How to Do A Blog Audit: Optimize Design And Performance
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Not getting enough traffic or shares for your awesome blog posts?
Are you even sure your posts are “awesome?”
Maybe there are technical issues you need to address so people can view your blog?
If you’re not sure what the issue is, then you need to conduct a blog audit.
By auditing your blog using different variables, you can identify the problems why your blog is performing under expectations.
We’ve talked about content audits before, but now we’re diving into the technical details of a website audit.
In this post, you will learn how to do a blog audit correctly by identifying the factors you need to measure and the tools you must use.
The five most critical blog audit factors
A blog audit is a very important task you need to do regularly. You don’t have to audit your blog every day – once every 6-12 months should suffice.
Think of a blog audit as an annual or bi-annual visit to your physician. Your doctor will check if your body is in tip-top shape and what you need to do and take to improve your performance.
The same applies to a blog audit. You analyze the best-performing pages and why that’s the case. You also check areas you need to work on so you can generate more traffic and revenue.
Below are factors you need to keep a watchful eye on when auditing your blog.
Your branding governs the blog posts you publish and the design you have on it.
Taking all branding variables into consideration, you need to ensure that everything in your blog observes your branding guidelines. The colors you use must be consistent on all pages of your blog. The same goes with the style, font (face and size), and even your logo.
A comprehensive brand audit may be too overbearing if you have a small blog. For starters, you can check your blog’s Google Analytics data for the following metrics:
- Dwell time – The average time of visitors in all your site pages. There are lots of variables that account to how long your visitors stayed on your site. From a branding perspective, your blog’s appearance and look may play a huge part into the visitor’s length of stay.
- Bounce rate – The average percent of people who visited your blog and left without visiting another page.
- Traffic sources – The sites that referred traffic to your blog. You will see here different sources such as Google search, social media (Facebook, Twitter, and others) and direct traffic (people who typed your blog’s URL on their browsers).
As mentioned, these variables are not fully indicative of your blog’s performance. It’s possible that your content played just as huge a part in the figures from these factors (more on this later). However, these provide relevant data to help you assess your blog’s brand. You may try changing colors, fonts, themes, and logo designs to see if your metrics improve. For example, your dwell may increase if you mix up your colors. Try to make gradual changes and see how it affects the overall performance of your blog.
One page every blog needs to have is the About Page. This is where you introduce what your blog is about to your audience. Some talk about who they are and the reason they blog on their About Pages. However, as one of the most visited pages of any site or blog, you need to write more than that on the page.
If your About Page isn’t drawing enough traffic and has a short dwell time, then you must add calls to action on this page to increase its engagement rate. Below are elements you can add on this page:
- a sign-up form to your email list
- links to your social media profiles they can follow
- a feed to your latest blog posts
- mission statement and blogging goals
Again, make the changes gradually and not add all elements at once. Doing so allows you to scale the changes and make informed decisions after auditing your blog again.
3. Building an email list
Getting more people to join your email list is a great way to build an engaged blog readership. Sending them periodical emails about your latest posts or just asking them questions will go a long way.
However, the real challenge is getting more email subscribers to your list. It’s not as simple as adding sign-up forms here on there on your blog. You need to place them at the right place and have them appear at the right time on your blog to build your email list quickly. You also need to offer lead magnets to give them an incentive to join your list.
You can analyze the performance of your forms using your opt-in form or email marketing platform. They will show you the conversion rate of the forms so you can make the changes and improve their performances.
4. SEO content
The content you publish determines how many visitors you will attract in a period. Publishing the right content that falls in line with your branding and niche is a step towards the right direction.
The next step is developing and implementing a sustainable SEO campaign using valuable content that search spiders find irresistible.
To do this, you need to find the right keywords for your blog. Unearthing keywords with high search volume and low competition is the holy grail of SEO.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you with this, but Ubersuggest is a great one that happens to be both powerful and free. For more information on this tool, check out our Ubersuggest review that dives deeper into the details of how it works.
Once you’ve gathered the keywords, it’s time to assign them to pages you’ve already created or create new ones. The goal is to create optimized content for your blog and get them to rank on the top page for their keyword. Doing so will help you attract more traffic to your blog.
Your Google Analytics will show your blog posts with the most traffic. If you haven’t optimized them yet for their right keywords, now’s the time to do so. To help you keep track of your optimization process, use a tool like Yoast SEO (for WordPress users) or Webtexttool so you can measure how optimized your pages are. Using the latter tool, you can also track their ranking on organic search and see whether they increase or decrease in the future.
5. Social media engagement
One way of driving more traffic and increase engagement on your blog is encourage readers to share your post. To make this happen, you must make sharing your posts easier for readers.
Installing social media buttons that appear on every post will help tremendously. Once readers click on the button, your blog will prompt them to their social media of choice with the title and the URL of the post ready for sharing. Tools like Sumo and ShareThis allows you to build and customize the buttons that will appear on each page.
You can then monitor the number of shares each post generates to see your most popular posts on social media. Using this information, you must take care of these engaging posts of yours by updating them regularly and reshaping them again to your network.
How about you: do you have other variables you measure in your blog audit? Comment below and share them to other readers!