How to Perform a Content Audit


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These slides come from a session hosted by GatherContent, and led by Paula Land, teaching you how to perform a content audit, why it's important, and leave you with a plan to apply it to your process.

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How to Perform a Content Audit

  1. 1. How To Perform A Content Audit And Extract Presentable Insights with content strategy expert Paula Land
  2. 2. How to Perform a Content Audit Paula Land Content Insight
  3. 3. Introduction Paula Land Co-founder and CEO of Content Insight Owner and Principal Consultant at Strategic Content
  4. 4. What we’ll cover Introduction to the Content Audit Why Audit Who Should Audit When to Audit Establishing Goals and Audit Scope Getting Started What to Audit Quality, Currency, Relevance, Consistency Brand Messaging and Voice Content Effectiveness The Competitive Audit Gathering Audit Insights Presenting Audit Findings
  5. 5. Inventories vs. audits Quantity vs. quality Why start with an inventory?
  6. 6. When do we inventory and audit? • Planning and executing a content strategy • Website redesign • CMS implementation • To guide a governance initiative • Ongoing
  7. 7. Why audit? • Assess current state of content to inform strategy • Identify whether content consistently follows brand, template, editorial, style and metadata guidelines • Assess whether content supports business and user goals • Establish a basis for gap analysis between content you have and content you need • Prepare content for revision, removal and migration • Uncover patterns in content to support structured content initiatives • Understand content lifecycle and workflows Business Goals User Goals Conten
  8. 8. Who should audit? Content strategists Information architects Project managers Site managers Everyone who interacts with your content
  9. 9. Establishing audit goals Why are you auditing? • Scoping a project • Content strategy initiative and/or site redesign • CMS implementation • Governance initative • Ongoing What questions are you answering?
  10. 10. Scoping the audit What do you need to learn? Who is your audience? How much time do you have? What’s your project timeline? Know your limits
  11. 11. Getting started Start with an inventory Create your template Assemble your ingredients • Inventory data • Business requirements • Analytics data and other metrics • Editorial and brand guidelines • Personas • Customer journey maps • Customer feedback • Search logs
  12. 12. What to audit Editorial quality Brand and voice Content effectiveness The competition
  13. 13. Editorial What to assess: • Content is relevant • Content is current • Content is accurate • Content is consistent • Content is engaging • It is easy-to-read/scan • Content is audience-appropriate • Content communicates key messages • Content facilitates key user activities What to assess against: •Editorial style guide •Brand guidelines •Voice / tone guidelines •User research •Personas •Customer tasks
  14. 14. Brand messaging and voice What to assess: • Terminology • Tone and voice • Customer feedback What to assess against: •Style guide •Messaging guidelines •Competitors
  15. 15. Auditing for content performance What to assess: • Analytics data • Site metrics • Search data What to assess against: •Business goals •Personas •Key performance indicators (KPIs) •Search rankings
  16. 16. Auditing against competitors What to assess: • Audience(s) • Type and quantity of content • Formats • Language (tone and voice) • Contributors (numbers, names) • Community features • Frequency of publication • Overall impression • Stand-out or differentiating features What to assess for: •Breadth and depth •Consistency •Completeness •Currency and frequency •Findability
  17. 17. Gathering insights Review your goals Look for patterns
  18. 18. Presenting audit findings Context Content Users
  19. 19. Presenting audit findings – context What decisions need to be made? What change are you trying to drive?
  20. 20. Presenting audit findings – content What are the most compelling data points? What is the call to action? Minimize surprises
  21. 21. Presenting audit findings – users Who are they? How much background do they have? What will be most persuasive?
  22. 22. Form and function Presentation deck – high level overview, summary of findings, recommendations, Document – detailed results, section-by-section, examples, illustrations Graphics – present visuals to quickly illustrate data points Data – spreadsheet or other data sets
  23. 23. Wrapping it up Begin your audit with an inventory Understand the business context Immerse yourself in the available information Set goals and scope your audit Look for patterns to identify areas of focus Present your findings in an effective way
  24. 24. Try CAT Free trial available Sign up at
  25. 25. Stay in touch @content_insight Content Analysis Tool (CAT)
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