A content audit is the process of analyzing content on a site to determine if it is the best possible use of resources and if the content is promoting the website and brand in the way it is intended to. It is important for you to have a content audit when you want to determine why your rankings are not where they should be. In most cases, changes to content will boost your rankings even if you do not do anything else to help them such as a PPC campaign.
Whether you do your own content audit or have a professional do one for you, it is important to follow a pattern that will allow you to document the changes that must be made. A good content audit will accomplish several purposes, including:
- Help you escape Panda penalties. If you have suffered Google penalties due to thin or duplicate content, a content audit will find this and make recommendations for how you can escape these penalties.
- Make recommendations for contend additions or edits. Once you identify the areas in which your content is weak, it is important to make a plan to beef up or edit the existing pages.
- Make recommendations for collapsing or expanding pages. Sometimes a page is simply too long and should be broken into several pages. Sometimes, several short pages can be consolidated. It is important to determine which approach to take and how the pages should be organized. Site architecture and ease of use is an important ranking factor for websites.
- Analyze metrics. It is important to look at the number of site visitors, the number of conversions and other metrics to determine which pages are working and which are not. This is one reason to have a professional analyze your website; SEO experts understand the implications of these metrics in ways that many amateurs do not.
- Set up a plan to analyze performance on a regular basis. You cannot measure your metrics once; it must be an ongoing process. Content auditing, from this perspective, must also be an ongoing process.
A content audit can be a great way to give your website the boost it needs to increase your traffic and your company’s profits. However, if you do not understand all the metrics that you can utilize with Google Analytics and other programs to assess your website’s performance, this may be a task best left to an SEO professional.