Why and How to Conduct a Web Content Audit
Whether you’re planning to redesign your website, rebrand your company, or increase your online marketing might, you’ll want to examine whether your existing web content is supporting your company’s goals.
A web content audit is a thorough review of your assets that helps you determine what to delete, add, and integrate. Making appropriate changes can turn your site into a “publishing powerhouse,” Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain, notes in Entrepreneur magazine.
Here’s how to conduct a successful web content audit:
- Identify broken links and other issues. Use a site-crawling tool, such as Moz Pro’s Crawl Test (a premium service with a one-month free trial) to generate a spreadsheet report that lists the HTTP status of every page on your site. Fix or delete any broken links. These are pages that display 404 (not found), 500 (server error), or 503 (unavailable) messages.
- Take inventory of your remaining web pages. Once you’ve removed any broken links, review your existing content, page by page, to see how well it’s meeting your business needs. (Use your site analytics data to measure each page’s popularity.) For instance, are there pages referring to services you no longer offer? Ditch them. Likewise, if a particular blog post has received 10 visits or fewer in the past year, consider either optimizing it for your preferred keyword terms or eliminating it. And if any media assets on your site no longer work (such as links to videos that have been removed) or you aren’t sure whether images were licensed properly, remove or replace them. Depending on your priorities (usability, conversions, SEO, etc.), there are many elements you can audit your web pages for; Distilled offers a sample spreadsheet with some good tips. Some automated tools, such as the Content Analysis Tool, can speed up the process.
- Develop a new information architecture based on your results. As you review your site, you may realize that your website lacks specific information relevant to your target audience, or that some pages contain redundant data which could be condensed. Create new pages or integrate others accordingly. You can then develop a new sitemap that directly leads visitors to the most important content for them to see, based on your current marketing strategy and the insights you’ve gained from your content audit.