Previously, we've written about how CAT provides solutions for content strategists, information architects, and site managers. Now we go more in-depth into some of the reasons you should consider using software tools to create content inventories, content audits, and do website content tracking.
The value of a content inventory is in the data it returns—data that provides the foundation for a later audit or that enables tracking site content through time or through a migration or CMS project. Using software such as CAT to automate the data gathering saves time over manual processes and ensures completeness and accuracy of data. CAT not only returns the quantitative inforamtion about your web site—how many pages and other content assets there are, whether metadata is present, what pages link into and out of each page—but sets the stage for qualitative analysis. Viewing the metadata allows you to assess it for SEO value, the links in and out give you a picture of your cross-linking strategy and help identify pages that are hard to find, the screenshots of each page allow you to identify templates and track how your design changes over time. CAT even allows you to add your own notes about each page right in the detailed view so you can save and share your impressions with others.
For ongoing site tracking and auditing, run CAT on your site frequently and compare the results—view page details side-by-side to see at a glance what's been added, changed, or deleted. This allows you to focus your audit efforts appropriately and make sure you're always on top of what's happening with your site content.
And all CAT data is exportable (even the screenshots can be downloaded!) so you can save it and use it offline.
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