As more people experience the benefits that internet technology offers, more consumers are becoming dependent on it. It serves as their springboard when making purchases or getting information about potential products or services. All signs point to this being more of an unfolding evolution and not just a passing trend.
Without a doubt, today’s consumer behaviour is shifting from physical retail stores to online shops. This has been apparent for a few years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated it even further.
This development has significant implications for today’s businesses, both SMEs and big corporations. For any brand to succeed in today’s advanced business landscape, it must position itself in front of its target consumers online. And every discussion about online visibility begins with search engine optimization or SEO.
A well-executed SEO can catapult a brand from online obscurity to SERP supremacy. However, it takes a lot of time and energy to launch an effective campaign. With all the focus that an SEO strategy requires, it is easy to lose track of one important tool: SEO content audit.
Performing an annual SEO content audit offers many benefits and is essential to a brand’s sustained success. But before we get into its advantages, let us take a look at the definition of an effective SEO content audit.
What is An SEO Content Audit?
A content audit is an SEO process where a full inventory of all indexable content in a domain is taken. This account is then analyzed based on various performance metrics, and the result becomes the basis for making important decisions moving forward. This includes which content to remove, which to improve, or which to keep as is. In digital marketing speak, it is known as “pruning.”
The results of a content audit can also be used for many other SEO purposes. It can help you identify content gaps so you can maximize the value that your website offers. It can also help you determine other marketing opportunities that you have not explored yet. Pinpointing potential keywords that can help your website gain higher ranking is another possible outcome of a content audit.
There are many ways that an SEO content audit can help you meet various marketing goals. But primarily, it aims to enhance the perceived trust and quality of a domain, optimize the crawl budget, and increase the flow of PageRank and many other ranking signals throughout the website.
An SEO content audit is a long process that requires a lot of time and energy. Digital marketers do not recommend it if you are currently engaged in other priorities. Still, there is no way around it. If you want to ensure that any form of success your SEO campaign is experiencing can be sustained, then you have to do an audit at least once a year.
There are many ways to get it done, from delegating the data gathering steps to outsourcing the whole process. If the project is too massive, you can have it done in sections. You can even pay for tools that will automate some of the steps, including the dreaded research process.
What are the Benefits of an SEO Content Audit?
Outside of launching an effective SEO strategy an SEO content audit is one of the most important steps that can be taken to develop a strong website and a solid digital marketing campaign.
It could take anywhere from several hours to several months, depending on the size of your website and the scope of your project. But in the end, a well-executed SEO content audit can help your content marketing efforts in many ways.
Identify All Gaps in Your Website Content
An effective content audit can tell you what your website has, but it can also bring to light what it does not. In the process, it can help you determine what your website is lacking. This is extremely valuable information as it points you in the right direction if you are not aligned with your potential customers.
By knowing what type of information your target audience is looking for, you are in a better position to create content that will add value to your site. This will make your brand more relevant to the people you are trying to reach.
With pages that are more comprehensive and responsive to the actual needs of the consumers, you are after; you stand a higher chance of converting them into paying customers. This increase in conversion rate will translate into higher sales profits for your brand.
What is more, a more comprehensive website that has more value to offer can help you reach more people. It will widen your customer base in ways that few marketing strategies can. Again, this will drive more organic traffic into your website, which you could turn into leads and ultimately into a sale, subscription, consultation, or any other profitable action in your favor.
Increase Your Website’s Visibility to Search Engines
SEO algorithms are in constant flux, undergoing about 500+ changes every year. It is common for many of the best practices today to lose some of their effectiveness the next day. Or new strategies might emerge that could change the game entirely.
The reason that search engines like Google make these changes all the time is not to make your life difficult. These changes are necessary to improve everyone’s accessibility to useful and informative content. As technology keeps on improving, search engines become more sophisticated and better at giving users what they need.
Given the very fluid dynamics that digital marketing is operating in, it is important to keep your ear to the ground for anything new that may have an impact on your business in terms of your campaign strategy. This is where an SEO content audit comes in.
An effective content audit can evaluate your website’s SEO and see how well it delivers a satisfying user experience. It can guide you in finding which content will give value to your target audience while giving off abundant ranking signals to search engines.
Various tools are available that can optimize images, catalogue various tags, determine optimal word count, and take a deeper look at all other elements relevant to each content asset in your website. In the end, you could make all the necessary changes that can boost the natural search performance of your website.
Increased Conversion Rates
Whatever your marketing goal is, it is safe to say that it all leads up to increasing conversions. It is perhaps the most important reason to perform an annual SEO content audit for your website. An effective content audit will look at all your top landing pages and examine their design, content, CTAs, and all elements that can enhance user experience and increase your conversion rate.
Needless to say, how well your pages perform will dictate your ability to compel your readers into taking profitable action, be it to make a direct purchase, sign up for a subscription, or set a schedule for a consultation.
As content performance is closely tied to increased conversion rate, it stands to reason that content audit is linked directly to return on investment. An effective audit can improve your headlines, optimize your content, enhance your navigation, and make your website more compelling for your target audience.
Improved Content Structure
Having strong content is essential, but it is of no use if your target audience could not access it. For your users to enjoy the full benefits of your content, they must be able to find it easily and with little effort. A content audit that is implemented well could help you achieve this.
An effective SEO content audit makes use of appropriate analytics data that can make your pages more accessible to search engines and online users. Using suitable search terms and other methods for data analysis, you can gain valuable insight as to how to present all the information on your website. This will make it easier for your readers to understand all your content while highlighting other parts of your website and making them more accessible.
Determining Your Content Strategies Strengths and Weaknesses
During a long journey, it is important to get your bearings from time to time to make sure that you are still headed in the right direction. It will also help you determine if the route you are currently taking is still the best path towards your business goals.
In digital marketing, search engine optimization is the long journey that every business must take. SEO may take a lot of time, effort, energy, and creativity, but there is no way around it if you hope to achieve online visibility.
An annual content audit helps you get your bearing during your long SEO journey and makes sure that all your marketing efforts so far are not going to waste. Your content is your primary tool when it comes to optimizing your website.
To help you reach as many of your target customers and connect with them in a meaningful way, you must keep your pages and their content as relevant and fresh as possible. This will put your brand in the best position to keep with constantly-evolving consumer needs. And this is exactly what an effective SEO content audit can offer.
In the course of an audit, you can identify performance issues and come up with an action plan to address each one of them. It can also help you zoom in on broken links that make your website less appealing to your target users.
On the flip side, an audit can also give you an insight into which pages and content are performing well. This allows you to improve on what you can or reapply effective strategies to other content or pages.
To sum up, all the activities that take place during a content audit aims to enhance your website’s value to users and improve its accessibility. It is an important part of every effective marketing strategy, especially in an advanced market driven by consumers with a certain level of expectation.