How to Audit & Optimize your Blog Content to Increase Organic Traffic

Your readers & the search engines love fresh, relevant, quality content.

Doing regular audits and optimization to your blog content is an important part of your overall marketing strategy.

Every month, I review my website stats and Google Search Console data to see what content is working and what’s not.

This helps me ensure my content continues to be aligned with my strategy and goals but also in line with what content people are responding to.

Like Mr. Drucker says: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” so you need to have the right tools in place to do this.

What to expect in this post about “How to Audit & Optimize your Blog Content”

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to audit your existing blog content and then steps you should take to optimize it.

You can use this post as a step by step guide to getting you there.

Here is what I will cover.

  1. Determine your personal audit and optimization process
  2. Creating your content inventory
  3. Perform content analysis and audit
  4. Optimize your content
  5. Rewrite your content
  6. Add to your editorial calendar or blog post idea list

Let’s Get Started

1)Determine your personal audit and optimization process

You can choose to do big yearly audit projects but I would suggest getting into the habit of developing an ongoing audit process.

It’s probably best so you don’t feel overwhelmed at year end.

This way your content gets refreshed more often which is a good thing for organic search results.

I decide to remove content or edit it again based on new information I get or I simply rewrite and repost it as a brand new piece. Regardless of the outcome, it’s an exercise you should be doing regularly.

2) Creating your Content Inventory

Creating an inventory of your existing content is the first step. Knowing where you are now will help you plan how to move forward.

I use Google Sheets to manage my inventory but you can use Microsoft Excel just as well.

Your spreadsheet should be setup to capture all of your blog posts, pages, and offers(ebooks, white papers, info graphics, videos ect) that you want to analyze.

Your spreadsheet needs to capture various metrics on each piece of content so you can prioritize what should be reviewed, optimized or deleted.

What to capture in your inventory spreadsheet

  • Page URL
  • Page type:  blog post, landing page, offer
  • Page title
  • Page description
  • Page keywords
  • Number of views in period(choose a period 6 months or more to capture a good data set)
  • Links in
  • Links out
  • Word count

Some of these are optional but the more you capture, the better your analysis.

Your inventory should look something like this.

Here is a FREE Google Sheets Template to help you get started. Open this sheet, create a copy, rename it a save it in your G Drive.

PRO TIP: If you want to do this the easy way, check out Content Insights inventory tool. It automates this process and makes it fast and painless to get all of your content inventory by crawling your website. The bot crawls your website to return a rich set of data about every page. Int includes all page URLs and the files associated with them, file type, image, video, and document links. Metadata (title, description, keywords), Google Analytics data, H1 text, Links in and links out, the word count and a screenshot of the page.

How to get your content out of WordPress

There are several WordPress to CSV plugins that you can use to get your content out and into a spreadsheet.

Here are a few to choose from.

  1. WP CSV
  2. Export WordPress data to XML/CSV
  3. WP CSV Exporter
  4. Simple CSV/XLS Exporter

Once you have the plugin installed, read the instructions and export a csv of your content.

From here, open the Excel file or upload it to Google Sheets for editing and analysis.

You may now have to match up each of the pieces of content you have with data from Google Analytics.

You will also want to add in social media data for each piece of content. add for each one, the number of shares, likes and other social indicators to help your analysis.

You want to capture the page views at minimum for each line in your sheet.

3) Perform content analysis and audit

There are many different types of content and your audit process will vary depending on the type of content you are analyzing.

Start by sorting the list into different views

Focus on metrics that indicate the consumption, sharing, lead generation & sales that has been driven by any one piece of content.

This will tell you the content that’s doing best and worst and help you focus what you should be analyzing first.

Key questions to consider when reviewing your entire list of content metrics include the following;

  • How many people viewed your content, measured in page views, downloads, views, etc.?
  • How much is the content share on social media and how many inbound links does it have?
  • How often does the content convert leads and customers?
  • What is the type and length of the content?

Try an capture relevant data points that will help you make it better for your target audience.

These various metrics will help you decide what’s working and what needs improvement.

4) Optimize your content

Now that the content is captured in your spreadsheet, start working on content that is under performing first. Review the performance of each piece of content to see how it stacks up against all your other content.

Select the 1st peice of content and consider the following.

  • Does the piece of content still align with your strategy?
  • Does it still resonate with the intended audience or buyer persona?
  • Is the headline working?  Should you optimize the headline?
  • Can you add more details, more images or supporting data?
  • Are there any gaps in your content?
  • Has the information changed? Is it still accurate?

Make the necessary adjustments to your content and then move onto the next.

You can do most of this by yourself but I would suggest if there are others on your team, getting them involved once you have completed your inventory and have done a first pass on the audit might give you additional insights.

5) Rewrite your content

Sometime really poor performing posts should either be scrapped all together, completely rewritten or used as a part of another post.

If you decide to take this route, don’t do it now. Add this to your list a focus on the optimization work on your best performing blog posts and pages.

6) Add to your editorial calendar or blog post idea list

One of the side effects of doing an audit and optimization exercise is that I tend to get a whole bunch of new ideas for posts. I add them to my editorial calendar if I think it’s a really hot post idea.

This way when I’m looking for new posts to write, I have a nice list of ideas to start with.

Summary

Remember that doing regular audits and optimization to your blog content is an important part of your overall marketing strategy.

It can have a huge impact on your organic search traffic and can breathe new life into under performing posts.

Try and get into a habit of doing it often so that you stay on top of the search results for your keywords and phrases.

I hope this “How to Audit & Optimize your Blog Content” helps you optimize your content and increase your organic traffic.

Tools I used to Audit & Optimize your Blog Content

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