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The Importance of a Content Audit

There’s no question that content on your website is the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, helping customers find your website and keeping it relevant in the eyes of search engines. That said, not all content is created equal, and it’s important to perform regular “clean-ups” of your work called a content audit.

How A Content Audit Works

The result of a content audit may be the removal of blog posts or the updating of service or product information, or even technical fixes to help SEO. All of these should be performed after a thorough analysis by an experienced marketing professional.

Think of it this way: When your body isn’t functioning the way it should, you visit a doctor for diagnostic testing. The results will help indicate a treatment plan, which is then implemented to realign all of your body’s systems. 

A content audit is a doctor’s visit for your website, and a content expert will administer “tests” that reveal data that will aid optimization efforts. Because each business has vastly different objectives and goals, these treatments need to be customized on a case-by-case basis.

Why Content Audits Are Important

You work hard to create the content on your website and it becomes a digital extension of your brand. If your content isn’t accurate or current, what does that say about your business? Search engines will take notice, and in turn, your search ranking could suffer greatly.

There are also some technical advantages of keeping your website updated and relevant. Google crawls the content of your site to determine where it will show up in search rankings, checking the structure and quality of page URLs. Data from an audit will let you know the crawlability.

Audits also shed light on where you can improve SEO efforts. Search engines watch closely to see how long visitors spend on each page of your website, how fast those pages load, and if they’re mobile optimized and responsive. If any of these factors are lagging or absent, it will further impact rankings.

Performing A Content Audit

Before an audit is implemented, you need to think carefully about those business objectives and goals mentioned above. Without those, the results of your audit will just be a mountain of useless data. Priorities and milestones will offer a much clearer picture of your progress.

Some of the most common objectives of a content audit include increased organic (unpaid) website traffic, improving lead generation strategies, and boosting the conversion rate — the number of visitors who convert into paying customers. Of course, this is not a complete list, so you’ll need to work with your marketing partner to flesh out what you really need to get out of a content audit.

The next few steps are important to outsource to a professional. You could theoretically tackle them on your own, but they’re time-consuming and take some knowledge of the back end and technical structure of websites. They’ll tap into your sitemap and create a content inventory, collect data like traffic numbers and conversion rates, and double-check for any discrepancies in the numbers.

Take Action On Content Audits

A thorough inventory and analysis will let the marketing professionals know which actions to take to improve site performance. Content that can be changed, will be changed — like the “About Us” or contact pages — and should be marked as information that needs to be refreshed consistently.

Blog posts and other content that has been on the internet that can’t be changed shouldn’t be deleted. For one, you likely invested time and/or money in creating that content, and getting rid of it would be like throwing money out the window. This content should either be updated or repurposed into newer, more relevant content.

If entire pages of your site prove to be problematic, a redirect is necessary. Since there’s a chance that external backlinks on other sites exist to those pages, you’ll want to send anyone who clicks on those backlinks to an error-free page that offers content on the topic they’re looking for.

Checking On Audit Results

The good news is that the results of an audit and the changes it triggers can be seen in a relatively short amount of time. Revisit those objectives you set at the beginning of the process to track growth — traffic counts, conversion rates, etc. 

Working with a marketing partner means that these results will be checked frequently, and audits will be performed on a regular basis to help reveal the value of the partnership. If your site isn’t bringing in the customers or revenue you need it to, it’s time to call in the team at Cole-Dalton. 

We’ll perform an audit, offer actionable solutions, and continue to work on your overall marketing strategy to nurture and maintain your site for you with ongoing new content, technical updates, security, and SEO best practices to continuously improve your search results. Let’s talk more!