It’s a cliche to say “content is king” at this point, but the fact remains that content marketing will be part of a business’s digital success for the foreseeable future.
The problem is, “content is king” is a cliche because everyone knows it. About 97 percent of B2B marketers have, or plan to have, a content marketing strategy to reach audiences.
In an expanding sea of content, it’s going to get harder to have your voice heard. These days, content creation isn’t enough. Content isn’t king — GREAT content is king.
How do you get great content? Start with a website content analysis.
A website content analysis helps you optimize your content to reach your goals. In this guide, we’ll explain how a content analysis works, and what you can do to get your content from “good” to “great” in the eyes of your audience and search engines.
What Is Website Content Analysis?
Marketers understand that relevance and quality are the keys to success. The time to write a blog is an excellent indicator of the change in focus. Each year, blogs take longer to write, as creators try to win rankings with more value.
When you already have a blog, writing great content is crucial. But making sure your current content is still working is even more essential.
If you’re investing in evergreen content like blogs, you need to make sure that it continues to produce results. A website content analysis is a deep dive into your content catalog to see each piece is performing. It looks at your blog posts, videos, images, and gated content to find opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses to address.
A website content analysis is not a one-time chore. To be effective, you should perform an analysis at least once every six months and before any data migration.
Why Is Website Content Analysis Important?
The effects of content marketing on your business are sometimes hard to measure. If you write a blog post, what is it doing to drive sales? You spend your time and money producing it, so you need to make sure that it’s helping you meet your business goals.
With a website content analysis, you draw in several qualitative and quantitative measures of success. The following are some of the vital questions that analysis can answer for a piece of content.
Is It Visible?
One of the most critical components of writing content is doing it so that people can find it. The most pressing concern is getting to the top of search engine rankings.
Your website content analysis will tell you how your content pages are ranking. It offers an overview of your strong posts that have potential and your weak pieces that are hurting the cause.
Some beneficial points your content audit will cover from an SEO standpoint include:
- Keyword strength
- Optimized headers and meta descriptions
- Inbound and outbound link quality
There are technical aspects that can affect rankings, such as site speed or mobile-friendliness, but those relate more to UX and its relationship to SEO. In content analysis, you look more at what users see rather than how they see it. Still, during your analysis, it’s incredibly useful to include site speed and mobile-friendly metrics to make sure you aren’t drawing inaccurate conclusions about performance.
Is It Relevant?
Coming up with topics off the top of your head can be easy, but there’s no telling whether it’s relevant to your audience. And if it was relevant at one time, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s relevant now.
If you have outdated and redundant material, you won’t get help in search rankings, and any users that find it will likely move on to more up-to-date information. A website content analysis will show you which pages are losing traction and what kind of changes you can make.
Relevance doesn’t stop at what the user finds relevant. You can also gain insight into whether your content is relevant to your brand. A cohesive experience adds authority and predictability to your brand, helping you reach the right customers and improve your page performance.
Is It Engaging?
Optimized content is ideal, but it’s not the beginning and end of your content strategy. Content should be three things — accessible, action-oriented, and engaging. That last part is the gap between brand awareness and conversion.
You have to find what content is getting the most attention and keeping users engaged. An analysis will show you which pages are getting the actions you want, whether it’s a click-through on a CTA or a social media share. You’ll see where users are staying locked into pages and which ones are bouncing them immediately.
Through all of this, you’ll find connections between data points that tell the story of your website. Dwell time by itself, for example, may not tell you much, but when compared to other posts and pages, you might see that a particular topic is more intriguing than another.
All of these questions help you update your past content and guide your future posts. Creating great content will become much easier when you have historical precedents that inform your decisions.
How to Perform a Website Content Analysis
Before you begin your website content analysis, you need to define your goals. Not all analyses are part of a strict bi-annual schedule, and they aren’t all geared toward updating every page.
You may want to do housekeeping on aged posts to clean up your inventory, getting rid of outdated content that no longer has any appeal. Or you could be creating a newsletter and need engaging content for future releases. In general, your goals should be oriented around improving visibility, engagement, and conversion.
Keep a Content Inventory
If you haven’t done a content analysis before, you need to create a content inventory. A content inventory is a spreadsheet that breaks down vital components of your web pages in a sortable format. You can create inventories for different types of content like blogs, videos, and landing pages, or you can include several in one.
