Aug 15, 2023

Optimization audit: how-to & template

Your existing content library is a huge asset even if it’s not performing very well at the moment.

Using research and performance data, you can optimize existing content to boost performance. In terms of speed and cost, this approach is often way more efficient than creating new content.

Why we created the optimization audit template

We built this tool to streamline our core optimization tasks:

  • Identify the pages that show the most potential for improving ROI
  • Suggest strategic revisions

We actually built an entire (free) app for that purpose: Ottimo – check it out!

For our client work, we’re always trying to align these existing posts with a certain topic strategy. Occasionally, the process leads us to new topic ideas as well.

What you need to get started

  • Topic strategy
  • Google Analytics
  • Content crawler (for example SEO Spider by Screaming frog)

Step-by-step: using the optimization audit template

To begin, duplicate the Content Optimization Template into your Google Drive and open it.

Import Keyword Performance Data

If you’re using our topic strategy & tracker template, use the import range function to pull in the relevant data. Otherwise, use any matching keyword performance data you have and paste it into the appropriate columns. This step is crucial for understanding keyword performance and identifying which keywords to prioritize for SEO improvement.

Import Keyword Ranking Position Data

To gain insights into your website's keyword rankings, obtain keyword ranking position data from your preferred tool, such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. Paste the data into the Position Data tab, which will help you analyze the ranking performance of your targeted keywords.

Import Page Performance Data

Page performance data offers valuable insights into your website's overall performance. Retrieve page performance data, including metrics like page views, bounce rate, and average session duration, from Google Analytics. Additionally, import internal and external link performance data from Google Search Console. This information helps you understand traffic flow, user engagement, and search result performance.

Configure and Run Your Crawler

Using your preferred crawler tool, such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider, configure it for custom extractions by determining the XPath or CSS selector for page content and published date. To find the XPath or CSS selector, use the Inspect Element tool in your browser on a blog post or page. Crawl your website, collecting all page content, published dates, and word counts. Paste the crawled data into the appropriate columns in the spreadsheet.

Analyze Page Performance Using Different Tabs

The Content Optimization Template includes various tabs to help you analyze page performance, such as traffic performance, internal and external link performance, and keyword performance. These tabs display how pages perform across your blog in terms of traffic, internal and external links, and keyword performance. This analysis provides valuable insights into your website's performance and highlights areas that require improvement.

For example, tabs can help identify:

  • Pages that rank first for keywords you care about
  • Pages that receive a lot of traffic but don't rank for any targeted keywords
  • Pages that underperform and might need to be unpublished or updated
  • Top-performing pages that can be optimized further

Wrapping up

By utilizing the Content Optimization Template, you can gain critical insights into your website's performance and make informed decisions about improving your SEO. Analyzing keyword performance, page performance, and using different tabs to examine page performance allows you to make data-driven decisions to enhance your website's visibility and attract more traffic.

We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

Background image of a red ball in a hole.