Content Audit Guide

What it is:

A content audit is the activity of checking all of the content on an existing website, and compiling it into a big list (usually in a spreadsheet). There are two kinds of audits: quantitative inventories and qualitative assessments. The inventory answers the question "What content is there?" and the assessment answers the question "Is it any good?"

How to do it:

  • Quantitative inventory: For each piece of content, an inventory generally lists a:
    • title,
    • format (standard text, video, PDF, etc.),
    • URL or other location,
    • content type (landing page, article, support page, contact page, etc.), and
    • "owner" (person responsible for upkeep)
    • When working on a Drupal site, it is helpful to conduct an inventory of existing content types, fields in each content type, and number of nodes for each content type
  • Qualitative assessment: ask the following questions (from Erin Kissane, "The Elements of Content Strategy") when evaluating content:
    • Is it appropriate?
    • Useful and user-centered?
    • Clear, consistent, and concise?
    • Has it been properly supported, or is it outdated or inaccurate?

See Recommended Reading below for more detailed information about possible approaches.

Why to do it:

A content audit is the best way to fully comprehend all existing content and to accurately access current content woes and assets.

Specifically, a content audit and analysis helps us understand:

  • How is content currently performing?
  • How do users currently view a given agency or department based on viewing their existing website?
  • What is the tone, voice and branding for the agency?
  • What is the lifecycle history of content?

Examples: