A content audit of your website, or any digital touchpoint for that matter, such as a social media, newsletters or similar is a valuable tool to use every six months or so. This to ensure that you are consistent, accurate and formost that the content you have is still relevant for your customer, brand, future vision, business goals and purpose.
Some of the reasons and benefits of a content audit are:
- A great tool before you decide to remake your website, to pinpoint the scope, needs for new developments etc.
- Ensure you content is accurate or pages that you can delete.
- Discover improvements for copy, links and imagery.
- Discover dead ends or broken links.
- Discover duplicate content.
- Ensure that there is someone responsible for the information inside your company (if you are a larger organisation).
- Regularly updating your website helps with improving search engine rankings, as this is seen an indication of relevancy.
The benefits and reasons to do a content audit are many. Even if you are not looking to invest in a new website. It’s till a relevant tool to use. Either you can perform this exercise yourself, or hire someone to do it, I’ve outlined a swift process and offer a template to download for performing a content audit in the end of article.
Before you start you need to get some basic information mapped out – which is:
- Have your target audience/visitor in mind, know them and their needs.
- If you have several different types of visitos, e.g you have more then one taget audience, then you need to prioritise them. Make a list with the most important visitor group first.
- Specify for each visitor group – what do they need?
- Specify for each visitor group – what do you want each target audience/visitor group to do?
Example for a large ecommerce website:
|VISITOR GROUP||VISITOR GROUP NEEEDS||CALL TO ACTION|
|1. Customers||Easy to buy again, reinforce they made the right decision (loyalty), present information relevant to support a purchase, customer support.||Buy product|
|2. Potential new customers||Easy to buy, present information relevant to support a purchase, easy to sign-up or create new account on website. Customer support.||Buy|
|3. Potential new employees||Communicate the company as a creative, vibrant place to work, easy access to job postings, send CV or similar||Apply for open positions|
|4. Journalists||Easy access to relevant information, press kits, press contacts (write bout the company new product releases)||Write about the company|
Then you need to have a clear vision in mind or use your company brand guidelines and communication material and get to grips with how your communication should look in terms of tone of voice, images, links and other resources. This is not a hughe amount of infomation – the person who performs the content audit should be able to answer the questions below.
Per page – on your website, go through it and ask the following questions:
- What is the purpose of this page?
- Who is it for? (visitor group)
- Is this page still relevant?
- Is the information on this page still relevant? And supports your purpose?
- Who is responsible/owns this information within your organisation?
- Does the page content support the purpose of the page? (Copy, links, images)
- Does the page have a clear call to action or next step? Or is it a dead end?
- What action should be taken for this page?
Outcome and next steps after a content audit
When you are done, you can now determine what the next steps are. Make an action plan based on your content audit;
- what do you need to do? what has priority? who is responsible for making it happen?
- Do you need a budget for new images?
- Do you need to hire someone to rework the copy? a photographer?
- Perhaps redo your website altogether?
- From your content audit you will now be able to make a roadmap for improvements.
My advice for getting through a content audit if you do it yourself
- Divide your website into smaller, logical chunks.
- Do the content audit in stages.
- Don’t spend more then 2 hours, each time you work through your website.
- Take breaks.
If you want a head start, I’ve created a template for you to use when making a content audit, which is easy to use, and will get you started in no time. Download the content audit template here.
The photograph is taken and owned by: Old One Eye, who has the copyright to this picture. I’m only borrowing it to illustrate my article.
I love to browse FlickR and use images for my articles to help promote photographers around the world. If you do not want your image here, simply contact me and I will remove both image and links.
The featured image icon is made by Milky – Digital innovation from The Noun Project