As we continue hurtling towards the end of the year, we enter that weird period where a lot of things slow down and companies are looking for ways to set up for success in the new year…without requiring too much heavy effort. Well, look no further! I’m here to suggest using December to run an audit of your website.
Seriously, it’s not as bad as it sounds. A site content audit is a relatively low-lift way to take a look through your website and find things like gaps, content you can repurpose, and more.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is basically a review of all of your website content. Before you come for me for that being way too much work – you don’t have to go through your entire site if it doesn’t make sense. Let’s say you’ve had a blog for over five years. Content from 2016 is probably not worth reviewing. But going back for the last two or three years can allow you to find relevant pieces of content that could be updated and republished.
A content audit also helps you find any gaps or really outdated content you might have missed in the day-to-day updating and publishing.
What do I need to do a content audit?
This will depend largely on your goals for your audit. If you just want to get ideas for updated blog content, then you could focus your efforts on your blog only. You can go through the Content Management System (CMS) for your site and look back through past posts, noting ones that could be updated.
If you want to see what pages are doing well and which ones have low traffic that could be updated and improved, you’ll want to start in Google Analytics and look for your top performing and worst performing pages. This will help you see where your site is working and where there’s room for optimization. Pages with a high bounce rate, high exit rate, and/or low time-on-page averages are ones that aren’t keeping visitors’ attention that could probably be updated.
For a more complete audit, you’ll want to look at both. Set a timeframe you want to review (I’d recommend going back a few years) and look in both Analytics and your CMS to see how the page is performing.
How do I do this?
The easiest way to track all of this is by setting up a quick spreadsheet. Here’s an example sheet with some of the key metrics you may want to consider, including:
- Any page categories, tags, or keywords
- The date of publication
- The target audience
- Whether or not the page is SEO optimized
- Key metrics from Analytics like pageviews, average time on page, referral source, and bounce and exit rates.
You can find additional resources below to help get you started too.