How To Conduct A Content material Audit Step-By-Step

It’s a proven fact that even the most effective content material writers and search engine optimizers often strike out with a brand new piece of content material.

For no matter motive, and regardless of your greatest efforts, not all the pieces you publish goes to be a success.

Typically, regardless of your greatest efforts, it’s going to get buried, fail to rank in search outcomes, and principally contribute nothing to your general targets.

Don’t erase belongings you labored laborious on or depart them to slowly fade into obscurity.

As a substitute, use these less-than-successful items of content material to determine the place you went fallacious, take motion to right it, and use that new information to create stronger new content material.

However earlier than you are able to do that, it’s worthwhile to know which of your webpages are underperforming. And that requires a content material audit.

When you’re unsure how to try this, don’t fear.

On this piece, we’ll clarify what a content material audit is and why it’s necessary after which provide you with step-by-step directions for performing your personal.

What Is A Content material Audit?

A content material audit is a strategy of systematically inventorying and evaluating your web site’s at the moment revealed content material.

Usually, will probably be immediately linked to website positioning efforts, because the aim is to have content material that’s not solely filled with necessary key phrases but additionally solutions particular search queries.

The content material you possibly can be auditing runs a gamut of codecs and will embrace:

  • Webpages.
  • Touchdown pages.
  • Weblog posts.
  • Product descriptions.
  • Movies.
  • Slide decks.
  • Whitepapers.

When you’ve by no means achieved a content material audit earlier than, this may sound like a frightening and boring activity.

Don’t fear – it’s not practically as unhealthy as you think about. However earlier than we dive into the method, let’s speak about why it’s an necessary course of for organizations of all sorts and sizes.

Why Do You Want To Audit Your Content material?

Nothing is resistant to the passage of time, together with your content material.

From geocentrism to who discovered the Americas, issues that have been as soon as thought-about irrefutable details grow to be incorrect on a regular basis. And if something, the web age has accelerated this course of.

That is precisely why common content material audits are necessary. They may assist maintain your content material up-to-date and enhance your search engine rankings by addressing the next questions:

  • What’s your current content material?
  • Is that this content material helpful?
  • How do folks discover it?
  • How is it performing?
  • Is it nonetheless correct?

The solutions to those questions will allow you to guarantee your content material is of top of the range whereas serving to you keep aligned together with your content material advertising technique.

How To Conduct A Content material Audit

Now that why it’s worthwhile to audit your content material frequently, let’s get all the way down to the nuts and bolts of tips on how to do it.

Step 1: Set Your Objectives

There’s numerous work concerned with content material audits, so to make sure you’re not losing your time and power, it’s necessary to begin with clearly outlined aims about what you wish to accomplish.

You need to have at the least one aim that would be the driving issue behind the audit after which decide the metrics with which success will likely be measured. These may embrace issues like:

  • Enhancing website positioning outcomes for particular pages or your whole web site.
  • Rising engagement and/or conversions.
  • Eradicating outdated or redundant content material.
  • Enhancing the usual of current items of content material.
  • Deciding on a brand new organizational construction on your web site.

Step 2: Acquire And Categorize Content material

Upon getting outlined what you’re hoping to perform, it’s time to work on inventorying what you will have revealed.

First, decide which forms of content material you’re going to be reviewing and acquire their URLs.

You possibly can both do that manually through an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, or you should use an internet device like HubSpot, Semrush, or Screaming Frog.

(Professional tip: In case your web site is bigger than a number of pages, you’ll probably wish to use a content material audit device.)

Upon getting a spreadsheet with the content material focused by your audit created, it’s time to categorize it. (Be aware: Some on-line instruments can do that for you.)

You’ll wish to monitor the next for each bit of content material in a separate content details audit spreadsheet:

  • URL.
  • Creator.
  • Which crew produced it? Content material crew, social crew, website positioning crew, and so forth.
  • Time: How lengthy did it take to provide the content material in its entirety?
  • Title.
  • Date.
  • Content material sort: Is it a weblog submit, infographic, case examine, and so forth.?
  • Content material aim: What was the purpose of manufacturing the content material: backlinks, visitors, conversions, and so forth.?
  • Phrase rely.
  • Feedback.
  • Shares: break this down by social community and whole.

This may maintain you organized as you establish which current items are okay and which must be up to date or eliminated. The way you construction this info will likely be decided by your targets.

You might also want to point out what services or products this content material helps, the key phrases it’s focusing on, and the phrase rely.

Step 3: Observe Metrics And Analyze Knowledge

Now that we’ve obtained the bones of our audit created, it’s time to take a deep dive into the way it’s performing.

You’re searching for tangible KPIs that permit you to assess the well being and efficiency of your web site.

