Content Audit

Doing a Content Audit

Web content has a tendency to grow and grow. If left unattended, it will grow until your audience is unable to find the information it needs. When you do a content analysis, you’re doing a careful inventory in order to improve your site’s structure and flow. You’re making it easier to use for current and future visitors.

With a content audit, your primary goal is to get a snapshot of your site’s pages and files. This includes text, images, audio, video, PDFs and spreadsheets. You do this so you can:
  • assess the state of your website,
  • identify areas that need revising,
  • make informed decisions about organizing your content, and
  • plan for the ongoing maintenance of your website

Process
Here’s the process for analyzing your content:
  1. Open a content analysis spreadsheet
  2. Open your browser and go to the website you’re analyzing
  3. Starting from the homepage, click through your website and record the structure of its pages in your spreadsheet
Content Audit Checklist
  • Is the content current and relevant?
  • Is the content written with the audience in mind?
  • Is content written in Brock University writing style.
  • Is the content intended for:
    • an internal audience (staff, students)
    • external audience (the public, potential students or staff, etc.)
    • learning and teaching purposes (Sakaii)?
  • Who is the best person in your department to review this content?
  • Is there any content missing that needs to be created?
  • Do you have appropriate design content (including images) to support the text?
  • Is the page too long or too short?

What tools are best to use?
Excel is the program most commonly used to create a content matrix. Each row in the spreadsheet represents one web page or piece of content. Columns represent the attributes of the content.
 
How long will it take?
It is possible to audit as many as 50+ pages per day, although it can take longer depending on the volume of content you’re analyzing.

Can it be automated?
No. A web crawler could be implemented to list all the URLs. But that is just a start, and not always possible.
 
How often do we do this?
Based on the flow of life at Brock, content audits are best done through the summer months. However, ongoing maintenance should be done on a smaller level throughout the year as you find out-of-date information during regular maintenance of your site.