How to 'Spring Clean' Your Website With Content Auditing
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
Hooray! It’s that time of year! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, sunshine is streaming; and hordes of people are taking the opportunity to clear out their cluttered closets and drawers, reorganize their stuff and give their homes a deep clean.
But, did you know that your website needs a spring cleaning, too?
Of course, you can’t physically dust off your website content to make it look shiny and new. But, nonetheless, you do need to give your website content the proverbial spring cleaning it deserves -- with a content audit.
Conducting a content audit can provide you actionable insights into what type of content is performing the best with your audience, improve your content’s return on investment (ROI) and improve your content-marketing strategy for the future. Plus, cleaning and organizing is good for you. According to a study reported by Psychology Today, people with clean houses are healthier than those with messy one. The same could be said for people with clean websites.
So, to give your website a refresh, follow these steps outlining how to "spring clean" your website, using content auditing.
Set clear goals.
Before diving into your content audit, first set clear goals. Setting goals for your content audit will help you better determine which content is working well, what needs improving and updating and what needs to be retired. By keeping the goals of your content audit in mind, you'll find it easier to get the big picture on your goals overall. For instance, in terms of your content audit, do you want to:
Improve your SEO results?
Increase audience engagement?
Improve conversion rates?
Depending on your goals, you can consider different criteria for each page or post. For instance, to improve SEO results, you’ll look over and optimize internal linking. To increase audience engagement, you’ll determine what topics your audience is most interested in. And, to improve conversion rates, you’ll identify the most efficient content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Create a content inventory.
Next, you’ll want to create an inventory of all your content. So, compile a list of all your URLs and put them in a spreadsheet. If your site is small, you can easily do this manually.
But, if you have a ton of content on your website, this task might be more time-consuming, so consider delegating it to another employee in your company, or hire a freelancer to complete the task or use a crawling tool like Screaming Frog, which is free to use for up to 500 URLs. In the spreadsheet you create, list all the URLS in columns along with other details such as:
Title of the content
Type of content (blog post, landing page, product description)
Date of publication or last modification
Author (if you have multiple authors on your site)
Stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision)
Number of words
Metadata (title, description)
Metrics such as number of page visits, time spent on page, conversion rate, backlinks, shares, ranking for the main keywords, and so on.
Then consult your analytics tool to discover all of the key metrics you need to know. As you build this list of your content inventory, you’ll be able to easily identify which content is underperforming.
Assess your content and take action.
Once you’ve taken inventory of all your content in an organized spreadsheet, it’s time to assess your content and take action. In this step, you’ll identify what content is performing well for you, what you need to change/update, what you can merge and what you can get rid of.
Again, go back to the goals you set for your content audit. If your main goal is to improve conversions, you’ll mainly want to focus on metrics such as conversion rate and time spent on the page as well as what stage of the buyer’s journey your content is for.
For instance, when filling out your spreadsheet you may notice that you have lots of content for the decision stage of the buyer’s journey and not enough for the consideration or awareness stages. You can then go ahead and start planning more content to guide users through each stage of the buyer’s journey or edit your existing content as needed.
To make the process of assessing your content easier, create another column in your inventory spreadsheet to grade your content. You can use A,B,C,D grading or give your content a score from 1 to 5. If the content is performing well across all metrics, you can give it a top score. Other content that’s not performing as well can then be updated and tweaked to meet your goals.
Over to you
"Spring cleaning" has never been more enjoyable, right? By cleaning your website using content auditing, you can enjoy increased organic traffic, a rise in audience engagement and a big boost in conversions. Marie Kondo’s got nothing on you and your spring cleaning skills!