Auditing the Animalz Blog: What Works and What Doesn’t | Episode 52

Content audit. Two words to strike fear into the heart of every content marketer.

Well, not really. For any blog more than a year or two old, getting to grips with the performance of your older content is a necessity. But the tools used to do that, content and SEO audits, generally get a bad rep.

And with good reason: most audits are long, bloated documents crammed full of context-less keywords and statistics.

Here at Animalz, we’ve been on a mission to reinvent the content audit, and create a new process that’s fundamentally more useful.

In true Animalz fashion, we wanted to experiment with our new audits on… ourselves. So we did!

Our head of R&D, Andrew, audited the entire Animalz blog, and surfaced a few familiar problems. And as Animalz Director of Marketing… well, it’s up to me to solve them.

Learn more about content audits for your website

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Key Takeaways

3:41 - The problem with most content audits

Done well, content audits can reveal powerful new growth opportunities... but most audits are not done well.

"What's missing is that... strategic interpretation, that wider context that lets you actually take page load times or keywords that you're not ranking for, and actually translates that into something you can do - go and write this article, or go and change this facet of your design."

7:30 - Three traits of great audits

Great content audits should have three core characteristics; they should be opinionated, strategy-led, and educational.

"You should come out of this with an idea of where you're going to go for the next six months, the next year. You've got an idea of how your blog is going to grow, how it's going to help your company grow as well."

10:13 - The challenge of BLUF

The first challenge we uncovered: our best-performing blog post is so successful that it distorts the health and performance of the whole website.

"It was incredibly successful. It blew away pretty much everything else on our blog, which is great. Right? Having whales like that on your site is a good thing. It's only going to help you in the longterm for sure.

At the same time, it caused a few issues in that it was actually so successful, they kind of just swamped everything else on the blog."

17:27 - Ranking #69 for "content strategy"

For an agency with a hundred posts about content strategy, we do a surprisingly bad job at ranking for "content strategy."

"Most content marketing agencies, they want to rank for a keyword, they create a blog post about it... but we've never done that.

We always do what we call movement-first content. We write about things that are important or interesting to us, conversations we have with prospects and customers, observations we have about the industry.

And that's worked beautifully to date, but it does mean there are relatively low-hanging opportunities for us to rank..."

28:36 - Cruft pages and content refreshes

We have lightweight posts on the blog, but a deep-dive into our strategy shows why content pruning isn't always the right path.

"...the data shows, yeah, you've got all of these posts. They're 200 words. You should think about getting rid of these. But actually when you think about the context of them, there's a reason why they're there. They're not just cruft posts."

38:05 - Auditing your content

Think your content could perform better with a content audit? Get in touch!

"...if anyone listening to this is thinking, "Actually, it sounds a bit like my site. I've got a bunch of content, not quite sure how it's working. I'd like for it to generate more revenue, be more useful for me." Well, get in touch"

Full Transcript

Ryan (01:15):

Well, welcome to another episode of the Animalz Podcast. I am here with Andrew Tate. Andrew is our resident head of R&D.

Andrew (01:23):

Hey Ryan, how's it going?

Ryan (01:25):

Pretty good. Nice to talk to you again. Nice to have another British person back on the podcast. British takeover.

Andrew (01:31):

Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I think so. I think you've had external British people, but maybe this is the first full Animalz British podcast we've had.

Ryan (01:40):

It may actually be.

Andrew (01:41):

Even though there's a lot of British people at Animalz.

Ryan (01:44):

This is a landmark podcast.

Andrew (01:46):


Ryan (01:47):

I guess for people that aren't in the know, what do you do at Animalz?

Andrew (01:51):

Sure. So I've been on one of these previously, but to give my background about it, I actually started on day one at Animalz as one of, along with Paige, the first writers to come in. Started as a writer here, then moved on to editing and team management and then about a year ago or so, as we started to think about what else Animalz might offer besides content, I kind of transitioned into a more development and research role.

Andrew (02:19):

So first thing I worked on was Revive, which is our tool for finding refreshes within your analytics, making it a bit easier for people to find that kind of stuff. And now I kind of lead any endeavor within the company on building out new products, thinking up new ideas, thinking about content more broadly, necessarily than the more kind of article or customer focus that we have at the moment. Thinking about how we can help our customers more, also help within content marketing a bit more as well, and think about new things, new ideas that we can place out there and test.

