If you're focused more on content creation than content management, you're not maximizing your content marketing ROI.
Creating content is essential, but nearly everyone does it, and it keeps getting easier to get lost in a sea of competing pages and posts. You spend your time and money on making content, so it should be doing something to build brand awareness and earn customers.
That's where a UX audit becomes so critical — getting the most out of your investment. With a well-structured audit, you can improve your content's search engine rankings and user appeal to help you grow your business.
A UX audit is a complicated process, but the right approach can save you time and lead to better results. Our guide will walk you through analyzing your content to start effecting change in the right direction.
What Does a Content-Focused UX Audit Cover?
There are hundreds of unique ways to evaluate your website's content based on your goals and the kinds of content you're analyzing. For example, you may perform keyword analysis on blog content to improve SEO or evaluate the CTAs on your landing pages to improve your lead generation.
A content-focused analysis is a time-consuming and labor-intensive chore. It's crucial to define your goals to ensure the audit process is practical.
Content UX UI audit goals will generally fall into three categories: visibility, engagement, and actionability.
Visibility: Can Users Find You?
The first step in engagement is building brand awareness and making your content accessible, and that starts with SEO.
You have traffic shortcuts with channels like PPC, social media promotions, and email lists to help you with each new piece of content. But with 53% of website traffic coming from organic search, it's critical to strategize a better SERP position.
Creating brand new content to stay ahead of trends is one option, but there may be an easier way to increase your traffic numbers.
Evergreen content is supposed to stay relevant. It's possible to get better rankings with a few tweaks to an old piece of content on a consistently popular topic.
Let's say you have ranking potential in a webpage featuring valuable keywords. You can use a UX SEO audit to look for improvement opportunities, including:
- Adjusting keyword usage
- Changing titles, headers, and meta descriptions
- Fixing broken links
- Adding images or video
That kind of content management is way more efficient than creating new content, and it ensures that you're getting the most value out of your investment.
Engagement: Is Your Content Keeping Your User's Attention?
Tracking user engagement is crucial for building your brand's reputation and driving your audience toward your CTAs. Plus, engaging content is more likely to get the social shares and backlinks that improve your rankings and boost awareness.
A UI UX audit often focuses on engagement. Looking to past content helps you make better decisions about future content, making it more impactful. For example, you may find that your audience connects with particular topics or that certain writing styles have higher readability scores.
There are hundreds of paid tools available for a DIY content audit, but if you're tracking engagement, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are a great starting point. You'll likely need to integrate it with other UX audit tools, but for a free resource, Google Analytics gives you a ton of important information about your web pages, such as:
- Overall traffic
- Bounce rate
- Dwell time
- Session duration
When you compare different pieces of content in an audit, you'll recognize patterns that reveal what makes your content engaging. You'll be able to produce better content from now on. You can even find high-performing content to use in other channels, like a monthly email newsletter, getting even more miles out of it.
Action: Does Your Content Convert?
Even if a page has a great ranking and amazing engagement, it won't affect your overarching content goals until it converts. That could mean getting a click, making a sale, or generating a lead. If your content isn't helping your business meet its goals and make money, you need to fix it.
An audit will show you which parts of your content help conversion. For example, your e-commerce UX audit might reveal that positioning a CTA in a particular place or using specific phrasing is getting good click-through to a product page. You can replicate those features to maximize conversion across the rest of your content.
How to Perform a Content-Focused UX Audit
A comprehensive content audit of your entire website may be necessary at certain points, like before data migration. But if you're tackling an audit in-house, breaking it up into focused efforts will be more manageable and yield a higher ROI.
Defining your usability goals before conducting your content audit is essential. It's the first step in using your content inventory, where your data comes together for analysis.
Create an Inventory
A content inventory is a spreadsheet that organizes all the content you wish to analyze. It could be an entire website's worth of content, or you may only focus on blog posts, landing pages, product pages, case studies, or any other specified category.
Start your inventory by collecting the URLs you wish to focus on. Add columns to help you organize and compare different page features, such as:
- Title and headers
- Meta description
- SEO keywords
- Word count
- Videos, images, and alt tags
- Internal and external links
- Date of last update or publication
Essential data points like these will make it easier to conduct future audits and give you a basis to score the UX value of each piece of content. From there, you can compile different types of data depending on the SEO, engagement, or conversion goals you set.
Compile and Analyze Data
Once you have all of your data together, you can start grading your content based on the purpose of your audit. For example, you may be looking for content to use in an email series, so you'll use engagement metrics to grade the best content. Or, you might be trying to build awareness, so you use SEO metrics to find outdated but high-potential posts with broken links or missing metadata.
The goals you set will help you settle on the tools you choose to perform your audit.
There are countless content audit software specifically built to help you create inventories and draw conclusions with SEO or user metrics. But even with these tools, it's exhausting to go through all of your content. That's why it's crucial to be careful and specific with your audit goals.
After you finish your audit, it's time to start cleaning up your content. The connections you've found to better understand your audience and the quality of your content through your UX audit will help you determine what's working and what needs work. You can divide your content into three sections based on the actions you want to take: use, fix, or remove.
The "use" content is performing well already. It's high on the SERPs, engaging and generating the conversion you want. Keep it as is or recycle it in a promotion when you're thin on new content ideas.
Some content has great potential but needs a little push. For instance, maybe it's on page three of Google, but you found some SEO opportunities to get it over the edge. The content is still relevant and usable, so it's worth your time to tweak.
Some content isn't helping you accomplish any goals and needs to be removed. It could be a post on an irrelevant or unpopular topic, information on an event that's come and gone, or a review for a discontinued product. That content will only hurt your brand image, confuse search engines, and make inventory management more difficult.
Make Content-Focused UX Audits Part of Your Strategy
A UX audit is hard work, but the insights you gain from the objective data will keep your brand and marketing efforts moving towards growth. Performing a quarterly or bi-annual UX audit is one essential step toward outranking the competition and getting the most for your marketing dollar.
A focused approach is practical if you want to do your own audits, but a comprehensive deep-dive offers the true story of your content. At Look-See, we take care of the UX audit for you, looking at everything from engagement scores and link structure to site speed and accessibility. Get started on your UX audit today, and learn how we can help you realize your content goals.