The content material information portion of your audit wants to return with its personal helpful dandy Excel doc, identical to this one I created

Carry out A Previous Audit

Earlier than we get into the information, you need to backtrack and audit your past-produced content material.

Realizing how the content material you’ve revealed performs will allow you to gauge what sort of content material it’s worthwhile to create sooner or later — and what type to not create.

This a part of your content material audit will likely be time-consuming, at the least to start with.

You’ll have to determine how far again you wish to start your content material audit after which collect the entire content material URLs for that point interval.

I like to recommend going again at the least one yr and gathering information for the way your content material carried out the yr earlier than.

Amassing your entire previous content material URLs doesn’t must be a guide course of, although.

Fortunately, many web site analytics instruments like Google Analytics or Semrush’s Content material Audit device can rapidly stock your content material based mostly in your sitemap information. These can give you an inventory of content material URLs to audit.

Semrush Content Audit toolScreenshot from Semrush, January 2023

Put together Your self For Ongoing Audits

When you’ve caught up and added all of final yr’s content material to your Excel doc, you’ll be able to repeat this audit exercise for brand spanking new content material weekly.

Will probably be a lot simpler to maintain monitor of your content material and audit it frequently once you’re solely having to return one week to enter information.

Add the information from the following part to your Excel doc and add the latest numbers and statistics each week.

Over time, pay attention to any drastic modifications.

Typically content material, particularly evergreen content material, can take months earlier than it actually takes off.

Metrics To Observe

Listed below are the metrics you’ll wish to monitor on your content material information audit:


A correctly moderated feedback part can add helpful user-generated content material to your weblog posts and articles.

If certainly one of your content material targets is to construct a neighborhood in your web site, it would be best to know what content material varieties and matters generate dialog.

Use the UGC hyperlink attribute to make sure you’re compliant with Google’s necessities for hyperlink markup.

When you don’t enable feedback in your weblog, examine for feedback in your social media posts about your content material.

Social Shares

Some entrepreneurs brush off social shares as vainness metrics. Nevertheless, monitoring your content material’s social reputation will help you uncover the matters almost definitely to intrigue particular social audiences.

Companies that know most of their conversions come from Fb, for instance, would wish to create content material in style with Fb audiences.

Analyzing which posts had probably the most social shares on Fb up to now is an effective method to discover out what matters might do properly sooner or later.

Natural Site visitors

Ideally, your content material will obtain numerous natural visitors.

When you aren’t getting natural visitors, that may very well be a possible pink flag.

Maybe there’s something fallacious with:

  • Your content material technique.
  • The way you’re distributing the content material.
  • The content material sort.
  • The content material itself.

By evaluating the natural visitors metrics frequently in your audit, you’ll know when you’ll be able to pat your self on the again or when it’s worthwhile to begin over.

Bounce Price

Are web site guests arriving in your webpages and exiting with out participating together with your content material?

If Google Analytics can’t detect scrolling, clicks, or different interactions together with your content material earlier than a consumer leaves, it’s thought-about a bounce.

And if in case you have a excessive bounce fee, that may very well be an indication of unhealthy content material.

Ideally, your content material is a gateway that leads a consumer from a search to your web site, entertains or informs them, after which guides them to extra content material, relying on their wants.

An prolonged time on the web page along with a low bounce fee alerts “sticky” content material that retains customers intrigued sufficient to proceed on to extra of your content material.

Uncertain of what a superb bounce fee is?

A spread of 26% to 45% is common for retail and ecommerce websites, whereas B2B websites will fall into the 25% to 55% vary. For blogs, this quantity might be as excessive as 90%.

What’s acceptable for you’ll rely in your area of interest.


Convey on the backlinks – however solely the nice backlinks that give us numerous increase and credibility, please!

It is advisable to monitor the backlinks that your content material frequently produces for 2 huge causes:

  • Your backlinks will change over time. The primary day you publish a brand new piece of content material, chances are you’ll achieve two to a few backlinks. Let per week go by, and perhaps now 10-12 backlinks have appeared. A yr down the street, you possibly can have 589 backlinks to 1 piece of content material as it’s promoted, found, and shared.
  • Not all backlinks are good. Certain, 589 backlinks would possibly sound like a superb factor, however not if 500 of these backlinks are doubtlessly harmful to your web site, result in spam, paid, or result in a poor web site. Chances are you’ll wish to take into account eradicating these unnatural backlinks.

Time On Web page

In case your content material is a long-form weblog submit of two,500 phrases and the common time on the web page is eighteen seconds, one thing is fallacious.

This metric will inform you in case your content material simply isn’t proper on your viewers or whether it is, and it’s worthwhile to create extra content material specializing in matters identical to it.

Distinctive Guests

We wish a lot of distinctive guests viewing our content material and growing the variety of views the piece of content material will get.

