An SEO content audit can reveal a goldmine of information to improve and fix a blog for more traffic
You’ve started blogging and love seeing your traffic stats grow but there’s a problem…
They aren’t growing fast enough! You aren’t making the kind of money you thought you would blogging. Your blog isn’t ranking for keywords in Google search!
Ok, so that’s a lot of problems.
The bigger problem though is that you don’t know why these little problems are happening. How can you fix a blog when you don’t know what’s wrong?
That’s where a blog content audit can save the day. Even if you’re happy with your blog traffic, it’s recommended that you do a content audit at least annually.
What is a Content Audit?
A content audit is a review of all your posts, pages and SEO factors for your blog. It will provide you a goldmine of information about how search engines see your blog and how you can improve your existing posts to attract more traffic and make more money.
SEO content audits typically include:
- Meta details for each post and page – Google search engine information like title and tags that describe your posts
- H-Tags which are important keyword tags within your post to rank on Google
- Word length and visitor information to show you which posts are providing a great user experience and which…are not
- Inbound and outbound links to show you which posts are attracting ranking-power
- The keywords for which a post is ranking and its position on Google
- Broken pages on your blog that need fixed
The content audit itself is just an inventory of everything on your blog that you don’t see but is picked up by search engines. It’s all the stuff that is affecting your blog traffic and how much money you make…but that you don’t know.
Why Does Your Blog Need a Content Audit?
A content audit is one of the most useful tools for professional bloggers.
I say ‘professional’ bloggers because doing a content audit really takes your blog to the next level. It says your blog is more than just random posts but a well-organized and planned content strategy to boost traffic and make more money.
Just a few of the ways that a content audit will improve your blog include:
- Find weak content that is hurting your reader experience and search rankings – Readers hate short, poorly-written posts and so does Google. A content audit will help you find posts that are too short to get picked up by Google and ones with bad visitor signals like low time on page and high bounce rate.
- Overlapping content that can be combined – This is a professional blogger trick that can really boost your search traffic. By combining related posts, you improve reader signals and boost the number of keywords Google sees for the page.
- Content gap opportunities – Maybe you’ve been blogging a while and have run out of ideas. A content audit will show you the topics you still need to cover.
- Best content to focus for SEO – Sometimes a post will rank for keywords you weren’t even targeting and will boom to the top page of Google. A content audit can reveal how to use these unexpected surprises to promote your blog.
- Strongest pages and how to leverage them – A huge Google ranking factor is the links and linking structure from your top blog pages. A content audit is a way to uncover these pages and organize them so they spread search ranking power throughout your entire blog.
- Affiliate opportunities in old content – Affiliates come and go but posts stay on your blog forever. A content audit will show you all the old posts that are perfect for that new affiliate program you joined. You’ll see exactly where to update posts and make more money.
- Due diligence when buying a blog – A content audit is critical to knowing what you’re getting when you buy a blog. Don’t spend a dime without understanding exactly what is on a site.
How to Do an SEO Content Audit for Your Blog
I’ll walk through the basics of a running a content audit but the full process can take days. Downloading all the information takes a few hours but analyzing and really uncovering the opportunities to improve a blog takes much longer.
Your first step in a content audit is to run a crawl of your site from different sources. This just means downloading all the information these different resources have on your blog.
Resources I use for a content audit:
- Screaming Frog is software used to crawl the internet and really the backbone of an audit. The software license costs $195 a year. You can do a limited crawl for free but the license is well worth what you can do with the tool.
- Ahrefs is an amazing tool for SEO and website information and (IMO) provides the deepest link inventory and keyword database available. Monthly pricing ranges from $99 to $999 so it can get pricey if you’re not actively using the information.
- Google Analytics is a free service that everyone should have linked to their blog. It provides visitor traffic information by source as well as information on your pages.
- Google Search Console is another free service you need linked to your blog. It will show you all your keyword and page rankings as well as technical SEO information.
I start by crawling a website in Screaming Frog and downloading the data into Excel. It includes absolutely everything on your site like images, redirected links, posts and pages so you need to clean up the sheet to make it manageable.
You’re really only concerned with posts and pages so you can delete other rows after a quick review to make sure there aren’t any broken resources.
I then download all the page-level data from Google Search Console and combine the sheets with a vLookup function. The function lets you match two columns on two different sheets, matching URLs of posts in this case, to combine the other columns.
This is going to add all your Google clicks and impressions to your posts. You also want to click through your most important posts on the Search Console to find the keywords for which each post is ranking. This can uncover some great keyword targeting information that you might not have known about a post.
I also upload each post URL into ahrefs in the bulk-upload feature and add the information into the file. This shows some very useful SEO information like how many links are coming in to a post, the page authority and for how many keywords it’s ranking.
Combining this ahrefs data within the audit always leads to some great ideas on ranking posts. I’ve never seen a content audit that didn’t uncover new and valuable information about how to boost a website. You’d be amazed at how your posts are ranking and how you can use it.
Finally, I download all the post- and page-level information from Google analytics. This gives me user experience information like bounce rate and time on page, to factors that are critical to cleaning up a blog and ranking better on Google.
5 Top Points to Fix a Blog from a Content Audit
What you can do with a content audit is amazing. The first year I went to the FinCon financial bloggers’ conference, one blogger talked about how he tripled his blog traffic after a content audit. Besides boosting your blog traffic, content audits can be used many other ways to fix a blog.
- On-page SEO opportunities – A content audit will show you where each post is weak in its Google ranking factors.
- Title and meta data need to be optimized for keywords and fixed to the best length
- H-tags need to be optimized for keywords
- Post needs to be re-optimized for new keyword opportunities
- Weak content – A lot of a blog content audit is finding posts that are hurting your blog with bad user signals. This means either going back to update and improve the posts or redirecting the URL to another post. Redirecting is a great opportunity to send any search ranking power from one post to another. The PrettyLink plugin is a great tool for affiliate marketing and can be used to redirect posts as well.
- Internal linking is an easy and important signal to Google but way underutilized by most bloggers. A content audit will show you which posts are neglected and from which pages internal links will carry the most SEO power.
- Content strategy and post ranking strategy – A content audit will help you group your posts by topic to see where you need to write more. It will also show you which posts in each topic have the most search ranking power and how to structure your linking to boost traffic.
- Affiliates and product targeting – You’ll be able to look through your posts quickly to place links for affiliates and other products. Keep your content audit handy for when you add a new affiliate and need to see where you can use it.
If your blog isn’t attracting the traffic it should, making as much money as you like or if you’ve been blogging for more than a year you need to put a content audit on your schedule. It’s a long process and will take at least a week just to put the information together but it’s worth every minute. A blog content audit will uncover opportunities you didn’t know existed and can boost your blog traffic through the roof. Take the time to take your blog to the next level.