Content audits help web managers and communicators assess their website’s current health and plan for the future. Whether you are making major changes to your website or just want to take an inventory to assess the state of your site, combining a quantitative and qualitative review of your web content can help you make decisions about what to keep, what to delete, and what to improve.
How to Conduct a Content Audit
How to Conduct a Content Audit
Quantitative content audits
A quantitative content audit starts with an inventory of your website’s pages. Using a sitecrawling tool, you will create a detailed list of every page of your site–including pages you might not have known existed. The inventory will help you review web elements that are critical to the health and function of your site, some of which are invisible or difficult to see as a casual web user. These include items like alternative text for images or meta descriptions.
Your inventory becomes the tracking document for your analysis.
Get started with your content audit
To get started with your audit, download and make a copy of our content audit template.
Then, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the How to Conduct a Content Audit reference sheet. This will show you how to download your site inventory and begin your site audit.
Resources for downloading your site inventory
Yale has made Siteimprove available to all faculty and staff site owners via Yale NetID. This self-service tool can identify issues with your site such as broken links, compliance with ADA guidance, SEO and more.
Qualitative content audits
Qualitative content audits ask you to review the quality of your site content. You’ll want to look holistically, then dive deeper into key pages and sections with a critical eye. Review your goals and plan, and prioritize the pages you look at accordingly.
For each page you review, ask yourself:
- Does it meet audience needs?
- Is it written for the user?
- Does the media support the text?
- Is it in line with Yale’s identity standards? brand-aligned?
Compare similar pages to each other (and note which do it better)
Example: How does the content on research pages for the different areas of expertise in your department compare?
Compare to other content like yours on other sites (similar departments at Yale, at competitor institutions)
Example: How do the other science departments organize their course information?
What to do after your content audit
Combining your quantitative and qualitative notes, make a list of takeaways and solutions, then develop a plan for addressing them.
- Risks are problems with how the site functions, areas of redundancy, broken links, or liabilities, such as accessibility errors.
- Opportunities are areas of the site, style and format considerations, or content themes you’ve identified as replicable or worth improving.
- Gaps are places where you’ve found missing content, pages with very little content, or topics that are missing entirely.
- Hidden gems are great pieces of content you’ve found tucked away in less prominent places on your site. Some may be opportunities!
Make a plan for each page.
- Will it get deleted? Revised? Combined with other pages?
- What new content needs to be created?
- Who is responsible for doing the work, and who needs to sign off before it gets deleted or published?
For complex sites or big redesigns, you may want to consider developing a content matrix to help support the effort.