The best way to Do a Content Audit in 2022

  • January 4, 2023
  • elkenz
  • 10 min read

Most of us are so centered on publishing new content material that we neglect the content material we have already got.

This can be a mistake as a result of not all the pieces you publish might be a house run. Typically, it’ll fail to rank on Google, or convert, or contribute to what you are promoting targets in any significant method.

When this occurs, you shouldn’t simply depart the web page to die a sluggish, painful dying. It is best to revisit it, determine what went mistaken, and take motion to enhance its efficiency.

Nevertheless, earlier than you are able to do that, you could discover your underperforming pages—which is the place a content material audit comes in.

On this information, you’ll study the next:

A content material audit is the place you analyze the efficiency of your content material to seek out alternatives for enchancment. Many content material audits give attention to Search engine marketing efficiency, however a full audit additionally takes into consideration the content material’s enterprise efficiency and utility.

Why is a content material audit vital?

A content material audit is vital for understanding what you could do to enhance your website’s efficiency. It lets you establish pages that aren’t performing effectively, why they aren’t, and the right way to repair that.

The best way to do an Search engine marketing content material audit

For those who’re purely seeking to enhance your website’s natural search efficiency, observe this easy Search engine marketing content material audit course of:

Flowchart of how to do an SEO content audit


Listed below are two issues to bear in mind when following this course of:

  1. It is best to solely use it for pages meant to rank in natural search – In different phrases, don’t use this for “About” pages and the like. It doesn’t matter whether or not these pages rank on Google as a result of that’s not their function.
  2. It is best to take the suggestions with a pinch of salt – Don’t blindly observe the suggestions with out manually double-checking that they make sense. Issues aren’t all the time so black and white, and it’s possible you’ll have to test a few different issues manually earlier than confidently executing the motion. I’ll talk about a couple of widespread “it relies upon” eventualities under.

This course of relies carefully on the way in which our free Search engine marketing WordPress plugin works, which just about automates all the content material audit course of and kicks again suggestions.

List of post-audit recommendations

Instance of post-audit suggestions in our free Search engine marketing WordPress plugin.

For that motive, in case your website runs on WordPress and also you don’t wish to know each final element of how the method works, it’s in all probability faster to make use of the plugin. (We’ve got assets that will help you discover ways to set up and use it.) 

However if you happen to’re doing this manually, maintain studying as we undergo the right way to reply the questions within the content material audit course of and what actions to soak up every situation.

Let’s begin on the prime.

1. Is the web page greater than 6 months outdated?

If the reply to this query is not any, then the web page shouldn’t be audited. It is because it takes time to rank on Google, so it’s not an awesome thought to make adjustments to lately revealed content material till it has had time to rank.

For instance, we received’t trouble auditing this weblog publish right this moment. It is because it was solely revealed in January:

Excerpt of title and date of our blog post on HTTP status codes

That mentioned, the six-month interval isn’t set in stone. For those who suppose three months is sufficient time for a web page to rank or just choose to depart pages for 12 months earlier than auditing them, be at liberty to regulate this quantity.

2. Does it rank within the prime three?

If the web page is greater than 6 months outdated, the subsequent query is whether or not it at the moment ranks within the prime three for its main goal key phrase. Yow will discover this info in Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer (get entry without cost with an Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account).

Right here’s how:

  1. Paste your webpage URL into Web site Explorer
  2. Go to the Natural keywords report
  3. Test your main goal’s rating place

For instance, if we do that for our Search engine marketing guidelines, you’ll be able to see that it ranks in place #3:

Excerpt of Organic keywords report results

In case your web page ranks within the prime three and also you’re pleased with that place, there’s no have to take any motion. Nevertheless, if you wish to pursue the highest spot, you’ll wish to examine the SERP additional to see whether or not that’s even more likely to be attainable. And in that case, what you’ll have to do to get there.

Learn to do this in our information to rating increased on Google.

3. Does it rank within the prime 20?

In case your web page doesn’t at the moment rank within the prime three, use the Natural keywords report back to see if it’s not less than within the prime 20.

Whether it is, test to see whether or not the web page is focusing on a novel key phrase.

The best method is to run a website: seek for your web site and goal key phrase, then eyeball the outcomes for different pages seemingly focusing on the identical key phrase.

For instance, if we run a website: seek for + key phrase cannibalization, Moz seems to have a number of pages focusing on this key phrase:

Google SERP for + keyword cannibalization

On this case, it in all probability makes essentially the most sense to merge these posts into one—then use 301 redirects to consolidate the hyperlink fairness.

