Why Spring Cleaning Your Content Infrastructure is as Crucial as Tidying Your Home
With spring arriving, it’s time for a clean-up, and we don’t just mean around your house. Did you know that cleaning up your content can triple your site traffic?
Google’s mission is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That’s why SEO (search engine optimisation) partly consists of analysing and ranking your website’s quality by assessing the value of the information you publish. Low-quality content could damage your online reputation.
Grammatical errors, outdated or irrelevant information, and linking to untrustworthy sources are a recipe for disaster. Paired with marketers overlooking the quality and pushing the quantity of content, it’s no surprise that website optimisation can get messy.
With over 130 trillion pages displayed on Google, you need to compete fiercely to gain Google’s attention, as it filters out the sparkling clean results to the top pages. So, how can you ensure your content is at its best standard? Simply, by running a content audit that helps you decide which content to keep, remove, consolidate or improve.
Benefits of Conducting a Regular Content Audit
A well-performed content audit:
- Identifies what content is outdated and could do with a refresh
- Highlights the trends that work best for your organisation
- Highlights potential content gaps that will help you generate future content ideas
- Provides opportunities to explore different formats, e.g., some short-form content could work better as long-form content, etc.
- It helps you remove content that drives no traffic to your site and lowers your SEO score
- Allows you to organise your website by creating more user-friendly experiences that search engines read easily
When Is The Best Time for a Content Audit?
Just as your house needs a regular clean up, so will your website. How often you need to perform this task depends on the size of your site. We recommend doing monthly cleanups of different sections if you have a larger site. In contrast, smaller websites can benefit from a whole-site cleaning every six months or do smaller chunks quarterly.
How To Carry Out A Successful Content Audit
We’ve broken this process down into three easy steps.
Step 1. Analyse Key Metrics
What is your business goal? Where do you want to be next year? To get there, what key metrics should you focus on hitting with your content strategy?
These are some key questions you should consider before conducting an audit. Simplifying the process by selecting the most critical metrics to your business goals will help you make the best decisions.
Is the focus for your content to convert customers, have high traffic volumes, or engaging with your audience? Consider which metrics are most vital for you and break them down into trackable factors that support your goal –– for example, the time spent on your site, bounce rate, and the number of visitors.
Step 2. Crawl Your Content
Crawlers investigate web pages by tracking and gathering link data and bringing it back to Google’s servers. As such, crawlers will help you form a foundation for your audit by collecting information about your content, including URL’s, title tags, and more. We recommend using one of the crawlers below:
From here, go into your Google Sheets and start organising your data with the help of Google Analytics. The areas you should focus on:
- URL: is it formatted correctly for the SEO search? Does it read well?
- Content-type: blog, article, etc.
- Page title: is it relevant and engaging to the audience?
- Publication date: could this content be outdated? Can you refresh it?
- Word count: long-form or short-form? Which word count length tends to perform best?
- First metric: e.g. page visits
- Second metric: e.g. time spent on site
- Third metric: e.g. conversion rate
Google Analytics will help you track relevant metrics for your business whilst demonstrating your page performance. In Google Analytics, you can track your metrics by viewing data on your audience’s demographics, their engagement with the page, their conversion rates, and lots more.
For more guidance on using Google Analytics and page crawling to audit your content, visit HubSpot’s step-by-step guide. Read on to discover the 3rd step and our grading system to help you compile a successful content audit.
Step 3. Perform a Content Assessment
Now that you’ve done all the groundwork and pulled the data together, it’s time to analyse your results and discover trends. Using the content audit you’ve gathered on your Google Sheets, start to make decisions about which content you want to keep, remove, consolidate or improve.
You will want to:
- Keep content that is relevant, engaging, fully on-brand and meets your metrics.
- Remove any outdated content that is irrelevant to your business, your message and your goals. For example, if you are a content marketing agency, a blog about the best tips for successful event organisation is likely to be irrelevant.
- Consolidate content that may be cannibalising each other. Simply put, you could bring multiple pieces of older content together that have a similar purpose to improve your SEO efforts. This way, your posts don’t compete against each other but instead work as one vital piece contributing to your goals. In this case, less is more.
- Improve: This content may have performed well in the past but may need to be updated to rank highly again. For example, a how-to guide on Facebook features may be out of date because since then, Facebook introduced new features in their update.
To help decide which content belongs to which criteria, we recommend starting with the keep and remove criteria as they’re usually the easiest to spot. A grading system could be helpful here by ranking which content is performing best on a scale of 1 to 5.
How you grade your content must be based on your goals and metrics. To make the decision, you can filter out by the number of metrics the content hits and give it a score based on its overall performance. Ensure you note down what each grade means so that consistency is met when grading each landing page.
This way, you can make a fully educated decision on which content should be kept, removed, consolidated or improved to maintain high-quality SEO ranks.
Cleaning up your content infrastructure is a critical factor in maintaining high Google rankings. Conducting a regular content audit will have multiple benefits for your SEO performance, as your website will appear relevant, trustworthy and up to date.
Our simple steps should help you to get started. We give you complete flexibility by allowing you to decide how best you should rank your content according to your unique business goals and metrics. This way, you can shape your process to benefit your needs.
Clean-up Your Content Strategy with Copy House
Are you ready to take the next step in your content marketing strategy by employing experts who will walk you through SEO strategies to boost Google rankings? Book your free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts today.