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Content SEO Audit Checklist

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Looking for a way to improve your website’s SEO? A content SEO audit is a great place to start!

This checklist will help you evaluate your website’s content and make the necessary changes to improve your search engine rankings. Let’s dig in!


What is A Content SEO Audit?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the checklist, let’s quickly review what a content SEO audit is. In short, a content SEO audit is an evaluation of your website’s content to find areas that need improvement to improve your SEO. This can include anything from keyword optimization to improving site structure and navigation.

A content SEO audit can be conducted by a professional SEO agency or consultant, or you can do it yourself! Either way, this checklist will help you cover all the bases and ensure you don’t miss any important details.

However, if you want to learn more about what is a content SEO audit and why is it important, check this page.


Step 1. Define goals and objectives

The first step in any SEO audit is to define your goals and objectives. What are you hoping to achieve with this audit? Do you want to increase organic traffic? Improve your click-through rate? Rank for specific keywords?

Get these and other answers by asking yourself a few questions:


  • Who?

Who is your target audience? You need to know who you’re trying to reach with your content to make sure you’re creating the right kind of content for them. The best way to do so is a buyer persona that will help you create value-driven content. If you don’t have a buyer persona you’re targeting with your content – now is the time to create one!


  • What?

What is the purpose of your content audit? What exactly do you need? A comprehensive website audit or just a quick health check-up of your blog posts? Once you know what you’re looking for, you can create an action plan to get there.


  • How?

How will you measure the success of your content? What metric will you use to track progress?

A few common metrics used to measure the success of content are:

  • Engagement: time on page, bounce rate, social shares
  • Traffic: organic traffic, referrals, direct traffic
  • Rankings: position in SERP for target keywords
  • Conversions: leads, sales, sign-ups.

For example, if you’re trying to increase organic traffic, you’ll want to track your progress with metrics like page views, unique visitors, and time on site. If you’re trying to improve your ranking signals for specific keywords, you’ll want to track your position in SERP.


  • Why?

Why do you need a Content SEO Audit? When trying to answer this question, keep your core principles in mind. Is user experience important to you? Do you want to improve customer retention or satisfaction? Whatever your core principles are, be sure that your content aligns with them.


Step 2. Create a content inventory

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a content audit, it’s time to create a content inventory, which should be a list of all the content you’ll review. Will you be auditing all your website’s pages, blog posts, or product descriptions? How many pages/posts are there?

If you have a small website with fewer than 50 pages/posts, you can manually create a list of all the content using an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets. However, If you have a larger website, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog to help you crawl your website and generate a list of all your pages.

Assuming you have less than 50 pages, here’s what your content inventory might look like:

    • URL: The URL of the page you’re auditing.
    • Page title: The title of the page, as it appears in the <title> tag.
    • Meta description: The meta description of the page, as it appears in the <meta> tag.
    • Keywords: The keywords you’re targeting for the page, as well as any other relevant keywords.
    • Content type (e.g., blog post, product page, category page, etc.)
    • Notes


Those are columns you want to create in order to get an overview of what kind of content you have, where it’s located on your website, and what can you do to improve it.

Depending on your goals, you can include other information as well such as:

  • Author: Who wrote the piece of content?
  • Word count: Word count: How many words are on the page?
  • Date published: When the content was published?
  • Last updated: When was the content last updated?
  • H1: The main headline of the page.
  • Or anything else you think might be helpful to your Content SEO strategy.


Once you have it all set, you can fill in the data. But before that, let’s see what tools might come in handy during the auditing process.



Step 3. Choose your Content Audit Tools

As mentioned, there are a few different ways you can go about conducting your content audit. The method you choose will likely depend on the size of your website and the amount of content you need to review.

If you have a small website, you can do a manual content audit. This means going through each page of your website and filling out the information in your content inventory spreadsheet. While this is time-consuming, it does have the benefit of allowing you to really get to know your content.

If you have a larger website, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog to help you crawl your website and generate a list of all your pages. You can then export this data into an Excel spreadsheet and fill in the information from there. This is a much faster way to do a content audit, but it’s important to remember that you won’t get the same level of detail as you would with a manual content audit.


