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Workshop: Content audits - looking back to look forward

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The better you understand your content and content owners, the more effectively you can analyze your content and make it better for the long term. This workshop covers common content challenges and the organizational issues that cause them, and then delves into how to create the right kind of inventory and analysis that drive improvements.

Published in: Internet
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Workshop: Content audits - looking back to look forward

  1. 1. Content Audits
 Looking back to look forward Hilary Marsh, Chief Strategist & President Content Company, Inc. 1
  2. 2. Organizations publish 
 a LOT of content
  3. 3. What don’t we publish?? •  Product data •  Reports •  Press releases •  News stories •  Customer success stories •  Executive bios •  Event information •  Course details •  Policies •  FAQs •  Mission statement •  Job listings
  4. 4. Content is the way our work is manifested in the world
  5. 5. h$p://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/jun/17/stephen-laconte-earns-college-engineering-deans-aw/
  6. 6. h$p://www.technologist.eu/the-mindfulness-movement-connec@ng-body-and-mind/
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. Just because…..
  10. 10. Because the boss said so Because the committee asked us to Because the committee told us to Because we have this program Because we do this thing Because we created the information Because we have no way to say “no” to the request Because we think we have to Because everyone else is
  11. 11. h$p://www.amazon.com/Have-Always-Done-That-Way/dp/184728857X/
  12. 12. Start with the problem •  What are we facing that we think a content audit will help us solve? •  What makes us think that?
  13. 13. Discuss!
  14. 14. Content strategy challenges •  Findability •  Voice •  Ownership •  Policies •  Practices
  15. 15. Worst practices •  Language/jargon •  Prioritized promotion •  Content hoarding •  Bad editorial processes •  New content missing •  Different content in different channels
  16. 16. Content is political
  17. 17. Content is… Event Product Class Program Research
  18. 18. Content is… My Event My Product My Class My Program My Research
  19. 19. 20
  20. 20. Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Department Message Audience Old thinking
  21. 21. Organization: Programs, offerings Audience Messages Audience Audience Audience New thinking
  22. 22. 23
  23. 23. 24 Content strategy 
 is
 CHANGE MANAGEMENT
  24. 24. 25 User experience 
 is
 CHANGE MANAGEMENT
  25. 25. 26 Digital 
 is
 CHANGE MANAGEMENT
  26. 26. 28 h$ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_hoarding
  27. 27. h$p://professiongal.com/2011/02/22/five-signs-youre-an-office-hoarder/ •  What’s here? •  Is it useful? •  If I was looking for something specific, could I find it?
  28. 28. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/ •  Is anything here relevant? •  Does this meet my current needs?
  29. 29. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/ ß2008 ß2008 ß2012 ß2012 ß2012 ß2014 ß2013
  30. 30. ß2010 ß2014 ßrange ß2012 ß2012 ß2011
  31. 31. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/
  32. 32. 2008
  33. 33. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/ The content I was 
 really looking for
  34. 34. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/ 2004 2007 2010
  35. 35. •  290-page PDF •  Updated every year
  36. 36. •  Where is the member handbook?
  37. 37. Why Websites Get Cluttered
  38. 38. h$p://adventurerepor@ng.wordpress.com/archaeology-in-melbourne/ Your content may be valuable, but how will visitors know to dig for it if they don’t know it’s there? 10. “That information is valuable!”
  39. 39. http://www.tuppersteam.com/relocation-information/colorado-outdoors/42-funniest-ski-outfits/ You may have paid a lot for this outfit back in 1982, but you don’t even ski anymore! 9. “I spent a long time creating that”
  40. 40. More reasons for clutter 8. Last-minute rush 7. No process for reviewing 6. “The Internet is free” 5. Changing leadership 4. Moving too fast to look back 3. Understaffed 2. No understanding of negative impact
  41. 41. h$p://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/how-to-pack-your-backpack/ “I removed the link, so the content must have disappeared from the system” #1 reason
  42. 42. Excuses for Keeping Content “I might need to refer to it someday.” “I might need to create something like this again.” “No one has given me permission to remove it.” “The person who created it doesn’t work here anymore.” “I might break a link.”
  43. 43. •  Less is more •  See what you have •  Enjoy and use it all •  Stay organized •  Cull and replace as necessary The Beauty of a Cleaner Site
  44. 44. Empathy-Based Audience Personas
  45. 45. h$p://www.tagheuer.com/int-en/company/ceo-speech •  Shared focus on the audience
 •  Shared understanding of the audience
  46. 46. 49 h$p://www.slideshare.net/est3ban/empathybased-personas-gaining-a-deeper-understanding-of-your-audience-presen
  47. 47. 50 Anthony Susan Allen Maggie
  48. 48. Other ways to bring in audience knowledge •  Customer feedback •  Customer service information •  Satisfaction surveys •  Direct contact – by you and/or your colleagues/client