Ryan (02:55):

I feel like your department of one is kind of this melting pot of massive painful problems we have that need fixing and crazy wild ideas you want to experiment with and see if something cool comes out.

Andrew (03:07):

Yeah, exactly. That's a good way of putting it. Yeah. It's kind of like department of one, but at the same time, a lot of input from the company as well, from the strategists about what customers are having issues with at the moment, from Drew in sales about what are some of the issues that prospects and leads are having, and also from you, Ryan, working on the blog and trying to use that as a place to test some of these ideas and put ideas out there into the wider world, which is the only way you can really figure out whether something is worthwhile or not.

Ryan (03:41):

Yes. And one of the things you've been working on most diligently recently is auditing. Obviously we spend a lot of our time creating new content, but the kind of necessary byproduct of creating lots of content is having big blogs full of old content that in some cases doesn't do what you want it to do, or it's old or outdated or painful, or there are some kind of heinous problems that limit how effective it is. We've kind of toyed around with audits and different ways for different customers, but you spent a long time actually fleshing out this process, bringing a bit more technology to bear on it and trying to create the types of audits that go a little bit further than what you might think with a general content or SEO audit.

Andrew (04:24):

Yeah, exactly. So kind of came to this from two different angles. So one, like you say, we have worked on audits a bit before, but what we found was that they're extremely time-consuming to go through people's blogs. Even moderate sized blogs that has been around for a couple of years is already going to have hundreds of posts on it. And when you get into big enterprise-sized sites that have been around for a decade, it's thousands and thousands of posts, very difficult to understand what's going on at any level, really.

Andrew (05:00):

So it's not something which you can really do just manually. So we wanted to see if we could come up with a way to kind of extract data a bit more automatically and to highlight interesting issues with the blog or focus on problems that the blog or the site might have a bit more easily and highlight those and then build new strategies around those issues or tell people where they need to move to next.

Andrew (05:32):

So that was kind of like one part of it. And then the other part was that we might be just one vendor that a customer is working with and they might already have had audits previously, either focusing on SEO or maybe strategy or maybe content audit. But when we see the results of those audits, they're not necessarily very helpful for us because it might just be a dump of keywords that we're supposed to hit. It might just be some briefs that this company has put together and those tend to be focused on what content is already out there and trying to one-up that content, whereas the whole idea of Animalz is built around the idea of making the best content. So kind of just one-upping what's already there isn't really what we do. So we wanted to kind of find our own way of producing great content, but also giving people something more to lean on that they're getting from these other vendors at the moment.

Ryan (06:39):

Yeah. Certainly from a customer perspective, we have had customers come to us with audits they've had done in the past and they kind of come to us with open hands and say like, "Can you help us do something with this?" Because quite a lot of the time just getting as much information as possible from as many tools as possible, doesn't actually let you do anything with that information. What's missing is that kind of strategic interpretation, that wider context that lets you actually take like page load times or keywords that you're not ranking for and actually translates that into something you can do, go and write this article or go and change this facet of your design or something like that. I think that was very much your vision for this was this is a content audit that actually lets you do stuff with it, it tells you how to interpret it, how to use it and how to improve performance.

Andrew (07:30):

Yeah, that's exactly it. The idea was, there's kind of three main focus points for it. The first was that it should be opinionated. So like I say, we consider ourselves basically the best of this. We have strong opinions on what makes good content and what doesn't make good content. So, that should be part of the audit. If we think something you've written previously sucks, we will tell you. And if we think that we'll strongly state what we think you should be doing next for X, Y, Z reasons.

Andrew (08:06):

The next part was that, yeah, like you say, it should be strategy-lead. It should give you something to do so that you're not just like, you don't just have a data dump of keywords or briefs that aren't linked together. You should come out with this with an idea of where you're going to go for the next six months, the next year. You've got an idea of how your blog is going to grow, how it's going to help your company grow as well. The idea being there that we have the strategy, but yeah, there's also all of this data which backs up anything, any conclusions which we draw so you don't just have the data, you've got the strategy on top of it.

Andrew (08:44):

And then the final part was kind of an educational component. So it's difficult to build out individual briefs for individual articles in a way that makes them really, really good, but it's also so you can get a year's worth of content written up. So you really need to teach people what matters and what doesn't and what good content looks like and what bad content looks like, and what good strategy is and what bad strategy is.

