How to Audit Content Like a Pro in 2024

May 1, 2024

Creating content is one thing; performing a content audit is quite another.

Regardless if you work for an agency or for yourself, you likely depend on content to express your brand’s voice, tone, and values.

But auditing—and editing—that content for maximum search engine optimization (SEO) ? That’s a whole other ball game.

In fact, it’s a game that separates good agencies and creatives from great ones.

69% of companies actively invest in SEO. The pros are doing it because they know the more they invest in their content online, the more their brand presence will expand. 

We’re here to help you become a pro in no time. 

We’ll have you up and running with this handy content audit guide specifically designed for you and your client’s overall marketing strategy. Sit back, relax, and get ready to wow your clients while you quickly and easily give SEO content feedback like a pro.

What Is an SEO Content Audit?

Simply put, an SEO or website content audit—sometimes called a content review—is a way of strategically and intentionally taking inventory and analysis of all the content on a given website.

The first step is to have a clear understanding of the content and its performance based on key metrics.

Yet, understanding isn’t enough, nor is analyzing.

Once you have an understanding of your content and where each piece stands, you can then adjust the content production, distribution, and overall strategic plan as needed to meet both your client’s short-term and long-term content marketing goals.

Why Do You Need to Audit Your Content?

The purpose of a content audit is to realign the production and distribution of your content to ensure it matches the overall content marketing goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of your client.

This process allows you to give valuable feedback on the direction of your client’s copy, website pages, and content strategy based on real, concrete data.

Side note: Giving website content and design feedback is critical to your success as an agency or even as a freelancer. And, not just in the way you give it, but in how you give it and the content audit tool you use. But, more on that later.

How Often Should I Do a Content Audit?

When you should perform a content audit depends largely on the amount of content you have and the pace at which your industry evolves. 

However, a good rule of thumb for most businesses is to conduct a content audit at least once a year. This can help your content remain relevant, accurate, and aligned with your strategic goals.

For businesses in fast-changing industries, it may be necessary to audit content more regularly. Many businesses audit content bi-annually or quarterly so it’s always in touch with emerging trends and changes in consumer behavior.

If you’re starting your first content strategy, it’d be wise to initiate a content audit as part of your initial strategy to evaluate how well your content is performing. Then, you can schedule regular audits thereafter. This can show you what areas of your content may need more attention or complete revision.

You should also consider an additional content audit around shifts in your business’s positioning, significant updates to SEO best practices, or when you roll out new products or services. This can help align your content strategy with your current business objectives.

How Do I Determine Which Pages on My Website Need to Be Audited?

Identifying which pages to audit on your website involves analyzing both performance metrics and strategic importance. Here are some steps to guide you in selecting the right pages for a content audit:

Analyze Traffic Data 

Start by using analytics tools to identify which pages are driving traffic. 

High-traffic pages are often a user’s first experience with your site. They play a significant role in engagement and conversion. 

Low-traffic pages, on the other hand, may need to be audited so you can understand why they're underperforming.

Assess Conversion Rates

Look at pages with conversion elements, such as product pages, sign-up forms, contact pages, demo requests, etc. Analyzing the conversion rates of these pages can help you pinpoint which ones are effectively meeting their objectives and which ones might need optimization.

This may require more than a content audit, however. Conversion rates can also be impacted by web design, user experience, CRO, etc. Be sure to asses how those elements are impacting conversion rates.

Check for Outdated Content

This one’s important: search engines (especially Google) care about new, fresh content

So, identify pages in your content audit that contain outdated information. These pages are prime candidates for updates to maintain accuracy and relevance.

When you’re updating these pages, be sure to add new content and keywords. While you could just make a few adjustments for accuracy and relevancy, Google generally wants to see that you’re adding value to the conversation, not just making tweaks here and there.

If you need to give the task of updating content on a page to someone on your team, remember that writing an inspiring creative brief can help set a strong foundation for growth.

Evaluate SEO Performance

Use an SEO content audit to analyze which pages are ranking well for their target keywords and which are not. 