  49. 49. Business Knowledge 
 and Goals
  50. 50. •  Strategic goals, mission statement •  Stakeholder interviews – Management – Content owners – Site and content managers – IT
  51. 51. http://www.bluefroglondon.com/queerideas/the-fundraising-paradox/
  52. 52. http://xkcd.com/773/
  53. 53. Content goals Each piece of content needs a clear, explicit reason to exist
  54. 54. Example content goals •  Bring in revenue •  Encourage joining or renewing membership •  Inspire more people to register for the event •  Increase the number of articles each visitor reads •  Raise the quality of job applicants
  55. 55. 59 5 Whys h$ps://www.pinterest.com/pin/86483255319117458/
  56. 56. Keep asking “why” •  Why are you publishing this content? •  Why? •  Why? •  Why? •  Why?
  57. 57. 61 h$p://gadling.com/2008/05/01/cash-and-treasures-the-an@que-bo$le-dig/ The real goal is in there somewhere
  58. 58. Making 
 the goal measurable
  59. 59. How will you know it’s successful? •  Reached the audience in the channel that matched their expectations •  Users took the step you wanted them to take •  They were more satisfied with your organization •  They called customer service less •  They bought more stuff from you •  They shared your information
  60. 60. An example •  Site redesign required a news article for each update on the home page •  Volume of news articles they published overwhelmed the staff •  Viewership to each article was relatively low •  Would fewer articles mean fewer views?
  61. 61. 68
  62. 62. 69
  63. 63. Turning goals into KPIs 1.  Benchmark where you are now –  Content performance –  Pain points –  Tie back to business 2.  What will constitute success? –  Envision the desired goal –  Make it measurable!
  64. 64. Group Exercise •  Who •  What •  When •  Where •  Why •  How
  65. 65. Who? •  What roles needed? – Content strategist – Organizational stakeholders (management/ goals focused) – Analytics – SMEs (content creators)
  66. 66. Who? •  Who would use or be affected by: – Content creators – UX team – Visual designers – Front-end and back-end developers – Management
  67. 67. Who? •  Who would use or be affected by: –  Stakeholders –  Hidden stakeholders (who’s impacted by content – e.g., customer service, assistants of content owners) –  Managing decisions about publishing or keeping content –  Those managing analytics/business intelligence –  Marketing and branding
  68. 68. What? •  (UW example – produced by Marketing) •  Business goals for someone applying – Do they actually apply? Does the site help or hinder the process •  End user goals: does the university meet their needs, should they consider it?
  69. 69. What? •  Different content types on the site (colleges, hospitals, etc. – each dept/program has different content) •  Make sure internal people can access our documentation and use it? Excel? PPT? •  How do we remember? Build in the goals/actions to the content workflow (e.g., tagging)
  70. 70. When? •  Yesterday •  Before a redesign, after a transition or CMS move •  When the org has new strategy or business goals •  Not sure how often
  71. 71. When? •  Ongoing, ideally, as part of content curation (sharing, keeping content) •  If you create content that you don’t end up using, it’s a waste of resources •  CMS update, web redesign, new strategic direction or goals
  72. 72. Where? •  Data sources: – Analytics (chartbeat, Google Analytics) – CMS – Commercial tools •  Qualitative data – User feedback
  73. 73. Where? •  Data sources: – CMS Excel file with all URLs, or dev team can crawl the site – Social media sites – Customer feedback – Search and site analytics
  74. 74. Where? •  Where to store the audit: – Somewhere shareable (but maybe not editable) •  Where do you get the resources to do the audit? – Making it a priority for the organization
  75. 75. Where? •  Where to store the audit: – Team wiki accessible to all stakeholders – Wherever the org stores long-standing reports •  Where do you get the resources to do the audit? – Making it a priority for the organization
  76. 76. Why? •  So we don’t have information overload •  To determine relevant content •  To identify what’s fresh, accurate •  To consider what might be missing •  Does it reflect current research/strategy (market segmentation, customer feedback, branding)
  77. 77. How? •  What can be automated: if large, inventory through a tool •  What junior people can do: assess content for ROT after more senior people create criteria •  Break down large website into sections, have SME responsible for smaller part •  Establish offline archive or intranet for content that needs to be “parked” offline, so it can still be retrieved in the future
  78. 78. How? •  Automated with tools – high-level analytics •  Also, go through the sitemap and look at the high-level pages to identify where to dig in •  A junior-level person can do some of the deep dive, a senior person makes the decisions
  79. 79. Content Audits
  80. 80. Content Inventory Quantitative data gathering
  81. 81. Gather what you need 
 to accomplish your goal
  82. 82. Automate 
 as much as possible
  83. 83. Bring together information from multiple sources
  84. 84. Don’t underestimate the level of effort!

