Spring is here and it’s about time you got your house in order. Time to dust behind those places you haven’t looked for months. Well, actually, very few people are going to judge you for the state of your house! But if the content of your business website is not ship-shape lots of people, potential customers, will notice, and it might make the difference as to whether they engage with your brand or not. It’s time for a spring content audit.
Clear out the ROT
ROT stands for Redundant, Outdated or Trivial. Bear this in mind as you go about your content audit. If any of your content is ROT, you should flag this up for your content team to spruce up your website content and keep it relevant.
You should go through this content audit process methodically. Here are some of the key content pieces you should focus on.
Where you should focus when performing a content audit
Auditing your landing page
Tidiness expert Marie Kondo says that when you tidy up you should only keep items that ‘spark joy’. This couldn’t be more appropriate when it comes to your landing page content. The sole goal of your landing page is to spark joy in your site visitors so they will begin their customer journey with you.
Auditing your homepage
Are all items, products, services or events current and valid? Have any of your company’s priorities changed from what’s stated, and does your copy need updating or amending/deleting to reflect this?
Auditing your about page
These are often created in the very early days of your business. Although about pages are the most visited it’s easy to not consider them a priority in the daily running of your business. But the fact is that they are some of your site’s most read content and play a huge role in conveying your USP and value proposition to your audience.
Auditing your contact page
Again, is everything here current and up to date? Are you listing a social media platform you don’t use anymore, or have you changed phone numbers or address and not updated your contacts page? Have a look, there’s possibly something you’ve missed.
Auditing your website forms
The quality of your lead and contact forms can make the difference between whether a site visitor enters your sales funnel or not. Make sure you only ask for crucial information and that you don’t create any unnecessary barriers for potential leads. This is especially important since the new EU data protection laws came into effect.
Auditing your site navigation
You need to ensure that your site’s navigation is structured to provide a smooth and logical progression through your site. This is your opportunity to look for dead links and content dead ends. In particular you should make sure that thematically linked content is organised into categories so that they are easily found by users. These so called ‘silos’ can make content easier to reach and will make it easier for search engines to index your site properly.
Look at your navigation hierarchy and make sure that high performing or key content can easily be found on your site.
Your site navigation should firstly and mainly provide an excellent user experience (UX) for your visitors, but it will also help your search engine listings and can help put your key content pages into search results pages.
Set priorities for your content audit
If you have a small website of under 100 pages, it’s possible to audit all your site content, but if you have a bigger site that may not be such a working prospect.
In that case it’s very important that you prioritise your website content spring cleaning. Make a list of the content on your site that is the most important and read through each piece of content to make sure it’s up to date and puts your brand in the best light.
Some important pages on your site include your home page and landing page, company bio, contact page, product pages, FAQs, reviews page, and blog.
What’s working (and what’s not) on your business website
Your content audit is an opportunity to take a look at what content works… and what doesn’t.
Your content needs to first and foremost provide a great user experience. It should focus in on the key pain points of your audience and provide attractive solutions. It should also cater to people at different stages of your sales funnel.
You should review all this content in the light of where your company is currently at in terms of how it’s positioned in your niche, because a lot can change over the months and years that you are operational, and often your website is slow to reflect these changes and new priorities. A content spring clean is a way to correct this.
Your business website needs SEO optimised content
There are two key elements to your business website content; user experience and SEO optimised content. Although there are different elements to each of these factors, they are in fact intricately linked together.
There are 200 hundred Google ranking factors that have been identified by SEO professionals and these factors will judge if your business website has SEO optimised content. It’s good to be familiar with these factors, but there’s something fundamental too that you should understand.
Google’s ranking factors are designed to serve the most relevant content up to its users. If it fails to do that then Google’s users will get frustrated and start to use other search engines. So Google is obsessed with providing the best content that’s perfectly matched to user searches.
So whilst making sure your content is SEO optimised you should always keep the user experience in mind.
Content auditing is also about finding the gaps
Auditing and optimising the content that you do have is one thing, but what about the content that you don’t have?
First of all, you should take stock of all the content you have on your site. Make a list of the content that you have. Rank them in order of priority.
Then take a look at your analytics for your high priority pages.
Where content has shown to be very popular it’s worth giving this content anther airing by either creating follow up content or updating your high performing posts with the latest stats and advice. Maybe you could create downloadable PDFs or ebooks with updated content, for example.
Then you should consult your customers and audience. Put out a survey asking for feedback on the kind of content your audience want to see more of. Look at content that got high engagement and think about what other related content you could produce.
A good content audit will get your business website in order
A content audit is about making your business website as streamlined, efficient at delivering content, and user friendly as possible.
It’s also about creating a solid foundation on which future site content is built. Your website evolves over that time and you want to make sure there as few imperfections in your content as possible so it provides maximum value to your users and customers.
So it’s time to stop binge watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and time to start giving your site content a good spring cleaning!