However, we suggest:

  • Screaming Frog – for word count and segmentation: This tool allows you to customize your data pulls so you can get exactly the information you need. Screaming Frog will crawl important assets such as word count and headings, but also metadata, and even SEO audit data like internal linking, average time on page, etc.
  • Google Analytics – for traffic and conversions: Google Analytics is a free SEO tool that shows you how people are finding and interacting with your website. It can show you things like what pages are getting the most traffic, where your visitors are coming from, and what pages have the highest conversion rate.
  • Google Search Console – for impressions: See how often your website appears in Google search results, and which search queries are driving traffic to your site.
  • Ahrefs and SEMrush – for backlinks and rankings: These tools can show you who’s linking to your website, and how your website is performing in search results.


These are just a few of the many tools that are available to help you with your content audit. You can consider other ones as well such as:

  • Site Checker Pro: Site Checker Pro allows you to audit your website’s SEO, and includes a content audit feature that will help you identify issues with your content, such as thin or duplicate content, and provides recommendations on how to fix them.
  • Lumar: Lumar is similar to Screaming Frog but with a few other features. In addition to being able to crawl your website and generate a list of all your pages, DeepCrawl can also help you find technical SEO issues, duplicate content, and low-quality pages.
  • Surfer SEO: This is another excellent keyword research tool. You can use it to find the best keywords to target for your content, as well as get an idea of how difficult it will be to rank for those keywords.


There is also ContentWRX Audit. Content Square, Morningscore, Page Optimizer Pro, WooRank, Search Analytics for Sheets, and many other tools you can use all along the way. We advise you to get deeper into the research and find the ones that might suit your needs the most.

Once you’ve chosen your tools and method, it’s time to start filling in the spreadsheet!



Step 4. Fill in Your Content Audit Spreadsheet

Based on the content inventory spreadsheet you already have, you should fill out the following information for each page you want to track or improve:

  • URL
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Keywords
  • Content type
  • Notes


The meta description of the page appears in the HTML code, and if it’s not present, you can leave this field blank. The same goes for keywords associated with the specific page as they appear in the HTML code. If keywords are not present, you should leave this field blank.

And don’t forget to add the notes section! This is where all the additional observations about the page should go. For example, you might note things like:

  • This page has a lot of duplicate content.
  • This page is missing a meta description.
  • The title of this page could be improved, etc.


There are some other details you don’t want to miss while you’re conducting your content audit:

  • Organic Search Impressions: The number of times your website appears in Google search results. You can find this information in Google Search Console.
  • Traffic from Organic Search: The number of visitors who come to your website from Google search results. You can find this information in Google Analytics.
  • Conversions: The number of visitors who take the desired action on your website, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. You can find this information in Google Analytics.
  • Rankings: The position of your website in Google search results for specific keywords. You can find this information in Ahrefs or SEMrush. 
  • Engagement metrics: The number of comments, likes, and shares your content receives on social media. You can find this information in BuzzSumo or Social Crawlytics.


At this point, you should have all the information you need to analyze your website’s content. Let’s see how you can do that.



Step 5. Analyzing Your Content Audit Data

Once there’s detailed data in your content audit spreadsheet, it’s time to start looking for patterns and identifying areas for improvement.

Some things you might want to look for include:

  • Keyword density: How often are your target keywords appearing on each page? Are you using it enough?
  • User experience: How easy is it for users to find the information they’re looking for on your site? Are your pages well-organized and easy to navigate? Is a call-to-action present on each page?
  • Duplicate content: Are there any pages on your site with duplicate content? If so, you’ll want to either remove the duplicate content or 301 redirect the page to the original piece of content.
  • Conversions: What pages on your site have the highest conversion rate? What can you do to replicate that success on other pages?
  • Content quality: Is your content well-written and informative? Does it provide value to your readers?
  • Rankings: What pages on your site are ranking in Google? Are you showing up for your target keywords?
  • Backlinks: How many backlinks does each page have? Are they high-quality links from reputable websites?


After you have identified areas for improvement, you can start to make changes. This might involve adding new content, improving existing content, or removing low-quality content.



Step 6. Make a plan for improvement

Do you know what needs to be improved on your website but don’t know where to start? Creating a plan can help.


