First of all, once you are going to take over content, it’s important to understand what the purpose of creating content is. Sometimes, when you speak with your in-house team, agency, or client, you might think that they are creating content just for the sake of it and that there is no clear strategy behind it. So, it’s important to challenge them, ask them what the purpose of their content is. This is a good chance to set benchmarks and create KPIs to evaluate the performance of the content that you are going to optimise or you are going to create.
Chapter 2 - 5 Tips to Remember when Auditing your Content
Clarify the role that the content will play
Be Organised but ready for improvisation. Think outside the box!
We need to be organised, but remember that every website and project is different. You need to be ready to improvise, to challenge yourself and say, “Okay, I have gone over this checklist, but maybe there is something that I can do differently.” So, take the opportunity whenever you do a content audit to be original, to be creative.
Approach content audits from a holistic SEO perspective
You need to take your content audit from a holistic perspective. So, it’s important to run a technical audit when you are doing a content audit, because it is possible there has been content that is under-performing, and maybe not because of the content quality, but because there is a technical blocker.
For example, the descriptions or the metadata formulas are not big enough, maybe there is a problem with the internal linking and how Googlebot is able to access your post. This is very typical, for instance, with pagination in blogs as I often find many problems in this area. Googlebot and other search engine bots struggle to find the content, so it’s important to make sure that everything is as smooth as possible.
Web performance optimization is a key aspect of Content Audits. You can have the best content on your page, but if it takes 20 seconds to load the page users will not wait. They will bounce back, and nobody will see your content, so it’s important to make sure that your page is as fast as possible. The template headers are also very important. Sometimes pages have messy templates. They have too many H1s and not enough H2s, it’s important to take advantage of the header structure to optimise your pages for the keywords that you would like to rank for.
You should also be analysing what your competitors are doing. This will give you insight into the topics they are covering and the technologies or the type of content that they are using. Maybe they are using a plug-in which enables them to show dynamic content. Maybe it’s something that the users are searching for and you should have as well, or maybe they have infographics and videos. Take the opportunity to go over what your competitors are doing, because this could be what the users are searching for and how you should be adapting your content. Some of your competitors might be using some Schema markup that you could be interested in using as well. Check it out and see what the competitors are doing. So, it’s important to take it from a holistic perspective, because at the end of the day, the content is there, we need to take into consideration what the framework should be.
Daniel Heredia Mejias
Daniel Heredia Mejias is currently working as a SEO Product Owner in the Egaming industry, taking care mainly of SEO technical stuff, he started his adventure in the SEO field four years ago in Barcelona, before moving to Malta where he’s been living for two years and a half. In 2020, taking advantage of the lockdown and despairing at home he created a blog posting many tricks to automate some SEO tasks with Python and started to play video games more often to feel closer to his friends.
Watch our Tea Time SEO session here:
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Even though I am not obsessed with checklists, I think that it’s good to be organized and to have a reference point. When I run a content audit these following points are the steps that I follow.
URL Selection and Keyword Mapping
First of all, you have selection and keyboard mapping. What are the keywords that we would like to target and with what URLs?
The content gaps are related to our competitors’ analysis. What are our competitors doing? Or what keywords are they covering that we are not? When it comes to branded searches, it’s important to answer what the users are searching for. You might need to create dedicated content to answer the most important questions and queries that your customers or potential customers might have.
When we talk about toxic content, it does not mean content which is going to penalize us. We mean cannibalisation and waste of ‘crawl budget’. For instance, if you see that there is a section of your website which is not bringing any traffic, you should not index it because there is no one searching for it. When it comes to off-page content, it’s important to go over your link profile and disavow the poor quality links that could be toxic.
Do we have contextual links, anchor text, pagination? It is good to contemplate the option of adding breadcrumbs which can benefit the internal linking.
What under-performing content could be quick wins for your website and CTR improvements? It’s important to go over the branded searches. Take advantage of those branded searches because they are customers, or potential customers that are close to returning because they already know your brand.
The Schema opportunities are also related to the competitor analysis, but also about investigating if there is any Schema markup that could be suitable for your business.
It’s good to categorize keyword clusters, as there might be different clusters that serve different purposes. We can differentiate the branded cluster, the top of the funnel cluster, the money keywords, etc
Last but not least; topic relevance. It’s important to not create content just for the sake of creating content. So, we need to differentiate and understand why this topic or content is relevant for our business. Are potential customers interested in that, or is there some content that could bring traffic, but not benefit our business?
And finally, there are SEO software tools like Authoritas as well as programming tools like Python, in the market that can speed up the content audit. So it’s good to start automation, because at the end of the day, it will make your life much easier. It’s very important to automate things because you are likely to make mistakes when you are doing very tedious or very boring work related to, for instance, getting data from different tools. It’s important to automate your workflows and your content audits as much as possible to avoid making mistakes and save you time.