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A content audit is a listing and analysis of all the content on an existing website (including pages, files, videos, audio or other data) that your users might reasonably encounter. Content audits identify content that needs to be revised in new versions of a website. Content audits can also help you identify who is responsible for content, how often it should be updated, and what role a particular piece of content plays for users.
Content Auditing is often more effective when it is informed by these complementary methods.
Observation of users performing tasks in their own environment
Observe users in action to understand how they perform tasks to achieve goals
Evaluate competitors to identify opportunities in their strengths and weaknesses
Understanding the perspective and influence of those invested in a project's success
Understand the tasks and motivations of the user group for whom you are designing
- Identify a specific user need or user question that you’d like to address.
- Create an inventory of content on your website. Navigate through the site from the home page and make notes about every piece of content. Common elements include: title used in the site’s navigation for that page, title displayed on the page or item itself, URL, and parent page.
- Identify the main entry points for the user need you’re addressing. This could be external marketing, the homepage, a microsite, or another page.
- From each entry point, trace the pages and tasks a user moves through until they address their need.
- For every piece of content they might come across on that task flow, note who wrote or created the page ('Author'), who ensures its credibility ('Content owner'), how often or when it was last updated, and qualitative assessment comments of what to change to better address your identified user need.
Content Auditing typically produces insight and solutions focused on these areas:
Content Quality Assessment
A measure of the quality of an assessed body of content, relative to established measures.
A recommendation for structuring content, for example in a CMS or other digital store.