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    Top 5 Ways to Perform an Effective Content Audit For Your Site (FREE Template Included)

    content audit

    Ever heard of the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule?
    It’s the theory that states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
    Why am I telling you this? 
    Because it applies to your websites content.
    Take a look at your content. How well is it ranking?
    If you’re not ranking in the top 10 on Google for your main keyword or, even worse, you were ranking but you aren’t anymore, then maybe it is time for a content audit.
    In this article you will learn how to find content in need of a refresh, how to actually go about improving it to boost your SEO as well some useful content re-optimization tools. 
    Sound good?
    But first:

    What is a content audit?

    A content audit is an edit of your existing web content — from articles and web pages to FAQs and guidebooks. 
    It may involve, adding more content, updating on-page SEO, updating outdated information and more.
    Just a word of warning though:
    A content audit/refresh doesn’t mean completely gutting your old stuff to make way for the new. 
    This could seriously impact your rankings and traffic.
    Instead, think of a content refresh as a chance to improve content and bring older pieces up to the standard of newer ones.
    But why should you do this? I’m glad you asked:

    Why content (sometimes) needs refreshing

    Sometimes content needs updating because of increased competition, maybe you’ve recently purchased a site and it is poorly optimized or maybe the information is simply outdated. 
    Before you can find targets in need of a content refresh, you need to know what you are actually looking for.
    Here’s a quick overview of the things you should look for when identifying content in need of a refresh:
    • Loss of organic traffic or possible even NO organic traffic.
    • No direct engagement (low time on page and other engagement metrics).
    • Little to no social engagement. 
    • Poor post metrics. 
    • No follow through to content despite social promotion.

    How to find under performing content

    Now you know what you are looking for, it’s time to get to work.
    Here is what you’ll need:
    • Google Analytics
    • Google Search Console
    • Ahrefs
    • A copy of this Google Sheet.
    First you need to make a copy of the Google Sheet. 
    Now it’s time to gather up your website data and add it into this sheet:

    Step 1 - Get Google Analytics data

    First up, we need to get page views from Google Analytics:
    • Go to Google Analytics >>> Behavior >>> Site Content and the select All Pages
    • Change your date range to show the last 6 months of data and hit apply.
    • Depending on the size of your site: select more rows to show. I like to show 1000.
    • Now export to CSV.
    • In the sheet, go to the analytics tab. Click File >>> Import
    • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

    Step 2 - Get Google Search Console data

    Next up is to head over to Google Search Console:
    • Select your site
    • Got to the Performance report
    • Make sure all the metrics are selected (clicks, impressions, CTR and average position)
    • Change the date range to Last 6 months
    • Now select Pages and export (the small arrow above the data)
    • In the sheet, go to the search console tab. Click File >>> Import
    • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

    Step 3 - Run your URLs through Ahrefs batch analysis

    This is an optional step. 
    If you don’t have access to Ahrefs, the spreadsheet will still work, you’ll just be missing some keyword and backlink data.
    We’ll be using the Batch Analysis tool that quickly gets a bunch of data for domains or URLs in bulk. To get it setup:
    • Go the the Batch Analysis tool over at Ahrefs
    • In the Overview tab of the sheet, copy the URLs (column B)
    • Paste them into the batch analysis box.
    • Underneath there are three option boxes, make sure you set it up like this:
      • Protocol – As specified
      • Target mode – Exact URL
      • Index – Live
    • Now hit analysis
    • Now export
    • Go back to your sheet and go to the ahrefs tab. Click File >>> Import
    • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.
    Now you’ll have a finished spreadsheet full of underperforming content that is ripe for a content refresh. It should look something like this:
    content refreshing on websites

    What does this spreadsheet show you?

    This Google Sheets template gives you a quick top level view of your site and how it is performing.
    It shows your website’s:
    • Top 100 viewed pages
    • The average position in the SERPs
    • How users are interacting with your site on Google
    • How many backlinks it has
    • The keywords it ranks for
    At a glance, you’ll be able to look for pages that are in need of a refresh. Here’s just a few ideas of things to look for:

    Pages that have high impressions but low CTR.

    People are seeing your site in the SERPs but aren’t visiting it. 
    Can you improve your page titles and meta description to make it more enticing?
    Maybe you actually need to add something like a free tool or another content upgrade to compete effectively.

    Pages with crazy good CTRs

    It’s always good to be on the lookout for outliers. Sometimes you’ll have a page that gets a really high CTR (or other metric). 
    It’s worth digging down into this and to try and reverse engineer what is working for other pages.

    Pages ranking for lots of keywords

    If you find pages that are ranking for lots of keywords, but aren’t really driving much traffic, then these are definitely pages ripe for a content refresh.
    Chances are you need to add more content to the page and/or target the keywords better.
    keywords

    5 ways to perform an effective content refresh

    Okay, so now you know what content refreshing is, why it’s important and you’ve (hopefully) identified your target pages. 
    Now starts the actual refreshing.
    When it comes to actually refreshing your content, you’ve got five types of things you can do to boost it.
    1. Expand your content
    2. Update your content
    3. Optimize or re-optimize
    4. Merge it
    5. Promote / build some links
    Let’s look at these in more detail.

