Content audits and plansMeasuring, analysing and planning in order to build solid foundations for efficient, effective content
Content can get out of hand. Websites grow organically over time and before you know it your content team has thousands of pages to maintain.
In order to deliver the best possible service to your users, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of exactly what content you have, the quality of that content, and how well it’s working.
The data, the analysis and the recommendations that our audits provide give you an invaluable evidence base for improving everything about your content.
Clients often get us to carry out an audit because they’re preparing to build a new website. It’s a bit like sorting and clearing out your cupboards when you’re about to move house. But there’s no bad time to carry out a content audit. Whenever you do a content audit, it’ll be a massive step towards improving the experiences of your users and the worklife of your team.
Get in touch to discuss exactly what you need, or read on to find out more about our content audit process and exactly what you get.
Five reasons to do a content audit
A content audit shows exactly what content you have, and where. It demonstrates what’s working well, and what’s in need of improvement.
A content audit provides invaluable evidence in the form of data and examples. Content plans and content calendars are much more likely to succeed if they’re built on the solid ground that a content audit gives you.
Content often grows organically over time, to the point where it can be hard for an organisation to keep on top of. A good content audit tells you exactly what to keep, what to cut and what to improve.
Organisations can have as many opinions about content as staff. The process to agree what good looks like, and the subsequent measurements against the set of criteria in an audit protocol, are great at getting everyone focused and pulling in the same direction.
Content is strategically vital, as are content teams. They’re often undervalued in an organisation. The analysis that comes from a content audit can provide the evidence and the leverage a content team needs.
Deciding what to measure and how to measure it
We start our content audits by creating an audit protocol: honing and agreeing the success criteria that works best for you. We firm up exactly what the audit should measure in order to maximise its usefulness.
It’s really very strong… it’s surpassed my expectations. It’s extremely clear, and powerful because of it. It’s spot on. You’ve taken that detached view in the interest of the organisation, which we can now move forward with. It’s absolutely what we need.
James Wood, Head of Content at the Internet Society, on our content action plan: conclusions and recommendations from our content audit.
Automated and AI analysis
Working with many clients, we’ve developed a state-of-the-art content audit process. We use the best tools around and combine:
- in-depth automated and AI assessments of all of your content
- detailed data about your complete content scope
- measures of content performance
- expert qualitative assessments of content quality, against a bespoke set of criteria.
We pinpoint readability issues and build a picture of what content people are currently consuming. Then we layer our expert qualitative analysis on top.
We deliver the audit in a beautiful Airtable alongside a report full of useful insights. You’ll be well equipped to clear out the clutter, repair anything that’s tired and tatty, and polish the gold to keep it shiny.
Expert human analysis
Our team of expert editors use the audit protocol we’ve developed in order to assess a sample of content in depth.
We choose this sample carefully so that we’re assessing content that’s a good representation of everything you have, and so that it covers most of the traffic to your site.
We go through your pages with a fine toothcomb, assessing its quality and analysing where there’s room for improvement.
Findings and recommendations
We create an interactive dashboard with graphs that allow you to interrogate the audit results and filter by criteria such as section, content type and theme.
Our findings and strategic recommendations are pulled together in an audit report that provides headlines of the assessment and an accessible way into the data that can be shared around the organisation. Clients have told us that this report is a valuable internal advocacy tool on behalf of the content and the content team.
These side dishes go especially well with content audits, widening their horizons and their usefulness.
Comparator and competitor analysis
Alongside an audit we often run comparator, competitor and gap analysis, to see how you stack up against what others are doing.
We work with you to come up with a set of organisations whose content you can learn from. We like to work with a mix of direct competitors and unusual suspects: organisations that do something especially well that we think you could learn from.
A content plan may be a content migration plan, for a new website, or a content creation and maintenance plan.
We include gap analysis in our content plans, making sure that you can make the most of new opportunities as well as improving what you already have.
As well as detailing exactly what needs to be done, we design and build systems to enable you and your team to work on your content smoothly and efficiently. We make sure that you have the best tools at your fingertips and that the right people can engage with your content at the right time.
We can optionally also audit your content ecosystem: how you create and maintain content, and how content flows around your organisation.
We look at the tools you use, both for content creation and performance analysis. We speak to staff and gather intelligence about processes and how content resources and content governance are being used.
We assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your content system and can recommend improvements to tools and systems, workflow and processes.
A content audit is a great way to get a full picture of the health of your content at a single moment in time. In order to make sure that your content stays fit and healthy, we strongly recommend an annual checkup.
For our annual content checkups we set bespoke KPIs and analyse your content to measure your progress against those targets. Data, graphs and a report reveal where you should concentrate your efforts for the best returns and give you a really solid foundation for sustained improvements over time.
Yes please, help us sort out our content!
However large or small you are, whatever you’re doing, we’re pretty sure that a content audit will improve your life, save you time and money, and make you more effective and generally happier.