A Content Audit (or Content Inventory) is an exhaustive listing of an existing site’s content which can then be reorganized. It is useful for sites that have grown organically over time, because initial information architecture is often not designed to accommodate future content. Once your content has been inventoried, you can create a content strategy that increases ease of navigation and minimizes work for content creation teams.
SCHEDULE TIME & GATHER MATERIALS
Time Needed: 2 Days – 2 Weeks
(depending on the size of your site)
Access to the current live site
CARRY OUT THIS METHOD
Access the site whose content you need to inventory.
Systematically visit every section of the site and every link you can find.
Add each content item to a spreadsheet in an outline form. Include its title, current URL, date added/updated, and any other detail that may be needed (author, tags, keywords, etc).
Older sites often have orphaned pages that are inaccessible from other pages. To inventory content on such pages, you may need access to the server where they are stored.
Create a Site Map Diagram that displays all of the pages and the site hierarchy. If content is served by a CMS, the diagram may be generated automatically.
Examine your content inventory for redundant content that can be removed. If your site has no need for an archive, remove all out-of-date materials as well.
Perform a Card Sort test on all remaining content items in order to reorganize existing content.
TIPS AND RESOURCES
Try these tips
This method can be used for apps whose feature set has grown over time. A features inventory can help you determine which features can be removed, need to be renamed, or should be spun off into a separate app.
When designing a new site, begin a content inventory spreadsheet immediately and update it as content is added. This will save time later in the event of a CMS change, redesign, or content structure update.
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