Now that you have a website content inventory, what do you do with it? How do you know this daunting list and all that data is going to help you better understand and transform your content? Let's start with the basics, the URL structure: What do your URLs say about your website architecture?
Length and clarity: Shorter URLs are easier for both humans and search engine crawlers to read. Long URLs are less desirable as some browsers may not render them and people won't be able to remember them if they're manually typing.
Construction: Poorly constructed URLs mean very little to viewers and can also hurt your site's search engine ranking. URLs composed of session IDs or other parameters don't help set expectations of the content a user is likely to find there. Multiple parameters may also affect whether a page is crawled by search engines like Google. Think about relevance. Is the topic clear to both a human and a robot viewing the URL?
Navigational structure: A content inventory makes a good basis for a hierarchical site map. If the URLs represent a logical directory structure, you have a great start at creating the map. That directory map is also a collaboration tool; all involved will have an ordered list from which to communicate about the site's structure, navigation, relationships between pages, and potentially, a map for migration.
True, there's more to reading a content inventory than URLs. Type, size, metadata, cross-linking information, and analytics can all help you take this initial insight into your website even further and set you up for an audit. Get more tips from Paula Land, CAT co-creator and CEO. Happy reading!
What are you learning from the inventory and evaluation process? We would love for you to share your knowledge with the community of CAT users! Agency or in-house, freelance or consultant, many different people perform content inventories and assessments. If you're excellent at scoping, picking audit categories, timing the process, or any other aspect, we hope you'll share your tips and best practices with our community. We particularly want to hear from anyone who has pro tips for using CAT in your inventory and audit process.
Every voice counts, so share those first time inventory stories as well. Fresh eyes can help us all remember not to skip the important steps.
Share your tips or tweet your tip to @content_Insight
For example, Sarah Lay, content strategist and editor, recently shared this tip with our Twitter community: "be clear about what you're looking for & why (content quality, metadata, location etc) & make friends with Excel!"
Looking to learn more about content strategy? Boost your summer reading list with this crowd-sourced list from the Content Wrangler, Scott Abel. "What books should every content strategist read?" has 21 excellent titles now and plenty of room for you to add your picks.
Grab a book, hit the beach, and learn while you burn!