How To Conduct A Content Audit Step-By-Step


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

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

Typically, regardless of your greatest efforts, it should get buried, fail to rank in search outcomes, and principally contribute nothing to your total objectives.

Don’t erase stuff you labored onerous 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, you could know which of your webpages are underperforming. And that requires a content material audit.

In case you’re undecided 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 technique of systematically inventorying and evaluating your web site’s at the moment printed content material.

Typically, it will likely be instantly linked to search engine optimization efforts, because the aim is to have content material that isn’t solely filled with necessary key phrases but in addition solutions particular search queries.

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

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

In case you’ve by no means completed a content material audit earlier than, this will 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 every kind and sizes.

Why Do You Want To Audit Your Content material?

Nothing is proof against the passage of time, together with your content material.

From geocentrism to who found the Americas, issues that had been as soon as thought of irrefutable info turn into 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 useful?
  • How do individuals discover it?
  • How is it performing?
  • Is it nonetheless correct?

The solutions to those questions will show you how to guarantee your content material is of top quality whereas serving to you keep aligned along with your content material advertising technique.

How To Conduct A Content material Audit

Now that you realize why you could audit your content material commonly, let’s get right down to the nuts and bolts of do it.

Step 1: Set Your Objectives

There’s a whole lot of work concerned with content material audits, so to make sure you’re not losing your time and vitality, it’s necessary to begin with clearly outlined goals about what you wish to accomplish.

You must have a minimum of one aim that would be the driving issue behind the audit after which decide the metrics with which success can be measured. These may embody issues like:

  • Enhancing search engine optimization outcomes for particular pages or your total web site.
  • Growing 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 in your website.

Step 2: Gather And Categorize Content material

After getting outlined what you’re hoping to perform, it’s time to work on inventorying what you may have printed.

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

You may both do that manually through an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, or you need to use a web-based software like HubSpot, Semrush, or Screaming Frog.

(Professional tip: In case your website is bigger than a number of pages, you’ll doubtless wish to use a content material audit software.)

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

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

  • URL.
  • Creator.
  • Which staff produced it? Content material staff, social staff, search engine optimization staff, 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 research, 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.

It will 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 can be decided by your objectives.

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

Step 3: Observe Metrics And Analyze Information

Now that we’ve bought 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 help you assess the well being and efficiency of your website.

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

Carry out A Previous Audit

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

Realizing how the content material you’ve printed performs will show you how to gauge what sort of content material you could create sooner or later — and what sort to not create.

This a part of your content material audit can be time-consuming, a minimum of to start with.

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

I like to recommend going again a minimum of one 12 months and gathering information for the way your content material carried out the 12 months earlier than.

Gathering your whole previous content material URLs doesn’t need to be a handbook course of, although.

Fortunately, many web site analytics instruments like Google Analytics or Semrush’s Content material Audit software can rapidly stock your content material based mostly in your sitemap information. These can give you a listing 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 12 months’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 observe of your content material and audit it commonly whenever you’re solely having to return one week to enter information.

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

Over time, be aware of 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 observe in your content material information audit:


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

If one in all your content material objectives is to construct a neighborhood in your web site, you’ll want to know what content material varieties and subjects generate dialog.

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

In case you don’t enable feedback in your weblog, verify for feedback in your social media posts about your content material.

Social Shares

Some entrepreneurs brush off social shares as vainness metrics. Nonetheless, monitoring your content material’s social recognition may help you uncover the subjects more than likely to intrigue particular social audiences.

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

Analyzing which posts had probably the most social shares on Fb previously is an efficient approach to discover out what subjects might do effectively sooner or later.

Natural Visitors

Ideally, your content material will obtain a whole lot of natural visitors.

In case you aren’t getting natural visitors, that could possibly 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 commonly in your audit, you’ll know when you’ll be able to pat your self on the again or when you could begin over.

Bounce Charge

Are web site guests arriving in your webpages and exiting with out partaking along with your content material?

If Google Analytics can’t detect scrolling, clicks, or different interactions along with your content material earlier than a person leaves, it’s thought of a bounce.

And when you’ve got a excessive bounce fee, that could possibly be an indication of unhealthy content material.

Ideally, your content material is a gateway that leads a person 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 side a low bounce fee indicators “sticky” content material that retains customers intrigued sufficient to proceed on to extra of your content material.

Uncertain of what a very good 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 may be as excessive as 90%.

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


Carry on the backlinks – however solely the great backlinks that give us a whole lot of increase and credibility, please!

You could observe the backlinks that your content material commonly produces for 2 massive causes:

  • Your backlinks will change over time. The primary day you publish a brand new piece of content material, chances are you’ll acquire two to a few backlinks. Let every week go by, and perhaps now 10-12 backlinks have appeared. A 12 months 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. Positive, 589 backlinks would possibly sound like a very good factor, however not if 500 of these backlinks are probably harmful to your web site, result in spam, paid, or result in a poor web site. You could wish to think about 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 typical 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 in your viewers or whether it is, and you could create extra content material specializing in subjects identical to it.

Distinctive Guests

We would like numerous distinctive guests viewing our content material and growing the variety of views the piece of content material will get.

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

Pages Per Session

What number of pages is the person taking a look at after viewing your content material?

What pages are they going to?

A weblog submit about the perfect winter coats can encourage a person 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 prospects are even higher.

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

Visitors Sources

Study the place your visitors is coming from by defining your most important 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 electronic 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 electronic mail opt-ins in your electronic mail e-newsletter), you could add a column and observe 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 completely.

Let two months go by, and proceed to audit every week. You could 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 useful 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 here are some concepts of what to trace.

search engine optimization Title & Meta Description

Add columns to your spreadsheet for these search engine optimization fields on each bit of content material.

It’ll assist when optimizing your content material sooner or later to see all the search engine optimization titles and meta descriptions you’ve utilized in one place.

UTM Parameters

Preserve observe 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 whenever you’re creating UTM parameters for brand spanking new content material or whenever you’re searching for information on previous content material in Google Analytics.

Leads Gross sales

If in case you have 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 offers you perception into the sorts of content material and content material subjects that make a optimistic influence in your ROI.

E mail Metrics

How effectively did your content material carry out whenever you shared it along with your electronic mail record?

If electronic mail engagement is a crucial aim in your content material, you’ll wish to maintain observe 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 e book or vice versa? Preserve observe of the content material you’ve repurposed.

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

High Key phrase Rating

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

Notice the perfect key phrase rankings and the way lengthy they lasted to find out which sorts 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? Notice the influencers that generated probably the most visitors or social shares for content material.

You could wish to work with them once more sooner or later for comparable sorts 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 you could 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 you could take for each bit of content material. This might embody deleting, refreshing, rewriting, or reusing.

Decide the precedence for every motion. Deleting content material is fast and normally simple.

Refreshing might encompass minor updates to info or hyperlinks. An entire overhaul, then again, could possibly be an enormous endeavor.

You could discover it useful so as to add a precedence column to your spreadsheet to maintain observe of what’s most pressing.

As a result of your content material audit ought to have sizzling subjects and profitable posts on the high of your thoughts, that is additionally the right time to develop a brand new content material technique.

Outline how and why your advertising content material can be used, in addition to the way it will show you how to obtain particular objectives.

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

Abstract: Audit Content material Typically

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

Keep in mind that what works right this moment might not work tomorrow, and your top-performing items can turn into rapidly outdated.

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

It’s one of the simplest ways to regulate the general well being of your web site. It’ll additionally show you how to spot new alternatives and attain your objectives.

Featured Picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal


Scroll to Top