  85. 85. Inventory data elements •  Content elements – Page title – URL – CMS template – H1 tag – Images, docs – Word count – Metadata (description, keywords) – Taxonomy tags
  86. 86. Inventory data elements •  Publish information – Date created – Date last updated – Content owner – CMS publisher – Access level (public, password-protected, etc.) – Word count
  87. 87. Inventory data elements •  Analytics – Unique page views over a one-year period – (or average visits per month)
  88. 88. Become an Excel wizard •  Concatenate •  Bring multiple data sources together
  89. 89. Google Analytics expertise •  De-duplicate capital/lowercase URLs •  Remove parameters (may need admin account access)
  90. 90. Inventory sources •  CMS report •  Google Analytics •  Screaming Frog <https:// www.screamingfrog.co.uk/> •  CAT <http://www.content-insight.com/> •  Blaze <https://www.blazecontent.com/> •  Trim <https://www.gettrim.co/>
  91. 91. “comparison” Content elements Publish info Analytics data (included or integrated) CMS report x Google Analytics x x Screaming Frog x CAT x x Blaze x x Trim x x
  92. 92. What can we learn from 
 the inventory alone?
  93. 93. Document your observations •  What can you see from the inventory – URL structure – Docs vs HTML* – Age and use – Metadata (page title, description, keywords) – Word count* – Images
  94. 94. Let’s look at some real examples
  95. 95. Now, on to the audit •  Qualitative •  Roll up your sleeves
  96. 96. What might we assess? •  Description •  Topic •  Audience •  Is it on-brand? •  Content quality •  Content effectiveness •  Goal achievement
  97. 97. What might we assess •  Feedback categories – Editorial – Metadata – Design – Strategy – Goals/CTAs          
  98. 98. Potential assessment outcomes •  Notes       •  Recommended action (keep, revise, archive, delete, other) •  Client override, if any, with rationale
  99. 99. Before you decide, ID criteria •  What does content quality mean? •  When should content expire? •  What are your readability standards? •  Who will own the taxonomy? •  What is the relationship between content types and CMS templates?
  100. 100. Start to develop theories •  What content types exist •  Lifecycle rules •  Skill gaps •  Governance needs
  101. 101. (Almost all) content should follow a lifecycle
  102. 102. h$p://bit.ly/content-lifecycle-worksheet
  103. 103. http://www.contentstrategyinc.com/how-to-audit-for-content-quality/ Content Quality Audit Template
  104. 104. http://bit.ly/content-assessment-scorecard
  105. 105. An assessment shortcut Invest time up front to create scorecards for qualitative areas: editorial quality, readability, degree to which the content is on-brand, etc.
  106. 106. What will you have when you’re done? •  Findings and recommendations report – Themes – Successes – Areas for improvement •  Content matrix with lots of comments and numbers
  107. 107. Next steps •  Present findings to content owners, let them review the audit in detail and request modifications •  Gap analysis – topics, customer journey stages, audiences, goals
  108. 108. Comparative 
 Content 
 Analysis
  109. 109. Who? •  Competitors •  Peers •  Similar offerings •  Other industries
  110. 110. What to look at Similar to your assessment, but less depth – Quality – Audience-centricity – Voice and tone – Credibility – Accuracy, timeliness
  111. 111. Outcome Comparative audit findings report – Formal report – Presentation – Scorecard spreadsheet – SWOT analysis
  112. 112. What about the other approach? •  Figure out the new site •  “Shop” for content in the existing site •  Create the rest
  113. 113. •  At launch, your content will be awesome, but will it still be good over time? •  You may have to $ for content creation – will it be consistent and accurate? •  Not training your content owners or managers to create better content
  114. 114. Resources •  Audit spreadsheet template 
 http://bit.ly/content-audit-spreadsheet •  Content lifecycle criteria worksheet 
 http://bit.ly/content-lifecycle-worksheet •  Content quality audit template
 http://www.contentstrategyinc.com/how-to-audit-for-content-quality/ •  Content assessment scorecard 
 http://bit.ly/content-assessment-scorecard •  Content Audits and Inventory Handbook by Paula Land
 https://www.amazon.com/Content-Audits-Inventories-Paula-Ladenburg/dp/ 1937434389/ •  Lessons Learned from a Massive Content Audit
 http://www.mindalee.com/2014/12/lessons-from-a-massive-content-audit/
  115. 115. Thank you Hilary Marsh @hilarymarsh hilary@contentcompany.biz

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