7-Steps Content Audit to Enhance Online Visibility


Content fulfils all aspects of digital marketing success today, from owning search real estate to nurturing website visitors across their buyer journeys. It becomes tough to optimize every piece of content equally.


A content audit is a review of all the content on a website. It helps understand what content is working well and what needs improvement.


The goal of a content audit is to improve the quality and performance of the website’s content. This leads to better search engine rankings and more website visitors. A content audit is a systematic process of evaluating your existing website’s content against key performance indicators.


There are 7 key steps to a complete content audit, and following these 7-step audit processes leads to creating a data-driven content improvement plan. It helps determine content gaps, outdated assets, and potential consolidation opportunities. The result is content that is better optimized for organic search and users.


Overall, a properly executed content audit helps in understanding your entire content strategy to become aligned with business goals.

It ensures you distribute time, effort, and investments into website content that delivers the outcomes you seek.


Through this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • Why conducting periodic content audits is important.
  • A step-by-step process for auditing website content.


Why Is Auditing Web Content Important?

Identifies Content Upgrade Opportunities

The most important work of content audits is uncovering areas for improvement. By assessing engagement and conversions page-wise, you can identify poorer-performing content.


These posts are prime candidates for reworks with enhanced information, better content optimization, and promoted republishing. Even rewrite and repurpose into new formats like videos. Content upgrades also feed into creating better conversion funnels.

Diagnose Technical Issues

From site indexation errors to broken backlinks, technical issues easily slip under the category of improvement. Content audits catch these problems early using structured crawls and technical SEO checks.


The diagnostics then guide teams to address indexation, site speed, or site architecture weaknesses.

Assess Search Visibility Gaps

Audits and analyzes how the site ranks for target keywords right now using rank trackers. The gaps between aspiration and current visibility are highlighted.

New link-worthy content opportunities also get suggested based on searcher intent. All this feeds into tighter SEM and SEO planning for the long run.

Improves Overall Site Health

Subpar content comes out negatively when closely examined beside well-performing pages. Multiple average blogs or low-value product descriptions hurt the user experience over time.

Content audits flag these poor content areas for sunsetting or merging into better pages. The resultant site-wide cleanup improves overall website health.

Enhances Business Outcomes

Ultimately, the proof lies in real business returns. An audit traces content’s impact on outcomes, from traffic to conversions. Pages driving revenue or subscriber growth get doubled down through greater promotion and refinement.


Content failing to perform can be dropped after cost-benefit analyses, depending on overheads.

7 Steps to Audit Your Website Content

Step 1: Set Content Audit Goals

Defining clear goals is an imperative first step in the auditing of website content. Audits tend to be extensive, involving many analyses across parameters. Without fixed goals, it becomes easy to lose direction through the data.


Pinout 2-3 specific priority areas for investigation through the audit. These may tie back to overarching business objectives or be based on current website main points observed recently.


For example:

  • Traffic Drops: “Diagnostic reasons for the 15% drop in category X blog traffic over the last 2 months”.

This sets the direction for the audit to deeply analyze category pages and blogs. Compare historical metrics and analyze searcher behavior changes.


  • Technical Issues: “Understand damage from recent malware attacks on site indexation and fixes needed.”.

Here, the audit would focus on diagnosing pages removed from Google indexes, implementing recovery best practices, etc.


  • Content Upgrades: “Identify lowest-conversion service pages for content enhancement opportunities.”.

Doing deep dives into poorly converted but strategically important pages to strengthen message relevance.


In essence, the goals shape the scope and exact direction of audit analyses. Always tie goals back to business outcomes, keeping the end objective in mind.


Setting SMART goals upfront leads to focused execution in line with priority needs.

Step 2: Gather Content Inventory & Analytics

The second important step in reviewing your content to increase online visibility is to make a list of all your current content and analyze how well it is performing.


Make a content inventory by collecting all the content on your website, blog posts, and social media profiles. Write down the titles, dates posted, types of content (for example, articles, videos, podcasts), subjects covered, who created the content, etc. in a spreadsheet or document.


Next, look at analytics data to understand what content works best. If you use Google Analytics for your website, check metrics like the number of visitors, how much time they spend reading, and the pages they visit for each blog post.


For social media, note interactions, clicks, and shares for each post. Tools like BuzzSumo also give useful performance information.

Study these numbers to find your best and worst content across periods. See which topics, content formats, and writer names get more traffic and shares.


For instance, infographics may see higher sharing compared to detailed guides. Or guest writers may outperform your in-house authors.


In simple terms, making an inventory of content and digging into analytics guides you on what works with your audience and what gaps to fill. This helps increase relevant reach and visibility.

Step 3: Audit Technical SEO Factors

The third step in the content audit process is reviewing how search engines optimize each piece of content on a technical level.

This means examining whether your content follows SEO best practices that help search engines like Google easily crawl, index, and rank it.


Some key technical areas to audit include:


  • Page Speed: Check if your web pages and blog posts load fast, under 3 seconds. Quick load time signals to Google that the page is well-configured. Use free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Website Speed Test to test each URL.


  • Mobile Responsiveness: Make sure content layouts adapt smoothly to any screen size, especially mobile. Google favors mobile-friendly pages. Audit with Google Mobile-Friendly Test.


  • Alt Text: Images should have descriptive alternative text and captions for accessibility and SEO. Manually inspect a sample of top posts.