A smaller website is easy to compile into a spreadsheet by hand. For a shorter route, you can use online content inventory tools that crawl your website and automatically pull each URL into a spreadsheet. Depending on your goals, you can find a content inventory tool to create the relevant fields in your spreadsheet.
When creating your content inventory, you may want to look at any number of variables related to each URL, including:
- Meta descriptions
- Images and alt text
- Word count
- External and internal links
- Page rank
- Bounce rate
- Dwell time
- Social media shares
- Click-through rate
- Publication date
Once you have your data pulled together, you can analyze it. The main objectives are improving SEO efforts and impacting page performance once users get there.
Looking at different SEO characteristics will help you tidy up your past blog posts. Some examples of SEO problems that can be a quick fix include:
- Broken links
- Missing meta descriptions
- Images missing alt tags
You can also use a keyword density checker to make sure you’re not overusing or underusing your target keywords. A tool like Yoast or Keyword Density Checker from Small SEO Tools, for example, will show you your keyword usage relative to your total number of words and make suggestions to fix it. You can update this in your spreadsheet and grade URLs on their title, meta descriptions, and body content for keyword opportunities.
Finding High-Potential Posts
The technical side of keywords is straightforward enough, but you also have to identify which pages are getting the rankings for those keywords. It’s not a matter of searching through Google for your page for each keyword but rather using the right tools to get insight.
There are countless resources for checking page rankings including SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs. For a full-scale audit, you’ll likely have to pay for them, so it’s important to determine the breadth of your analysis before investing in any particular tool.
If you find some posts are ranking for your targeted keyword and others are not, you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
It’s okay if a post isn’t on the first page of Google. If it’s ranking for the right keywords, you may be able to make adjustments to your keyword usage or link structure to get you over the hump. By contrast, those pages that aren’t ranking at all will require a decision as to whether to revamp them or drop them altogether.
Find Keywords to Pursue
Ranking for keywords is excellent, but you also need to make sure your ranking for the correct keywords. User habits change over time, and your audit may reveal that once-popular keywords aren’t being used as much.
If you notice that your rankings are great but traffic is down across pages with the same keyword, you may have to go back to the drawing board. With a fresh keyword analysis, you can get updated on which keywords have the right blend of demand and competition. That not only helps you update past posts that have potential but also gives you ideas for future posts.
Updating your keywords, descriptions, headers, and links are all useful in maintaining and bumping your rankings in Google. They also create a better user experience, which will directly relate to your page performance.
SEO is crucial, but it isn’t the only factor in your page’s performance. You need to get users to your site. But if you aren’t keeping them there or getting them to move to the next step, you aren’t doing anything for your business.
With a performance analysis, you can find connections between engagement and several page characteristics, such as:
- Topics being covered
- Post format
- Image and video usage
- Page length
The best way to find those connections is to score them in your content inventory. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are your free resources in that effort and the best starting points to check your webpage traffic and performance metrics.
Starting with Google Analytics
With Google Analytics, you can find where your traffic is coming from and how your audience is receiving each page. You’ll have to draw conclusions from comparing several different metrics.
For example, you may find that one post is getting a ton of traffic from one of your target keywords, but the bounce rate is high and the average time on page is low. That means your SEO is likely on point, but you’re not creating the best experience when the user gets there.
Looking at one post may not lend much insight into where the problem lies. But when you compare performance in your inventory, you may see that blog posts of a particular format, length, or attached images and video keep users engaged. If you notice some topics are getting the most engagement, it’s clear where you should focus your posts.
Conversion can mean several things. At its most basic, it means getting users to perform the desired action. That may be filling out lead information, sharing posts on social media, or buying a product.
Engagement gets your customer through a post and improves your authority and brand image, but it’s not always the end goal of a content strategy. If you create high-value, engaging content but your CTA isn’t getting results, there’s a disconnect that needs a remedy.
Great Content, Poor Conversion
There are a few reasons that posts may get quality traffic and favorable responses but have poor conversion. One reason may be that the CTA is generally weak. You’ll have to formulate a punchier pitch to get users to take the next steps.
Another reason is that there’s a disconnect between the content of the post and the CTA. It reflects the user intent when they do a search, which should be a central consideration when doing a blog content analysis and creating new posts.
When somebody enters one of your target keywords, it could be for any number of reasons. The term “privacy fence material” may mean they want to buy a privacy fence, find general information on different materials, or learn how to maintain it. If the CTA meets the user where they are in the buyer journey, you’re more likely to get them to take those next steps.
