January 18, 2021 | Sean Foo
Whether you are planning a re-design of your website or conducting a website SEO audit, going through your web content is an important exercise that should be done regularly.
Your website content is what informs your visitors about your brand and offerings. It is the lifeblood of your online presence that brings in traffic and converts prospects into paying customers.
Doing an annual (or bi-annual) content review of your website is key in ensuring that your brand’s message is on point and up-to-date with what you are selling.
The last thing you’d want is a website with content that isn’t optimized for search, with content riddled with spelling mistakes and an inconsistent tone of voice!
A website content review is the process of auditing the content on your website, identifying key areas that need to be improved, removed or retained.
The end-goal of your website content review is to ensure that:
Great content not only informs visitors what your business does, it builds interest and desire in the audience you want to attract as customers.
Content optimized for Google allows you to rank for keywords and terms your prospects are searching for, helping to bring in targeted traffic to your website.
Professional brands show consistency in their messaging throughout their website.
From the tone of voice to the business terms and jargons being used, good web content leaves the reader with a good consistent brand experience.
While rather obvious and basic, it is key that grammatical and spelling errors are minimized.
You don’t want the meaning and persuasiveness of your message to be buried under errors that shouldn’t exist in the first place!
Now that we have established the importance of a content review, which parts of your website should you cover?
Thankfully, we have helped you to identify 5 key page types to look out for and to place as a priority for your content review.
Before you begin your content review, it is important to identify the key pages your website has – especially the ones that are critical to your business activities such as lead generation and sales conversion.
It’s much better that you focus your efforts on these pages first, after all, they will be the ones that will affect the amount of business being generated online.
Your visitors will be using this page as a navigation hub to quickly access the rest of your website and to quickly understand what your business is about and why it exists.
These are pages that will be selling your solutions, the content here will determine your conversion rate – definitely one of the first few pages you want to prioritize your review for.
These are the landing pages where paid or targeted traffic (such as from your YouTube channel) are being funnelled to turn this attention into leads or sales.
Also known as your call-to-action pages, these are key pages across your website that have a primary goal of collecting leads. These can be your gated content pages (such as ebooks and webinars) that collect emails or your ‘Contact Us’ page that has an enquiry form.
These are pages whose content is to help convince your reader that your solutions and brand is ideal for them. This is trust-building content that pushes your reader closer to the point of conversion.
These 5 types of pages are the most critical pages on your website and should be handled first.
Let’s deep dive into our guide (applicable to every industry and business type) to reviewing your webpage content.
Depending on how big your website is, a content review could take anywhere from a week to a month or even longer.
What you want to ensure is not to drag out the process longer than what it should be.
One great way to always stay on track is to appoint a content manager who will be responsible for executing the following content review steps and lead the review with the rest of the content team (eg. SEO specialists, copywriter, designer).
The first step of any content review is to create a sitemap of your website’s content.
This allows you to have a helicopter view of your content assets and how it is currently structured.
While there are many fancy ways to do this, we stick to the tried and tested Microsoft Excel (or Google Sheets) to get this handled.
Here’s what you want to include in your sitemap spreadsheet for each web page:
By arranging your sitemap in such a way, you’ll have an organized and convenient layout of all your web page content, especially when it comes to reviewing if a page is SEO-friendly.
Knowing what your audience wants and expects when they come to your website is perhaps the single most important thing to remember when crafting your content.
And this is where your buyer persona comes in handy. (You do have one right?)
Quick recap: Buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customer. It highlights key information including who they are, what they desire, their wants and needs as well as what influences their decision making.
With your buyer personas, you want to use it as a guide to determine if your content resonates with your audience or not.
In this review step, you’ll want to get clear about two points:
Let’s go through these points in detail.
If your ideal customer is a startup founder, we can project that he or she is probably someone with a very busy daily schedule where time management is key and every decision made has to be justified and bring back a return.
This means your content, especially for your products and services pages, will have to be benefit-driven, straight to the point and filled with lots of social proof.
We are talking about content that is optimized for scanning while being easy to understand.
When reviewing your web page content, ask yourself ‘Why is my reader viewing this particular web page & what takeaway do they want?’
If your reader browses through your page, are they looking to get informed and learn something new?
Or perhaps they are looking to be convinced and are one step away from making a purchasing decision.
Knowing this will help you with the style and type of content you have to include as well as how persuasive (or salesy) it has to be.
In order to hit the goals of your web page, your content will have to match your reader’s intent as closely as possible.
And to accurately gauge their intentions, you’ll need to understand your customer’s journey throughout your website.
Understanding the journey will allow you to determine how informational or persuasive your content should be.
Your customer journey essentially is the path your visitor takes when they land on your website and how they interact with your pages and content as they move towards their end goal (which could be buying something or signing up for your mailing list).
By mapping out your customer journey, you’ll be able to understand the intentions of your prospect when they visit a particular page. This will help you to tailor the content to help them get the information or sales push that they are looking for.
For example, if a visitor lands on my pricing page, he is probably evaluating my solution or about to make a purchase.
This means to lead him further down the customer journey, my content will have to be information-rich while showcasing my best offer and include persuasive Call-To-Actions (CTAs) to get the conversion.
Additionally, you’ll be able to strategically place the right links within the page’s content.
For example, on your ‘Case Studies’ page, you will know that the next step after this is going to be the sales – so it will be wise to place links to your pricing or solution pages.
Take Monday’s pricing page, for example, knowing that this is a likely point of conversion for them, strategically placed compelling social proof (customer logos) as well as included an FAQ section just before their CTA button.
All these help to build trust and conveniently address any doubts their prospects might have and lead them directly to the conversion.
By mapping out your website customer journey, you’ll be able to discover key elements that your web page content might be missing.
While the purpose of your webpage content is to educate, inform and convince your reader, you cannot neglect to optimize the content for search engines.
And that means ensuring you are targeting the right keywords and correctly utilizing it within your page’s content so that you maximise the chances of ranking well on Google.
While there are many factors such as backlinks or your website’s domain authority that will affect how well you rank – the easiest factor under your direct control is how effectively you integrate the keywords into your content.
While you might feel rather ambitious and want to rank your product page for 10 keywords, it’s better to stay grounded and optimize your page for 3-4 main keywords.
Anything else you rank for will be a nice added bonus.
Remember that when choosing your keyword, you want to make sure that it fits your business model, the search intent of your customer and is directly relevant to what your offering is about.
Apart from your main keyword, you also want to include LSI keywords.
These are keywords that are conceptually related to your main keyword, allowing search engines to deeply understand what your web page content is all about.
So for example, if your web page is a solutions page of a financial management tool, your LSI keywords will include “budgeting”, “money management” and
Two of the biggest mistakes when it comes to content and keywords is either spamming it throughout the page or not using it strategically enough.
While keyword stuffing might work in the early 2000s, today it is a downright hazard for you to even attempt such a thing for your webpage content.
Instead, your main keywords should be strategically placed in key areas together with your LSI keywords to allow search engines to better understand the overall context of your content and the search terms you want to rank for.
Take the keyword “Project Management Software” that teamwork productivity SaaS companies like Asana are trying to rank for.
The LSI keywords that should be included in the content includes ‘workflows’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘shared space’ in order to provide more color to search engines on what the content is about.
On Asana’s homepage, they effectively utilize their main keyword in their subheadings and use their LSI keywords in the accompanying content to describe the feature.
This helps search engines to understand the context of how the main keyword is used and helps to paint a picture of the overall webpage and what it’s about. In this case, the homepage of a company selling a project management tool.
So review your content and ask yourself:
“Am I using my main keywords strategically without over-stuffing my content with it?”
“Am I also using LSI keywords intelligently to add context to my webpage?”
And if there are clear gaps, it’s time to beef it up.
The content on your webpage isn’t the only place where you have to utilize both your main and LSI keywords.
You’ll have to optimize your title tags and meta descriptions too – like how Asana did here to rank their product page for the term ‘Project Management Software’.
Not only will it influence Google to help rank you for those search terms, but it’ll also help educate your reader on the search results on what your page is about.
That being said, there isn’t a strict rule that your keywords need to be in a strict format, one word after another.
Because Google is a semantic search engine, as long as your keywords are utilized in a natural manner even though they might be spaced out, they will still count.
Are your headlines and subheadings capturing attention?
Are your visitors staying on your page, reading through the content to the end?
Are they clicking through to take action or are they bouncing away, never to return?
Sure, content can be subjective and different styles of content can appeal to different audiences – but what isn’t subjective is the number of conversions being driven.
Keeping this in mind, the next step for your website content review is to check how persuasive your content is.
This is particularly important for the content on your product or pricing pages.
Here are 3 three questions to ask yourself as you scan through your content:
Trust is one of the most important elements you need to build as your reader goes through your web content.
However, it can get rather confusing on the types of social proof to integrate into your webpage and content.
Depending on the page, you’ll want to choose from and utilize various forms of social proof including:
BarkBox, a dog treats subscription service, utilizes a variety of social proof on their homepage to quickly build trust to help ensure their content is more persuasive.
Not only do they highlight the number of customers (dogs in this case) they have served but also testimonials from the owners plus a snapshot of their pups enjoying their goodies.
As awesome as your offerings are or as interesting as you believe your company is, your customers only really care about one thing – what is in it for them.
By focusing on the benefits first and foremost when writing your content, you’ll be able to capture your audience’s attention and interest to continue reading the rest of your webpage content.
Mint does this wonderfully on their homepage’s hero section by appealing to what their customers want – the benefit of a new way to manage their money and then justifying it with features in the accompanying content.
But are there instances where it pays to focus on the product and its features?
Yes there are, but it only applies in a few circumstances:
Steinway’s content on their piano product page is one such example. In this case, getting such a premium product itself is the benefit, thanks for it’s long and famous heritage.
In this case, writing more about the product itself makes more sense and conversely, going benefit-driven will just cheapen the product and the brand.
However, most businesses are best suited to go for the benefit-driven approach of writing content to appeal to their readers.
Is your webpage content providing enough push to your reader to take action to buy?
While the rest of your content might be on-point, it is key that you don’t neglect your offers.
Here are 3 things to ask yourself to determine if your offers are optimized:
– Have I reminded my reader about the awesome benefits of my solution?
– Have I articulated the value they are getting in exchange for their money?
– Have I addressed any potential objections they might have to signing-up as a customer?
Basecamp’s pricing page showcases a strong compelling offer that hits on all three points above. They reduce risks, remind prospective customers of the benefits and builds trust highlighting the number of customers that recently signed-up.
Sometimes the simple things can trip up our web content and the simplest of them all is being vague.
You want your readers to understand what you are writing about without leaving them scratching their head trying to figure things out.
You need clarity.
In order to check for this, ask yourself the following questions:
– Am I writing in the active voice or the passive voice (hint: writing in the active voice adds energy and clarity)
– Am I using too many jargon terms that only I know? (using industry terms is fine, but too many can be overwhelming)
– Are my sentences too long and draggy? (Hint: keep things concise!)
– Am I utilizing bullet points to help highlight key points and keep the text scannable?
Take note if any of your pages seems hard to understand & do either have a customer or a professional decide with fresh eyes – as business owners, it’s very easy to fall in love with our own writing instead of seeing things as they are.
Need help with writing with more clarity?
And if you really need an extra boost – try these forbidden copywriting techniques. But be warned, you definitely don’t want to overuse them!
While you should be checking every page if it is persuasive enough, there is a way to quickly identify the pages that you should be fixing first.
Simply head to your Google Analytics (Behavior > Overview > Site Content > All Pages) and take a look at the pages with the lowest Avg. Time on Page as well as the ones with the highest Bounce Rate.
Apart from the obvious conversion rates, these 2 metrics (part of the key content marketing metrics) should be monitored as you conduct your website content review.
Essentially, these are the pages that can’t capture enough attention long enough or are not compelling enough for the reader to take action and continue exploring your website.
So take note of these pages and check if the content contains any errors (or lacking persuasive elements) that are highlighted on this blog post.
p.s. Note that not all bounce rates are similar, depending on the type of industry you are in and the type of content (pricing page vs blog post) being created, just because you see a high bounce rate doesn’t mean it is a total disaster.
Now we get into the nuts and bolts of reviewing your content.
Are there broken or disjointed sentences that don’t make sense?
Are there words with missing letters?
While this might sound rather basic, ensuring that your spelling and grammar is on-point is something to be taken seriously.
Thankfully, this is easily solved!
Most spelling errors can be detected and resolved using Google Docs’s spelling and grammar check and double confirm it with the free Grammarly online plug-in tool.
It’s awesome and we use the paid version but the free option itself will catch most errors.
Your tone of voice doesn’t just carry your message in a way that your audience prefers, it is an extension of your brand.
One of the most jarring experiences your audience can have is to browse your web pages and find some pages have a serious tone while others are light-hearted and jovial.
So carefully read through them and ensure the tone of voice is consistent on every page (even your FAQ and ‘Contact Us’ pages).
Formatting is key for written content – the key here is to make things easy for your reader to read and understand your text.
Here are some rules to use as your checklist as you review your content:
A. Ensure your paragraphs are not too dense and evenly spaced out
B. Utilizing bullet points where necessary (especially to showcase a list of benefits or features)
C. Content section has one main headline, supporting subheadings and concise content
D. Subheadings are emphasised on by bigger font sizes, bolding and/or underlining
E. Use quotes to highlight valuable information (such as customer testimonials and success stories).
The content on Close’s homepage follows the rules of good formatting, allowing visitors to clearly understand the messaging being conveyed while keeping their attention high without any risk of zoning out.
A picture speaks a thousand words and a comprehensive content review will also include auditing the images and illustrations that accompany your webpage content.
When deciding if the use of your images are appropriate, ask yourself the following questions:
“Does the image or illustration properly convey the key message of the web page or content section?”
“Are the images overpowering the content or complementing the message being written?”
“Are the style and design of the images consistent throughout the website?”
“Do the images or illustrations follow your company brand guidelines?”
Vend’s image use on their website is on-point and helps to reinforce their messaging and content.
Throughout every section of their web pages, their images and illustrations aren’t decorations, but strategic pieces to invoke positive emotions in the reader and portray the brand as trustworthy and highly professional.
Images are powerful tools to capture attention and add value to your written content.
And if images are too generic, you might want to invest a bit more into your creatives to create custom illustrations to explain deep concepts or accompany facts such as data.
So take some time to review them to ensure they fit the context and intention of your content.
Now that you have a game plan for an effective content review, it’s time to assemble the team that will be in charge of your content review.
Ideally, there should be three key stakeholders you’ll want in the content review process:
The content manager’s responsibility is to lead the content review process.
He or she will coordinate the entire process and do an initial review to highlight any errors and areas for improvement – from the tone of voice inconsistencies and missing SEO keywords to grammatical errors and poor image usage.
It is the content manager who will also be responsible for keeping the review rolling and adhere to a timeline.
The business expert is in charge of doing a deeper review of the content through their expert lens and in-depth knowledge.
A product page will most likely involve the marketing manager while the ‘about us’ page will likely require a sit down with the CMO or even CEO.
The business expert will highlight areas that need a content refresh or addition to the current page and pass it on.
Consisting of your writer and designer the content team will take the feedback from the business expert and content manager and make the necessary changes.
Now that you have reviewed your webpage content, you’ll want to take action and take the right approach to fix the ones that need help.
In this scenario, there will probably be a certain number of issues that will need to be fixed such as:
The majority of your content updates will likely be just a refresh unless your business or marketing direction has shifted.
Your goal here is to ensure all basic errors are handled with all new information updated to your website.
What to do:
Simply sit down with your content review team and update all the information that is outdated or gaps.
Sometimes, the content on your webpage is beyond redemption and an update just won’t do it.
This is especially when:
This is especially important for your ad campaign landing pages when you are driving paid traffic and conversions aren’t happening (or not sustainably enough).
What to do:
A re-write is more serious and that means bringing all stakeholders to the table and determining the goals for your page, writing a detailed brief for your content creation team and setting up an approval process for the content.
You’ll definitely want to map out your overall website goals and determine the type of content that will fit into the overall picture.
Here’s a guide to get you started on developing winning content for your webpage.
Sometimes, you might have overlapping content across your website that has some form of repetition.
This is quite common when it comes to pages such as:
The smart thing to do in this case is to de-clutter your website by consolidating all these pages together.
What to do:
Simply map out the repeated content on the pages and determine which page should host all of the consolidated information.
For example, you might want to scrap your ‘How it works’ page and consolidate all the information on your pricing page instead to add more persuasive elements to it.
Finally, if your content is too thin, you just need to get rid of the page and simply delete it away.
This is when it doesn’t fit into your online marketing strategy, no traffic is being sent to it (organically or paid) as well as the information can be consolidated to another page.
What to do:
Just delete and de-index your page!
Here’s a guide on how to delete your webpage safely.
Note: Whether you are doing a content refresh or content rewrite, try your best to keep the same URL as you might have already some links built to it.
However, if your URL doesn’t contain your keyword, then changing it will make sense and then do a 301-redirect your old url to the new one.
While the initial content review is important, it is key to ensure your editing efforts are on the right track.
Because of this, we normally advise at least two rounds of edits and an additional quick review after the first round.
And it doesn’t have to be complex, just simply ask yourself these eight questions to determine if the updates are being correctly implemented.
Q1. Does my new page address the needs of my target audience?
Q2. Does my new page match the search intent of my audience on Google?
Q3. Is the page using the right tone of voice that matches my brand and my customer persona?
Q4. Is my page SEO optimized with the keywords that matter to my business goals?
Q5. Am I using the right images and illustrations to enhance my page’s content?
Q6. Is my information arranged hierarchically with the right formatting?
Q7. Is my page’s offer persuasive enough to take action?
Q8. Is my page’s call to action clear and highly actionable?
Conducting regular reviews at least once a year or when your business direction changes is key to staying on top of your game – for both search engines and your customers.
Whether it’s time to beef up your case studies, include new social proof or add in new product lines, this guide will help you review your content effectively.
Need more tips? Here’s 16 of them to help you craft killer web content to drive those sweet conversions!
Need help with your content review?
We can help! Contact us here today and we’ll be in touch.