Today most businesses have a blog on their business website that comprises information about industry-related topics and the trends that run through it. These blogs are written majorly to drive more traffic towards the website, which naturally happens if the written content is well-equipped with accurate information and, more importantly, optimized with keywords. But, if you really wish to take your blog to a whole new level, performing a content audit should be on your checklist. Most people tend to ignore this part, and it shows in the results too.

Well, we still need to factor in that performing a content audit could seem a little tricky and intimidating, causing many people to ignore it. But please understand that performing a content audit is not as dreadful as it seems. In fact, with the right knowledge and a couple of skills on your sleeve, you can, too, perform a perfect content audit. And to bring this knowledge to all of you, here’s a comprehensive guide. This guide covers pretty much everything you need to know about performing a content audit. Right from its meaning, purpose, and benefits to the list of data points worth collecting and different content audit templates that you can work with. So, let’s get started!

First of all, what is a content audit?

When we say it’s a comprehensive guide, we mean it! Let’s start with the basics before we get into the details so that everyone is on the same page.

Well, to begin with, a content audit is nothing but taking care of the inventory and conducting a careful analysis of the existing content on the business website. It considers a set of criteria which is usually in relation to the content that needs to be audited. There are different types of content that you can audit; some of the most common ones are:

  • Core website page
  • Landing page
  • Blog post
  • Learning center article
  • Comprehensive guide
  • Webinar
  • Video content
  • One-pager
  • Podcast
  • Success story
  • Benchmark report
  • Battle card
  • Slide deck
  • Boilerplate
  • Branded template

In addition to these, there are some more content conditions too:

  • Since the beginning of time or a particular range of date.
  • Every piece of content or just a single format.
  • Every single format of content or simply all the formats on a certain topic.

Other than this, which other kinds of data do you wish to analyze? Pretty much anything and everything that can be found with Google Analytics or with the bare human eyes can be used to perform an audit.

So it is fair to say that even the sky is not the limit when it comes to content audits. So when you ask for the definition of a content audit, know that it definitely entirely depends on the amount of content you will be auditing. Along with that, it also depends on the tools you will be using and the purpose behind your audit. We’ll know more about these factors in detail further in this guide.

Why Should You Conduct Content Audits?

Conducting content audits can be a bit of a time-consuming and tedious task, but it is one of the essential steps to create high-quality content and build a reputable brand image. It is also crucial to improve the overall output of your business and its team. Let’s discuss each one of these points in detail.

Keep your content marketing strategy in check

If you wish to keep your content marketing strategy in check, it is essential to report everything regularly, and performing content audits allow you to get the bigger picture. This makes it easier to make any kinds of adjustments, alterations, and modifications. Besides, it also helps in identifying problems and resolving them to meet your specific goals.

Content marketing strategy

The outcome:

The result of this is that the data and insights acquired by you during a content audit can be used to enhance your SEO performance while revealing the pluses and minuses. Along with that, you can identify new opportunities that can help you verticalize, scale and even repurpose your existing content.

Build a reputable brand image

All the content pieces that you publish for your audience communicate something unique to them. Do you wish to express that you are incapable, out of touch with trends, or not equipped with relevant topics? Or do you wish to stand out as industry experts who know about their products and services and are constantly evolving? It all comes down to the kind of content you put out and the kind of message it expresses, which will, in turn, build the brand image you wish to create.

The outcome:

Content audits prove helpful in maintaining the brand’s design and tonal consistency while ensuring that the information is accurate and that it has an overall clean online presence. Additionally, you may also include comparisons with other brands just to keep in touch with the competitors and trends. When you conduct regular content audits, you can make sure that every encounter with your content turns out to be a positive experience that expresses nothing but authenticity, reliability, and expertise.

Overall business growth

By conducting comprehensive content audits on a regular basis, you can create and maintain a systematic content bank for your business. And we all know that a shared content bank is nothing short of a goldmine.

Overall business growth

The outcome:

When every department has access to the business content, it becomes easier to recycle and repurpose content that they have produced. This not only saves time but also enhances the content’s quality.

