One of the many things I did during the holidays was a blog audit. Was it fun? Nope. Easy? Not really. Completely necessary? Yes. Do I recommend you do one? Yep. I think anyone with a blog should do one, at least yearly. I typically do one every six months, but I had so many personal things happen at that time, I wasn’t able to. Plus a yearly audit is always more intense than a six-month audit. These are just the facts. So I thought I’d help you out with a post on how to do a blog audit.Doing a blog audit not only lets you know what posts, and marketing strategies worked, and which didn’t, but also helps you know what to do in the future. It can actually help you come up with future content, and what to try to help boost your marketing in the future. I mean who wouldn’t want to start the new year on the right foot?
How to Do a Blog Audit:
I recommend printing your list of published blog posts, and through your posts one, by one, and mark them off as you go through them. You could also you a spreadsheet if you’re into that. You’re also going to need something you take notes in, whether that’s a pen and notebook, or a word document, just something to write down what needs to be edited as you throughly go through your blog. I also recommend splitting the audit over about a week. I found it easier to do a section a day, rather than sit down in a day and go through my entire blog.
Let’s get started!
- For part of this, you’re going to have to look at Google Analytics for your stats. First, let’s go through the actual posts.
- How long were your posts? Do they have a variety of word lengths? All long? All short? Which did your audience seem to love more? What was your average post length?
- Which posts did your audience love most? Then, which posts in each category?
- What type of posts did your audience love more?
- What posts failed, or didn’t do well like the others?
- Did you write to your niche? Did you step outside the box? Did it work out in the end?
- Were your posts helpful?
- Which posts got the most comments, and shares?
- Which posts did you love writing?
- Where are you sourcing your images? Are you taking your own? Can you start? Is it enough, or should you try something new? What program are you using to edit, and personalize your images? Is it enough? What are your image sizes? Are they optimal? Have you changed your blog layout, and are some of the pictures sized poorly? Make a note of which to go back and edit later on.
- Was your theme comprehensive with your brand?
- Which search terms brought the most people to your blog
- Does each post have: a good image that’s sized correctly, a keyword-rich headline, and is easy on the eye? Does your post have enough white space, and CTA’s where necessary?
- The back-end work, AKA the stuff we continuously put off doing, unless something goes wrong. Meaning, it’s time to clean it up.
- Are your plugins still working for you? Which can you delete?
- What’s your 404-page message? If you haven’t customized your 404 page, you should make it more helpful to those who land on it.
- Do you have any broken links? Here’s the tool I use to check broken links.
- What’s your SEO plan? If you have Yoast installed, is there a green light on the majority of your posts? What can you do to improve your SEO strategy in the new year?
- Have you filled out the alt text on all of your images with keyword-rich descriptions? Side-note: this is what Pinterest pulls, so make it user & search friendly!
- What have you been using to track metrics/traffic? Is it working?
- Create a Google Analytics report about what has been happening on your site, and who is reading/using your site – and what device they’re using!
- Your site goes through a 5 second judgment period with each reader that lands on it. What is your design saying to your readers?
- Is it functional?
- Is it reader-friendly?
- Is it easy on the eyes?
- Does it accurately represent you, and your blog at a glance?
- Is your brand consistent? Colors and fonts the same throughout your blog?
- Any widgets you could remove?
- What about your sidebar? What can you move around, and/or delete entirely?
- Are you making the most of your footer?
- Are the ads old? Can you write those advertisers, and offer them a new deal?
- Are you making the most of your design to the point where you could make an affiliate sale?
- Are there several points on your blog where a reader could follow you?
- Does your newsletter sign-up stand out? Do you have more than one?
- Is that pop-up box worth it?
- Are your SM icons in the right order? Side note: Typically you put them in order of most-to-least popular. Are they linked to the right profile? Are they the right size, or color?
- Do all of your homepage links work?
- What could you remove to enhance the look, and feel of your blog?
- What are you using for SM sharing? Are readers using it? Can you find something that might work better?
- Personal branding: Is it recognizable? Have you been using the same branding techniques on your post images?
- The niche you’re in. The passion that drives your blog. Is is still there?
- Are the pages you’ve sorted your content into still relevant? Have you moved onto a newer horizon?
- Did you share all content equally? Did you find you shared certain post topics more than others?
- Is the navigation easy, and user-friendly? Or just as complicated as a GPS?
- Are they readily available?
- Which platform did you see the biggest growth?
- Where was the most engagement?
- What did you love the most?
- Have you updated your profiles lately? Changed your profile picture, and updated those bios recently?
- What brought the biggest return?
- Which would you like to improve in the new year?
- Is it obvious which SM sites you love more? What can you offer people there?
- Do all of your SM link to your blog? Are the options obvious?
- Promotional Strategy:
- You can’t just hope they will find you, you’ve got to find them, so then they can find you.
- How did you get your blog in front of new readers?
- How successful was that?
- What wasn’t worth the time invested?
- Where will you spend your time next year?
- What is your opt-in? Do you need to upgrade?
- How are you offering your newsletter or mailing list? Have you been consistent with it? What’s your open rate?
- Where did you guest post, if anywhere? Was it worth it? Where could you try this year?
- Did you try to get some traditional media coverage?
- Did you do any collabs or cross-promotions? Who do you want to work with in 2016?
- Did you do any giveaways? Did they work?
- What’s been your strategy this year?
- What’s worked the best?
- What wasn’t worth the time?
- What will you try this year?
- What programs, ebooks, or e-courses need to be updated?
- Can you bundle them together, and do a quick lead-up to a sale?
- How has your audience reacted?
- What was your favorite strategy to use?
- What would you think about in the future?
- Did you create any? Did you achieve them?
- Were you a hair too ambitious? Or not enough?
- What’s the plan this year?
- Have you written your goals for this year down yet?
- How could you learn from your mistakes, to help reach your goals now?
What’re Your Thoughts?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.