What is Content Audit?
When your site grows in site there are many challenges that will hurt good ranking on Google. While most of the webmasters concentrate on off-page and on-page optimizations, the other important aspect is optimizing your own content. This is generally referred as content audit in SEO terms. You might have heard this before and there had been a lot of debates about this topic. Essential part of content audit is to create your own workflow and remove content that negatively affect your whole site.
More than 50% of articles written on the web will become obsolete in mere 2 to 3 years. Hence as a webmaster, you should cleanse your site at least once a year to offer optimized and valid content for your reader. It is easy to spot thin content when you visit them. But finding it on your own site visiting page by page is rather difficult than saying. Here is where full content audit comes into play.
How to Remove Low Quality Content?
Content audit is more or less same about removing the low quality content. Here are some tips for effectively removing low value content from your site.
- Remove content that no longer helps to reach your site’s goals
- Make sure that posts do not have broken links
- Check if your posts are unique and well researched
- Check the information is valid as of date and update the content
Many website owners tend not to do these things because they assume they only published high-quality content. But, thin content is not just about content that are not well researched. It also includes checking all links and analyzing the content as a whole, instead of checking them part by part.
Types of Low Quality Content
Let’s begin by differentiating between 3 items – thin content, poor content and expired content.
First, thin contents are those that do not really give valuable information. These are what many would call filler contents because they are just there to fill up some gaps. Most of these articles are written to fill the blog schedule instead of fulfilling reader’s requirements.
Next, poor content are those that have valuable information but are not well written. They are the ones that score poorly on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test and hard to read and understand.
Lastly, expired content refer to posts whose reference links, infographics, and statistics are already outdated. These posts have been published years ago that does not reflect on today’s current trends.
The purpose of a content audit is to discover and cleanse your site from these kind of content. It will result in a cleaner site whose posts are well aligned to your goals.
Here are a few steps and tools that you can use to cleanup your content.
Manual Detection of Thin Content
Many companies will employ a combination of manual and automatic procedures to find thin content. But if you haven’t done any content audit yet, it is always a good thing to start with manual detection. Keep in mind that if you faithfully do content audit at least once a year, it will become easier to do. Here are two of the most crucial parts to do this:
1. Collect the Details
Make a spreadsheet with all your site’s information. Before doing the actual audit, you must have a great plan. You have to take note of all data like the title of the post, author, URL, category, date of the audit, keywords, status, traffic, what needs to be changed, and some notes. You must enforce this spreadsheet whenever your contents are updated.
2. Assign People
Name the people who will do the job. After creating the spreadsheet, you must decide who will do the job. If you have tons of contents to audit then you cannot do this by yourself. You may need at least four to five people to complete the tasks in a good time frame.
Do your content audit together with your SEO audit. Although this is not so much necessary, more often than not, you may do SEO audit at the same time with your content audit. You can save lot of time and resources by doing this, and you will reap a ton of benefits.
Automatic Detection of Thin Content
If you don’t like doing a manual research on your site, there are many tools that you can use to do it for you automatically.
Google Analytics Reports
Google Analytics is a free and popular tool to track website’s performance. There are many standard reports available to monitor user engagement and behavior. This will easily help you to identify the thin content in which users are not much interested on your site.
These reports are totally customizable and if you do it right, it will help you see how much engagement your site has on your audience and see which content underperforms.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console can help you to detect crawling errors like broken links. This is also free for webmasters and show you how to improve your website’s performance. You may find which links don’t work, if your XML Sitemap has errors, or just about any error that may negatively affect user experience.
There are plenty of other tools available on the internet for SEO and content auditing. For example, SEMrush offers domain analysis with keywords and competitor’s positions. Just like the other tools listed above, these tools also will help you improve your website as a whole. Most of these tools are premium tools with free trail available.
You may find removing the low quality links on your site can be tough to do for the first time, but you should not skip it at all. You need to make sure your website is free from thin content, poor content and expired content so that your audience will continue to follow you.
As for your spreadsheets, never lose them! You may keep on using this spreadsheet as long as you want to keep track of all the audits and changes made to your website. Do you have comments and suggestions? Please tell us in the comments section below.