Learn to do Content Audit like a King in SEO
What is a Content Audit?
In simple terms, Content Audit for the purpose of SEO is done to analyze the performance of all indexed pages/content on a domain to get an understanding of, how each page is performing & where improvement is required?
how important content auditing is in SEO!
Main Purpose of Website Content Audit in SEO:
An SEO audit may have many purposes & desired outcomes depending on the client’s requirement, however, they are often used to determine the following:-
- How to escape search engine related ranking filter or penalty?
- Copywriting that requires improved quality
- Ensure updated Content is available
- Consolidation of content with overlapping topics
- Content that needs to be removed from site
- Prioritize the Content
- Undiscovered content & marketing opportunities for them
The daily work of a content editor for SEO is to ensure the website has quality content for the targeted audience. The tasks include removal of low-quality content, optimizing around the keywords, adding new content, doing promotion in case it meets the goals of the client.
Some SEO professionals & Digital Marketing institutes also do pruning as a daily practice to ensure quality content is available for their target audience.
Pruning: The practice of removing low content from search engine indexes to be effective especially on websites with thousands of indexed URLs.
How to do a Website Content Audit?
The very first step in website content audit starts with taking an inventory of all content available for indexation for search engines. This makes the work simple & faster once all the content are first filtered out.
In case, an SEO website content audit is not carried out carefully, things can go horribly wrong for that particular website. The most common mistake done by SEO professionals is to remove the URLs that have external links because link metrics were not analyzed as part of the audit.
The best way is to segregate the pages depending upon the following criteria:-
Note: MS-Excel is a nuclear bomb, the most powerful weapon for any Digital Marketer!
For a better understanding, let us spilled the Content Audit process into 3 different distinct phases:-
- Inventory & Audit stage
- Analysis & Recommendations stage
- Summary & Reporting stage
The Inventory & Audit stage would include:
- Crawling all Indexable URLs: Ensure all indexable URLs are crawled. In addition to that also collect URLs from Google Analytics, Google Webmaster, XML sitemaps & in case possible from the internal database. These URLs can then be crawled in list mode & duplicated for a more comprehensive list of indexable URLs.
- Challenges: At times crawling very large websites can be a daunting task.
- Gather additional metrics: Ensure all data related to your content is available & accordingly filter all the metrics that can be used in the SEO audit. Most crawlers give the data related to the particular landing page such as titles, descriptions, content uniqueness etc.
Pull out data from Google Analytics & check the metrics.
- Indexed or not
- Content Uniqueness
- Organic Traffic
- Date of Publish
- Internal Links
- External Links
- Response Code
- Canonical Tags
- Page Speed & Mobile Friendliness
Use the data from the above metrics & to analyze the performance.
The Analysis & Recommendation stage:
The stage is where an SEO professional needs to put all of his skill set & filter out the content to be improved, removed & keep as it is.
- Put all on the Dashboard: Put the data in the following dashboard and then work on the action to be taken for each URL. Recommended to work in excel and then upload in Google Sheets. We in eMarket Education suggest students in our Webmarketing Institute to work in excel & then upload.
- Now after creating the dashboard all the data that is required for your analysis is right in front of you. All you need to do is identify which is required for you and which you can remove.
- The best would be to start with any content related issues you may be having in your dashboard which may be liable for the penalty based on algorithm updates.
- Content-based penalties are mainly of 3 categories in which every professional should know:
- Quality Related
- Duplicate Content Related
- Relevancy Related
- After applying all actions in the spreadsheet filter out the Remove & Improve and work on it as required.
- For big sites follow the hatchet base approach & end up with a scalpel in the hand else it can be a time taking process.
- Hatchet based approach signifies that cut down all the remove options only work on improving options without spending much time on trying to bring the URLs in remove to improve.
- There is no best way of following this strategy, one can do it only after a having a certain expert level understanding of Search Engine Optimization
- URLs, actions & details these 3 columns makes all the difference in your dashboard
- Make sure once all the analysis is done all the correct data is available for others to refer so that accordingly they can take actions.
Alert: Excessive content Pruning without taking sufficient data to justify the act may backfire in the long run as it may decrease your visibility in the SERP results. Some URLs may contain relevant keywords but may not have got the required exposure for performing that well. Give such URLs a bit of time & see if the results of the next SEO audit.
Reporting & Recommendation Stage:
This is where all the hard work done by any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional needs to be delivered & it should reap some fruits for the client, in other words, some value is should be added to the client’s website.
- The executive summary of the report should include a brief summary of all your actions & your findings for the reader to understand what all was done during the process of SEO audit.
- Highlight the number of actions falling under each criterion along with traffic & estimated revenue the URL can generate if all the required data is at your disposal.
- Including numerical findings helps & clients gets a better idea of the performance of his/her website & also regarding the credibility of the work that you are doing.
- Analysis & recommendations along with the audit dashboard should be delivered at the same time.
- Keep the recommendations limited and only recommend practical things that are possible for the client to implement considering his goals & resources.
For any of your doubts on the Search Engine Optimization topic??
eMarket Education is online marketing Academy teaching Onpage and Offpage. The main aim of our institute is to help SEO professionals or students to clear doubts regarding any particular SEO topic + chance to get along with people & experts in the field. The topics covered are on basic guidelines and best practices of the Search Engine.