Your plan should involve:

  • Prioritizing which changes need to be made first
  • Assigning tasks to team members
  • Setting deadlines for each task
  • Tracking your progress over time


Some common steps you might take can be categorized as:

  • Delete: This is content that needs to be removed from your website. This might include duplicate content, thin content, or low-quality content. Feel free to remove it, especially if it’s not ranking or driving traffic to your site.
  • Redirect/Merge: This is when you have two similar pieces of content and want to redirect one to the other. For example, if you have two blog posts with very similar content, you might want to merge them into one post and redirect the other. Plus, you can do that with pages that drive traffic but not conversions. By merging them with other pages, you can improve your conversion rate.
  • Leave as it is: If a content piece is ranking well and driving traffic to your site, you might want to leave it as is. Of course, you can still make changes if you want but there’s no need to fix something that isn’t broken or to focus on it.
  • Rewrite/Optimize: This category is for pieces of content that are already on your website but need to be improved. This might involve adding new information, improving the quality of the copy, adding keywords for better content optimization, or adjusting the title and meta description.


However, there are some other steps you can include in your audit, depending on your specific business goals and potential issues with the content:

  • Fact check
  • Add/Update images
  • Add image captions
  • Add/Update backlinks
  • Update statistics
  • Update URL slug
  • Add schema markup
  • Add table of contents
  • Add sections to the piece
  • Add internal links
  • Change CTAs (calls to action )
  • Remove from the XML sitemap
  • Add/Update product information
  • Add page title and meta description
  • Add FAQs
  • And more!


At this point, your content SEO audit might be complete but we advise you to take a few extra steps.



Step 7. Find Your Biggest Opportunities

By finding your biggest opportunities, you’ll simplify the process of prioritizing certain changes over others.

  • Long-Distance Opportunities:

These are actually keywords that your page/blog ranks for, meaning – it’s on the 2nd or 3rd page of SERPS. Since that content already has a decent ranking, it shouldn’t be difficult to move it up to the first page with a few minor changes or additions.

  • Topic Cluster Opportunities:

If you’re not familiar with topic clusters, they’re a group of blog articles or pages on a similar topic that all link to each other. Creating a topic cluster can help improve your SEO because Google sees the relationship between the content and views it as a valuable resource. So, if you have a few blog posts on the same topic, consider turning them into a topic cluster.

  • Opportunities to update:

This is for outdated pieces of content that are no longer relevant. You can improve the SEO of these types of content by adding new information, updating statistics, or changing the title and meta description to reflect the new information.

  • New Content Opportunities:

Finally, new content opportunities are another thing to be on the lookout for. You’ll find them based on keyword research and high-ranking keywords that you don’t currently have content for. To streamline the process, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is Every Question Related To Buying Answered?
  • Is There Content For Every Stage Of The Journey?
  • Are there any content gaps in your competitor’s content?


Once you’ve gone through your content and found the biggest opportunities, it’s time to identify weak content as well.



Step 8. Identify Weak Content

Weak content is any content on your site that’s not ranking well, not driving traffic, or not converting. It’s important to get rid of weak content because it can actually hurt your SEO. Google may view it as low-quality and penalize your site as a result. Not to mention, weak content takes up valuable space on your website that could be used for better, more relevant content.

In order to find it, check a few things:

  • Traffic for the specific page(s)
  • External backlinks
  • Conversions


If the content isn’t ranking, doesn’t have many external links, has a high bounce rate, or isn’t generating conversions, it’s probably weak content. Once you’ve identified it, you can either delete it or redirect it.

If you decide to delete it, make sure to set up a 404 redirect so that people who land on the page are redirected to another piece of content on your site. This will help improve your user experience and prevent people from leaving your site altogether.



Step 9. Look for Common Issues

The last step is to do a general sweep of your site for common content issues. These are things that can easily be fixed but can have a big impact on your content’s SEO.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Content that’s missing an SEO title, meta description or H1
  • Content that’s not keyword-optimized
  • Content that’s too short or too long
  • Content that needs to be deleted
  • Content with broken links
  • Content with broken outbound links
  • Content with unoptimized images
  • Plagiarized content
  • Poor readability content
  • Content with grammar/spelling errors
  • Poor UX content.


This step is important because it can help you identify any easy wins that you may have missed. But, don’t get too bogged down in the details. Not every piece of content on your site needs to be perfect. Just aim for 80/20 – make sure that 80% of your content is high-quality and the other 20% is good enough. And keep prioritization in mind!



Step 10. Implement Your Content Audit Results

Now you have your audit findings all in one place! The next step is to start implementing the changes. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Make a timeline with deadlines and start working your way through the list.

