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Content audit

Why should I audit my website?



by
Business development, social media & strategy
 

The websites that have the best search engine rankings are populated with relevant, up-to-date content. If your site has been around for a few years now, there will be parts that are no longer relevant, and they may be holding you back. As well as helping your rankings, an efficient and targeted clean-up could do wonders for your marketing in other areas too.

You may be providing goods or services to a slightly different demographic from the one you were addressing when you built your website. You may be aiming at a newly emerged market, which means some of your pages need a tweak. And you may be able to improve your user experience with some very simple changes.

Set aside time

Depending on the size of your site, this may not be a small project. Of course, it is not practical for most business owners to set aside a large block of time for a task of this nature; but consider setting an hour or two aside every day until it is done.

Prepare

Make up a spreadsheet and populate the first column with the URL of every page on your website, one per row. A pro content auditor can take this list and use various tools to extract further data about how your pages are used, but you don’t have to do this. But do prioritise the list so that you work on the most important or the most visited pages first.

The second column should be headed up with retain, update or delete.

Check each page

Visit the first page and assess it. Ask yourself about the page’s purpose, and whether it is still meeting that purpose. Is it still relevant to your target audience or your market? Check for errors (spelling, facts, technical problems). Check whether it still meets your organisation’s aims. Once you have assessed the page, mark on your spreadsheet whether you wish to retain, update or delete this page and make a few notes about what work is needed.

The next thing to do is to have a think about whether you want to add any new pages. You should produce a mini content strategy for each of these – just jot down the page’s aim and who it’s for.

Act on your audit

The pages that need updating are your priority, so crack on with those. Next, generate your new pages.

Once your updates are done, turn to the pages that need removing. First, you should delete all the internal links to the page – your content management system can help you with this. Next, use a SEO-friendly 301 redirect so that users who have book-marked this page, or who are coming in from an external link don’t just get a sad error message. Instead, they get sent to the next most relevant page on your site. Google Console Help can tell you  how to make a 301 redirect.

Finished your audit?

Unfortunately, this is one of those Forth Bridge tasks. Once you’ve finished, it’s time to begin again. The most effective webmasters dedicate an hour or so each month to their content audit list to ensure that all pages are routinely checked.

To be honest, I’d rather watch paint dry

A content audit is not everyone’s idea of a good time, and if your site is very complex it may seem like an impossible task. However, the experts at Eonic do actually quite enjoy that sort of thing, so why not let us take the job off your hands? Give us a ring and find out what we can do for you.