Performing a Content Audit 101

16 Apr, 2020 Content Optimization

A content migration is the prime opportunity to reorganize and restructure content from an old website, but it can be a daunting task. Before performing the actual migration, it is useful to conduct an audit of the site’s existing content. This audit allows you to see exactly what content you have, what may be missing, and what needs to be reviewed to achieve your new website goals.

Helpful Tools

When performing the audit, the following tools can be extremely useful: Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, and Microsoft Excel. These tools can help you get an overview of your current content and identify areas for improvement, making the migration an organized and efficient process.

Take Inventory and Analyze Current Content

The first step in the audit process is to examine the content you currently have. At BluShark Digital, we often use Screaming Frog to crawl old websites and create a map of the existing content. This step is key, as it allows you to map out your current site and later determine what parts of it should be kept, deleted or rewritten. It also helps you identify holes in your current content, come up with a project plan, and establish a timeline for revisions.

Migrate vs. Retire

After data has been inventoried, it is important to realize that not all of the content from the original site will be worth keeping. Thus, it is important to filter through your current pages and determine what content may be outdated or no longer necessary. Some of the content will be worth keeping but may require edits or updates before being used on the new site.

You can look at some key performance indicators to determine whether content should be migrated or retired, including: traffic, keywords, inbound links, and conversions.

Examine Landing Pages Data

Using Google Analytics, export the top landing page data to an excel document to get a more comprehensive look at the data. Here you can determine which landing pages received the most traffic. Make sure you pull these landing pages by each individual channel.

Examine Keywords and Backlinks

Using Ahrefs, pull the original website’s keywords by each URL channel. Add this data to the excel document to examine which keywords are most prominent throughout your website.

You can also use Ahrefs to pull your website’s backlinks report by each channel. Include this data in your ongoing Excel document. This gives you insight on the backlinks attached to each landing page.

Review the Data

Once all the landing pages, keywords, and backlink information have been added to your master Excel spreadsheet, you can review it and determine which content qualifies for the migration and whether it may need revisions. Following this audit, you will be better equipped to perform your content migration.

Seeking an Expert’s Help

These steps only outline the basics of content auditing. Before performing an in-depth content migration, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced professional to assist you. Without the help of an expert, you could be at risk of incorrectly restructuring your site, and this often leads to a significant drop in website traffic and rankings.