Updating Old Posts
When you’ve created your content inventory and graded your content on its SEO, engagement, and conversion, you can start making decisions. Which content are you going to keep as-is, which content are you going to update, and what are you going to get rid of forever?
Posts to Keep
The items you keep are the ones that are already performing well. They have solid rankings for your target keywords, keep users engaged, and have the shares or click-through you want. By analyzing your best blog content, you have a guide for posts going forward.
Posts to Update
Your “update” items are those that have potential. Maybe they’re engaging but have a low ranking and search traffic. You might notice issues with the title, links, meta description, or keyword usage that can be buttoned up to get better rankings.
Some of the actions you may want to take to update your posts for SEO and engagement purpose include:
- Building onto posts for higher word count
- Improving usability with images and video
- Optimize headers, URLs, meta descriptions, titles, and blog content
- Improving readability by adding more subheadings and shortening paragraphs
- Rewriting headlines and meta descriptions
- Adding social sharing functions
It could also be time to update old blog posts that have outdated statistics or references, making them irrelevant. You might see that a popular post has faded in popularity over time despite having a keyword that’s still valuable. Some updates to your information and fixing links to more relevant articles will get you back on track.
Posts to Delete
A deep content catalog is ideal for improving your presence, and it’s a natural side effect of frequent posting, which should be a priority in any content strategy.
Unfortunately, not all content has staying power. You make your website content analysis more difficult every time by not cutting dead weight. The following are some examples of content that can be removed:
- Reviews of discontinued products
- Content specific to an event
- Posts that have been replaced
- Content that no longer matches the brand
Getting rid of these URLs will make your brand more consistent and make your website easier to crawl and index by bots. It also saves you a ton of time going forward when you’re trying to sort your content for useful information.
How to Create Great Content
Content creation and content analysis are part of a cyclical process rather than a linear series of steps. Ever since Google’s E-A-T ranking framework changed the focus to user intent and the big push came for writing higher quality content, the process for writing content fits perfectly into a regular blog content analysis schedule.
Perform Keyword Research
There has been some debate over how many keywords to include in a blog post. But in creating a post, it’s not about finding a bunch of keywords. It’s about finding topics that your target users are interested in and starting with a long-tail keyword to get you pointed in the right direction.
Topic ideas can come from tons of places, but some of the most efficient include keyword tools like Ahrefs. There you can search keyword terms relevant to your brand and find associated keywords, their competition, and their search volume. When you find a term that has low competition but high demand, you can fill the gap in content to improve your chances of ranking.
Another option is to get blog ideas from your analytics, where your past blog post performance tells you what to jump on. You may find that posts from months back are suddenly getting a ton of traffic. Writing more articles around those topics will give you a better chance of more relevant queries and more users finding you.
Watch Your Competitors
Good artists borrow, great artists steal. If you feel like you’re out of ideas, go check out your competitors and see what posts are working for them. You’ll find not only keyword ideas but also topic opportunities.
Better content gets better results, so if you find a post that you can write better, you should do it. Take note of your competitors’ well-ranked posts and see what you can do to add value, whether that’s expanding on it, updating information, or adding more high-value links to trusted sources.
Revisiting Blog Posts
A blog post takes time to rank after you publish it, so a content analysis schedule is a perfect time to revisit your topic and user intent-driven content.
When you post an article, you don’t go into Google the next day to see how it’s ranking. Instead, you continue strategizing and writing ongoing content. You also promote your content, using different channels to drive traffic, like sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
A few months later, you check back on your blog posts to see what keywords they are ranking for and optimize them for those keywords.
The reason is, if you write quality blog posts, you’re often going to use keywords related to your long-tail keyword of choice without thinking about it. Focus more on creating engaging content around a topic audiences are pursuing and less on fitting in specific keywords.
You fix a lot of potential engagement issues before they need fixing with this approach. The main concern is optimizing for the keywords that show potential, which will show up when you do your website content analysis for SEO.
Create Your Content Analysis Strategy
A website content analysis will give you the boost with Google and users that drives traffic and conversion. Content can be a powerful profit center. Taking time to ensure yours is getting the ranking and response you deserve will help you meet your goals in the most efficient way possible.
The hardest part of the analysis is creating your inventory and organizing information. Title Console compiles your site data, integrates it with SEO analytics, and delivers a visual outline of your performance. Get started with Title Console, and discover the incredible opportunities that have been hiding in plain sight.