Pages that have fallen in traffic or are not following the latest SEO practices should be included in your audit.

Review User Engagement Metrics

Finding metrics like average time on page and bounce rates in your content audit can show you how users are behaving on your website—including their engagement. 

Pages with low engagement may need to be redone with better content or an improved user experience to keep visitors interested and increase dwell time.

Consider Strategic Importance

Some pages may not be bringing in the traffic or conversions you expected. 

However, they’re still strategically important for branding purposes or providing critical information about your company. 

These pages should be audited to ensure they reflect your brand story rather than for traffic, engagement, or conversion purposes.

What Content Audit Tool Should I Use?

To conduct a content audit, there are several tools on the market tailored to various auditing needs:

Best for Website Performance Tracking: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an invaluable content audit tool for tracking website performance, understanding traffic trends, and identifying which pages capture the most engagement. 

It can help pinpoint areas where content can be optimized to enhance user interaction and retention.

Best for Search Performance Analysis: Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a content audit tool useful for measuring your site’s search traffic and performance and it can help identify issues (such as website health, backlinks, etc.) that might be impacting your rankings. 

Google Search Console is essential for understanding how your content performs in search engines​.

Best for Comprehensive Website Analysis: SEMRush

SEMRush is known for its comprehensive content audit capabilities. This content audit tool facilitates deep dives into website analysis, covering everything from an SEO content audit to identifying content gaps. It's particularly beneficial for businesses that need detailed insights into page performance and competitive analysis​.

Unlike the previous two tools, SEMRush is not free to use. After the free trial, their lowest-tiered plan starts at $129.95/month. 

Best for SEO Problem Identification: Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog’s content audit tool is great for extracting data from large websites quickly, offering insights into SEO problems like broken links or outdated tags. 

Its ability to audit up to 500 URLs for free makes it ideal for smaller sites, though it also offers a paid version for more extensive needs​.

Best for Technical Auditing: Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a staple content audit tool for more technical auditing. 

They provide tools to examine your website’s link profile, keyword rankings, and SEO health. It's especially powerful for tracking 'traffic potential' based on current keyword rankings and for identifying competing content that might be cannibalizing your traffic​.

Like SEMRush, the price tag goes up for Ahrefs content audit tool. Their Ahrefs Lite plan starts at $99/month but includes many of the features that can help you audit your website’s content.

Best for Quick SEO Insights: Ubersuggest

If you're looking for a quick, intuitive overview of your site's health, check out Ubersuggest. It offers a user-friendly interface that reports on key SEO metrics, helping identify immediate areas for improvement​ on your website.

How to Conduct a Content Audit (Step by Step)

Depending on your resources, time, and goals, content audits can range from extremely time-consuming and in-depth to a more general overview—and everywhere in between.

While there’s no one way to conduct a content audit, there are four main areas that should be addressed during the SEO content audit, no matter how deep or wide your client’s needs are.

  1. Strategy: Establish your persona, messaging, goals, KPIs, and metrics
  2. Inventory: Create an in-depth listing of all content currently on your client’s site
  3. Analyze: Assess key data on all existing content
  4. Action: Depending on your strategy, create an action plan for each piece of content

Let’s dig in.

1. Build a Strategy

Now that you have a roadmap, you are off to the races. Right?

Not so fast.

You’ll need to pump your breaks and make sure you have access to the following from your client before you begin your content audit:

Ideal Client Profile

The Ideal Client Profile (ICP), otherwise known as buyer personas or avatars, is a way of saying who your client has identified as the ideal buyer of their product or service. 

They may still be in the early stages of this, but it’s a must that this is nailed down as much as possible before you begin your content audit strategy. Why? 

For you to audit content and make recommendations, you need to know what your potential customers are searching for online and whether the content you’re writing resonates with them.

For the ICP, be sure to include demographic information, purchasing behaviors, and psychographic details such as values and interests.


Gathering competitor information is essential to understanding your client’s industry in a content audit. 