Andrew (09:15):

So within our audits, we want to make sure that people go away from them, not just being told what to do, but being taught what to do as well. So that when they get the final audit, they feel like they're in a really, really good place to go out, get some good stuff on their blog, which grows their company.

Ryan (09:36):

I think quite often agencies, they can be very specialized and very good at SEO, like experts in their field. In the inverse of that, you can have an agency that's incredible at writing, but those two on their own, it's kind of redundant. They won't achieve anything in isolation. It's where they intersect. I think that's always the thing we try and do best at Animalz is actually merge those two concepts together and create content that serves whatever search goal it needs to while also being beautifully written and purposeful and engaging and logical and thorough. Hopefully that is what these audits will result in for companies as well.

Ryan (10:13):

So in true Animalz fashion, of course, the first company we wanted to run through this new rigorous detailed auditing process was Animalz. I recently took over as Director of Marketing, so I now have custody over our wonderful blog and podcast and website. And as part of that, I was trying to get to grips with what works well, what doesn't. I obviously think we do a very good job, but I will also say that there are things that can be improved and will be improved. So we ran the Animalz blog through the audit and we came away with a few findings, which I thought was kind of interesting. Maybe the best place to start with is talk about BLUF, Andrew.

Andrew (10:53):

Yeah, sure. So BLUF is a great article that Jan wrote about writing basically like, bottom line up front, about putting your idea first, straight up there at the top of the article. And it was incredibly successful. It blew away pretty much everything else on our blog, which is great. Right? Having whales like that on your site is a good thing. It's only going to help you in the longterm for sure. At the same time, it caused a few issues in that it was actually so successful, they kind of just swamped everything else on the blog. And it made us kind of rethink some of the stuff we'd be doing.

Andrew (11:36):

So most of the blog concentrates on content marketing strategy, but actually now by far, our most popular post is not on content marketing strategy. It's on writing. So we thought about how can we use this as a way to maybe level up the blog, expand it a bit more and concentrate a bit more on something else we do, which is really good writing. There's obviously an opportunity for that out there. People are interested in it for sure. So it kind of made us broaden our minds I think about what else we might be writing about beyond just straight content marketing. And I think the first example of this went up on Monday-

Ryan (12:21):

It did. Good timing.

Andrew (12:23):

Yeah. Exactly, right? Which is you'll ask on MECE or M-E-C-E, mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive writing, which is a great article and yeah, a great example of some of these things which we kind of take for granted within Animalz. We think about these things all the time, but we don't necessarily share these very well with the rest of the content marketing community. And I think BLUF showed us that actually there's potential for this out there.

Andrew (12:54):

As you and I were discussing this, one of the things which came up though, was that so far within the blog, we've had a lot of highly qualified traffic. The blog has grown well, but the focus on content marketing strategy for SaaS, basically for B2B SaaS companies, has meant there's not like a wide readership, but the readers that read it really, really care about it. So we've always had really, really high qualified traffic and leads coming through. And I think one of the things which we'll have to consider as we move forward with maybe writing more about writing is that we'll have less qualified traffic as well. And how will that impact what we do and how we think about the blog?

Andrew (13:42):

One of the things within the auditing process is that everything is an experimentation. So here, we're going to try and experiment with this. See what happens, is it a good thing, which we're expanding the blog out? Should we narrow it down and focus again on content marketing strategy? But I think understanding that your blog is a great place to get ideas out there and see what happens is something which we always suggest to customers, but potentially don't always do ourselves. And that was again, one of the things which came up in the audit was there's a lot of stuff which we suggest, and we always say people should do, but are not necessarily doing ourselves.

Ryan (14:22):

One of the first things I do when I'm working with a new customer is actually use AHREFs or Google Analytics to find which articles generate the disproportionate amount of their traffic. Because even with the Animalz blog, say we've published 100 articles, it's very, very easy to think of our blog as the product of 100 distinct articles about strategy and data and writing and all these kinds of things. But what something like this reveals is actually to most people, in our case 68% of our traffic, the way they experience Animalz is BLUF. We are basically a blog about BLUF. That's all they know about the company, about what we do. And that, as you say, has a pretty dramatic impact on the types of traffic we get, the way people interact with us and perceive us. And we definitely have to consider not just how we create content, but how that content is received differently to what we intended.

Ryan (15:16):

So yeah, as you say, I'm quite excited to explore more writing topics. I think there's a lot of opportunity there. It was good to surface some of these principles that have long existed within Animalz and actually get them on the blog. There's so much low-hanging fruit I think in every company. If you talk to people in your team, your sales team, you can get all of that information and there's really hundreds of blog articles worth of fodder to write there.

