The word audit brings about it a sense of importance. Aside from the traditional audit, conducting a content audit on your WordPress site is important too. You may have been posting content every day since the day you created your WordPress site, to build your site and boost traffic. It’s time to review all your posts, especially the old ones to ensure their best search engine rankings and user experience. You can also figure out the strengths and weaknesses as well as what changes are needed. As content is the soul of any website, a content audit helps you develop it.
In this tutorial, we will look into some simple methods for conducting a content audit on a WordPress site.
Create a Spreadsheet
The basic requirement to conduct a successful audit is to prepare a spreadsheet that has all the information you collect. For this, we suggest the use of Google Sheets because this is a free service and also makes it easy for collaborating with your team members. Of course, you can always create your own spreadsheets using Excel directly.
Start by opening a blank spreadsheet. Some of the basic columns to consider are URL, Title, Headers if any, Description, Keywords, Visit count, Google Ranking, Content and Date of Audit. If you feel like doing a more thorough job, you can include other columns like Title Length, Word Count and Social Shares count etc.
After finishing up with the basic columns, the next step is to fill the “URL” column with the URLs of all the pages on your WordPress site. For websites with many pages, filtering only the most viewed will be sufficient.
To get the URLs we suggest a crawling tool called Screaming Frog. The free version of this tool supports the collection of up to 500 URLs.
Apart from URLs, some data like analyzed reports of page titles, metadata, broken links etc is also generated. The reports can be exported as CVS or copied to your spreadsheet.
For filtering the most viewed pages, you can make use of Google Analytics that helps you separate the URLs. In your spreadsheet, select “Add-ons”=> add Google Analytics and then select “Create new report”.
A dialog box pops. Set the metrics and dimensions.
There are lots of configurations to play with. For example, if you want the report to show pages with 10 or more unique page views, add ga:uniquePageviews>10 in the “Filters” section. Also, you can choose the maximum number of results.
When done with the tweakings, click on “Run Reports” from the “Add-ons” menu. The reports that are returned will have all the URLs that correspond to the criteria you set.
Audit Your Content using the Spreadsheet
Now that we have all the stuff required to perform the audit, it’s time to go through the stats in your spreadsheet. After studying a post, the row can be highlighted with specific colors that might remind you of its importance.
Remember, there is no shortcut for a good audit. It will require you to spend a tedious hour. However, the rewards will be certainly worthy of the time.
Let us see some basic metrics that need your special focus on regardless of the type of website you have.
A good title can increase the page views and hence improve conversion chances. Therefore, make sure the length of its title is less than 65 characters, is unique, and contains proper keywords for each post.
It is the permalink of a post/page. Check if it is crisp and contains keywords. Leave the modification of URLs to a later time. Leave a note in the spreadsheet to remember. Make sure that you create a 301 redirect after every modification.
A quick tip would be to install Yoast SEO to inspect the Meta descriptions effortlessly. Simply browse through the Meta description of each post, make modifications based on your latest knowledge, ensure it has the correct length, has keywords and is written keeping humans in mind.
Yoast SEO detects all the keywords for you. You just have to make sure that you have long-tail keywords and that they are repeated sufficient times, all the while keeping an eye on the keyword density to avoid keyword stuffing.
Content is key. It is recommended to be more than 300 words without repetition. It should be informative.
Image alt tags- images in your posts should have their own title and alt tag. Make sure the alt tag is descriptive, with keywords.
Internal links are helpful in bringing more traffic to your site. Auditing is the time to add at least two or three internal links to your posts. The links should point to relevant content.
Auditing is the time to determine if your site is slow and requires new web hosting options.
Prepare a Content Optimization Plan
A good audit spreadsheet is a key to developing a good optimization plan. These three columns will help plan an audit.
Page Score- Rate the page you viewed on a scale of 1-10. This determines the importance that needs to be given.
Action- This is a short decision on what to do like “Improve”, “Combine” and “Remove”. Rate the posts and pages on the basis of their quality so that you may later remember what to do.
Strategy- This is where you note down the detailed optimization suggestions for every action chosen. For example, in case you are going to consolidate the URLs, give a suggestion for the new URL at the strategy column next to the corresponding action.
Content auditing, though a time-consuming job, is rewarding, especially for small and medium websites. You can learn a lot by auditing your website like getting to know new SEO trends and ideas. You can also implement new techniques and gathered knowledge into old posts to improve page views. We hope that the above guide proves sufficient to run a successful audit. Never hesitate to get the help of a professional, especially if your business depends on it.