    #1 Expand your content

    Expanding your content is the most common way of refreshing a post. 
    Sometimes you just need to write something longer and more in depth.
    There’s lots of data to suggest that content needs to be longer in order to rank highly. 
    In fact, if this Backlinko study is to be believed, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.
    your position on google
    Your starting point for expanding content is keyword research.
    You need to know if your content is or isn’t optimized for any of the keywords that are going to drive traffic to your site.
    By performing keyword research, you’ll be able to see what gaps are in your content you can fill in.
    However, avoid just expanding content for the sake of it. Be critical and ask yourself: 
    Should I expand this post?
    Maybe your original post lacked context or needed some supporting info to make it more relevant, or perhaps missed out a topic completely.
    Either way, be sure to do a quality check on your content before diving in and expanding it.

    #2 Update your content

    Google likes fresh content for some searches and sometimes information can become outdated.
    Here’s the type of posts you should look out for and consider updating:
    • Posts that mentions of dates
    • Posts with lots of screenshots (especially of software tools as these get updated and re-skinned)
    • Outdated information
    • Topics that have since changed
    You want your content to be as accurate as possible for both users and Google. 
    It’s quite common that over time information in content can become outdated.
    Here’s a quick list of things you can change, add, or remove from outdated posts:
    • Remove any content that is no longer relevant.
    • Update any outdated content.
    • Replace outdated data with up to date ones
    • Update screenshots if things have changed
    • Add any new best practices that have emerged (things in SEO change fast)
    • Check and update internal links
    • Potentially update CTAs

    #3 Optimize or re-optimize

    Sometimes content drops off because it could be better optimised. 
    On-page SEO plays a big part in how your content is performing, so make sure to check the following for the best rankings:
    • Ensure the title tag includes the main keyword.
    • Use a H1 that also includes the main keywords.
    • Add a meta description.
    • Use variations of your main keyword in subheadings.
    • Add keywords to the URL (but keep it short)
    • Optimise images – compress them and add relevant alt text.
    • Check on technical issues like page load speed

    #4 Merge it

    So you’ve been blogging for a while and now your website is full of content.
    Chances are though, there will be some duplicate or overlapping topics going on.
    If this is the case, consider merging multiple blog posts together.
    Having one strong resource on a topic that covers it in-depth is better than a handful of articles that all include roughly the same information.
    If you’ve done your keyword research, you should have a list of related keywords, so should be able to plan out what keywords can be grouped together in a single post. You can then scale this by using content templates.
    The end goal here is to have a few high-quality articles on your site vs lots of mediocre ones.

    #5 Promote it / Build some links

    Sometimes, a new round of promotion and link building is all that’s required.
    If you are looking to perform a content refresh on old content, chances are you have published lots of new content since them. 
    This is a great opportunity to build internal links to it.
    A quick site search will show you lots of internal link opportunities. Just head to Google and search:
    site:URL KEYWORD
    (example site: educationalcarriers.com content marketing)
    Switch out KEYWORD to the main topic of the post you want to build links to. 
    Google will show you the pages on your site it thinks are related. 
    These make great targets to go add internal links from.
    Don’t forget you can also re-promote old content to your email list of on social media as if it was new content and even consider driving paid traffic to it.
    For higher competition keywords, you might need to build some new (and more powerful) links to it like via methods like guest posts or running some broken link building.
    Don’t forget, the type of site you want to improve will dictate the type of links you need to build to it. 
    A local lead gen site needs local links, whereas a more recognized branded site could use unlinked brand mentions whilst an affiliate site might be better off with white hat outreach.
    Consider this before blindly going out and building any links you can.

    Side note: 8 tools to help improve your content

    Updating your content can be hard work.
    Thankfully, there are some useful tools out three to make your life a bit easier.
    Here’s a brief list of free and paid tools you can use to help improve your content:
    1. Google Analytics [FREE] – see how many people are visiting your site + other metrics
    2. Google Search Console [FREE] – see how your site is performing in search engines
    3. Ahrefs [PAID] – use this for keyword research and for spying on competitors
    4. Clearscope [PAID] – an AI tool to get the most out of content
    5. Frase [PAID] – a cheaper AI tool for analysing content.
    6. Headline Analyzer [FREE] – see how you can improve your headline/page titles
    7. AnswerthePublic [FREE] – use this to find question-related keywords
    8. Buzzsumo [PAID] – find what content is working well in your niche.

    Summary

    Refreshing pages doesn’t have to be a chore or seen as a step back. 
    Sometimes, refreshing old content will have a more positive effect on your traffic than creating more content. 
    After all, 80% of your traffic is likely to come from 20% of your content.
    Remember: SEO is not a one time task.
    It’s an ongoing process.
    To get the most from a content refresh, get in the habit of performing one on your site ever 3 – 6 months.
    There’s always room for improvement, you just have to look in the right places.
    I think it will be beneficial for all Readers. Keep Visting this site for more Contents 

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