And in case the content team has access to other teams such as sales, product marketing, management, branding and advertising, internal and external PR, they can all identify the key themes to incorporate throughout their writing. They can also understand the noteworthy topics that need to be covered, and they can always have context for all departmental queries and requests.

With all these benefits, there is another advantage to building a content bank. It is that new members can find it easier to manage content and understand how it can be used, which again improves the efficiency of the business.

What All Should Be Included In A Content Audit?

A content audit can serve several purposes at one time, so there is no specific list of pointers that need to be included in it. However, we have still managed to create a rough list of data points that you can include in one of your content audits.

Also, please keep in mind that the potential inclusions are not limited to only this list, as you can keep adding more data. And similarly, it is not absolutely mandatory to include all of them in order to perform an audit. This is just a reference for you to understand what can potentially fit your content audit, and you can always choose and pick accordingly to your goals.

Potential data points for an information-oriented content audit

When it comes to information-oriented data, know that it usually comprises all the significant facts and figures about the content that is to be audited. Some information you may have to source manually, but other than that, you can use website plugins, extensions, and other tools that can help you export some data.

  • Summary:

    A summary is nothing but a brief synopsis of a particular content piece, and if you include a meta description in your content audit, adding a summary may not be mandatory.

  • Title:

    A page title can differ from the SERP title, and consider it as a favorable point for obtaining uniformity throughout the site and making sure that the anchor text along with the CTA buttons is aligned with the page. This will make way for a more enhanced user experience.

  • Meta title or title tag:

    This is yet another title for the URL, and it is found on the SERM. You can correlate it with CTR.

  • Meta description:

    As mentioned previously, the meta description is the concise description of the page that appears on the SERP. It would be best to include it in the SEO audit so that it includes all the keywords and is aligned with the existing character count of Google’s meta description.

    Example of Meta Title and Meta description:

  • Date of publishing:

    Although the date of publishing is already mentioned in the URL, it still makes it to the list because you can recognize the traffic data with reference, and it can be organized according to the date if required. A post made at the end of a listicle may crush it had it been published earlier than others.

    Example of date of publishing in the SERP

  • Date of modification:

    The date of modification is majorly meant for a guide or other static content pieces. This will help you choose the guide that was published in advance or the future of a significant change. In the case of a blog post, this is not that important because there are several minor modifications that can be made on any week.

    But, if you run a concentrated SEO content audit on a specific set of posts, it would be best to include the precise date on which you modified the post along with the exact change you made.

  • URL:

    This is the link to the content that faces the public. For example, any blog post, YouTube link, and so on.

  • Location:

    This includes a link directed towards the specific media file on a server.

  • Keywords:

    Keywords include the targeted words in different columns. In this way, you can look at optimization opportunities by prioritizing according to convenience and impact.

    Keywords

For instance, it might not be worth spending a lot of time trying to optimize a post that is targeted to a very low-volume keyword. Otherwise, if a post is not getting the desired amount of traffic with a high-volume keyword, you can prefer retargeting it using a low-volume keyword. Know that it is always better to grab a good ranking on page one using a keyword that has more than 400 searches rather than landing on page four using a keyword with more than 3000 searches.

  • The number of words/word count:

    The word count helps identify shorter posts that can be brought together and turned into a long piece of content that has a higher chance of ranking. It is also used when you look at metrics such as the time on the page. If you have a blog post of 2000 words with the timing of 15 seconds, it knows that something’s up.

    Example of number of words count

  • Amount of shares:

    You don’t necessarily have to dive into your social media handles to collect such insights. No, you don’t need to go into your social media platforms and start collecting those insights. But it might be good information for your audit if your blog posts have a share counter.

    Example of Social share count

Potential data points for a qualitative content audit

Normally, gathering qualitative data takes some time, majorly because it needs to be done manually. Nevertheless, it is an inevitable step to maintain the content’s quality, the brand’s consistency, and reputation in the long run. Here are the potential data points:

  • Pictures:

    When we talk about pictures, it involves keeping a check on whether the piece of content has images or not and what their quality is like. It also involves keeping track of the accuracy of data that the visuals express, along with their relevance.

