As part of an effort to increase leads and sales, B2B businesses are increasingly turning to content marketing.
Yet, a common question they ask themselves is: are the time & resources translating into more leads & sales?
91% of B2B businesses use content marketing as part of their inbound marketing strategy – Content Marketing Institute
Within this article, I am going to show you how to conduct a SEO content audit as well as provide you with our content audit tool and a website content audit checklist.
By the end, you will be able to determine the effectiveness of your B2B SEO and content marketing strategy as well as what to do next, so be sure to read all the way through.
What are the Different Types of Content Audits?
There are two main types of content audits:
- Generic Content Audit
- SEO Content Audit
It’s important to note that these two types of content audits are not the same.
If they aren’t the same, what are the differences?
Generic content audits are used to grade the quality, readability, and visual look of your website’s content.
We’ll be conducting a SEO content audit to take an inventory of your website’s content, gauge its performance and prepare the next steps to increase the performance of your entire website, page by page.
What is a SEO Content Audit?
A SEO content audit is a performance-based analysis of your website’s content using SEO & user behaviour metrics.
So what are these SEO & user behaviour metrics?
- Organic Traffic
- Bounce Rates
- Conversion Rates
- Internal Links
- Word Count
What is the Purpose of a SEO Content Audit?
The purpose of a SEO Content audit is to:
- Take an inventory of your website’s content and analyze its performance
- Identify opportunities to increase the performance of specific pieces of content
- Identify low quality & under-performing pages that can be removed, combined, or expanded upon to increase the quality of the content.
Using our content audit tool will result in a list of action items for each page, the actions items are implemented with the intent of improving the entire website’s performance.
Why Should I Conduct a SEO Content Audit?
Companies that published sixteen or more blog posts per month generated 4.5 times more leads (Hubspot) than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.
That’s almost 50 blog posts per quarter!
Since good content takes a lot of time and resources to create, your business needs to be analyzing the performance of your content marketing efforts to ensure that your content is not a sunk cost.
Other than that, there are many great reasons why you would want to perform SEO content audits.
- SEO – Because the data gained from a SEO content audit provides so much insight, you’ll no longer be left wondering, “what SEO tasks should we work on?” or “what do we prioritize?”.
An outcome of the audit will be a list of action items that will help you improve the entire quality of your website, as well as get granular action items for each specific piece of content.
Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 111% (Backlinko).
You’ll find that over time your keyword rankings, organic traffic, and the overall quality of your website will dramatically improve. Your SEO will no longer be guesswork. This SEO tactic holds equally true for SMB websites.
- Content Marketing – You will no longer worry about whether your website’s content is a sunk cost as you’ll have complete transparency of what is and what isn’t working.
Because you’ll understand what does and doesn’t work, you’ll be able to plan and execute your content marketing plan with confidence.
You’ll know exactly what to do with the high performing and low performing pieces of content that will have skyrocket user behaviour metrics such as conversion rates, time on page, etc.
How Often Should I Conduct A Content Audit?
Because the outcome of a SEO content audit is a list of action items, we need time for these tasks to be completed and take effect.
I recommend running SEO content audits once every 60-90 days, or once a quarter.
This will give you time to run the audit, compile a list of action items, implement changes, and have the changes take effect.
What Tools are Involved?
If you have technical SEO skills, you are comfortable using a variety of SEO tools, and you have the analytical skills to assess the data then you can run the SEO content audit yourself.
If not, it will make more sense to have an experienced b2b SEO agency perform these tasks. Now let’s talk about tools:
- Screaming Frog – We will use Screaming Frog to take inventory of your website’s content and gather technical information to perform a proper analysis.
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics will give us the user behaviour metrics we need to determine the performance of individual pieces of content on your website.
- Ahrefs – Using Ahrefs we will measure the authority of every piece of content on your website to help determine which action item is necessary to be taken.
- SEMRush – SEMRush will provide us with the number of keywords each piece of content is ranking for organically, as well as what the keywords are.
Which Outcome Metrics Am I Looking For?
Depending on how in depth you want to go with your SEO content audit will determine which metrics to use.