Nevertheless, if the web page is focusing on a novel key phrase, the perfect plan of action might be to replace it. In spite of everything, the web page is rating within the prime 20, so it’s exhibiting some indicators of life. You might be able to crack the highest 10 by including updates to make sure that:

  1. It’s match for search intent.
  2. Its primary on-page Search engine marketing is on level (title tag, H1, and so on.).
  3. It covers the subject absolutely.


Low rankings aren’t all the time a content material drawback. Chances are you’ll merely not have sufficient backlinks to compete within the SERP. You may get a tough sense of how your hyperlink profile stacks up towards the competitors by plugging your key phrase into Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer and checking the Domains column for the competitors.

SERP overview for "content audit"

You’ll be able to then see how these numbers examine to your web page by plugging it into Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer.

Site Explorer overview for blog post on content audit

In our case, it doesn’t appear to be we’re missing backlinks, because the variety of referring domains pointing to our web page is roughly on par with our rivals’.

For those who’re an Ahrefs person, you need to use Web site Explorer to seek out vital subtopics you could have missed. Simply plug your web page in it, go to the Content Hole report, paste within the URLs of some top-ranking posts to your key phrase, then hit “Present keywords.” You’ll see all of the keywords these pages rank for that your web page doesn’t.

For instance, if we do that for our visitor running a blog information, you’ll see that a number of the top-ranking pages are rating for “what’s visitor running a blog”:

Content gap report results

We don’t rank for this key phrase as a result of we didn’t embrace a definition on our web page, so we’ll in all probability wish to add this in the course of the replace to make our web page extra complete.

4. Is rating for this key phrase vital to you?

In case your web page isn’t rating within the prime 20 for its goal key phrase, it’s in all probability going to take numerous effort and time to crack the primary web page. In spite of everything, it’s often more durable to spice up a web page by 20+ positions than it’s by only one or two.

For that motive, you could resolve whether or not the hassle is admittedly definitely worth the reward—and which means asking your self how vital rating for this key phrase is for what you are promoting.

If the key phrase just isn’t significantly vital…

Plug the web page into Google Search Console to see if it’s attracting any natural visitors.

Excerpt of Top pages report results

Whether it is attracting natural visitors and also you wish to maintain it, depart the web page as is and exclude it from future content material audits.

If it isn’t attracting natural visitors, observe this course of:

Flowchart showing process for pages not attracting organic traffic

Word that if you happen to’re redirecting the web page, it’s best to redirect it to an analogous web page (e.g., /link-building-tactics/ → /link-building/).


It’s additionally greatest follow to replace inner hyperlinks after you delete a web page. Right here’s the right way to discover these hyperlinks utilizing Ahrefs’ Web site Audit (you need to use this without cost with an Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments account):

  1. Crawl your website
  2. Go to the Hyperlink Explorer instrument
  3. Enter the URL of the web page you simply deleted within the search field
  4. Set the dropdown to “Goal URL”

You’ll then see the places of all inner hyperlinks to that web page:

Link explorer report results

If the key phrase is vital…

You want to determine why the web page just isn’t rating and take motion. Usually, this can come all the way down to grossly mismatched search intent—not less than partly. If that’s the case, you’ll in all probability have to return to the drafting board and rewrite the content material from scratch.

Nevertheless, there might be different causes the web page isn’t rating, corresponding to a scarcity of backlinks, a SERP dominated by well-known rivals, or one thing else completely. For that motive, if you happen to’re unsure why it isn’t rating, try our step-by-step information to rating increased on Google.

The best way to do a full content material audit

For those who’re in search of a extra strong, Search engine marketing-first content material audit that additionally takes issues like conversions into consideration, Patrick Stox has you coated:

Flowchart showing process for doing a full content audit

You’ll be able to see this can be a extra intensive course of that’s just about not possible to totally automate, so it’s actually extra of a workflow for hardcore entrepreneurs.

Listed below are a couple of instruments and assets to assist with answering the questions:

Closing ideas

Content audits must be performed commonly. They reveal the right way to enhance your web site’s efficiency (Search engine marketing and in any other case) and enable you to obtain what you are promoting aims.

Simply do not forget that though automation might help with the content material audit course of, widespread sense and guide checks are nonetheless vital. By no means delete or redirect content material until you’re assured that it’s the perfect plan of action. And if you happen to’re uncertain, rent an Search engine marketing or advertising and marketing skilled to do the content material audit for you.

Bought questions? Ping me on Twitter.