    Example of content pictures

  • Nonfunctioning images and links:

    Having pictures or links that are not functional in your content can destroy the user experience and even cause harm to your SEO.

  • Tonality:

    This includes keeping a tab on the overall tone of the content and checking whether it is aligned with the brand’s voice or not.

  • The language used:

    You might have to go a couple of steps behind to check the terminology that is being used, especially if the branded terms are being altered or have been removed.

  • Form:

    If the landing page of your business website has formed, make sure you test them. This will give you a complete understanding of whether the information that was transferred to the CRM has been working and reflecting correctly or not.

  • Comments section:

    There are several comment modification tools that can be put to use, but not everyone has access to them. If such is the case, you can add it to your content audit so that you can track the positive and negative comments, along with the spam ones. In addition to that, you may also use the comments section for coming up with fresh ideas for blog posts.

    Blog post comment section example

  • Offers and discounts:

    Cross-check whether all the popups are actually popping up or not. Similarly, the bottom and side rails which usually show offers and discounts, need to be checked in case they need to be refreshed or if they appear in inappropriate positions.

  • Readability rank:

    Readability is an important concern. Irrespective of how well your content is drafted, if it is not readable, there is no point. While platforms like Grammarly and Yoast can help in checking readability, they will never be as accurate as a human scrolling through it. So adding this to the content audit may help in knowing if the content is easy to read and understand.

    Yoast SEO readability Score

  • Spellings and grammatical correctness:

    Not every piece of content is curated by a professional content team. This is why checking for spelling errors, grammatical inconsistencies, especially in the case of product descriptions, pitches, one-pagers, etc., is important.

  • Accuracy and relevance:

    Content always needs to be accurate and relevant pertaining to the present date. You need to check whether the listicles you have included are still there or not and whether there is a need to add more recent links to make them more relevant.

  • Inspiration:

    Make sure you add links to the pages that offer similar content if produced by one of your competitors or other brands that have inspired you.

  • Room for improvement:

    This is an open-ended section that gives you a space for analyzing and brainstorming accordingly. The concept behind this is to leave a specific area for the auditor to work on in case they have fresh ideas or even to make notes.

Potential data points for a quantitative content audit

The numerals present one true source allowing you to establish measurable goals and set plans accordingly concerning the content marketing KPIs. These numbers are also required to audit the overall health, hygiene, and performance of the site.

Quantitative content audit

According to what you are trying to measure and the amount of content you wish to audit, you can pick the source for your information too. Some of the most common ones are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Other than these, you may also consider an auditing tool such as Screaming Frog. More information can be found through SEO metric posts. Here are the critical data points:

  • Organic pageview count:

    This is the count of users that enter your page through a search engine.

  • Overall bounce rate:

    This is the percentage of people who visit your page and leave without visiting any additional pages.

  • Internal and incoming links:

    Internal links is the count of links that check to find out whether there are any non-functional links that need to be replaced. Incoming links include the number of backlinks, and if there are too many of these links, your page may be blocked for having unnatural links.

  • Site for linking:

    A single site can link you to the same page many times, all through the content. This is why this number is usually less than the number of backlinks.

  • Keyword volume:

    Just the same as mentioned in the informational content section!

  • Site speed:

    This is the page loading speeding which usually involves the technical SEO. However, you can make some changes, especially on the content level. If there are fewer pages, you may tune them in the Page Speed Insights tool, which is free to use. However, if there is an extensive list of links, we’d recommend you use an auditing tool.

    Example of Site Speed

  • General position:

    This can be found manually using the Search Console tool. However, this is yet another metric that you may collect through an auditing tool or an SEO tool. This can prove most helpful if you are finding pages that fit in the first page of the search engine that you are focusing on.

  • Time on page:

    The time spent on the page helps in identifying whether something on the webpage is not working or is not appealing or even if the content is not matching with the keyword’s intent.

  • Overall conversion:

    This is a more reliable metric for auditing the content for landing pages as Google Analytics can show several things and several meanings. However, it would help you if your objectives are already aligned on Google Analytics.

  • Conversion rate:

    This is one of the mandatory metrics for understanding which content is performing the best. Additionally, know that the UX can affect the conversion rates.

  • Bounce rate:

    This particular metric is useful in many kinds of content audits, but please keep in mind that having higher bounce rates is not always a bad case. A blog pose having a considerably good time on the page with a relatively higher bounce rate also indicates that the page offers exactly what the reader or the searcher was looking for.

  • Exit rate:

    This metric is to show how frequently the page had been visited in a single session.

  • Picture size:

    Picture size

    The picture size involves the dimensions of the image along with its file size.
    Along with these, there are some more sales metrics such as the CPA, generated leads and nurtured leads, ROI, etc. However, these do not come under the domain of content audits which is in the discussion here.

How Can You Successfully Conduct A Content Audit?

Well, there is no right or wrong way of performing a content audit. Similarly, there is no fixed number of steps to conduct one perfectly. But you can always have some tips and tricks for doing it right, and we are here to share those. Let’s dive in.

Have a clear goal
Just like any other task, having a clearly chalked-out goal can help in making the planning and execution process swifter. Although it is quite evident, we still need to mention that content audits can turn into black holes very soon because there are countless prospects and metrics to work on.

Besides, you may always find out some of the other new metrics to gather and assess after starting your content auditing journey. This is why having a clear picture of the goal is essential so that you are sure about exactly what needs to be collected and you are not diverted from the goal. Having too many data points can lead to confusion, which will make the assessment and auditing process a bit complicated.

If you are including qualitative metrics that are open-ended in nature, make sure you have a crystal clear goal so that you know exactly what you need to work on and how you can approach it.

Organized work is key

Spreadsheets are meant to help you stay as organized as possible. So here are some tips for working around that:

  • Keep a limited number of open-ended cells, mainly when you are working on larger content audits. This will ensure easier organization and sorting of any data.
  • Consider creating drop-down functionalities that have fixed options to choose from. This becomes more important if several people are working on the same sheet of content audit.
  • Using basic color-coding techniques can help you deal with several different types of content and their distinct formats efficiently.
  • Mention the range of dates when working on certain quantitative metrics.
  • For keeping a tab on larger content audits, organize them according to the content formats. This can be done by combing them into a single sheet when you are finished. However, ensure that all the sheets have the same column format.

Pick the format

There are several ways of formatting your content audit; here are some tips for the same:

  • In certain audits, the added metrics act as both the inventory as well as the action items. This means that when the audit is completed, the goal is also achieved.
  • Such a format can work if you go a basic Q&A audit for identifying and making minor but meaningful modifications that need not be tracked. In these cases, the initial tabs show the action item checklist, while the next ones can include the title, links, status, and so on.
  • In the case of other audits, the audit itself plays the role of an inventory by inventorying the set of data points such that they meet with others to identify the action items according to the goal.
  • And for some, it is s a mix of both.

Irrespective of the how’s and when’s of the action items being identified, always ensure that they are specified with one owner only.

Put some content audit tools to use

There are several content auditing tools; some of the best ones are:

  • Google tools: This includes Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Page Speed Insights, etc.
  • SEO tools: Semrush, Screaming Frog, etc.
  • Tools for organizing the inventory: Airtable, Google Sheets, etc.
  • Tools for checking the content quality: Grammarly, Yoast SEO Plugin, etc.
  • Tools for extracting images: ExtractPics, etc.
  • Tools for tracking the ROI, such as your CRM.

Don’t turn your audit into a report

This could be an honest mistake but make sure your content audit does not replace your regular reports. A content audit is a more comprehensively colted sheet of all important details, which is to be created quarterly or annually.

However, regular reports are essential for ensuring that you hit KPIs with the content. It is for picking up long-term patterns and using them for future strategies. When you become more used to your metrics and the different types of content, it will be easier for you to choose criteria for content audits in the future.

How you can run a website content audit

We define a website content audit as the cover of the core page(s) of any website, and it can also have an example from a template page of one of the blog posts, landing pages, etc.

