One crucial aspect of SEO that often gets overlooked but can make all the difference is content audit and optimizing for E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
In this all-encompassing guide, we will explore the importance of content audits, provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform content audits to ensure good E-E-A-T signals, and share key takeaways to enhance your website’s overall performance.
What is Content Audit and Why Do You Need it?
A content audit is a detailed analysis of the content on your site to identify areas of improvement, uncover content gaps, and align your content strategy with the needs and expectations of your target audience. It offers invaluable insights into the performance of your content, helping you understand what is resonating with your audience and what might need to be updated, removed, or added.
Content audits are necessary as they help you:
- Identify what’s working and what’s not. A content audit helps you identify high-performing content and underperforming content. This allows you to see what topics, formats, and styles your audience appreciates and assists you in formulating an effective content strategy.
- Help remove Redundant, Outdated, and Trivial (ROT) content. A content audit aids in spotting and eliminating ROT content. This enhances user experience and can potentially boost site speed.
- Optimize SEO. A thorough audit of your content can highlight areas where you can improve SEO. This includes updating meta tags or improving keyword optimization.
- Improve user satisfaction. A content audit provides insights into what your audience wants. By improving your content based on these insights, you can enhance user experience leading to higher user satisfaction.
How to Perform Content Audit to Ensure Good E-E-A-T Signals
If your content isn’t serving your users or your business, it’s just noise. Noise is not enough to satisfy Google’s E-E-A-T standards. Let’s look at a step-by-step guide to audit your content for E-E-A-T signals.
Ensure You Got the Search Intent Right
Understanding the search intent correctly is the first step toward achieving a good E-E-A-T score. Here are a few tips to help you nail it:
- Understand which keywords your audience is using and what they’re looking for. This will provide priceless insights into their needs and preferences.
- Study the user behavior. Look at bounce rates, time spent on your site, and the pathways users take. These metrics can help you understand the intentions behind the searches.
- Be aware of the four types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial. Tailor your content to suit the intent behind the search. For example, if the intent is informational, ensure your content is informative and answers questions thoroughly.
- Analyze your competitors. Look at the content that ranks highly for your targeted keywords. Understanding your competitors’ approach can provide a roadmap for what search engines expect for a specific query.
- Reoptimize your content if needed. Even small tweaks such as reshuffling your content sections to address the search intent from the get-go can significantly lower bounce rates.
Identify Content and Keyword Gaps Between You and Best Ranking Competitors
Auditing content and its effectiveness becomes so much more than just knowing what’s on your site. Taking things a notch higher, it’s about measuring your content against competitive standards and identifying areas of improvement.
Here’s how to find out how your content stacks up against your competitors:
- Start by identifying your top-ranking competitors. Use tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to get a list of your main industry competitors based on keywords and overall website performance.
- Take note of the keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t. This indicates a keyword gap. Tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer can help you uncover these gaps.
- Thoroughly review your competitors’ content. What subjects are they covering that you’re not? What formats are they using? Answering these questions will help you identify content gaps.
- After identifying gaps, reinvent your content strategy. Incorporate missing keywords and content topics. Decide on the content format that is more appealing and beneficial to your audience, such as blog posts, infographics, or podcasts.
Make Sure Content is Readable and Legible
Improving your content’s readability and legibility is crucial for both your audience and search engine algorithms. These metrics and practices help ensure that users can easily read and understand your content, boosting its E-E-A-T rating.
Here’s how to ensure proper readability:
- Use clear headings and subheadings. Heading and subheadings not only help readers navigate through your content but also aid search engines in understanding what it’s about. Make sure they are clear and concise, and include relevant keywords.
- Keep paragraphs short. Large blocks of text can discourage readers. Stick to the point and avoid redundancies.
- Break up text with bullet points or numbered lists. These can make information more digestible and highlight important points.
- Choose an easy-to-read font. Unusual fonts can be fun, but they can sometimes detract from readability. Stick with simple, clean fonts that are easy to read on all devices.
- Use visuals. Images, infographics, and videos can break up text and make your content more engaging and understandable. They can also contribute to SEO if properly optimized.
Eliminate Fluff and Non-Valuable Content
To ensure your content’s E-E-A-T ( signals are optimized, eliminate fluff and non-valuable content. Use these strategies to make your content more clear and concise:
- Write with a purpose. Ensure every piece of content you produce serves a clear purpose, whether that’s to inform, persuade, entertain, or solve a problem. Unclear objectives lead to vague, fluffy content.
- Cut out unnecessary words. Watch for filler words and redundancy. Keep sentences clear and concise.
- Use active voice. It is more direct and easier to understand than passive voice. Aim to use it as much as possible.
- Avoid jargon. Unless your audience is highly specialized, avoid industry jargon and complicated terminology. Explain concepts in a clear, straightforward manner.