As you make changes, track your progress so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you adjust your content strategy and make better decisions going forward.

Finally, don’t forget to keep your audience in mind. Content is meant to serve them, so make sure that everything you produce is high-quality, relevant, and engaging.



The 59-Point Content SEO Checklist

We’ve put together a checklist of the most important SEO factors to consider when auditing your content. Use this as a guide to make sure you’re covering all your bases!

However, if you’re short on time, or you decide that you need professional help, our team is here for you. Reach out to us, give us a call, or drop a comment and we’ll be more than happy to lend a hand.


Click here to download The 59-Point Content SEO Checklist



How do I know if my content is properly auditable?

Luckily, there are plenty of website analytics tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush’s Content Audit tool that can quickly inventory your content based on your sitemap data. Once you have a full list of your pages, you can start to assess whether each one is fulfilling its SEO potential.


What are the title tags?

Title tags are the HTML elements that give each page a title. The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors, as it tells both users and search engines what your page is about.

Ideally, every page on your website should have a unique title tag that accurately reflects its contents, and they should be between 50-60 characters long, and certainly no longer than 70 characters, otherwise, they may not display in full in SERPs.

To check your title tags, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog or simply view the source code of your web pages. If you’re using WordPress, you can also install a plugin like Yoast SEO which will help you to optimize your title tags.


What are long-tail keywords?

A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that is more specific and usually longer than more common keywords. They generally contain three or more words and they are often less competitive and can therefore be easier to rank for, and they can also help you to attract more targeted traffic.


What is keyword analysis?

A keyword analysis is a process of determining which keywords to target in your SEO campaign. It involves researching the keywords that people are using to search for your products or services and then selecting the most relevant and valuable keywords to target.

To do keyword analysis, you can use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.


What are the types of Zombie Pages?

There are three types of Zombie Pages:

  1. Content Zombies: These are pages that once had relevant, high-quality content, but the content has since become outdated or no longer relevant.
  2. Redirect Zombies: These are pages that have been redirected to another page, but the redirect is no longer valid.
  3. Orphan Zombies: These are pages that are not linked to any other page on your website.

To find Zombie Pages, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog or Google Analytics.


What are canonical tags?

A canonical tag is an HTML element that tells search engines which version of a page to index. It is used to prevent duplicate content issues, and it can be either a self-referencing canonical tag or an absolute canonical tag.

To check your canonical tags, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog or simply view the source code of your web pages. If you’re using WordPress, you can also install a plugin like Yoast SEO which will help you to optimize your canonical tags.


What is the purpose of auditing title tags?

The main purpose of auditing your title tags is to ensure that they inform the audience (and search engines) what they can expect to find on your web page. A title tag that accurately reflects the contents of a web page is more likely to result in a higher click-through rate from SERPs, and it can also help to improve your SEO ranking.


What are the KPIs?

The KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for a Content SEO Audit are:

  • The number of pages that have a title tag
  • The number of pages that have a meta description
  • The number of pages that have a canonical tag
  • The number of pages that have been redirected
  • The number of pages that are orphaned
  • The number of pages that are content zombies
  • The number of long-tail keywords you are targeting
  • The number of pages that are ranking in SERPs
  • The click-through rate from SERPs.


Why do I need a content audit?

A content audit is an important part of any SEO strategy, as it can help you to identify and fix issues with your website’s content. Content audits can also help to improve your SEO ranking, as they can ensure that your website’s content is high-quality and relevant.


What are the benefits of SEO audits?

Some benefits of conducting a Content SEO Audit are:

  • Improved SEO ranking
  • More targeted traffic
  • Increased click-through rate from SERPs
  • Better website usability
  • Reduced duplicate content issues.

Check this link to learn more about the benefits of a content SEO audit.


What are the challenges?

Conducting a content SEO audit is an extensive, time-intensive process. Plus, it’s not always easy to start out with a clear, defined purpose to do it successfully. However, if you feel stuck, consider outsourcing the task to an expert SEO content auditor.


What are the different types of SEO audits?

There are many different types of SEO audits, but some of the most common are:

  •  Local SEO audits
  • Technical SEO audits
  • Content SEO audits
  • On-page audits 
  • Off-page audits and more!


How often should I do a content audit?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the needs of your website. However, most experts recommend conducting a content audit at least once per year, or more frequently if you are constantly making changes to your website’s content.

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