As a business owner, hearing the word ‘audit’ used to give me immediate heart palpitations. The same used to happen with ‘let’s go to the dentist.’ But now that I’m a (tiny) bit wiser and older, I am very happy with the idea of a content audit.
Taking stock of your blog with a content audit has positive repercussions, as you can get rid of underperforming content, improve your blog posts, and see an uptick in blog performance and ranking. It ensures alignment with your brand identity, and most importantly, a better experience for your blog readers.
What Is a Content Audit?
A content audit is an assessment you do on all the content of your website to check how well your site is performing. A content audit can be applied to only your blog, or your blog and website pages. You can even do a content audit on your social media content.
This assessment has a strong visual aspect. Besides using data gathered from an SEO audit, you will also visually asses each individual blog post and see whether they look dated, whether the research is still current, and what feedback you are getting from readers.
What Is a SEO Content Audit?
An SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of a website using SEO tools and includes reviewing the ranking of pages. It also includes other technical SEO aspects, such as site speed. There are a variety of excellent SEO audit tools than can be used for this process, while a content audit can be seen as a mixture of SEO data and visual assessments.
Why Should You Do a Content Audit on Your Therapy Blog?
Monitoring the health of your blog should be as important as checking your heart rate while exercising or checking the oil level in your car. It allows you to keep an eye on performance, and address areas where there is room for improvement. It helps you ensure that your content delivers on the strategy you have for your brand.
A specific challenge for a therapy blog is that it falls under Google’s Your Money or Your Life assessment strategy. Basically, any website offering poor quality information on money or health that could be false and lead to a reader’s harm, is demoted by Google in the ranking pages.
For that reason, as a therapist or health coach, you need to be extra vigilant about the content on your blog, and regular content audits can help you keep an eye on everything.
In psychology, new research can debunk old theories and new developments can provide enhanced treatments. Staying on top of these developments and keeping your blog up-to-date shows Google you are a topic expert, who provides quality content and accurate information to your readers. All of these boost your site’s ranking and domain authority.
What to Monitor With a Blog Audit
There are many data points pertaining to a blog, and the below list is not comprehensive, but an indication of blog auditing aspects to consider. For your audit, you need a list, and exporting a list of all your pages from Google Search Console into a Google Sheet is an easy way to get started.
From there, you can use a variety of other SEO tools to provide you with SEO content audit data. Many of the points I mention below are a combination of looking at the information your tools provide, and then digging deeper with a visual inspection. Since there are various tools to use, such as Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, Content King, Google Analytics and more, the below is a broad mixture of things to look for.
Clicks, impressions and click through rate (CTR)
The click through rate is the percentage of times a page has been listed on search results (impressions), and someone clicked on it to go to your website (click). If the click through rate (CTR) is consistently low, you need to check the keywords, and what people were searching for.
You might find that your post on the pursuit of happiness has a high number of impressions, but very low click through rate. Reason being that many people are looking for the music video ‘pursuit of happiness’ by Kid Cudi instead.
Time on page
How much time was spent reading the post? Only a few seconds? That might count toward the bounce rate, which is a concern. If very little time is spent on the page, you need to investigate. Does the meta description match the page content? Is there something off-putting on your page?
Did you write an article about ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes – and your featured image is a large snake? You might want to rethink that one!
How many times a page has been viewed. A higher number is a good sign. If your blog post is still fairly new, do not be concerned if this number is lower than your other pages. It takes time for a new blog post to get traction, and also searches are often seasonal. If you have low pageviews with older posts, you should investigate further. Other aspects that also affect page views are your competition and the quality of your blog.
Did the reader play a video on the page, leave a comment, or clicked on a call to action (CTA) such as signing up for a newsletter? Do you have the right matching conversion opportunities in the post? If you offer different free ebooks, did you match the right one to this topic?
Broken links, broken videos, content that has been redirected, too long or too short titles, missing alt tags and meta descriptions. Your SEO tools provide information such as these. A post with a high number of ‘issues’ should be flagged as priority for fixing.
Content or brand mismatch
You might find that there is a mismatch between your older posts and your newer ones. All blogs evolve and only as they grow settle into a format, tone of voice and brand style that works for you. Check your older posts to see if they need an update to match your current style and brand.
Is the content in this post still relevant to your audience? Have you perhaps changed your focus and this post content no longer applies to your service offering? How relevant would a reader find this? How relevant is the information currently? Has new research revealed better treatment options?
Ranking and competitors
How are your competitors doing on the same topic? Are there keywords you haven’t mentioned or aspects not discussed? Why might they be outranking you? Is your post ranking higher or lower than before? Certain SEO tools can give you extremely detailed information in this regard, and it is worth investing in such SEO tools.
Review your site’s load speed and mobile friendliness. Check for internal backlinking opportunities and orphaned pages.
Feedback from readers is definitely something to include when assessing a blog post. No SEO tool can give you this choice bit of feedback. Always scroll through the comments left by readers. Let me rephrase – the approved comments left by your community of readers.
This type of feedback gives you a general feeling for the reader’s appreciation of the post, but you also want to note comments regarding the validity of the content. Such reader recommendations can then be considered in plans to update a post.
Some websites offer the reader an opportunity to rate an article out of ten. With a poor rating, the reader is then prompted to add their critique. Since this is not visible to the public, the critique tends to be harsh, but very revealing. Besides the criticisms, I would not read too much into the actual score of this plugin. Too many spammers misuse this as an opportunity to leave spam comments, thereby negating any useful scoring system.
Quality and gut
I’ve left this one for last because sometimes your gut feeling is the best indicator of what you should do with a post. If you feel in your gut that this post is not doing you justice as a therapist, or helping the reader, or is simply awful, then it needs to be flagged accordingly.
If you look at a post and feel proud of the content, the reader’s feedback, the format and style which makes it easy to read, conversions, and the SEO audit data reflects this, then you can be proud of a quality blog post.
Google wants quality content, and that should be the aim of a content audit. Improving the overall quality of your blog.
When to Do a Content Audit
There are various approaches, but generally, a content audit should be part of a routine content strategy. Ideally all content should be checked every six months, but if you have a smaller blog and adequate bandwidth for this task, you could do it as often as every 3 months.
Other times when you should do a content audit is before a site migration, to make sure the site’s health is good. Also, after a site migration a content audit must be done to create a list of issues to be fixed. And yes, there is always a list of issues. But it is much easier working through this list if the site has been audited and fixed prior to the migration.
If you are taking over the management of a site, running a content audit will also give you an immediate view of the health of your new charge, and opportunities for improvement.
Conclusion to What Is a Content Audit
A content audit is not something to be feared, but something to appreciate as an opportunity to improve your site’s health, and improve your rankings. Although it can be a huge operation, especially if your site has not been audited for a long time, doing the audit in bite-sized chunks will make it manageable.
Always keep the end goal in mind. If you want more readers to find your blog, you need to showcase your authority on a specific topic and build trust with your readers. Writing and maintaining quality content is key.
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