To hell with numbers

To hell with numbers

There once was a time in content creation history when some businesses could perhaps get away with “keyword stuffing” and the duplication of content. For these businesses, perhaps money was tight, there was no comprehension of the value behind great content, or the owner wore several hats in their daily operations.

Fortunately, for the sanity of online readers and enhancing the legitimacy of web content, those days are over. While businesses may face increased costs due to search engines’ heightened standards for web content, online readers now receive the quality articles, blog posts and information they deserve. Businesses face ever-increasing scrutiny from search engines, government entities and aggressive copyright attorneys in regards to the online content they deliver.

Enhancing SEO rankings through engaging, valuable, high quality content is critical to the success of your business. Readers will be attracted to your website if they can derive content that helps them save a buck, learn a recipe or otherwise make their life easier. Without attractive content, your website stands to miss out on a consistent stream of qualified visitors, potential advertising commissions, subscription fees, networking opportunities and ultimately, sales.

To make sure your business is up to speed in using the most innovative content creation processes, performing periodic audits is key. Performing audits periodically helps you spot deficiencies in your current SEO and content creation process. Content audits give your business the opportunity to receive an objective, outside viewpoint on whether your site is delivering informative content, targeting niche audiences and exploiting search engine rankings. How beautiful is that?

If your business has never performed a content audit or is unsure of what the process entails, this article is intended to provide an overview. By investing in a strong SEO content audits, your business may decrease its likelihood of receiving a Google penalty or copyright violation. Most importantly, a great audit can give you a roadmap of how to move forward.

Performing an SEO and Content Audits

Your company’s content audit will vary, depending on the SEO professional you hire or audit level that you choose. During a basic content audit, the auditor will review your company’s website, the structure, user interface, engagement, all real estate (online assets) and any related blogs, videos, or curated content. A more in-depth content audit may also entail a review of your social media activity, interviews with your writers, SEO analysis and analysis of your visitors’ locations.

Auditors may take a week or as long as a month (depending on the site’s size and pages indexed) to complete an evaluation for your company. At the end of the audit period, the auditor will provide your business with written documentation of their findings. Some SEO companies will include specific recommendations for changes to implement, based on their findings, to include updated SEO guidelines.

Using Diagnostic Tools and Search Engines

Get The Right Tools

Get The Right Tools

Major search engines like Google have free diagnostic tools that are available for webmasters to use. There are also more robust diagnostic tools that provide insights of your local visitors, search terms associated with your business and the ranking of your website. Professional SEO auditors are well-versed in the variety of diagnostic tools that are available for your business to use at little to no cost.

Some Factors Considered During a Content Audit

During the content audit, the auditor will focus on factors like:

  • The accessibility of your content
  • The architecture of the websites on which your content is stored
  • Indexability of your web pages
  • Outstanding (or potential) search engine penalties
  • URLs used for web pages
  • Duplication of content
  • Use of SEO keywords in a natural and relevant manner
  • Any instances of spam content (toxic links)
  • Use of meta descriptions
  • Relevant markup of audio and visual media
  • Use of HTML coding
  • Your website’s status as an information hub

Improving your content Creation Process

Ultimately the purpose of an audit is to assist your company in identifying ways in which content can be improved. If you do not have an in-house writer or third-party company to generate your SEO content, your content may be suffering. The auditor may determine that your business needs to dedicate more resources in order to produce content that is worthy of high search engine rankings.

Issue-Spotting and Corrective Actions

The main function of an audit is to spot issues that may hamper the success of your company’s SEO strategy. The audit provides a platform for the continued success of your company in expanding its outreach to visitors and improving its SEO strategy. An experienced auditor may have a checklist of items that they use to spot issues in regards to SEO and the quality of your company’s content. Below are some great questions we’ve added to our recommendations when delivering an audit:

Click Depth

  • How many clicks is the majority of the important content from the home page?
  • What’s the maximum depth of content in clicks from the home page?

Content Structure

  • How many categories are there?
  • How many sub-categories are there?
  • How many product or detail pages are there? Compare to number of indexed pages found earlier and review what percentage of products are indexed.
  • If the site customizes content for mobile devices, or redirects users to an m.domain.com site, verify the redirects are working correctly. Desktop Site subpages should NOT redirect to the m.domain.com site’s home page. Desktop sites should not redirect to 404 error pages on m.domain.com sites either.
  • Does the site redirect Tablet users to a mobile site? That might not be the best solution if the desktop site works well for tablets.

Mobile Redirects

  • If the site customizes content for mobile devices, or redirects users to an m.domain.com site, verify the redirects are working correctly. Desktop Site subpages should NOT redirect to the m.domain.com site’s home page. Desktop sites should not redirect to 404 error pages on m.domain.com sites either.
  • Does the site redirect Tablet users to a mobile site? That might not be the best solution if the desktop site works well for tablets.

Setting Measurable Metrics

When the SEO auditor is worth their salt, they can help your business learn to track its progress in achieving SEO goals. They may help your business learn how to perform internal audits of its content on a weekly, monthly or semi-annual basis. For example, one of your metrics may be to perform a bi-monthly analysis of all of your web pages in order to avoid keyword cannibalism. Keyword cannibalism occurs when multiple web pages feature the same keyword. This can also result in duplicate content being featured on web pages and can lead to search engine penalties.

The International Globe and Understanding Cultural Preferences

Many businesses now face the added challenge of appealing to an international audience. Those businesses that sell products throughout the world may find it useful to work with an international forensic SEO auditor who understands cultural preferences. Popular keywords that are commonly searched in the U.S. may vary greatly from those keywords searched in Thailand or South Africa, even in the same language.

Rodmap to success

Grow Your Traffic

Conclusion and question to ask: Is The Cost of Your Audit Worth the Expense?

Ultimately, the cost of a content audit is an investment in the future of your business. Your business cannot afford to receive a search engine penalty. Performing regular audits ensures that your business stays ahead of the game and is compliant with search engine guidelines.

At Level343, we love doing SEO audits. By performing a comprehensive audit on your site, we can help you garner more authority and engagement, by providing you with a step by step roadmap to success. Contact us for an obligation free proposal and let us help you achieve your goals.