The extra views, the extra possibilities of return on funding (ROI) from content material like conversions, engagement, shares, and backlinks.

Pages Per Session

What number of pages is the consumer after viewing your content material?

What pages are they going to?

A weblog submit about the most effective winter coats can encourage a consumer to click on on hyperlinks throughout the weblog submit and store round in your web site for various coats. They could even make a purchase order, which is the final word aim of any enterprise advertising.

New Vs. Returning Customers

Are you attracting a brand new viewers with this piece of content material?

Returning customers are nice. Returning clients are even higher.

However we additionally have to goal to draw new customers with our content material. Ideally, you wish to see a superb mixture of each.

Site visitors Sources

Be taught the place your visitors is coming from by defining your essential visitors sources.

If a majority of your content material’s visitors is coming from Fb, submit extra of your content material in your Fb web page.

If hardly any is coming out of your e mail newsletters, it could be time to restructure them.


In case your aim for a brand new piece of content material is to generate 100 conversions within the first quarter (let’s say e mail opt-ins on your e mail e-newsletter), it’s worthwhile to add a column and monitor the variety of conversions coming in from that piece of content material.

Maybe within the first week, there are solely two conversions, and you start to doubt the content material solely.

Let two months go by, and proceed to audit every week. Chances are you’ll discover that now, the content material has produced 140 whole conversions, not solely hitting your aim however surpassing it.

Auditing on an ongoing foundation helps to present the figures you’re seeing helpful context, enabling you to make smarter, data-backed choices.

Extra Info To Observe

If you wish to add extra particulars about your content material, listed below are some concepts of what to trace.

website positioning Title & Meta Description

Add columns to your spreadsheet for these website positioning fields on each bit of content material.

It’s going to assist when optimizing your content material sooner or later to see the entire website positioning titles and meta descriptions you’ve utilized in one place.

UTM Parameters

Maintain monitor of particular promotional campaigns for each bit of content material by logging any customized UTM parameters you used to trace your content material.

These might come in useful once you’re creating UTM parameters for brand spanking new content material or once you’re searching for information on previous content material in Google Analytics.

Leads Gross sales

When you’ve got conversion occasions arrange in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see which touchdown pages generate probably the most income.

Go to the Pages and screens report beneath Engagement to see which pages in your web site are resulting in conversions.

This gives you perception into the forms of content material and content material matters that make a constructive affect in your ROI.

Electronic mail Metrics

How properly did your content material carry out once you shared it together with your e mail record?

If e mail engagement is a crucial aim on your content material, you’ll wish to maintain monitor of your opens, clicks, and forwards to see which content material performs greatest.

Repurposed Content material

Have you ever taken a group of posts and turned them into an book or vice versa? Maintain monitor of the content material you’ve repurposed.

Mix metrics from the principle content material and extra items of associated content material to see how repurposing advantages your content material technique.

Prime Key phrase Rating

Did a specific piece of content material keep on the prime of the SERPs for its goal key phrase phrase?

Be aware the most effective key phrase rankings and the way lengthy they lasted to find out which forms of content material have long-term search wins and which varieties have short-term search wins.

Influencer Attain

Did you’re employed with any influencers to get the phrase out about your content material? Be aware the influencers that generated probably the most visitors or social shares for content material.

Chances are you’ll wish to work with them once more sooner or later for related forms of content material.

Step 4: Take Actionable Steps And Develop A New Content material Technique

By now, it is best to have all the data it’s worthwhile to decide what content material is working and what isn’t. Now it’s time to make use of that info to create a plan to enhance it.

Add one other column to your spreadsheet to point what motion it’s worthwhile to take for each bit of content material. This might embrace deleting, refreshing, rewriting, or reusing.

Decide the precedence for every motion. Deleting content material is fast and often straightforward.

Refreshing might include minor updates to details or hyperlinks. An entire overhaul, then again, may very well be a large endeavor.

Chances are you’ll discover it useful so as to add a precedence column to your spreadsheet to maintain monitor of what’s most pressing.

As a result of your content material audit ought to have scorching matters and profitable posts on the prime of your thoughts, that is additionally the proper time to develop a brand new content material technique.

Outline how and why your advertising content material will likely be used, in addition to the way it will allow you to obtain particular targets.

For extra info on creating your personal content material technique, click on right here.

Abstract: Audit Content material Usually

Content material audits are usually not probably the most glamorous a part of advertising, however they’re completely important.

Do not forget that what works at present might not work tomorrow, and your top-performing items can grow to be rapidly outdated.

To make sure you’re getting probably the most out of your laborious work, it is best to frequently carry out content material audits.

It’s one of the simplest ways to keep watch over the general well being of your web site. It’s going to additionally allow you to spot new alternatives and attain your targets.

Featured Picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal