The content audit includes your websites “content”. And for this definition of content I’m strictly talking about pages that are blogs, articles, podcasts and things that would otherwise not be defined as “Landing Pages” that are pillars for your site.
During this content audit I single out all of these “blog” style post contents and arrange them into a spreadsheet to get a better feel for their relevance and performance for a given site.
So let’s talk about those two criteria before I move on.
The main question I ask about the content in question here is “Does this blog post add a ton of value to the user, and does it fit within the structure of the site?”
Value is easy to determine. Typically a valuable resource contains in-depth information on a subject and quickly answers the user’s most pressing question. Then, it moves into a more in-depth process for how to get and advanced education on that subject by educating the user on some vital sub-steps. It’s a complete work around a subject–that’s what value means today online.
To answer the question of “Does it fit?” we need to first create a site structure that can give us that context.
Do this exercise with me.
Grab a sheet of paper and write out the 1-5ish main “hub” topics that your organization can focus on from a content and educational standpoint. These “hub” or “pillar” topics will represent the main topics that all other content will be organized under, so be thorough.
Next, thinking from a blog content point of view, list our several “spoke” topics that can be attached to each main hub topic.
I personally like to list these in a spreadsheet style, because I can then begin to visualize a better website layout. These hub topics can literally be built in to a new header menu for your site in come capacity, so it’s important to visualize your site structure as a whole
Here’s an example of this hub and spoke site/content structure.
The coumn across the top represents the sites “hub” categories, while the topics underneath them are the respective “spokes” or content pieces.
XYZ National Bakery Co.
||Tips & Tricks
|Slim Summer Baking
||Gluten Free Dieting
||Baking 101 Series
||GF Weekly Recipes
||Traditions From Our Employees Blogs
||Weekly Baking Tips
|Low Fat Weekly Rec.
||Health Benefits Of Gluten Free Living
||Kitchen Gadget Testing
So that’s how I determine if website content, specifically blog posts, “fit” within a site.
Without a clearly defined structure like the one above, you’ll never know. You’ll always be guessing about your content creation, and worst of all, you’ll be creating content at random.
Random doesn’t get you ranked, so as you begin to answer these questions I’ve asked, make sure there is a clearly defined scope before you begin to audit you content.
This stage is where you begin to really audit your content in the traditional sense.
Again, most people forget the most important step, which is to guarantee content relevance FIRST like we did above, so don’t skip that step.
Now you’ll want to look at performance metrics like sessions to your blog posts, backlinks, and bounce rates among other things.
Basically the goal is to find out which content is benefiting your organization, and which content is dead weight.
If you find content that has minimal traffic and little value and relevance to your site structure, consider a 301 redirect to a more relevant post.
When you discover your best performing content, make a note of it and find ways to maximize its performance in the search results by refreshing it or doing some on-page SEO work to it.