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The Content Audit: What Is It and Does My Site Need One?

If there were but one universal truth about all websites, it would be this: they contain content. By their very nature, websites are nothing more than digital content containers. Taking stock of that container boils down to something known as the content audit.

Content audits are a tool that companies like Webtek Digital Marketing (SEO Marketing experts) offer alongside a whole host of SEO and marketing services. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Webtek insists that there is no way to know how well a website is performing as without regular content audits.

Content Audit Basics

So what is a content audit? In the simplest possible terms, it is an in-depth analysis of how well content is performing both in terms of search engine result pages (SERPs) and engaging website visitors. Just like a financial audit tells you all the details of an organization's finances, a content audit reveals all the dirty little details of a site's content.

Why Sites Need to Be Audited

As for why a website needs auditing, think of the principle of clutter in the home. It tends to accumulate over time. Every once in a while, you need to step back and de-clutter. Websites work much the same way. The longer a website is in operation, the more likely it is to accumulate digital clutter.

4 Things to Look For

A content audit is only as good as the types of things auditors look for. Look for the right things and you will be in good shape. Look for the wrong things and you will be wasting your time. With that said, here are four things to look for in a content audit:

1. Keyword Performance

First and foremost is keyword performance. What types of keywords does your content focus on? Are those keywords producing good search engine results? Keywords that seem to be underperforming should be set aside. Content should be edited to include new keywords that will perform better.

2. Thin Content

Thin content is so designated for a number of reasons. First, it may be so short as to not allow Google enough information to determine relevance. There is no hard and fast rule for content length, but a good site has a mixture of both short and long pieces. Content is also deemed thin when it doesn't offer relevant or useful information. A piece can be thin because it is more or less a duplicate of another piece of content.

3. Duplicate Content

Speaking of duplicate content, it can be a bad thing. If you have five pieces on your site all covering the exact same topic from the exact same angle, none of them might do very well. And of course, identical content is duplicative by definition. Google isn't a big fan of it.

4. Readability

Believe it or not, the readability of your content influences search engine performance. If people find your content unreadable, they probably won't stick around long enough to consume it in full. This increases your bounce rate which ultimately affects search engine performance. If you don't know what constitutes readable content, there are plenty of online resources that explain it.

Your organization likely puts the time and effort into regular financial audits. That's good. But how about content audits? The content on your website should be regularly audited to make sure it is performing as it should. As for how often audits should be run, that is a matter of opinion. Some say annually while others say twice per year. There is no right or wrong. However, more frequent audits will keep clutter to a minimum.