With so much of the Internet driven by web content, performing a content audit can be the single-most important activity to ensure optimum visibility of a website. Content audits, which are sometimes called content inventories or content assessments, are conducted to ensure that text, images and links are all in working order. In addition, a content audit can reveal problems with user-friendliness of a website so that corrections and improvements can be made to make it more useful to visitors.
A content audit is made up of two critical activities: taking a careful inventory of existing web content and then making changes to improve the performance of the website as a whole. In order to conduct a this type of audit, it’s critical to handle these tasks in two distinct steps so that it is performed thoroughly and without bias. Generally, the content audit is performed by an independent team of website content managers and web designers who will evaluate each page of a website on each level of content.
Performing a content audit is a tedious process of reviewing each and every section of a website. Starting with the most critical areas of the website, such as the home page, the audit should address any glaring issues with presentation of the content and the overall design of the website. Once any problems are identified, the content audit moves on to the actual inspection of the text, links and images contained on each webpage, while the web design team works to correct formatting issues.
As the content audit progresses, data should be saved to an external spreadsheet or file in order to protect any proprietary content. This will be a guide that will help keep the content inventory process in order and retain any data that could be easily lost as the audit goes on. In addition, the content spreadsheet will give content managers a record of corrections made which will help web designers as they work on re-designing critical areas of the website.
Once a full content assessment and correction is completed, content managers must continue to monitor the website in order to ensure that keywords and links are maintained for optimum performance of the website. In addition, updates to live feeds such as blogs or comment areas should be monitored to make sure they project an active and professional image to the world. Additional audits can be performed periodically to keep the website performing effectively over time.