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Is it Time for a Content Audit?

SEO Content Creation / Sep 20 2012 / Mike Collins
So by now, you know that content really is king (can you believe we used to debate about this?).

Content is the backbone of your site. Content is what will help you rank #1 on Google. And, when you’re ranking #1 on Google, content is going to be what encourages your customers to buy your products, sign up to your mailing lists… whatever.
 
We hound on content a lot. But it’s for very good reason. And if you’re having any difficulties in your business (low conversion rate, low customer retention rates, high bounce rates, etc), it will almost always be traced back to content.
 
Although this won’t ALWAYS be the case, a good rule to follow is, if your business is lagging behind in some area, it’s likely because of the content.
 
Remember Panda?
 
Of course, content is going to make or break your site on the Google rankings. Remember Panda, that pesky algorithm we’ve been talking about for the last year? How could you forget!
 
Well, when Panda came out, Google wanted to make one thing crystal clear: content matters more than almost anything else. If you have bad content, you’re not going to rank on page #1. It’s that simple!
 
As you can see, if you have poor content (hint: 500 word articles are bad), your business will be hurting.
 
What can be done to fix it?
How to Write Great Content
 
Well, when Google released Panda, they gave us a list of questions we could use to audit our content. Not-so-surprisingly, all these questions also have to do with the quality of your BUSINESS. It’s not just SEO – it’s everything!
 
Here are some of the questions:
 
1) Would you trust the information presented in this article?
 
2) Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
 
3) Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
 
4) Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
 
5) Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
 
6) Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
 
7) Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
 
8) How much quality control is done on content?
 
9) Does the article describe both sides of a story?
 
10) Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
 
11) Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
 
12) Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
 
13) For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
 
14) Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
 
15) Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
 
16) Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
 
17) Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
 
18) Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
 
19) Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
 
20) Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
 
21) Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
 
22) Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
 
As you can see, content that answers positively to all of these questions is, simply put, great content! And that’s all there is to it. Whether you want to get more sales or rank on page #1, by using these questions as a guideline, you can’t go wrong.
 
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