When people think about content on the web, they most likely think about blogs or web pages. Some of it is written with a practiced hand, with strategy at its center, whereas other pieces of content are generally thrown together in a haphazard way that makes it hard to understand its purpose.
The idea of content explores not just web pages, but graphics, calls to action, resource pages, and anything that is considered part of the written word. Video, too, falls in this category in that it presents information in a user-friendly format. However, depending on when it was created, video can become outdated in a short amount of time in the same way that content eventually has its limitations.
Performing an audit on your website not only helps you find areas of weakness, but it allows you to uncover outdated information.
What Goes Into a Content Audit?
On the surface, a content audit uncovers the following:
- Outdated, useless information – Do you have resources that you haven’t updated in years? Do you offer information about a topic that isn’t relevant to your industry anymore? It’s time to scrap it and start providing helpful content.
- Legacy products/services – Maybe you used to offer products or services in the early stages of your business that don’t exist anymore. If your website has content about these items as if they are part of your current business, then that is a red flag.
- Doorway pages – In general, Google does not favor “landing pages” with no connection to other areas of your site. Creating these is an outdated tactic for SEO purposes that can inhibit your site’s experience.
- Live subdomains, forums, staging sites, etc. – Although reviewing the more technical elements of your site may not fall under the same realm of promotional words you use to describe and sell products or services, they still present a problem. Not only can these elements affect your overall website health and usability, but if these unused parts of your site are live to the public, you might provide conflicting information to users.
Overall, a content audit weeds out useless items that Google could potentially use to affect rankings and traffic. It is in your best interest to have solid, helpful content – good content – that users want and need to make effective decisions about the products or services you offer.
What Makes “Good Content?”
In general, the point of what is written on your site should be to build it out as authoritative and useful for those looking for what you offer. While this list is not exhaustive, some of the elements of good content include:
- Service pages of at least 500 words in length. Aim for 1,000 words. Many other pages that are well-built and formatted can have varying length depending on the needs of the user and the content.
- Insert keywords/phrases naturally, about two or three times per page.
- Stay focused, but don’t feel like you have to repeat yourself.
- Remember that at least half of all your visitors will be viewing your website on a tablet or smartphone. This will affect how you format your content.
Include graphics, headers, buttons, etc. to break up the content as needed.
When a content audit is performed, you’ll uncover not only the weak points, but the technical elements of your site that should not be ignored. Some of the elements may include updating the on page SEO, changing graphics, or updating your layout to make the page even better. You may even need to refresh your site’s look overall to achieve your goals, depending on what your Internet marketing requires!
Content audits are valuable and should be part of every company’s inbound marketing strategy.