Research their primary competitors, evaluate how they’re talking to their users, and study their SEO and content strategy tactics. 

While this can help tell you what your potential customers may be searching for, it can also help you identify areas for improvement or differentiation in your content.

Message Positioning

Understand how your client's brand and offerings are currently positioned through their content. 

Collect information on the key messages being communicated through the website and other content platforms. This can tell you if their messaging is consistent, clear, and different from competitors.

Tutorials & Demos

Tutorials and demos are critical for understanding the practical application and value proposition of your client’s products or services. 

Get access to existing tutorials, demonstrations, or detailed guides that explain how the products or services work. Also, try to sit in on your client’s sales team conversations to see how they position the product or service.

Goals, Metrics, and KPIs 

Last but not least, you need to get crystal clear on what success means to your client in the long and short term. 

Are they trying to convert traffic? Increase traffic? Do they want an in-depth SEO content audit? Increased leads? 

While all of these markers are steps to increased revenue, ultimately, your strategy will need to pivot so it directly meets your client’s current overall marketing goals.

Here are some possible goals your clients may have in mind:

  • Increase traffic
  • Optimize the homepage
  • Rank higher for keywords
  • Improve page authority
  • Identify which pages or pieces of content perform best
  • Create new content based on high-performing pieces
  • Locate content gaps
  • Discover low-converting pages
  • Eliminate low-performing pages and content

From here, you can spot trends and make your move to improve your client’s content as it relates to their goals.

Now that you have all of this information handy and a clear understanding of what your client wants its website content to accomplish, you can get to work on the next stage of the content audit: Inventory.

2. Take Inventory

This next piece is exactly what it sounds like. Take a complete inventory of existing content on your client’s website.

Keep your client’s sitemap close in case you need to double-check to ensure all content is accounted for. 

Additionally, a content audit tool can report what pages on your site Google has indexed, which is an important piece in how your content performs in searches.

This inventory needs to include a URL crawl or searcher, which should detail all links and pages. If it sounds like a beast of a task, it usually is. But, there are a few tools like Screaming Frog and Moz Pro Crawl that can help.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Website Crawler
Screaming Frog: SEO Spider Tool

After you perform the web page index, be sure to ask the client to double-check for anything not included in the URL inventory, as some content can miss the web crawl. 

In addition, here are some things you should evaluate about your client’s site content as you begin to take inventory:

Content Quality

You can do all of the keyword optimizations you want. But without high intent and high-quality content that draws users in, your content audit is useless. 

To audit content quality effectively, examine each piece of content for clarity, accuracy, and engagement. Focus on whether the content is well-written, free of grammatical errors, and easy to understand. Check if the information is current and factual, providing value to the reader. 

Additionally, assess if the content matches the tone and style of your brand, ensuring consistency across all pages. This step is vital for maintaining a professional and trustworthy online presence.

Also, think about the content design of your pages. When someone searches the web to get the answer to their question, they want the answer fast. 

So, don’t hide it away in your content. Put it front and center so the user can get what they want. 

No, the dwell time on the page might not be great when you give them the answer from the jump. 

But, users will appreciate that you’re being helpful, not trying to suck them into a 10,000-word article with information they don’t need.

Content Relevancy

As you are auditing your client’s content, it’s important to assess that the content there remains applicable and timely to your target audience's interests and needs. 

In your content audit, identify content that may have become outdated due to changes in industry trends, technological advancements, or evolving consumer preferences. 

Update the content to reflect those changes or remove it entirely if it is no longer applicable. 

Keeping your content relevant is not only beneficial for user engagement but also enhances SEO as search engines favor content that remains pertinent and timely.

Content Redundancy

Have duplicate content? Well, don’t.

Content redundancy on your client’s website can dilute your SEO efforts and confuse your readers. Plus, it can lead to cannibalization, where two pieces of your content are competing against each other for search engine ranking status.

During the content audit, look for duplicate content or topics that are overly similar and combine them. 

