Written on October 20, 2010 by  /  with 4 comments  /  in the Blogging, Content Strategy category.

The Super-Effective Content Audit for Bloggers

How to Perform a Super-Effective Content Audit For Your Blog + 7 Reasons Why You Should and 6 Things To Track

How you like that for a sub-headline huh? JK. I want to write to you a little bit about Content Audits and more specifically content audits for your blog. What are they? What are the benefits of them? How should they be done? All of that I want to cover here in this article. But let me start off first by saying that ever since I did a full content audit on this blog, I have received more visits, more page views, and more conversions (comments, RSS subscriptions etc.) than ever before. So you know I think this is a great strategy.

Why You Should Perform a Content Audit on Your Blog

  1. Keep an inventory of all your published content. This will enable you to have a better understanding of what you HAVE and HAVE NOT written.
  2. Generate new content ideas. Now you can brainstorm while understanding what has and has not worked for you.
  3. Delete the unimportant. I’ve written about this before in my article about Deleting Blog Posts but sometimes it’s good to actually delete some old blog posts. This will help you put greater effort towards keeping your other content updated at all times.
  4. Identify, Make, and Track improvements. One of the advantages you can have over your competitors is your ability to keep ALL of your content fresh and updated. A content audit will help you do this.
  5. Categorize your content better. Sometimes for no real reason at all we put the “Tiger Woods” content in the “Justin Beiber” category. Ok that’s a little weird and extreme. But you get my point. This gives you the opportunity to logically re-categorize things.
  6. Locate conversion opportunities. How many blog posts do you have that get traffic and could be optimized for conversion? Probably quite a few.
  7. An internal linking strategy for SEO. Linking posts to each other in a logical way can be a very powerful SEO strategy. I wrote a little more about this subject as well in my post called the Flagship Strategy.

Okay now that you get the overall picture of how a Content Audit can help you in your blogging efforts, let’s get into some more specifics.

6 Things to Track In Your Content Audit

I simply use a spreadsheet to create an inventory of all the content I’ve written. This could take you some time depending on how much content you have written over the years but it will be worth your time. Rather than just imputing the name of your blog post and maybe the URL… here’s some other “meta-data” you will want to track.

  1. The Post Title & HTML Title – why would you want to track both? Doing this will help you identify both SEO and Viral opportunities since both can serve different purposes. You can identify areas for improvement in both areas and begin to make strategic changes.
  2. Post URL – this is mostly just for tracking purposes and for keeping an inventory. Doing this you can quickly jump to posts in your browser.
  3. Google PageRank – doing this you can begin to redistribute “link juice” to other pages/posts within your blog. Make sure you layout which pages you want to send this “link juice” to.
  4. Category(s) – now you can begin to make more sense of your blog’s category structure. Everyone has that 1 category that doesn’t make sense within the context of their blog. Some of us (like me) have had well more than just 1 category that wasn’t relevant.
  5. Page Views (last 30 days) – using Google Analytics you log the total # of unique page views for the last 30 days on a post by post basis. This will give you incredible insight as to where you can find areas of improvement for conversion and/or traffic funneling. This will also give you a full-scope snapshot of what type of content is performing the best which will give you a ton of insight as to what you should be writing next.
  6. Improvements – on a post by post basis while you create your inventory of content, create a separate row for “improvements” where you can quickly log what improvements you think need to be made to make that post better. These now turn into tasks for you that need to be completed. Track their completion and any other improvements you make for future reference.

After all that… this is what your Content Audit spreadsheet should look something like:

I’d be lying to you if I said this whole Content Audit thing was some quick task that you could complete overnight. It takes time. But it’s worth it. I deleted over 150 blog posts during my content audit that I found were just not beneficial to my readers (you guys). Why would I do something like this? Because it as allowed me to go back through everything I ever wrote and update it, refresh it, make it better to help you.

Since performing my content audit this blog has:

  • Grown in traffic by 46%
  • Increased RSS Subscribers by 32%
  • Increased conversions by 210%
  • Increased the speed of my overall site.

Imagine an Internet with no outdated information! Well that’s what I expect and i’m going to make sure my blog doesn’t have stale information. Are you?