First, let’s cover the most important metrics to gather:
- Organic Sessions (Google Analytics) – The number of total users entering your site through search engines
- Bounce Rate (Google Analytics) – the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page
- Word Count (Screaming Frog) – The total number of words on a page
- Internal Links (Screaming Frog) – An internal link is one that points to another page on the same website. We will be looking at the total number of internal links.
- Backlinks (Ahrefs) – A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website. We will be looking at the total number of backlinks for each page.
- Organic Keywords (SemRush) – An organic keyword is a keyword used to attract free traffic through search engine optimization (SEO)
The metrics listed above will be more than enough to perform a SEO content audit.
However, if you want to get even more granular you can also add the following:
- Conversion Rate
- Social Shares
- SSL Certificate
- Http Status
- Page Speed
- Duplicate Content
How to do a SEO Content Audit
Step 1: Create an Inventory of Your Website’s Content
The first step in running a SEO content audit is to create an inventory of your website’s content or the specific pages that you would like to audit.
There are a couple of ways of finding all of your website’s content:
- Examine Your Website’s XML Sitemap – If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress install the Yoast SEO plugin and enable XML sitemaps. You will be able to view your XML sitemap at www.yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml
- Use a Website Crawler – You can use a spider tool such as Screaming Frog to crawl your website & retrieve all the URLs.
- Inspect Google’s Index – You can use a simple search operator to identify all of your website’s pages that are indexed in google.
Step 2: Collect the SEO & User Behaviour Metrics of Each URL
Now that you have an inventory of your website’s content it is time to collect the SEO and user behaviour metrics of each URL.
Google Analytics (Organic Sessions, Bounce Rate &/or Conversion Rate)
- Login to your Google Analytics and select the property you would like to audit
- Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
- Select “Organic Traffic” and set the primary dimension to “Landing Page.”
- Select a Date Range (I recommend using three months of data since the audits should be run quarterly)
- Export Data
Screaming Frog (Word Count, Internal Links)
- Run the Crawl
- Filter by HTML & Export
- Login to Ahrefs & enter the website that you are auditing
- Select “Backlinks” from the left navigation
- Export the data.
SEMRush (Organic Keyword Rankings)
- Login to SEMRush & Select SEO Toolkit from the dropdown
- Select Organic Research & Enter your website’s URL
- Export the data
Step 3: Use Our Website Content Audit Checklist
Organic Traffic – Based on the organic traffic your pages are receiving you will see what is and what is not performing.
Conversion Rate – Depending on if you have conversion tracking set up or not you will have a bird’s eye view of each page that is or is not converting and what percent.
Bounce Rate – The bounce rate will give a clear indication of the quality of the content & how it aligns with the users’ search intent.
Word Count – Thin content or pages with a low word count need to be expanded upon or combined into similar pages. We will go over in detail the analysis & steps involved in expanding/augmenting and combining content.
Internal Links – Important pages on your website should have the highest number of internal links. This helps users navigate to the page while showing Google how important it is.
Backlinks – The more backlinks a page has the better it will rank within search engines, consider a backlink building campaign for your highest priority pages.
Organic Keywords – If a page is not ranking for any keywords it will not be able to attract any new visitors, in my next guide I will be covering how to analyze these pages along with exactly what to do with them.
Congratulations! You now have a SEO content audit of your website!
As you can see, there are many steps and tools involved in getting together a SEO content audit, and it takes many hours or even days to organize all the data.
If you have the necessary coding skills, you can use different API’s and scripts to automate the process – but I will leave that for another blog post (Subscribe to our email newsletter to be notified when my Step by Step guide on how to automate a content audit is published).
Moreover, without a proper analysis of the data & having an SEO analyst & developer on staff to implement the changes this SEO content audit is kind of… useless.
Here’s the thing…
With the right tools, analysis & implementation, the SEO content audit is one of the most powerful things you can have for your website.
You will have a black and white analysis of the performance of your website’s content as well as strategic action items for every piece of content on your website.
Contact me today if you need professional SEO help or subscribe to our newsletter for more tutorials on how to streamline the process, analyze the data & implement action items of a SEO content audit.
What is holding you up in the process of auditing your website’s content for SEO? Comment below
I originally wrote this blog post for JumpFactor: https://www.jumpfactor.net/seo-content-audit/