clarify your future content strategy, then it’s time to conduct an audit.

Benefits of Content Audits

As you audit pages, you will develop a content inventory list. This will help you categorize the types of content you have and uncover content gaps. Additionally, you’ll identify SEO issues and clarify the value of your current content. With a solid understanding of your content, you’ll develop a strong content marketing strategy moving forward.

How To Perform a Content Audit

There are many ways to perform an audit. Some experts recommend expensive tools, and others recommend specific content audit templates. While tools may aggregate information in different formats, the content audit process doesn’t require fancy tools.

Before you begin, ensure you can access Google Analytics and Search Console for your auditing website. You’ll also need a list of all the URLs associated with the content you will evaluate. A platform like Screaming Frog can generate this list.

Identify Your Main Goal

There are various ways to complete a successful content audit. It’s a good idea to narrow the focus of your audit to align with your company KPIs. For example, if your goal is to increase organic search traffic, you will want to ensure you have content relevant to your target audience’s questions.

If your KPIs focus on increasing relevant conversions, your audit may focus on identifying where user engagement ends and determining if you have gaps in your content library.

Identify the Content To Include

With an established goal, you can consider what content to audit. Are you focusing strictly on blog content or considering redesigning your website? Perhaps you are most concerned with ensuring your editorial calendar includes the best lead-generation offers. Narrowing the scope of the content type to focus on will save time. However, it’s best to start with a comprehensive audit to uncover content cannibalization and gap issues.

Pay attention to pages with declining performance metrics. This could indicate issues that you need to address. Proactive maintenance is valuable—updating content before it deteriorates can prevent performance drops. To keep top-performing evergreen pages relevant, regularly review and improve them. Audit your website’s pages strategically based on importance, longevity, and performance trends to meet user needs and achieve desired outcomes.

Define Your Audit Facets

Facets will serve as columns in your spreadsheet to organize and manage your inventory data. One key facet you may want to consider is the content’s URL. A second facet to consider is the type of content. While multiple pieces of content may live at one URL or a single piece may appear on multiple pages, readily available information helps identify where specific content resides. For example, a blog post may have a video or infographic embedded.

For non-web-based content without a URL, it is still crucial to note its location or source so you can account for all types of assets in your inventory. By defining these facets and organizing all relevant data, you can effectively manage and analyze your content library for better decision-making and strategic planning.

Evaluate the Content

Before adding new content to your website, it’s best to find ways to improve the existing content. When assessing individual pages on a website, it is important to group similar pages together. This allows for a more efficient and focused audit process, as you can analyze multiple pages that serve the same purpose or target the same audience at once. You can identify common strengths and weaknesses by using specific criteria to evaluate these pages, such as design, content quality, user experience, and SEO optimization.

Here’s an example of how we quickly categorize content:

An example of how we categorize content for a content audit.

Once you’ve sorted pages, you can do an on-page audit of each page that needs a deeper review. Some of the things to note are:

  • High-Quality Content
  • Low-Quality Content
  • Content Format
  • Duplicate Content
  • Readability
  • Link Opportunity
  • Broken Links
  • Schema
  • External and Internal Links
  • Correct Focus Keyword 
  • Keyword Stuffing

Our On-Page Optimization Guide is a great tool for this step.

Identify Content Gaps

It’s also important to consider the types and formats of content you produce and whether or not they meet your audience’s needs. By looking at which sites and resources are ranking well for your target keywords, you can gain valuable insights into which strategies are effective in your industry. By identifying these gaps in your content strategy, you can make informed decisions about improving and enhancing your overall digital presence.

Prioritize Keywords To Earn

Keywords are the terms your target audience uses to find you when using a search engine. One way to determine whether to improve or remove your content is to identify the keywords it currently ranks for. You can do this using Google Search Console. Check out this video to learn more about using Search Console.

Once you have a better idea of the keywords you appear for and the ones you are missing, you can begin optimizing your content and adding new information to earn additional terms.

Build Your Content Calendar

Content calendars are essential tools for businesses using content marketing strategies to improve their online presence. Without a content calendar, it is easy to lose track of tasks and decrease the frequency of content publication.

Businesses can effectively organize and manage content tasks by utilizing a content calendar. This approach gives businesses a clear overview of their tasks and deadlines, reducing the risk of overlooking important aspects. Learn more about designing a strategic content calendar.

Performing an SEO content audit can be time-consuming. That’s why we regularly complete content audits for our clients at SMA Marketing. When you partner with an SEO agency like SMA, we will do the detailed work needed to help you meet your KPIs, leaving you more time to focus on running your company. Contact us to learn more.

Contact SMA Marketing
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Beth hhhWalker is a Content Manager who is passionate about storytelling. She leads our In-House writing team and works closely with clients and CSMs to ensure all the content SMA creates meets SEO best practices and tells each client's unique story.

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