In Part 1 of our Guide to Content Planning we covered the basic concepts of Content Planning. We also discussed best practices regarding Sitemaps and their importance in taking inventory of your site’s content and understanding its structure.
Here in Part 2, we’ll be discussing Content Audits, a process of determining which content on your site has a positive impact on your e-commerce site’s SEO, and just as importantly, your customers’ online shopping experience!
Conducting a Content Audit is similar to living in a town that requires you to sort your recycling, you’ll be placing your site content into 3 bins: Keep, Revise, or Remove. Content that you Keep or Revise will be migrated to your new e-commerce platform, anything you Remove will simply be left to the annals of internet history as fodder for the Wayback Machine.
Content Audits are a crucial part of Content Planning as they will ensure your most important content is given proper attention during the migration process. They can also reveal insights into your content that will help inform important decisions when it comes to your overall content strategy. You’ll also save time during the migration process by leaving unnecessary content on the cutting room floor!
Of course no two e-commerce businesses are the same, so there’s no golden rule when it comes to deciding how one’s content should be sorted, but the goal of Content Planning is to keep high-quality content that has a proven record of improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and overall customer experience.
Conducting a Content Audit
A great and simple way to conduct a Content Audit is by using Google Analytics, or any suitable analytics platform. We look for the URLs of content that fit certain criteria, such as being a frequent landing page, or having the most time spent. If your website is large enough, you could benefit from employing what we call the “80/20” rule.
The “80/20” rule has you Keep or Revise the content that comprises of 80% of your pageviews. We find this content is often 20% of a site’s URLs, which means you can Remove a lot of poor-performing content! This will lead to better SEO and can help inform the focus of future content, marketing, or buying decisions.
It should be noted that content that performs well on your current site may not perform as well after your migration. If part of your e-commerce migration includes a revised content strategy, be sure that the content you keep aligns with your new branding or messaging. When content is moved or removed from your site, be sure to setup redirects so you don’t lose out on any referral traffic or SEO benefits those old URLs may provide!
Now, we understand that manually poring through analytics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so thankfully there are other solutions geared towards the visually-minded!
While XML Sitemaps serve their purpose, the remainder of your Content Planning needs can be met by creating what are known as Visual Sitemaps, which are basically flowcharts of your website’s content.
You can find some tools online that focus on Visual Sitemaps alone, but we want something more feature-rich. We prefer a great Content Planning tool called, Dyno Mapper. Dyno Mapper builds a Visual Sitemap of your site while also integrating your analytics. This gives you the ability to apply filtering and sorting which allows you to use our “80/20” rule with ease! Dyno Mapper also includes other great Content Audit features such as broken link checking, duplicate or missing meta titles, and duplicate or missing meta descriptions.
Whether you conduct your audit manually or with a robust tool such as Dyno Mapper, Content Audits will give you meaningful insights about your e-commerce business and its content. In Part 3 of our Guide to Content Planning you’ll use more Visual Sitemaps to help create a Content Inventory!