  • Headings Tags: Heading tags (H1, H2, and H3) should structure content into clear sections and keywords. Examine source code.


  • Outbound Links Credibility: Check posts to see if quality outbound links are placed.


  • Site Indexation: See if search engines can easily find site content with no robot.txt blocking page areas. Review indexation reports in the Google Search Console.


Doing this technical SEO health check identifies what technical SEO areas need fixing across content.


For example, adding image alt text, improving site speed, using better heading tags, etc. This makes the content structurally ready for search engine visibility.

Step 4: Assess Search Visibility

The next big step in a content audit is to evaluate how visible your existing content is to search engines like Google. This means analyzing whether your target readers can find your content for relevant search queries.

Start by listing down the primary keywords and related questions that align with your overall business or website focus.


For example, a personal finance site may target queries like “how to save money” or “best budget apps.”


Next, pick a few of your best-performing content pieces, like popular guides and blog posts. Plug their URLs into tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to understand their current search visibility.

Look at metrics like monthly organic traffic, top-ranking keywords, position on SERPs, keyword difficulty, etc. Compare the visibility data with target keywords to identify gaps.


For instance, you may find your saving money posts only rank for “frugal living” and not broader terms like “personal budget planning.”. Or competitive tutorials outrank your content.


Analyze why these search visibility gaps exist by examining technical and topical factors we covered in previous steps like mobile responsiveness, link quality, headline optimization, etc. Identify which core elements need improvement to help key content rank better.


These searches help you discover content that fails to be found organically by users. Reasons could be technical flaws, competitive rankings, outdated topics, or other visibility roadblocks.

Step 5: Evaluate Engagement & Conversion

The next crucial phase in a content audit is assessing how well your content engages visitors and leads them to desired actions on your site, known as conversions. Start by pulling key engagement metrics for high-value content such as popular articles, guides, landing pages, and multimedia.


Look at time-on-page, bounce rates, on-site search usage, scrolling depth, outbound link clicks, and social sharing numbers. These indicate user attention and interest levels.


Next, analyze the conversion rates achieved through your content. Examine analytics for metrics like email subscriptions, downloads, purchases, quote requests, or other goals associated with specific posts.

Now identify where the engagement or conversions are lower than the target benchmarks you wish to achieve.


For instance, a 30% exit rate before scrolling halfway for a pillar post seems too high. Or a 2% email signup conversion on gated tools for a 20% benchmark.


Dig deeper into why engagement breaks down or what impedes conversions at scale, using tools like session replays and heatmaps. Maybe design issues, content formatting for quick scanning, or distraction from sidebars cause early exit. Such insights help fill gaps.

Step 6: Review External Links & Shares

The next area to audit is assessing the external popularity and credibility of your content shown through links and social media shares.


Start by examining metrics that indicate how often other reputed sites link back to your content pages, like blog posts and guides. Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to analyze the monthly number of referring domains, unique linking domains, and quality backlinks per piece of content.


Also review social performance by checking shares and links gained on networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest over time. BuzzSumo provides this data.


Compare link and share counts for your content against competitors and your goals. See where gaps exist in content not attracting high social amplification or external citations. A deeper analysis may reveal insights.


For example, infographics and research-oriented in-depth reports tend to drive more quality links, while controversial viewpoints attract discussion.


Educational primers see more organic Facebook reach compared to product feature posts. Such assessment can guide you in creating more share-worthy and linkable content tailored to channels your audience actively uses for discovery and curation.

The credibility and authority flowing through external links and networks directly impact search visibility and conversion rates over the long term.

Step 7: Spot Content Gaps

The last part of an effective content audit is spotting what’s missing—content gaps that provide fresh opportunities to better engage your audience.


Start by listing down buyer questions and search queries around your business themes that your existing content does not cover adequately. Tools like Google’s related searches and auto-suggestions can assist here.


For example, a content site on hiking may lack articles like “family-friendly day hikes” or “how to protect yourself from wildlife.”. Search volumes for “affordable Alaska cruises” may be high if they are not addressed specifically on a travel site.


Next, analyze your analytics through a “content consumption” lens to pinpoint interest areas with sparse content. See which self-navigated site search terms or high-bounce landing pages indicate unmet needs.


Survey forms, social conversations, industry forums, and even asking customers directly can also reveal what types of formats or topics resonate. Video explainers may be mostly demanded by the Instagram generation.


Mapping such gaps to emerging user interests, business goals, and search trends gives you a prioritized slate of new content to create.


In summary, a systematic audit framework deconstructs the precise state of your current content. It compellingly builds the case for fixed areas and upgrade opportunities according to visitor engagement patterns.


So take time to properly scope, segment, and analyze all website content. The long-term dividends from a single audit can uplift overall conversion rates and extend organic reach tremendously.


I hope this post has equipped you to audit your website content effectively using the seven steps covered.


Mridula Singh

Mridula is a seasoned content writer whose passion for words is matched only by her talent for creating compelling narratives. With a proven track record of delivering impactful content across diverse platforms, she has firmly established herself as an expert in her field. She excels in crafting web content that not only informs but also inspires. Her digital content strategies are tailored to optimize online presence, engagement, and conversion rates. She has a portfolio that includes articles, blog posts, e-books, and more, all characterized by her distinctive style and commitment to excellence.