Content Audit and Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

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A content inventory and analysis is an excellent way to determine what content exists on your current website, what needs to be updated, what can be removed, and what new content you need to create to meet your communications goals.

After completing an inventory and analysis, it will be easier to build your new site, knowing what is needed and what is not.

Below are some tools and methods you may find helpful.

Step 1: Build the inventory

Make a list of all of your current Web pages and input them into the Content Audit and Analysis Template.

A tool to help speed up this process is xml-sitemaps.

  1. Go to www.xml-sitemaps.com.
  2. Input your website URL into the "Starting URL" field, and click Start.
  3. Once the process is done, select “Download sitemap in text format.”
  4. Save the text document to your computer.
  5. Next, Open the text document, Select All of the text, and Copy it.
  6. Open GT Content Audit and Analysis Template in Exel, and paste all of the URLs into the "URL (Web Address)" column. 

Please note that xml-sitemaps will only generate a list of your first 500 URLs. Any URLs beyond this will need to be input by hand into your content audit spreadsheet. 

Step 2: Evaluate existing content

Look at each Web page and assess its purpose and condition. 

  1. First, set a goal for your content audit.
    Think about your website's audiences and what information they need to find on your site. Keeping these audiences in mind while conducting your audit will help you properly assess whether or not your content is meeting their needs.
  2. Next, grade each page.
    O: Out-of-date. Content that is still useful and will move to the new site, but should be updated.
    U: Unnecessary. Content that is not needed at all. It should not be moved to the new site.
    C: Current. Content that is fine as is, up-to-date, and just needs to be moved to the new site.
    H: Have to write. H will not be used on your first pass of the content audit, so nothing on the "AUDIT" tab should be marked H

  3. Assign an owner to each page.
    This is the person who is responsible for reviewing or updating the page content.

Step 3: Identify gaps in content

Next, think about what content you would like to add to the new site.

  1. Sort your content by grade.
  2. Copy the O and C content over to the tab titled “New Site Content Plan.”
    The U content should be left behind since it is not needed for the new site.
  3. In the “New Site Content Plan” tab, add lines for content you would like to add to the site.
    Think about what kind of content you will need to add to serve your audiences and achieve your communications goals.
  4. Assign all of the new content an H status, as well as a Page Owner and an Update Schedule.
    In order to keep your content as up-to-date as possible, make note of any pages that contain timely content. You should set up a schedule for having the Page Owner review these pages on a regular basis.
  5. Decide which photographs need to be updated or added.

Step 4: Gather and manage content

  1. Connect with the Page Owners
    Start collecting the content you need to have updated or written. Be sure to provide deadlines with lots of padding.
  2. Track the status of each page
    The "NEW WEBSITE CONTENT PLAN" spreadsheet can then become a helpful way of tracking content as you add it to the new site, whether you are simply moving over content, or writing something new. You can use the “Status” column in the content plan to keep track of the process in a way that works best for your organization.
  3. Need help formatting your content?
    Web Content Guide.
  4. Need pictures?
    Find Images for Your Website.
  5. Need videos?
    Contact Your Institute Communications Client Manager.
  6. Need a logo for your website?
    Request a logo through your Institute Communications Client Manager