Sample content audit pages:

  • The home page
  • About page
  • Contact page
  • Products or services
  • Price structure
  • Success stories, client diaries, or testimonials
  • Gallery, visuals, portfolio,
  • Resource page
  • Careers page
  • Leadership, team leads
  • Meet the team
  • Events, awards page
  • FAQs
  • Blog homepage
  • Blog post page
  • The landing page of content download
  • Thank you page
  • Press, coverage, features page
  • Privacy Policy page
  • Terms & Conditions page
  • Menu bar/page

Sample website content audit objectives:

  • QA after migrating a site or rebranding
  • Updating the product nomenclature
  • Increasing the engagement and conversion rates
  • Checking for inclusivity

Sample website content audit metrics

  • Title of the page
  • The subtitle of the page
  • URL
  • Meta (title)
  • Meta (description)
  • Traffic
  • Links functional or not
  • CTAs functional or not
  • Visuals okay or not
  • Accuracy of the information
  • Relevance of the information
  • Spellings and grammatical correctness
  • Popups functional or not
  • Overall bounce rate
  • Additional notes

Sample website content audit insight and actionable points

  • The Leadership page needs to be revised with new head points and bios.
  • The bounce rate of the resource page is on the higher side, so cut back a little and make menu additions for simpler use and add thumbnails for featured resources.
  • The About us page looks a little off, so transfer the copy to the Contact page and build a fresh copy that aligns with the brand’s tonality and history.
  • The success stories and testimonials page does not get enough traffic so add it to the primary navigation menu.

A template for conducting website content audits

Visit this link and make a copy of it on Google Sheets. You can edit it the way you want to by adding, removing, or changing the given data points.

Website content audits Template

How You Can Run An SEO-backed Content Audit

An SEO-backed content audit views a website page that is indexed on Google, and the ideal way of conducting an SEO content audit is by using tools such as ahrefs and Screaming Frog. An SEO content audit looks at website pages that are indexed on Google. Therefore, the best way to conduct an SEO content audit is to use tools like ahrefs or Screaming Frog.

Sample SEO content audit objectives

Sample SEO content audit metrics

  • Website URL
  • Title of the page
  • Meta (title)
  • Meta (title character count)
  • Meta (description)
  • Organic pageview
  • Keywords and their volume
  • CTR
  • Overall position
  • Wordcount
  • Internal links
  • Site speed

Sample SEO content audit insight and actionable items

  • There are many blog posts on the second page in the SERP, so optimize them again to push them onto the first page.
  • The site speed insight score is low so compress the visuals by resizing the images.
  • Blog posts that have more than 500 words have poor organic traffic, so combine a couple of blog posts together and redirect them to one long blog post.

A template for conducting SEO content audits

Use this link as a template and make all the additions and modifications according to your requirement.

SEO content audit template

How You Can Run A Blog Content Audit

Blog content audits can be the same as an SEO audit; however, every blog post is not meant for SEO and serves many other purposes than just driving traffic onto the website.

Sample blog content audit objectives

  • Identifying the focus topics
  • Strengthening the branding strategy
  • Increasing the engagement and conversion rates
  • Enhancing the overall accessibility and inclusivity

Sample blog content audit data points

  • URL of the website
  • Organic pageview
  • Title of the page
  • Meta (title)
  • Meta (title character count)
  • Meta (description)
  • CTR
  • Categories
  • Products supported
  • Visuals
  • Image alt text
  • Comments section
  • Style guide compliance
  • Leading queries
  • Target keywords
  • Wordcount
  • Accuracy of the information
  • Relevance of the information
  • Popups

Sample blog content audit insight and actionable items

  • There are many comments on certain posts, so they need to be addressed in the post.
  • The content of a certain category lacks support from certain content, so perform keyword research for publishing a couple of targeted posts.
  • Some posts need to be repurposed in the form of webinars, so combine them in a PDF guide.
  • Identify the posts that target competitive keywords and change them such that they are targeted towards a lower volume and competition.
  • A popup category needs to be updated to improve the conversion rates.