Andrew (15:41):

Yeah, I think so. That's a good point. And that's something which I think Jimmy was very keen on because Jimmy was also highly involved with sales. So basically he would go on a sales call, find out what people's problems were and then write it up. I think, within larger companies and within Animalz as it expands out and grows, making sure you still have those kind of direct lines within the company so that you can write about what the company knows very well and the company understands and what you can write about the problems that customers have. So just making sure that yeah, you're not too narrowly focused on your own marketing ideas or what you want to do, but are willing to write new stuff, get new people involved with the blog. And yeah, just test out new ideas and see what else you might be great at.

Ryan (16:39):

And if anyone hasn't read BLUF, I do highly recommend it. It's probably the most useful blog post I've read in terms of writing. It's really simple, really easy to actually apply to your writing and has a huge, huge impact on the clarity and brevity of what you're trying to articulate to someone.

Ryan (16:55):

So I guess in the spirit of applying the audit philosophy of data and then solution, so we obviously found that most of our traffic goes to one article about writing. So what we're going to do is try and write a bit more about writing, try and capitalize on the success of that, surface other writing principles within Animalz that we found useful and see what that does for our traffic. Whilst also keeping in the back of my head that we may need to do something different with lead qualification, lead gen the future, to do something more useful with the bigger portion of unqualified traffic.

Ryan (17:27):

So one of the second things you found, which is quite interesting, we basically don't rank for our core topics, the thing that we exist to serve and do.

Andrew (17:37):

Yeah. So this one was kind of funny. So we're a content marketing agency. The blog is entirely about content marketing strategy or mostly. So far, I think we have just over 100 posts on the site now. And 62 of them, I think when I ran the audit were categorized as strategy. But you have to go a long way through Google to find us under the key phrase of content marketing strategy. We basically don't rank for it. We're on, I think it's page five at the time, or maybe page six, something like that down in 69th place.

Ryan (18:13):

I bet tons of traffic comes from that. Yeah.

Andrew (18:15):

Definitely not... Yeah, exactly. Right? Definitely not on page one, not getting near page one at the moment where you would expect us to be. So I think this is where thinking about the strategy, you're not just thinking about it from a data point of view, but also thinking about it from a more qualitative point of view is important. Because really again, going back to this kind of qualified lead strategy, it's not necessarily important that we have not ranked for content marketing strategy because we do rank well for SaaS content marketing strategy or B2B content marketing strategy or content marketing for SaaS companies.

Andrew (18:58):

We are high up there for anybody looking for that. We're basically number one or two on the page. Those are the people who we served basically through the almost five years in one month's time. Animalz will be... The vast majority of our customers have been within B2B SaaS. So it's definitely worked for us. We've got some great leads through the blog, but you also have to think about what is the next five years going to look like? Are we only going to be concentrating on B2B SaaS? Probably not, because we've already started to think about other types of customers that we can serve, particularly within e-commerce, within more highly technical type of customers. I'm not on that side of the agency anymore so much, so there's probably a ton of different types of companies coming through that aren't what you would consider straightforward B2B SaaS.

Andrew (19:59):

So do we then want to rethink our strategy about what kind of leads we want from the blog? Do we want to broaden this out, try and get different content marketing strategy for e-commerce, content marketing strategy for B2C companies, for D2C, whatever it is that you want to think about. We want to kind of consider, is that a possibility for us going forward? And then how would we do that? And I think that again, coming back to one of the things, which we almost always suggest for people, a hub-and-spoke model is something which we haven't necessarily built out ourselves.

Andrew (20:42):

So a hub-and-spoke model is the idea that you have one main host or main article, which is supposed to rank for a short tail keyword and that's your hub. And then that links out to a number of other posts, which are targeted more towards long tail stuff. And those are your spokes and the spokes link back to your hub. And everything's kind of integrated on your site. We kind of have that. If you go to our content marketing strategy page, it links out a bit to stuff, but we haven't kept it very up to date. Newest stuff that is within strategy doesn't link back and things like that. So again, it's the kind of thing which is fairly low lift to start off with about our internal linking strategy, which would help us out quite a bit. And then thinking about what could we be writing in the future to broaden the scope of what we offer, but also think about, yeah, how could we rank a bit better to grow organic traffic as well?

Andrew (21:45):

And I think mixing these two things in is important and I think this is kind of where we want to sell audit apart from other audits is this idea of integrating all of this stuff together to kind of give you an idea of what is possible on your blog. If you think about the data and if you think about the strategy and if you think about your customers, and if you think about the quality of the writing and setting out a framework, which allows you to grow into the blog or company or whatever that you want.

Ryan (22:17):

Yeah, definitely. I think obviously there's important nuance here in the sense that this is kind of an expected consequence of how we approach content and how we do blogging. Most content marketing agencies, they want to rank for a keyword, they create a blog post about it. And that works well for lots of companies, but we've never done that. We always do what we call movement first content. We write about things that are important or interesting to us, conversations we have with prospects and customers, observations we have about the industry. We focused very much on the idea first and keyword distribution, keyword targeting is very much a secondary, sometimes not even involved factor. And that's worked beautifully to date, but it does mean there are relatively low-hanging opportunities for us to rank for stuff that would be better for us, better for our customers to find us if we apply a little bit of this search-thinking to content or page structure or internal linking.

Ryan (23:16):

So I'm excited to do some experiment with this a little bit, as we said earlier. I think there's stuff we can do around content hub-and-spokes. I think there's stuff we can do around site structure as well. One of the things I was talking to Devin about recently our CEO, our services page is one of the most highly trafficked pages on the website, but it doesn't lead anywhere. There's nothing on it. It's like a laundry list of things we do, but there's not much context. There's not much copy on the page. I think fleshing out each of those services, creating their own page with social proof and descriptions, that serves as kind of a website hub-and-spoke, we're creating this interlinked network of services and keywords that we offer to companies. So I'm excited to do that. Keep doing all the cool, exciting thought leader stuff, which is why I love blogging for Animalz, but be a little bit more deliberate about how we think about search targeting as well.

Andrew (24:09):

Yeah, that sounds exactly like the outcome we want from the audit in particular, thinking about... I think a lot of people, they've got some good stuff and they're doing a good job, but often you can find yourself in a position where very quickly you have a lot of content and you're not entirely sure what it all does and where it all leads and why something got written and why something else didn't get written and what's the overarching point of it all? And having an audit helps you kind of refocus. And that doesn't necessarily mean throwing out everything that went before, for sure, because a lot of the time there's a lot of successful stuff there. It just means making sure you understand why stuff is there, what maybe should be cut and what you can go on and do in the future.

Andrew (25:04):

And I think you brought up a really, really important point there, which is making sure this is also integrated into not just thinking about this on a single blog perspective, but thinking about what is the ultimate point of your blog, which is often to get people to buy your product. So making sure that you are thinking about this site-wide and thinking about it from a product perspective as well, and making sure that yeah, your blog just isn't this cookie little corner of your site away from everything else, but is integrated into your entire marketing site and making sure that it's driving what you want, whatever your goal is, however it is. It may just be getting people to your site or it may be something super specific, but whatever that is, making sure that your blog is designed to do that for you.

Ryan (25:56):

I think one of the things I've found doing strategy for lots of customers and also we found through the audit is that there is a bit of a ceiling to how much you can templatize the advice you offer. It's obviously good to do that. We want to make it as efficient as possible. There are quite often a few very common problems and solutions that we can surface for people. But I think as soon as you blanket recommend the strategy, like we were talking about target this keyword or structure your blog posts in a certain way, you always risk losing out on all the nuance that goes around it. Our site is a great example of that.

Ryan (26:30):

Looking at it from just a pure SEO perspective, I would probably say, "Wow, this blog kind of sucks actually. It doesn't do much." We have the extra context of knowing how much business it generates, how useful it is to people as well. I think that's probably the hallmark of a good audit is the ability to take in all the surrounding context and nuance of where this content fits within the wider business and make recommendations that are smarter and accommodate that. Not just some cookie cutter SEO strategy that you just layer over everything.

Andrew (27:03):

Yeah. That's kind of the way we're thinking about this. It's not just thinking about it straight from a data perspective, because the idea is that we try and clean as much data as possible and as many insights as possible through that data. But the audits are strategy-led. They are led by the strategists in the company. They take that data and they understand the context better. And the point being that, yeah, they understand the context of content marketing. They understand the context of that specific customer and their needs and their goals. And they understand the context of how you actually put together strategy and articles to support their strategy as well and kind of bringing it all together.

Andrew (27:51):

So, like you say, it's just not... Because you're completely right, right? When I was doing this audit and I got the data through Animalz, it's like, "Oh wow, it was 69th for this."

Ryan (28:02):

Wow, we suck.

Andrew (28:04):


Ryan (28:04):

It just doesn't seem to make any sense.

Andrew (28:06):

Yeah. But, when I present that to people who know what they're talking about, you and Jimmy in particular, it's like, well, that's not actually true. There's a whole layer of context on top of this. So making sure that that comes through and that's an important part of, well, at least we think that's an important part of any auditing process.

Ryan (28:26):

Now, I will say the last of the big three things we uncovered through our audit, it's something we talk a lot about is the importance of refreshing content or in some very niche cases, pruning content as well. Unsurprisingly, we have not been beholden to our own advice and we do have some very lightweight cruft pages on the website.

Andrew (28:49):

Yeah. So this is an interesting issue where we built Revive for exactly this purpose to find refreshes. But when we ran Animalz through Revive, it actually showed up nothing. The reason being that the BLUF article was so successful that it lifted traffic site-wide. It did a really, really good job. We get a lot of traffic, not just through BLUF, but through a lot of other articles which have just increased in traffic, which means that Revive, which looks for a longterm declining trend in analytics didn't find any articles or found only a couple.

Andrew (29:28):

So to start off with you think, okay, nothing needs to be refreshed. But then again, when you start to think about it from an actual human perspective and go into the posts themselves and maybe go into the analytics ourselves, then you start to notice different trends. In particular, I think in terms of refreshing, we've already covered this, the idea that the content marketing strategy page should be updated fairly regularly because we're always posting stuff on strategy. So we should be linking out to that. It should be a part of our content marketing strategy, so we should be thinking about that page. And we should be thinking about this holistically. One of the pages I highlighted for refreshment was the how to refresh your content page.

Ryan (30:12):

No way.

Andrew (30:12):

Yeah, so that was kind of one of the main ones which I thought, "Oh, this really needs refreshing." Because we wrote it and then left it and then built a tool around refreshing, and then never said anything about the tool in that refreshment post. So that's just, again, like one of those low lift things where it just gets forgotten. It's not like the blog moves on in. And this is just a constant issue with content is the people are focused on the next thing to publish and they're not thinking necessarily of what they've done previously that could be refreshed. And refreshing content is a really, really good idea because it's not very difficult to do. You already have the URL and the article out there, it's just a matter of constantly trying to make it better and make it fit, what is important at any given time.

Andrew (31:07):

So for the refreshing post, it needs to A, link to Revive and how we built that. But also it can then take into consideration the stuff that we've learned from Revive as well about the importance of some issues that we've seen. A great one, which comes up constantly is seasonality in posts and thinking about is it important? Like if you see a post and you think should it be refreshed, or maybe it shouldn't because it's just seasonal. It's important at one time a year and not important another. Another thing would be monthly uptake posts. We see those all the time. Should you think about different URL structures for those so that they're constantly important, not just important in September. And yeah, building out a better structure for refreshing posts, which is something we've learned as we've refreshed more posts. So I think that's important.

Andrew (32:03):

The other thing, which again, people are super reticent to do is pruning content. Which again, I know now you've actually started.

Ryan (32:12):

I've pruned one article. I did. It's gone. Killed it, dead.

Andrew (32:16):

Yeah. Time roll. So, that article just wasn't generating any traffic. It had broken links in it. It just wasn't doing anything for us. It was a good idea at the time, but isn't successful anymore.

Ryan (32:28):

If anyone's curious, it was a round-up of like 100 people, tweeting smart things about content marketing. So if we're honest, it is a bit of a shameless ego bait. It's useful. We all follow a bunch of smart people on Twitter. It was a nice shorthand to share that around and let other people follow them. But unsurprisingly, no residual traffic from that, no traffic growth, just totally flattened out because we've taken the images directly from Twitter. When Twitter updated their URL structure for images, they all broke on mass, like 100 dead images in there. Generally not the most evergreen of posts. So it is gone, 301 redirected. It doesn't exist anymore.

Andrew (33:09):

Yeah. So it's not something which should be done lightly necessarily like taking out posts. But again, we've had customers who had real success with this. They prune posts and see almost immediate organic traffic increases. And one of the things we also found, so we're recording a podcast at the moment. This podcast will go up on our site as its own article. But when we've done that so far, they've gone up with almost no text. It might have a small description of what the podcast is about, but there'll be nothing else there.

Andrew (33:49):

So these articles, which to Google, just look like regular blog post articles are super short, like 200 words. And they kind of look really, really light. So again, that's one of the things where light content is one of the things which you might want to think about pruning. But again, if the light content... Within our podcast posts, we don't want to prune these. We don't want to get rid of these for sure, but we have to think about a way to make sure that they actually offer as much as we can offer basically within the post.

Andrew (34:23):

So another kind of recommendation was that for these posts, we also may be adding transcripts to them or we're not having individual piece for the podcast that they're integrated into the original... Because often these posts are based on an actual blog post, so integrating them into those so they're not kind of standalone. So again, that's one of the things where the data shows, yeah, you've got all of these posts. They're 200 words. You should think about getting rid of these. But actually when you think about the context of them, there's a reason why they're there. They're not just cruft posts. You just have to think about them a bit more wisely and hopefully our auditing process can help you do that.

Ryan (35:11):

And one of the things I really liked in the audit you did for us was you actually went that step further and you found examples of a company that solved that problem, ProfitWell. We've worked with ProfitWell for years. Wonderful, wonderful team. They do wonderful podcasts and they are very, very smart about how they integrate that into their broader content strategy. They actually create dedicated blog posts properly legitimately written, structured, thought through based on each episode. So they've got kind of the best of both worlds. They've got great podcast content and they've got great thoroughly written, structured blog post content to go alongside it.

Ryan (35:48):

I'm actually in the process now of trying to evaluate how we do this, whether just a transcript on its own is all right. My hunch is there should be a bit more structure to it. Something that makes it a little bit more search-friendly, user-friendly instead of just dumping thousands of pages of ums and uhs onto a page and hoping that it's somehow useful to people.

Andrew (36:10):

Yeah. I think that goes back to one of the three kind of foundational concepts of these audits, was kind of an educational component. It's one thing to say, "Oh yeah, make these longer, but how?" Like you say, what's the actual best way to do this? So highlighting where other companies are doing this really, really well, I think is important and ProfitWell isn't just a great example of this, where they have all of these podcasts or these videos and they are within great articles as well and the whole thing is integrated together.

Andrew (36:51):

So again, one of these things internally, internally, we use Soapbox on Wistia a lot to just record short videos for each other whenever we're giving feedback or whether we're talking about stuff, kind of like async part of our remote work culture is important. So within the audits themselves, they also have a ton of video content showing you your content, where we think it should be improved, but also highlighting good examples elsewhere of what we think you should be doing or what we think might be important. So anybody getting an audit will hear a lot from the internal Animalz team, whether it's me to start off with, or the strategists going forward, going through these videos and showing them exactly how we think about content.

Ryan (37:40):

I think the ultimate acid test of an audit is whether people actually do the things it recommends. So I think we're already on good ground with Animalz auditing Animalz. Because as you say, I've already started doing some of the things you pointed out. I intend to do many more of those things as well. I may even in the future set up another podcast episode to chat through what we did, what the impact it actually had was.

Ryan (38:05):

And yeah, I guess it would be remiss of me to say if anyone listening to this is thinking, "Actually, it sounds a bit like my site. I've got a bunch of content, not quite sure how it's working. I'd like for it to generate more revenue, be more useful for me." Well, get in touch. I will link to the landing page for the audits in the show notes, you can check it out, learn a little bit more. You can always drop us an email to learn a little bit more about it as well. We'd be very happy to run your blog through the ringer and come out with some meaty strategic recommendations for you.

Andrew (38:37):

Yeah, that sounds awesome. Yeah, definitely want to just help people out as much as possible, allow people to build out strategy, to build out blogs, to build out articles a bit more wisely. And just to grow on what I think is probably already there for most blogs and to give people a bit more of a refocus on what they're doing and what works for them and what they should be doing.

Ryan (38:58):

Well, brilliant. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast, Andrew. Thank you for spending all the hours you did auditing the blog. I feel like you've made my life a lot easier now in the next few months as I take over marketing. So I appreciate it.

Andrew (39:11):

No worries. Thanks for having me on. Glad to be, yeah, another British voice on the podcast. Let's do it again. Yeah, maybe once you've got some results from this audit we can talk about it a bit more.

Ryan (39:23):

Look forward to it. Thanks Andrew.

Andrew (39:25):