How To Do a SEO Content Audit For Your Website in 2024

Table Of ContentsQuick SummaryWhat is a Content Audit?Why Do You Need a Content Audit?Content Audit Template & ChecklistContent Audit ToolsSearch IntentReadabilityThin ContentDuplicate ContentE-A-T (aka Content Quality)Keyword CannibalizationFAQsWhat Is an SEO Content Audit?How Do You Do SEO Content Audits?What Should a Website Content Audit Include?The Bottom Line You’ve probably heard the saying, “content is king.” While having a technically sound website and strong link profile are great accelerators for SEO dominance, these days, they’ll hardly move the needle if you don’t have a solid content strategy. As an experienced digital marketer who has built multiple successful affiliate websites, I understand the importance of content in driving results. Making sure that things like your page titles (aka title tags), headings, and meta description are optimized for your primary keyword is important too, but thorough content audits will help seal the deal. In this article, you’ll learn how to perform a website content audit in detail and highlight why you should make it a part of your SEO and content marketing strategy. You’ll find out the importance of writing content that is easy to read and is written with the intent of the core keyword you want to target in mind. I’ll also show you how to ensure that you don’t have landing pages with thin content, duplicate content, and keyword cannibalization. Lastly, we’ll look at how to audit your content for E-A-T signals which will help build your site’s authority. This content audit spreadsheet checklist will help maximize your content marketing efforts and reach your SEO content goals, as we’ll make sure that no stone is left unturned. Quick Summary What is a Content Audit? A content audit is the process of analyzing the main text of your web pages to ensure that it is helpful to your users and bots like Google. This process can help find and fix issues such as low readability, duplicate content, or keyword cannibalization, all of which could hurt the hard work you’ve put in with your SEO efforts. Remember, content audits aren’t about optimizing page titles, headings, and meta descriptions. If you want to audit these, you should use Screaming Frog (or any other crawler of your choice). A content audit spreadsheet ensures that your site’s content assets (i.e., landing pages, blog posts, etc) are created with both Google and the end-user in mind. Why Do You Need a Content Audit? You need a content audit because it will help you identify and take stock of which pages on your site work well and which don’t. Content audits are primarily about improving content metrics such as readability so that users will be more likely to spend more time on your website. For example, if you are running an eCommerce business, the amount of time your users spend browsing your website directly impacts your sales. Conducting a content audit also ensures that you’re providing your audience with the best possible experience while making sure that the text is optimized for Google. To put it straight, content audits will help refine your site’s content assets as well as increase conversion rates and social shares. Content Audit Template & Checklist I’ve compiled a list of key Google analytics tools, a content audit data template, and a checklist to make this process as smooth as possible for you. Content Audit Tools Search Intent What is Search Intent? The search intent of a keyword is the underlying reason for the user’s query – i.e., it’s about understanding why and what the user is looking for. There are four main types of intent: Important: not all informational keywords are questions. For example, users searching “Elon Musk” are likely looking to find out more about Elon Musk. Why is Search Intent Important? Search intent is important because the primary goal for Google is and always has been to provide users with the best and most relevant results for their queries. While you could pretty much get away with ranking in the top 5 positions with links and mediocre content before, this content strategy doesn’t work in today’s SEO climate. Google’s understanding of a piece of content and its ability to provide relevant results is continually improving through machine learning techniques like Natural Language Processing and its BERT algorithm. If your content marketing strategy doesn’t account for what the end user is looking for, how can you expect your SEO goals to be met? As a result, it’s one of the most important steps in this content audit process. Search Intent Audit Checklist The best way to “audit” intent is to compare your content to the sites that are ranking in the top positions for your core keywords. Then, you want to check whether your content aligns with what Google is rewarding. It’s likely impossible to audit every single page on your site, especially if you have an online store with 100s or maybe even 1000s of products. Therefore, you should start by making a list of the most important content pieces you want to audit first. Kind of like a content inventory! A quick Google search for your core terms will show you what kinds of results Google (and in turn users) is looking for. For example, below, you can see that for a transactional query like “Samsung phone cases”, Google leads with paid ads/shopping results. During your audit, you should: For example, a user searching for “how tall is the Eiffel Tower” is probably looking for a short, numerical answer. Whereas someone searching “why do we yawn” may be looking for a more in-depth answer. Answering these questions as part of your website content audit will allow you to pinpoint exactly what your target audience is looking for from their query. It will also help identify where you should place certain pieces of content. For example, if you target a keyword like “how to do a cartwheel,” you may find that the top ranking results include a video right at the top of the page. Therefore, to match the intent, you would do the same. Readability What is Readability? Readability refers to how easy it is for users (and search engines) to understand and read the content on a web page. Why is Readability Important? Making readability a part of your content audit process is important because reading a big block of text isn’t great for user experience. This may lead to an increase in the bounce rate (which you can track on Google Analytics) as users may simply lose interest and leave because they felt overwhelmed with information. Therefore, you should ensure that your website’s content is easy to read so that visitors don’t leave. Readability Audit Checklist A great (and free) tool for auditing the readability of a piece of content is Hemingway. It’ll give you a readability score and provide suggestions on how to simplify the text. Thin Content What is Thin Content? More often than not, “thin content” is referred to as content that is too short. However, there’s more to it than just length. A more accurate definition is content that offers little to no value to the target audience. It just so happens that most landing pages that are considered thin content by SEOs tend to be short in length. A quick way to spot these is via the tool Screaming Frog, which will allow you to order your site based on the number of words. The page below has lots of text, but is it actually valuable to the user? Not really. The most common types of pages that are considered as thin content contain: Why Should You Carry Out A Thin Content Audit? Let’s take a look at why your auditing content strategy should include checks for thin content by looking at it from both the user and search engine’s perspective. For Users As mentioned above, thin content pages offer little value to the searcher. As a result, they hinder the user experience and will likely lead to a higher bounce rate. You want to create pages with rich content that satisfies what the searcher is looking for. Otherwise, users will simply leave and visit a competitor. Because of this, other engagement metrics like the average time on page and conversion rates will also be impacted. For Search Engines Google evaluates content on both a page and domain level; and bases the frequency at which it crawls your site on the quality of your site’s content. This means that: If you’re still not convinced, a site with too many thin content pages can be penalized by Google with a manual penalty. Check out the video below, where Google’s Matt Cutts explains what it means if your site has been penalized with a thin content manual penalty.  Thin Content Audit Checklist When going through your content inventory for thin content, look out for the following: Duplicate Content What is Duplicate Content? Duplicate content refers to content that is identical or very similar to existing content on the Web. So, this… And this… …would Read More Read More