A template for conducting blog content audits

Open this link and tweak it up the way you want to suit your audit’s requirements.

Blog content audit template

How You Can Run A Guide Content Audit

In case you’ve been running paid ads for guides, ebooks, etc., you may consider auditing every landing page separately.

Sample guide content audit objectives

  • Improving the conversion rates of the resources page.
  • Prioritizing the efforts taken for rebranding.
  • Identifying the guides to boost popups and ads.
  • Cut-short the content bank.

Sample guide content audit metrics

  • Title of the guide/Ebook
  • Date of creation
  • Date of modification
  • PDF file
  • Landing page
  • Landing page (traffic)
  • Landing page (conversion rate)
  • Reference link
  • Wordcount
  • Page count
  • Boilerplate
  • Offers at the end

Sample guide content audit insight and actionable items

  • Keep guides 1-10, update guides 11-20, delete guides 21-30.
  • Combine certain guides together into one toolkit.
  • Add certain guides for nurturing the flow of email.

A template for conducting guide content audits

Use this link as the premise and make adjustments based on your requirements.

Guide content audit template

How you can run a landing page content audit

For certain businesses, it is not practical to audit every existing landing page majorly; their URL structures make it a little challenging. So, it is not mandatory to audit all the landing pages.

Sample landing page content audit objectives

  • Increasing the traffic on landing pages.
  • Improving the overall conversion rates.

    Checking the form functionality.

    Checking the CRM integration.

Sample landing page content audit metrics

  • Title of the landing page
  • Indexed or not
  • Meta (title)
  • Meta (description)
  • Offers
  • Pageview
  • Conversion rate/CVR
  • Average time spent on the page
  • Overall bounce rate
  • Wordcount
  • Room for improvement
  • Content delivery to the inbox
  • Thank you page
  • Ideas

Sample landing page content audit insight and actionable items

  • Considering that landing pages having a higher word count have higher CVR, increase the word count on certain pages.
  • Disable the live chat from the landing page.
  • Certain landing pages have to be unindexed.
  • The broken forms on certain pages need to be fixed.
  • The homepage can drive maximum traffic to a certain landing page, and another one converts very well. So test that format on the previous page.

A template for conducting landing page content audits

Use this link as a reference for your landing page content audit and make the necessary changes.

Landing page content audit template

How You Can Run A Comprehensive Content Audit

A comprehensive content audit includes every form of media produced by your business, such as:

  • Infographics/Visuals
  • White papers
  • Webinars/Live events
  • Podcasts/Streams
  • Videos
  • Blog posts

In addition to these, it also involves content related to:

  • Education
  • Case studies/testimonials/success stories
  • Benchmark report
  • Product tutorial, product descriptions
  • Pitch deck, etc

Sample comprehensive content audit objectives

  • To build or audit a content bank that all departments can refer.
  • To keep updating and pruning the content bank.
  • To give the new managers a comprehensive picture of the current content strategy and its output.
  • To identify opportunities to repurpose the content.

Sample comprehensive content audit metrics

  • Title
  • Type of content
  • Format of content
  • Length of content
  • Word count and page count
  • Time to read
  • Date of modification
  • Funnel stage
  • Whether internal or external
  • Traffic driven

Sample comprehensive content audit insight and actionable items

The objective of a comprehensive media audit, as previously defined, is to build and continue updating the content bank. Such an audit has to be thorough, so it is suggested that the actionable items to do the inventory as information is collected and similarly making minor fixes and enhancements. The significant points of corrections and upgrades could be identified and optimized later on in a more methodical manner.

A template for conducting comprehensive content audits

Open this link and see where you need to make changes. Accordingly, use this template for auditing.

Comprehensive content audits template

Conclusion

All in all, conducting content audits is necessary, particularly if you wish to hit your targets in terms of traffic driven, engagement and conversion rates, ROI, and so on. It is also necessary to produce high-quality content that will give you the required mileage and ensure a solid brand reputation. With all the data points, methods, samples, and templates mentioned in this post, we hope you can achieve everything you wish and take your business to a whole new level!