Get Your Spreadsheet On: Part II

Content Director
Published 10/23/14
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We all agreed to start a content audit back in June, right? As I’ve been going along through one, I thought I’d jot down some other helpful tips. Sometimes it’s the smallest adjustments that can set you apart from other sites — and sometimes a whole bunch of small adjustments and bits of information add up to content-marketing gold. 

How ya doin’ on anchor text?

When you’re looking at every page is a good time to make sure you’re literally linking keywords that are meaningful. Eradicate phrases like “click here for hotel listings” and replace them with specifics about where they’re linking, such as “Find hotels in [destination].” Using anchor text effectively gives both the page you’re on and the one you’re linking to an additional SEO boost. 

Just the right amount of keywords

If you’re trying to target a specific search term, make sure it makes its way into key locations on each page: Your page title/headline, H2, meta description and a few places in the body text. We can’t know exactly what number of keywords search engines notice and reward (besides, your search rank is a combination of many things beyond keyword use), but we have evidence that shows too many references rile the search gods a bit — making them think you’re trying to game the system by loading up on keywords instead of just writing good, useful content. A good rule to follow: Make sure a specific keyword phrase isn’t used more than seven to nine times on a page for longer articles (less for shorter ones).

Tagging and sorting

One bonus of a content audit is determining how much content you have on all the subjects you want to be known for. Before you start an audit, make a list of topics (or tags) covered on your site. As you review each individual page, tag it to all the topics it covers. For example, a story about a bed and breakfast might be tagged to lodging, romantic getaways and farm-to-table dining, as well as the city or neighborhood it’s located in. When your audit is complete, you can easily sort or do a search to see how many of your articles are covering specific tags. It might reveal you need to spend a little more time expanding content on a topic you never realized you’d neglected. 

Give things a score

Consider adding a column to your spreadsheet to rate each piece of content’s completeness. You’re sure to find content that is worth keeping but could use a little expansion/updating/new details. Scoring your content will give you a good indication of where to start when you have the time and resources to go back and add to/improve existing content — start with those that have the lowest rating and work your way up.