In this post we’ll be looking at a content audit of blog content assets for a small business website – focusing specifically on the content marketing aspects. We have purposefully avoided some of the more advanced elements of technical SEO such as the use of SEO crawlers and instead focused on tools with which most small business website owners will be familiar, such as Google Analytics.
The idea of a content audit is to take stock, measure, analyze and use the findings to improve the performance of your existing content both now and in the future.
You’re probably aware of the saying “the things you don’t measure don’t improve”. Big businesses rely on data to make informed decisions, but small businesses often miss a trick by not using the data they have available to their advantage.
It’s vital that you keep an eye on Google Analytics and monitor the performance of your content. Make sure you look beyond simple vanity stats and set up meaningful goals and accurate conversion tracking.
Some important things to look out for when reviewing the performance of your content are:
How much organic traffic comes to your website via your blog pages?
High numbers indicate that your blogs are performing well in organic searches and clearly ranking for keywords with a decent search volume. You should take note of such blogs, because the keyword research and optimization was clearly spot on! You want to replicate it for your other posts.
Is your blog content driving conversions?
Traffic is good but the ultimate goal for most business websites is successful conversions; you want people to buy your products and services. Do visits to your blog result in completions of your Google Analytics goals? Are people signing up to your mailing list? Do they get in touch about your products? It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of your visitors probably won’t convert during their first visit, so you have to look at the bigger picture. Another important thing to review is your conversion rate optimization. If there is no clear call-to-action (CTA) on your blog posts, you shouldn’t be surprised if the conversion rates are low.
How much traffic to your blog pages comes from social media?
This is a very important stat to keep an eye on. Social can be a big traffic driver for your content.
Pay attention to the titles which were most popular on social, because headlines (as well as featured images) play a very important role here. Check which of the social media platforms drive most traffic. Are you promoting your content on the relevant platforms at the right time and to the right audience? Have any of your content pieces gone “viral”?
Which of your content pieces are earning most social media ‘Likes’ and shares?
Google Analytics can tell you how much traffic comes to your website via social media but it can’t give you information on the number of shares and ‘Likes’ your content gets on social media platforms.
There are, however, plenty of other tools which can help you here – some paid and some free.
Which content pieces are earning you inbound links?
For many search engine optimization experts, inbound links are one of the main goals of content marketing. Inbound links remain (along with content) one of the two main ranking factors.
Even great content often fails to earn links naturally, because simply producing great content is not enough to get it noticed nowadays.
You definitely want to take note of your content pieces that earn inbound links. Try to analyze why these particular pieces resulted in organic links. Was it the content itself? Were they promoted better? The goal is to repeat the success.
Of course, to find inbound links you will need some kind of a link tool, and some of the most popular are Majestic SEO and Ahrefs.
However, if you’re a small business owner and don’t have any of these tools, you can also find very useful reports in your Google Search Console – a free tool. Checking your referral traffic in Google Analytics will also help you find new links which are driving traffic to your website.
Review and improve your old content
At this stage (after checking the performance of your content on Google Analytics and other tools), you should have a good idea as to which pieces of content are performing well and which are performing poorly. With that information to hand, you can look at some of these underperforming pieces of content in more detail and decide whether it will be worth the time and effort to improve them.
Improving your old content can save you some time and win new traffic by re-optimizing old blog posts. Of course, some of the old, underperforming content may not be worth spending any time on. You need to look for the pieces which do have a potential.
Posts with great, well researched titles but insufficient content (long-form posts tend to rank much higher on Google) so if you have some great titles but the posts are simply too short, consider improving these by adding fresh and well-optimized content.
Posts with good titles and content but which are not optimized for keywords. Just like any other page on your website, your blog posts need to be optimized for keywords in order to rank well.
Posts which were successful, but are now outdated. So, for example, perhaps you had a great infographic on Top 50 ranking factors for 2015 which did very well, attracted inbound links, social shares and traffic. It may be worth updating or creating a new version of the post with new, up-to-date stats . You can then reach out to the same influencers who initially shared and linked to your original post.
Multiple, similar, or overlapping posts. These could be consolidated into one, larger post.
Types of content; should you diversify?
When talking about ‘content’ most people assume we’re referring to blog posts, which is true in the majority of cases, but content doesn’t need to be limited to text. You can also consider producing content other than text, such as videos, infographics and podcasts.
This is by no means an exhaustive post on the subject but we hope it will give you enough inspiration to take stock and conduct an audit of your own website’s content. You can then use the findings to make improvements as well as ensure the content you produce in the future performs better.