Blogging has become a popular content marketing strategy. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog attract over 50 percent more visitors than their counterparts. You can start a blog either on a dedicated domain or your business’s website, after which you can share content in the form of engaging blog posts. Regardless of your preferred blogging method, you should audit your old blog posts on a regular basis.
What Is a blog post audit?
A blog post audit is a process that involves reviewing and improving old blog posts. It’s similar to a content audit. With both processes, you’ll review existing pieces of website content while searching for ways to improve them. The difference is that content audits encompass all types of old website content, whereas a blog post audit focuses specifically on old blog posts.
Ensure relevant categories and tags
All of your old blog posts should be assigned to relevant categories and tags. Categories and tags, of course, are used for taxonomy purposes. They categorize groups of related blog posts together. When you assign a blog post to a category or tag, visitors will be able to find it on the feed page for that category or tag. Go through all of your old posts to ensure they are assigned to the most relevant categories and tags.
Check meta tags for SEO
You should check your old blog posts’ meta tags for search engine optimization (SEO). Meta tags aren’t the same as standard post tags. Standard post tags are used for taxonomy purposes, whereas meta tags are used to describe the content on a given blog post or web page. Search engines process meta tags to learn more about the content on blog posts and web pages, and they’ll use this information in their ranking algorithms.
There are two primary meta tags: title and description. The title meta tag describes the title of a blog post. The description meta tag describes the general content of a blog post. Because search engines use them in their ranking algorithms, you should check the title and description meta tags of your old blog posts for SEO.
Title meta tags use a title case format while conveying the post’s title in no more than 60 total characters. Description meta tags, conversely, should use a sentence case format while conveying the post’s main content and what it’s about in no more than 160 total characters. Keep in mind that most blogging content management systems (CMSs) will automatically generate title meta tags using the text entered in the “Title” or “Headline” field.
Copyediting is an important part of a blog post audit. Accurate and well-written blog posts typically outperform typo-filled, poorly written blog posts; but even if you proofread a blog post before publishing it, it may have room for improvement.
Copyediting gives you the opportunity to improve your old blog posts. You can check the spelling, grammar, punctuation, writing style and readability of your old blog posts while making the necessary improvements to them.
Scan for broken links
Don’t forget to scan your old blog posts for broken links. A link is considered broken if it generates a 404 error when clicked rather than directing visitors to the intended destination URL. Visitors often rely on links to move between URLs. Links, however, can lose their functionality. If the document to which a link points is deleted or moved to a new URL, the link will generate a 404 error when clicked.
There are several ways to scan your old blog posts for broken links. You can pull them up in a web browser and test the included links. If your blog has Google Analytics installed, you can find 404-generating URLs under the “Content Drilldown” section. The easiest solution, however, is to use a broken link finder plugin. WordPress has several broken link finder plugins, all of which can automatically scan your old blog posts to find broken links.
Evaluate the images
A complete blog post audit covers all forms of content. In addition to the text, you should evaluate the images in your old blog posts. Make sure they are relevant to your old blog posts. If an image has nothing to do with the topic of a post, replace it with a more relevant image.
You may want to compress the images as well. Just a few large and unoptimized images can make a blog post load slower. Compressing is a way to optimize images by removing unnecessary data from them. Just upload an image to a compression tool like tinypng.com, after which you can add it back to the appropriate blog post.
Something else to consider when evaluating your old blog posts’ images is the alt text. Each unique image should have its own alt text. If a visitor’s web browser can’t render an image, it will display the alt text. Some visitors may also use screen readers that process alt text and play it as audio. For alt text, write a single short and concise sentence that tells visitors what the image is about.
Build a new sitemap
You may want to build a new sitemap for your blog when performing a blog post audit. A new sitemap will help search engines discover all of your blog posts. When they crawl your blog, search engines will read the new sitemap, which should contain a list of all your blog posts and other pages or content-filled URLs.
If you use a sitemap plugin on your blog, you won’t need to build a new sitemap. Sitemap plugins are typically synchronized with your blog posts. When you publish a new blog post, they’ll automatically update your blog’s sitemap with the new post.
Many bloggers assume that they are finished with a blog post after publishing it. As a result, they fail to create engaging, high-performance content. A blog post audit consists of reviewing and improving old blog posts. By performing a blog post audit, you can refine your old blog posts so that they are more engaging.