How To Conduct A Content material 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 cause, and regardless of your greatest efforts, not the whole lot you publish goes to be successful.

Generally, regardless of your greatest efforts, it can get buried, fail to rank in search outcomes, and mainly contribute nothing to your general objectives.

Don’t erase belongings you labored exhausting 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 unsuitable, take motion to appropriate it, and use that new information to create stronger new content material.

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

Should 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 vital 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 present printed content material.

Usually, will probably be straight linked to search engine optimization efforts, because the purpose is to have content material that’s not solely filled with vital key phrases but additionally 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.

Should you’ve by no means completed a content material audit earlier than, this could sound like a frightening and boring job.

Don’t fear – it’s not almost as dangerous as you think about. However earlier than we dive into the method, let’s speak about why it’s an vital 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 discovered the Americas, issues that had been as soon as thought-about irrefutable info 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 vital. They’ll assist preserve your content material up-to-date and enhance your search engine rankings by addressing the next questions:

  • What’s your present content material?
  • Is that this content material priceless?
  • How do individuals discover it?
  • How is it performing?
  • Is it nonetheless correct?

The solutions to those questions will enable 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 is advisable audit your content material commonly, let’s get right down to the nuts and bolts of the best way to 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 power, it’s vital to begin with clearly outlined targets about what you need to accomplish.

It’s best to have no less than one purpose that would be the driving issue behind the audit after which decide the metrics with which success will probably be measured. These may embody issues like:

  • Enhancing search engine optimization outcomes for particular pages or your total web site.
  • Rising engagement and/or conversions.
  • Eradicating outdated or redundant content material.
  • Enhancing the usual of present items of content material.
  • Deciding on a brand new organizational construction on your web site.

Step 2: Gather And Categorize Content material

Upon getting outlined what you’re hoping to perform, it’s time to work on inventorying what you’ve got printed.

First, decide which sorts 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 need to use a web-based device like HubSpot, Semrush, or Screaming Frog.

(Professional tip: In case your web site is bigger than just a few pages, you’ll probably need 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. (Observe: Some on-line instruments can do that for you.)

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

  • URL.
  • Creator.
  • Which group produced it? Content material group, social group, search engine optimization group, and many others.
  • Time: How lengthy did it take to provide the content material in its entirety?
  • Title.
  • Date.
  • Content material kind: Is it a weblog publish, infographic, case research, and many others.?
  • Content material purpose: What was the purpose of manufacturing the content material: backlinks, site visitors, conversions, and many others.?
  • Phrase depend.
  • Feedback.
  • Shares: break this down by social community and whole.

This can preserve you organized as you establish which present items are okay and which should be up to date or eliminated. The way you construction this info will probably be decided by your objectives.

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 depend.

Step 3: Monitor Metrics And Analyze Knowledge

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 on the lookout for tangible KPIs that will let you assess the well being and efficiency of your web site.

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

Carry out A Previous Audit

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

Understanding how the content material you’ve printed performs will enable you to gauge what sort of content material it is advisable create sooner or later — and what form to not create.

This a part of your content material audit will probably be time-consuming, no less than at first.

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

I like to recommend going again no less than one yr and gathering information for a way your content material carried out the yr earlier than.

Amassing 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 device can shortly stock your content material primarily based in your sitemap information. These can offer 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 yr’s content material to your Excel doc, you’ll be able to repeat this audit exercise for brand spanking new content material weekly.

It will likely be a lot simpler to maintain monitor of your content material and audit it commonly 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 adjustments.

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

Metrics To Monitor

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


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

If one in all your content material objectives is to construct a group in your web site, it would be best 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.

Should you don’t permit 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. Nevertheless, monitoring your content material’s social reputation will help you uncover the subjects probably to intrigue particular social audiences.

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

Analyzing which posts had essentially the most social shares on Fb previously is an effective technique to discover out what subjects could do properly sooner or later.

Natural Visitors

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

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

Maybe there’s something unsuitable with:

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

By evaluating the natural site visitors metrics commonly in your audit, you’ll know when you’ll be able to pat your self on the again or when it is advisable begin over.

Bounce Fee

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

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

And in case you have a excessive bounce price, that may very well be an indication of dangerous 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 with a low bounce price indicators “sticky” content material that retains customers intrigued sufficient to proceed on to extra of your content material.

Uncertain of what bounce price 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.


Deliver on the backlinks – however solely the nice backlinks that give us a whole lot of enhance and credibility, please!

It is advisable monitor the backlinks that your content material commonly produces for 2 large causes:

  • Your backlinks will change over time. The primary day you publish a brand new piece of content material, you might 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 at least one piece of content material as it’s promoted, found, and shared.
  • Not all backlinks are good. Certain, 589 backlinks may sound like 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. It’s possible you’ll need to take into account eradicating these unnatural backlinks.

Time On Web page

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

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

Distinctive Guests

We wish numerous distinctive guests viewing our content material and rising 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 publish about the perfect winter coats can encourage a person to click on on hyperlinks inside the weblog publish and store round in your web site for various coats. They could even make a purchase order, which is the last word purpose 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 have to intention to draw new customers with our content material. Ideally, you need to see mixture of each.

Visitors Sources

Study the place your site visitors is coming from by defining your major site visitors sources.

If a majority of your content material’s site visitors is coming from Fb, publish 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 purpose for a brand new piece of content material is to generate 100 conversions within the first quarter (let’s say electronic mail opt-ins on your electronic mail publication), it is advisable 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 totally.

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

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

Further Info To Monitor

If you wish to add extra particulars about your content material, listed below 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 every bit of content material.

It would 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

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

These could turn out to be useful once you’re creating UTM parameters for brand spanking new content material or once you’re on the lookout for information on previous content material in Google Analytics.

Leads Gross sales

In case you have conversion occasions arrange in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see which touchdown pages generate essentially 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 sorts of content material and content material subjects 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 electronic mail checklist?

If electronic mail engagement is a vital purpose on your content material, you’ll need to preserve monitor of your opens, clicks, and forwards to see which content material performs greatest.

Repurposed Content material

Have you ever taken a set of posts and turned them into an e book or vice versa? Hold monitor 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 selected piece of content material keep on the high of the SERPs for its goal key phrase phrase?

Observe 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? Observe the influencers that generated essentially the most site visitors or social shares for content material.

It’s possible you’ll need to work with them once more sooner or later for related sorts of content material.

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

By now, you must have all the data it is advisable 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 is advisable take for every bit of content material. This might embody deleting, refreshing, rewriting, or reusing.

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

Refreshing could encompass minor updates to info or hyperlinks. A whole overhaul, alternatively, may very well be a large endeavor.

It’s possible 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 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 will probably be used, in addition to the way it will enable you to obtain particular objectives.

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

Abstract: Audit Content material Usually

Content material audits aren’t essentially the most glamorous a part of advertising, however they’re completely important.

Keep in mind that what works immediately could not work tomorrow, and your top-performing items can grow to be shortly outdated.

To make sure you’re getting essentially the most out of your exhausting work, you must commonly carry out content material audits.

It’s one of the best ways to control the general well being of your web site. It would additionally enable you to spot new alternatives and attain your objectives.

Featured Picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal