Content audit

Taking stock of your content (2 mins reading time)

  Flickr: "Mediq Sverige Kungsbacka warehouse" by Gwan Kho. CC BY-SA 2.0

A content audit is a way of taking stock of what is on your site. The outcome is a spreadsheet which lists all your content.

Once you have a clearer mapping of the content on your site, it helps you to:

  • Review and improve your information architecture (site structure, navigation and user journeys)
  • Evaluate, prioritise and improve the quality of your content by making it strategic and customer focussed
  • Remove unnecessary content keeping your site focussed and easier to maintain
  • Improve your SEO
  • Clarify your workflow – get a clear understanding of the people who govern and maintain content
  • Develop your content strategy – how are you meeting customer and department needs?
  • Provide an enjoyable user experience for your customers

Good content is a good website and a content audit is a starting point to helping you evaluate your site.

Every site may have different problems that may need to be prioritised. Along with additional user research, such as user testing and one-to-one interviews, you can better begin to understand where your content is working or not.

Listing your web pages

For many this may be looking at your website directory and slowly going through each folder, noting each file and it’s associated web page.

There are tools that may help you scan your website and provide a report of the content which may save you time E.g. https://app.kapost.com/auditor or http://www.content-insight.com/products/

Depending on the size of your website, you may decide to tackle one section at a time. It is tedious work, but worth the effort.

Each page is added to a spreadsheet template which notes:

  • Information architecture – structure and navigation
  • Page details and content purpose – title, audience, message and goals
  • Content management – who owns and updated content
  • Content assessment – usage stats and note to evaluate quality
  • A plan of action – decisions on the content. Should it be removed, consolidated, improved or left-as-is?

You can view an example template here.

The template should be adapted for your own needs. There may be additional columns you’d like to add which are relevant to your project.

Summary

A content audit is an excellent starting point to improving your site. It provides a good map to help you analyse your content giving you a foothold towards developing your content strategy.

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