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How to Maximize Website Traffic with a Content Audit—and What to Do Next

Christopher Lott, Account Manager at Stamat

Christopher Lott

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My designer friends may forgive me for telling you this secret: content is as important as design when it comes to website conversions.

That’s why Stamats’ experts work with our clients to produce content audits: to understand how audiences use the website, identify areas for strategic improvement, implement changes, and measure the results.

Of course, a content audit is only useful if it leads to action. The audit can identify opportunities to get better, but it’s switching up your content and improving the user experience (UX) that makes a difference for SEO and conversions.

The results of all this hard work can be a major boost to your website’s productivity. Consider the case of Oakland Community College. Stamats performed a content audit for this client’s Admissions pages, identifying areas for improvement, including:

  • Streamlining page content on desktop and mobile
  • Organizing content to make it easier to scan
  • UX improvements including changing inline links to buttons and clarifying next steps for the most important audiences

When OCC made these site changes to improve UX and provide audience-centric content and calls to action, conversions increased more than 250% in just five weeks!

With results like those, it’s no wonder our clients love content audits. But what is a content audit, why should you conduct a content audit, and how can you put the results into action to make your website more effective?

What is a content audit?

An audit begins by inventorying some or all the pages on your website and scoring them for overall quality.

To make the audit really useful, you need a professional eye to translate that data into a successful approach for the information architecture, content strategy, and content development phases of a web redesign project.

During a typical content audit, we focus on important questions, such as:

  • Is the content consistent, accurate, and useful to the audience?
  • Is the content relevant to the audience it is addressing?
  • Is the content readable and understandable to the target audience?
  • Is the message clear and on brand?
  • Does the page meet accessibility criteria?
  • Is the page content working to drive conversions along the intended user journey?

We use tools like heatmaps to determine how users are interacting with your content and establish a baseline for comparison. We examine the technical quality of the page to understand how search engines recognize it, and we score your content for scannability and accessibility. With these methods, we’re able to identify gaps in content, outdated material, confusing user pathways, and other areas for improvement.

We offer clients actionable recommendations to revise and reformat page content to maximize conversions and SEO success, and we reassess the pages after changes are live to learn how edits have improved UX and helped your website become a more powerful marketing tool.

Why audit your website’s content?

Why go to all that trouble? Because refreshing your content and examining UX can have a significant effect on the performance of your most important marketing tool.

You wouldn’t expect your car to run well if you never changed the oil or checked the tires for wear, and the same goes for your website content: maintenance is a must.

Consider these important reasons to regularly examine your website content:

  • Relevance: What your audience needs and how they expect to find it on your website can, and does, change over time. Auditing allows you the opportunity to align your content to your audience and cut out anything that’s outdated or extraneous.
  • Accuracy and quality: By reviewing and assessing individual pieces of content, you can root out mistakes, inconsistencies, and other problems that might have slipped through. Auditing also helps ensure your site is on brand and reflects your professionalism.
  • SEO Optimization: Google and other search engines value relevant content that answers questions for which people search. Regular audits allow you to optimize content for search engines (SEO) by examining your meta descriptions, tags, and on-page elements to ensure search engines take notice.
  • User Experience: A content audit assesses the organization, readability, and accessibility of your website so you can craft improvements that make it easy for users to find what they need. Making the UX satisfying by reducing friction points means you’ll be more likely wind up with happy customers who convert.
  • Strategy refinement: An audit gives you a chance to ensure your site content is doing its job contributing to your overall strategy. Learning what types of content perform well can help you build more pages that resonate with your audience, informing future decisions about content creation and aligning that process with your marketing goals.

The result can be a significant improvement in the performance of your site’s content.

Consider Morehead State University, a Stamats partner that used a content audit to make updates to their campaign landing pages. We helped identify opportunities for improvement, including:

  • Adding more visual elements like callout boxes and CTA buttons
  • Building more compelling content such as testimonials and career outcomes
  • Highlighting points of differentiation from competitors

After implementing the findings of the content audit, Morehead State attracted 15% more users who spent 14% more time on the page. This added up to a 22% increase in conversions on the landing page thanks to changes made after the content audit.

How to improve your content after an audit

Okay, great. Your content’s been audited. Whether Stamats helped or you did it DIY, you now have a sense of how your content is performing. But where to begin making the improvements that put your audit into action?

  • Don’t redesign, reformat: Redesigning pages after a content audit can seem like a daunting task. So don’t do it. Reformat instead! You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by streamlining excessive content, prioritizing what’s most important to your audience, shortening sentences and paragraphs, and making their next steps crystal clear. Break up large blocks of content with relevant images, infographics, and video.
  • Keep content on task: To give your CTAs the best foundation, make sure the content of the page is aligned with the task you want that page to perform. For example, if the goal of your page is to encourage prospective students to apply, don’t include extra text about the honors program or athletics. Focus and finish: direct users to apply and don’t give them a chance to be distracted.
  • Mind the Gap(s): Audit findings may identify opportunities to provide more comprehensive information, so fill these gaps to ensure your audience has all the information they need.
  • Remember mobile: Smartphones accounted for more than 60% of all web traffic in 2022, so it’s critical to ensure these users have clear, concise access to your content, too. A few short paragraphs on a large desktop screen can easily become a seemingly endless scroll when they’re squished down to fit on a phone. Leverage bulleted lists, accordions, and other responsive design elements to ensure mobile users get a great experience, too. Pro tip: Inline links in your text perform particularly well on mobile devices, offering users an opportunity to convert even before they reach the CTA button.
  • Supercharge your CTAs: One of the most impactful ways to make UX a bright shining pathway to conversions is with clear calls to action. Don’t bury compelling CTAs at the bottom of a wall of words. Bring them up to the top for the many users who just want to know what’s next. It’s okay to repeat your CTA, too, especially if it’s particularly important or strong.

The best websites are constantly evolving, so be sure to track and analyze your most important key performance indicators before and after making changes to your content. Organic traffic, bounce and conversion rates, and other metrics can help you identify opportunities for further improvements.

The success of your website is tied to the relevance of its content, and the best way to ensure your content is doing the heavy lifting is a regular analysis through audit and continuous, stepwise improvements. This process can allow you to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring your site is a valuable resource for your audience—and an important tool for converting customers like prospective students.

At Stamats, we help our clients make the most of their websites every day. Schedule a time to talk with an expert about your content.

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