This process involves consolidating similar articles into comprehensive guides or redirecting multiple pages about the same topic to a single, authoritative page. Reducing redundancy helps improve your site's SEO quality by eliminating duplicate content issues and focusing authority on fewer, stronger pages.

Content Accessibility

Your website should be usable to all people, including those with disabilities. 

Check that all multimedia elements like images, videos, and audio within your content have appropriate text alternatives (alt text), transcripts, or closed captions. 

Here’s a tip: alt text, closed captions, and transcripts should include your keyword. While it’s good practice for accessibility, and it’s not technically a direct ranking factor, it does improve the user experience and could be a ranking factor in the future.

Also, consider color contrasts and font sizes to accommodate users with visual impairments. There are even color checkers out there that you can use to make sure that the text and background colors you use don’t cause illegibility.

Improving accessibility not only broadens your audience but also enhances user experience and satisfaction, which are crucial for a successful digital presence.

After taking inventory, it’s time to make sense of it all.

3. Analyze Metrics

Now that the heavy lifting of your content audit is finished and the data is in one place in your spreadsheet, it’s time to spend time sorting through the metadata and comparing it with your client’s desired goals to come up with a game plan.

Here is a list of possible metrics you may want to analyze:

  • URL
  • URL rank
  • Title tag
  • Organic traffic
  • Organic search
  • Header
  • External links
  • Internal links
  • Click-through rates
  • Page title
  • On-page SEO
  • Overall traffic
  • Broken links
  • Meta description
  • Bounce rate
  • Target keyword rank
  • Volume of main keywords
  • Backlinks
  • Publish date
  • Landing Page URLs
  • Time-on-site
  • Title of content
  • Length of title
  • Category

Pro tip: Make a copy of your Excel spreadsheet and delete all data, duplicate content, rows, and columns you don’t need.

Again, you can do the heavy lifting of manually organizing the contents of your URL crawl and spreadsheet, or you can work with a couple of SEO tools like SEMRush and Clearscope to analyze the keyword research and content strategy data for you.

Content Analyzer: Full and Detailed Audit of Your Site's Content | SEMrush
SEMrush: Content Analyzer

Now is a great time to revisit the goals of your content audit. 

There is an endless variety of options and metrics you can report back to the client, but if this doesn’t help them meet their goals, you have wasted valuable time.

However, before you go slicing and dicing the client’s website, take time to think through the content you want to protect based on how it’s performing. 

Some site rebuilds get quickly reverted simply because the lead engine was not protected.

Now you are finally ready to get to the good stuff: Taking action.

4. Take Action

You have your client’s goals in mind and with the data collected and analyzed, you are ready to get back to the client and offer a plan of action.

This is where feedback becomes your friend.

Based on the results of your client’s website content audit, you can make informed recommendations on:

  • The overall user experience of the client’s potential customers
  • What content and website pages need to stay
  • Which content and website pages need to be axed
  • What content your client should double down to create
  • What content or website pages should receive lead magnets
  • What content isn’t great, but may need to be tweaked, rewritten, optimized or refreshed

Congratulations! You have now become a valuable asset to your client and an indispensable part of the team.

But, your job isn’t quite finished…

Giving Website Content Audit Feedback in a Digestible Way

After you deliver your content audit to your client, it’s time to get some feedback.

Believe it or not, no, your client won’t always accept your content audit or content strategy on the first go around. They’re going to want to give feedback and have their say.

However, with a big project such as a content audit, sending emails or Slack messages back and forth about what they want changed is not ideal.

Luckily, Punchlist is a creative collaboration and content audit feedback tool that works exceptionally well for gathering feedback from content audits. With Punchlist, you can:

  • Collaborate on almost any type of project (including content audits)
  • Capture visual records of feedback
  • Maintain separate conversations between your team and your client
  • Easily share feedback with collaborators
  • Keep your colleagues accountable for their work
  • Organize feedback so you always know what’s left to do

If you want to use Punchlist for your website audits, sign up for our free trial. Or, if you just want to jump right into the deep end, check out our pricing page to see which plan works best for you.