While doing a content audit, analytics are a great way to dig into what’s happening with content on your site. They can provide clear metrics for current content performance, but their meaning isn’t always straightforward.
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To learn more about content audit basics, read our post on How to Do a Website Content to Inform Your Site Map.
Here are some ways you can use analytics in your content audit.
When getting into using analytics for a content audit, these analytics can prove the most useful:
- Visitors: Number of visitors to the page
- Page views: Number of times the page was viewed (regardless of who viewed it)
- Time on page: Amount of time spent reading the page
- Entries: Number of people who landed directly on this page instead of coming from another page on your site
- Bounce rate (exits): Number of times visitors left your site from this page
Content Audit Integration
Integrating the analytics into your content audit spreadsheet should be done based on URL as the unique identifier for pages. Your spreadsheet may look like this, before you start adding audit comments to it.
Analytics may seem straightforward: If a page gets a lot of visitors, it’s popular and useful. If a page does not get a lot of visitors, it’s not useful. If a page has a low time on page, then it’s not useful. A high bounce rate is bad.
However, when doing a content audit using analytics, it’s worthwhile to look at the pages to see what’s going on. These are some things you might consider:
- High number of visitors or page views: A high number of visitors or page views can suggest this page is easy to find or is well optimized for SEO. Consider ensuring that the content is optimized to keep people on the site and engaged.
- Low number of visitors or page views: A low number of visitors or page views can mean that the page isn’t easy to find or isn’t optimized for SEO. If content on the page is important, the page should become more prominent in the site structure. If this page is not important, it can probably be archived.
- Time on page: If a user spends a long time on a page, investigate whether users should be spending a long time on this page. Some pages are complicated and require more time to read. Some pages are not intended to be complicated (such as a landing page) and should have lower time-on-page stats
- High entries: If a page has a high number of entries, it may be due to a successful campaign that directs users to this page. It could be good SEO. If these results are unintended, investigate the page contents and ensure it invites users to read other parts of the site.
- Low entries: If a page has a low number of entries and these results are unintended, it’s worth investigating the SEO of this page and the search terms that drive people to this page.
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when search engines direct users to a page on your site, they read it, then they leave with their question answered. You can look at the ways the page invites users to stay on the site.
Some ways you can combine analytics to gather even more information include:
- High visitors/page views and high time on page: This page is most likely very valuable to users
- High entries, low time on page, and high bounce rate: This page most likely isn’t meeting user needs
- Low number of visitors/page views and high bounce rate: This page most likely isn’t meeting user needs
- Low number of visitors/page views and high time on page: This page is probably important, but not findable.
Using these analytics can help you understand the state of your current site. Once your site is improved, you can revisit these analytics to see if they have changed.
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