A content audit is a qualitative evaluation of every piece of content that exists on a website. It is different from a content inventory, since an inventory only takes into account the quantity of published written material without studying its results. This kind of website audit can be very time-consuming, but it’s worth it. It will help you determine if the content published on your eCommerce site is relevant to your customers and your business, which is key to driving quality results.
A well-executed content audit will help you discover what needs to be removed, what needs to be updated and find the strongest pages on your domain, among other things. This knowledge will lead you to create new and fresh content that generates more results and pays off the time you usually spend brainstorming, copywriting and editing before an article or blog post is finally published.
How to Conduct an Ecommerce Content Audit
Content audits should be done at least once a year; however, I recommend doing one every six months so your website is optimized. Here are the steps to perform a successful content audit. It will be worth it!
1. Create a Spreadsheet with all of your Content
Use a spreadsheet to keep the process neat and organized. I like to use Google Sheets because they can be easily shared with the whole team!
Include the following basic information:
- Title of every publication
- Type of publication: blog post, homepage content
- Link URL to the content
- Call to action
There are other columns that can be added. It depends on how in-depth of an analysis you’re planning to make and how much time are you willing to invest. Some of the other columns you can add are the following: Primary Keyword, Word Count, Average Time Spent on Page, Entries & Exits, Social Shares. See the sample template below to get an idea of the breakdown. More columns can be added as needed, but this is a good start.
This task can be easily delegated to a team member or a freelancer to save time.
2. Content Analysis
At this point, you must have filled out the entire spreadsheet with data from your eCommerce site. Now it’s time to analyze the content. To do so, it’s important to answer the following list of questions:
- What’s the focus topic of the content at hand?
- Is the content accurate and organized?
- Is it relevant to customers, their goals and motivations?
- Is the content up-to-date?
- Is it written in an appropriate language according to the field it belongs to?
- Is the voice consistent?
- Is there anything missing that is relevant to your business?
Google Analytics will help you answer some of these questions, such as average time users spent on a determined page.
This step is key to making the audit successful. After filling out this data, take some time to grade each publication. Yes, grade them with either an A, B or C–or even an F, if necessary. This step will come in handy later.
3. Fill in the Call to Action Tab with either Keep, Update or Remove
Publications that got either an A or B should fall into the A category, which means that there is nothing to be done. This content is perfect as it is in terms of visits, customer satisfaction, grammar, SEO, etc. Content that fell into the C category should be refreshed. It might be outdated or poorly written; however, the topic is relevant so you need to fix it in order to get the most out of it!
Now, the content that got a D or an F in the grading process needs a lot of work. Find out ways to refresh the content to deliver better results. Some of the most common optimizations I do for my content include:
- Add calls to action with links. Does the content have a call to action that is visible and stands out? Try to add call to action buttons whenever possible to make them stand out.
- Add a focus keyword. Does your content have a focus keyword? Make sure your focus keyword is spread throughout your content to help with organic rankings.
- Add images or video whenever possible. Does your content look too heavy on words? Add images or video to make the content more engaging, decrease the bounce rate and encourage visitors to take action.
Once the audit is completed, start by focusing on promoting on social media the content that was highly rated. This can be done while optimizing the rest of the content and come up with new ideas to write about based on your research. You can start by creating four posts that are similar in style to those with the most visits and average time of stay.
Doing a content audit will provide you with a clear view of what clients want and what works and what doesn’t, which can translate into a fresh start. Setting up deadlines or creating a content calendar is a great way to start new. You know what you need to publish. Now, publish it! Make the effort to post once a week, for example, and write content that is unique, fresh and strong. Use the right keywords, catchy titles and add attractive images. If you took the time to conduct a content audit, it is now time to make use of this effort.
You will see new results! Good luck and comment below how it goes!
Photo via Shutterstock