The content of your website plays a big role in how your site appears on search engines, and whether users can find your site or not. A content audit helps you take a closer look at your content in an organized way. You can see which pages could benefit from search engine optimization strategies (SEO), which pages need new content or updating, where errors exist, and much more. These website content audit templates will give you a roadmap for assessing your site and making improvements.
What is a Website Content Audit?
A website content audit is the process of organizing and analyzing your webpages in order to improve your information, SEO, navigability, and more. Your content audit may show where pages should be removed, redirected, expanded, or improved.
Your website content audit can use many different metrics. Which metrics you use will depend on what information you’re looking for, and what changes you’d like to make. Some website content audits are simple, using a few metrics to make changes, while others are much more in-depth.
Do I Need to Do a Website Content Audit?
If you have a large site and some of your pages or posts are five years old or more, you might use a content audit as a way to prune pages. You may find that some of your pages are redundant, outdated, or aren’t bringing in traffic. You’ll want to combine or delete these pages and use redirects.
Regardless of your website’s size or age, your content audit can also show you where to make improvements. For example, if you notice a number of pages don’t target a primary keyword, you’ll want to fix this. Finally, your content audit will show which of your pages or posts perform the best—bringing in the most traffic or converting the most leads—so you can make more pages or posts like this.
5 Website Content Audit Templates to Boost Your Web Rank
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that will give you a wealth of valuable information about your website. Many of the other website content audit templates will incorporate Google Analytics. If you’ve just added Google Analytics to your site, it may take some time to gather data, so you may have to return to this part of your content audit at a later time.
A good place to start for your basic website content audit template using Google Analytics is with the Behavior tab. Underneath this, select Site Content and then All Pages. This will show you the pageviews, average time on the page, bounce rate, and other metrics for each page. You’ll want to get a good picture of each page’s performance, so set your dates, in the upper right corner, for a wide range; a year or more. You might also want to refine which pages you’re looking at. Perhaps you only want to audit your blog, or only your core pages. Refine your page selection with the Advanced button near the middle of the page. Underneath this, you’ll see your page URLs and their statistics.
Once you have the pages and time period you want, use the Export button in the upper right corner to bring your data to an Excel spreadsheet, Google sheet, or another format. After you clean up a few extra cells and organize your data a bit, you should have something like this:
You now have a basic template for comparing and assessing your pages. You might decide to eliminate, update, combine, or take a closer look at pages below a certain number of pageviews. Or, a low time on page may indicate that a page or post is too short, and could use some more content.
You might stop here for your website content audit. However, this doesn’t address other factors which are important to Google rank, such as backlinks or SEO. Some of the other website content audit templates will.
Learn more about tools and strategies for improving and measuring SEO
2. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is another free and very powerful tool to help with your website content audit. The other templates on this list may also incorporate Screaming Frog SEO Spider, as well as Google Analytics.
This tool is ideal for working on your SEO, which is an important part of your website content. The SEO Spider will crawl your site, collecting information on each of your pages, such as keywords, headings, images, links, and more. With all this information in one place, you can see where you have broken links, missing alternative text for images, pages without keywords, and other SEO issues. You can export this data to a spreadsheet to organize it and assess your pages, or use the Screaming Frog report. With some Excel or Google Sheets knowledge, you can even merge the spreadsheets you gathered from Google Analytics, and generate even more data for each of your pages.
SEMrush is a paid tool that will help you gather all of these insights more easily. With the SEMrush Content Analyzer tool, you can perform a content audit on your entire site, or specific subdomains. You can even use the spreadsheet templates provided here to organize the information you gather from the Content Analyzer when you export it.
SEMrush gives you great detail about each page. You’ll see information you gathered from Screaming Frog and Google Analytics, as well as information about word counts, recent updates, shares, and backlinks. All of this information is important to your SEO.
Distilled’s website content audit template also helps to combine and organize a wide range of information. This template includes more qualitative information, like how well-written the content is, the author, the tone, target market, and the design. These factors also play a role in SEO, page rank, lead conversions and more.
If you use this template alongside the others listed here, you may start to notice trends. For example, the pages with the most backlinks will probably have high traffic, since this is an important factor in determining search engine rank. You may also notice that content from particular authors performs better than others, or that content targeted towards particular market segments performs better than others. The additional metrics in this template can help you make informed decisions about your individual pages, as well as your overall website and content team.
While not providing a template you can duplicate, Alexa provides an outline for website content audit. Alexa breaks their outline down by sections, including engagement metrics like page visits, content quality metrics like word count, SEO metrics like keywords, and links. You can gather this information yourself and integrate it into the template, or use Alexa’s paid tools to create a spreadsheet from one platform. Combining this information can help you get the most detail from your pages and posts, so you can decide what to do with them. This website content audit outline might be especially helpful if you’re comparing a variety of different content types, and you’re conducting an in-depth audit.
Depending on the amount of content and new pages or posts you produce, it’s a good idea to do a content audit annually. This will help to keep your top-performing content high in the search results, and help keep stale or low-performing content from bringing down your site rank. If you’re not sure how to do a website content audit, or you don’t have the time or resources, digital marketing experts can help.