- Revise, edit, and proofread. Always take the time to review your content. You’ll often find sentences or even entire paragraphs that can be removed or simplified. Useful tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor can help you spot areas of improvement.
Add Relevant Internal Links and Link to Orphan Pages
Internal linking is crucial for providing a seamless user experience and guiding visitors to related content within your website.
Here is a simple guide to help you do just that:
- Identify relevant context. Internal links should always be contextually relevant. This means linking to another page within your website that offers related content, ultimately enhancing user experience and readability.
- Use descriptive anchor text. The anchor text—the clickable text in a hyperlink—should accurately represent the content of the linked page. Avoid vague phrases like “click here” and instead opt for descriptive and relevant text.
- Map out orphan pages. Orphan pages are pages on your website that aren’t linked to from any other page on your site, making them unreachable through standard navigation. Orphan pages can be potentially useful resources that are currently underutilized. You can identify such pages using tools such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider.
- Link to orphan pages. Once you’ve identified your orphan pages, consider adding links to them from other related pages on your site. Not only does this make those pages accessible, but it can also improve your site’s overall SEO and user experience.
Remove Duplicate and Plagiarized Content
Search engines prioritize unique and original content. Duplicate content may confuse search engines and lead to damaging penalties, while plagiarized content can devalue your brand’s reputation and authenticity.
Here’s how to avoid these pitfalls.
- Identify duplicate content. Duplicate content can be internal (within your site) or external (copied from other websites). Tools like Siteliner or Copyscape can help you find any duplicates.
- Choose between duplicated content wisely. If multiple pages present the same content, decide which to keep by considering which one provides the best user experience or has more valuable SEO elements like backlinks.
- Use canonical tags effectively. Canonical tags tell search engines which is the “original” page when duplicate content is present. This can help protect your site from search engine penalties and ensures that the right page gets credit for rankings.
- Replace plagiarized text ASAP. recognize how harmful plagiarized content can be to your site’s credibility and prioritize its replacement with a unique copy.
Fact-Check and Update Content With Fresh Stats and Numbers
To bolster your E-E-A-T signals, ensure your content is accurate, up-to-date, and supported by reputable sources. Fact-check your content regularly and update it with the latest statistics, research findings, and relevant data.
Here’s how to do this:
- Use reliable sources. Always source your information from trusted and credible sources and research papers, industry reports, and statistics.
- Ensure your information is current. Be certain that the data you present is the most recent and up-to-date. Outdated statistics can harm your site’s credibility.
- Cross-reference data you obtain from different sources. This verification process will reconfirm accuracy and ensure your content’s integrity.
- Cite your sources. Not only does this build the credibility of your content, but it also pays respect to the source.
Other E-E-A-T Audits You Should Consider
While content audit encompasses several strategies, there are also some essential E-E=A-T audit areas that you should pay attention to. As suggested by Search Engine Land, some of these are:
- Author Information: Highlighting the details of the author, including their credentials, on each published piece brings substantial value. This is especially pertinent for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics where incorrect information could lead to detrimental results.
- Monitoring Social Signals: How your website is mentioned on social media can influence your site’s perceived trustworthiness. Regular tabs on these conversations can provide valuable insight.
- Online Recommendations: Audit online recommendations on external sites to learn how your business is perceived.
- Online Press: Assess the quantity, recency, and sentiment of journalist-written media coverage about the business to gauge the velocity and positivity of external exposure.
- Key Players: Examine references to business team members in online coverage, delving into sentiment analysis to understand the public perception of key players.
- Wikidata: Examine the Wikidata entry for the business as it should be error-free.
- Social Consistency: Ensure consistency in linking to all social profiles, confirming that all social profiles link back to the site and each other with up-to-date URLs for a cohesive online presence.
- Pop-ups: Evaluate the timing, number, and ease of closure for pop-ups, emphasizing the importance of non-intrusive ad experiences that align with user expectations.
- Freshness of Content: Review the frequency of content updates, ensuring that information is regularly reviewed and refreshed, maintaining accuracy and relevance over time.
- Content’s Purpose: Assess whether the site’s content serves a clear purpose and provides value to users.
- Business Awards/Accreditations: Investigate whether the business has received awards or holds accreditations and mention these achievements on-site and on third-party platforms to enhance credibility.
- About Us: Evaluate whether you have an “About Us” page and ensure its completeness. Check if it includes legal information and validating details like the limited company name or registration number.
- On-site Reviews: Examine on-site testimonials and reviews, paying attention to how the business responds to negative reviews to gauge its commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Proof Signals: Assess the site’s presentation of evidence supporting its authority and trustworthiness, including the duration of business operations and other compelling proof points.
The Undeniable Importance of Content Audits
Conducting content audits and paying attention to E-E-A-T signals are two invaluable components of an effective SEO strategy. Time and again, they have proven to not only help enhance the visibility and credibility of a website but also significantly augment its reach and influence over potential clients or customers.