There are a lot of people in the world. And an awful lot of them have websites. Some might even have more than one, one for their business, one for their hobby or perhaps update a blog site about their lives. With that many sites it can get a little confusing when you begin to think about what’s where and why in terms of web content.
A content audit is a fantastic, if not vital way to keep track of the what, the where, the why and the how it’s doing when you’re looking after a website. And though the phrase ‘audit’ sounds intimidating, and could make you just quietly click the little X in the top corner of the page and find something easier to do, take a minute to read on and see not only how important a content audit is, but how straightforward and then give it a go for your own site.
A content inventory, step one of the audit is a simple spreadsheet. It’s a straightforward list;
- The name of each page
- The URL of each page
- The page’s level in the site
- The type of content (articles, images, videos etc)
- A character count
- Who is in charge of that page
- Topics covered on that page, keywords, tags, META descriptions
- When it was last updated
There are other details you can add in, but those are your basics and you don’t really need much more in order to do a full inventory, and a full audit. When you’re looking at the site objectively and you have the information above,it’s time to begin the audit. This is when you evaluate the site, fully and completely, page by page. You’re looking at what’s there, whether it should be there, what needs to be added, what you should think about rewriting.
The key points you’re looking for in this page-by-page assessment, this audit, are;
Who are the target audience, who you’re trying to reach with the information on your website.
The point of the page, what information are you sharing, are you selling something, are you introducing someone. Each page should have a clear purpose.
Whether it’s accurate and includes a ‘call to action’, is the information all correct and up to date? Is it inviting your customers to buy, your service users to use your service, your audience to engage and comment?
Does it sit within the style guide for the brand? If you don’t have a style guide, think about creating one! It’s very important to have a cohesive style, and a ‘voice’ for the site, this is also useful if and when additional people are brought in to add to the site.
Add columns to your website with key notes; notes such as “Up to date” or “needs rewriting” or “edit details” or even “add call to action and contact details”.
Once you’ve got all this information make sure that you, and any others involved in maintaining your websites keep it updated when changes are made, and if there are changes that need to be made, make them.