Why regular content audits are crucial for your business
Keeping on top of your content is a multi-faceted exercise, but should be a key part of your content strategy, ensuring that you’re talking to the relevant audience, while also being fully SEO-optimised. It’s not daunting once we break it down, so if you just tick off the items in this list, you’ll be well on the way to getting everything shipshape.
Put a checklist together
First things first, it’s good to see exactly what you’re dealing with. If you make a list of all your URLs, you’ll get a good idea of your site and how many pages you need to check. If your site is a big one, Visual SEO is a handy program that scans all your pages and creates a list for you.
Catagorise your content
Next up, it’s a smart idea to get your content organised, so you can work out what’s working, and what isn’t. Do this by creating a spreadsheet with the following details from each page:
- Title of content
- Length of H1 and H2s (title and sub-headings) – keep it under 60 words to show up in full on Google
- Category – the topic of each page
- Popularity of your main keyword – this will help you prioritise words and you can get the info by typing the keyword into Google AdWords
- Average traffic per month – use Google Analytics, go to ‘Behaviour’ and check how each page has done over at least 3 months
- Meta description – keep below 160 characters, check performance with Visual SEO, then optimise for more clicks
- Internal links – important for a high ranking, check them with a program like Majestic
- URL Ranking – use something like MozRank to check the quality of your links and see your page’s authority
Create reader profile and uncover any content gaps
Work out who your target audience is, identify what they’re interested in and create a typical reader profile. Then use this to create keywords and topics that will resonate with them, and use all that information to put together a document that analyses the gaps in your content, between what you have and what you think you’ll need. It will really help.
Consider tone of voice
It’s very important to have a tone of voice you feel reflects your company, and one you think your target audience would respond to. It could be serious and authoritative, or it may be more informal and fun. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent in all your communications. Creating a style guide is a good idea, so anyone communicating on your behalf knows the correct tone.
Nail the anchor text
Anchor texts are very handy, especially for SEO, but should be used wisely. If you’re linking to something internal or external, choose words that accurately reflect where the clickable link goes. For example, if you’re linking to something about car rental in Europe, writing ‘European car hire’ as the link is much better than just ‘car hire’.
Keep images manageable
You want nicely shot, good-quality images that perfectly illustrate what you’re communicating, but be careful not to make them too big – large images really slow your site down, and attention spans are short. Go no bigger than 250KB as a rule.
Check those word counts
Doing a word count is always a sound idea when you’re doing your audit. For landing pages, go for 600-800 words minimum, as Google thinks content under 300 words is ‘thin’ so it won’t be ranked as high. Some go up to 2,000 words, which is fine if you have that much to say, but don’t just waffle to get the numbers up, keep that copy engaging!
All in all, undertaking a full content audit regularly is time well spent. It helps you see where your site is strong, and where it’s not, so you can stay on top of keeping your content as sharp as it can be. Good luck!