Defining and Aligning Content Goals and Business Objectives, Part 3

Mar 03, 2015

In previous posts, we've looked at the Define and Measure steps of the content improvement framework. Today, we look at Analyze.

Part 3: Analyze—Look for patterns, find root causes, list and prioritize problems and potential solutions

When you audit a website, you analyze it page by page against a set of criteria. Content audits are critical to understanding and evaluating the performance of your content against business goals, editorial standards, user needs, and performance factors such as search engine optimization and content use or web analytics. They bring value to your website project and ongoing maintenance tasks by enabling you to catalog and analyze your content structures, patterns, and consistency.

An audit tells you what needs to be done to bring the existing content into conformity with brand, editorial, and other standards your organization or client has set, and it ensures that the content fulfills business goals and meets the customers’ or users’ needs. Tailoring a content audit to your organization’s content goals enables you to focus on the factors that return the most benefit.

A thorough content audit assesses content, structure, and functionality affecting external users—and issues affecting internal teams who create and manage the content. Depending on your audit goals and scope, you may assess all or some of the following criteria about all content types: textual content, media content, and images.

External issues:

  • Content quality
  • Content effectiveness
  • Relevance
  • Messaging
  • Branding
  • Language support
  • Structure of site and content
  • Navigational model
  • Interaction models

Internal issues:

  • Content consistency where appropriate for reuse
  • Individuality where needed for discrete markets or audiences
  • Terminology
  • File-naming conventions
  • Asset management
  • Templates and page types
  • Content types
  • Content workflow and lifecycle

When you’re building out your audit, starting with your inventory data, add this kind of information so that ultimately you have a complete picture of all your content – where and how it’s managed, what’s translated and what isn’t, what is on brand and what isn’t, and so on.

Next week: how to improve content processes

Category: Content Audit Tips

Paula Land


Paula Land is co-founder and CEO of Content Insight and author of Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook.

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