Posted by Chirag Rawal
October 24, 2013
Suppose that you are working on the redesigning of a website which requires to look at a large amount of content, one of the vital tasks that you will need to perform is the content audit.
It is a must although it is a tedious job and one would have hardly heard about this concept. But, you can’t undertake the redesigning process of a website without doing a proper content audit.
What is Content Audit?
It is the activity to check all the content of a particular website and compile it into a long list. There are typically three main types of audits that could be performed.
Full content inventory: A complete listing of every content item on the site. This may include all pages as well as all assets (such as downloadable files and videos).
Partial content inventory: A listing of a subset of the site’s content. A partial inventory may include, for example, the top few levels of a hierarchical site or the past six months of articles. All sections of the site will be covered.
Content sample: A less detailed collection of example content from the site.
What is the use of Content Audit
The main use of a content audit is to prepare a list of the site’s content, normally in a long spreadsheet. This list of content would prove to be useful at various stages of your project. If you are re-working on the architecture of information, you will return to it continuously as a reminder of the details of each page. It could also be used to talk to authors about rewriting an managing their content. In case, you are moving to a new content management system, you could use it to keep a note of what you started with and where you are standing now in the project.
Having said that, having a spreadsheet listing out the content is not the only benefit. Just by taking an audit, a much better understanding of the content could be gained. You may find things that you didn’t even know existed, you could even get access to spot duplication and identify all the kinds of relationships between the content. It could also prove to be a great platform for a comprehensive content analysis.
What’s Included in a Content Audit?
Put the practice of recording the content audit on a spreadsheet, mainly because they are very flexible. They are also capable of holding large amount of data in a manageable way. Plus they are very easy to be shared with people.
The following information should be collected for every page:
Navigation title: The name of the main navigation link to content
Page name: The page title that is displayed
Page name: The displayed page title
URL: You may have the URL displayed or just a link from the page name
Comments: Keep a record by noting them down and also write down the things to remember.
Content hierarchy: It shows the basic relationship between the content items.
You could also like add information about:
Content Type: Is it a basic page, news story, publication, technique, article, or something else?
Basic content description: It is a brief reminder about what is on the page.
Topic, tags or category: Meta data for products, news, articles, or blog posts.
Author: Who has written this content?
Owner: Who holds the responsibility for the content?
Date last updated: The date when the content was last updated
Attached files: How many files are attached and their types?
Availability: Is the content available to mobile, desktop and other application users? Is it syndicated to other sites?
The vital thing to know about a content audit is that there really is no right way or a wrong way—it’s just a tool that could be used throughout the project. So, create your content audit in a way that would help.