Content Design London

Content audits should die

Published 8 August 2016, by Sarah Winters in Content Design.

Okay, so the title might be a bit dramatic, I’ll grant you. But ye olde content audits… you know the ones: massive spreadsheets with 5000 rows containing URL, title, content type, summary etc. The history of an organisation’s publishing whim, desire or need right there in a soul-destroyingly long list.

Every page that has ever been pushed or forgotten sits there pleading for its existence from a tiny box on a spreadsheet.

We’ve all done it.

But now we should stop.

Finding what’s important now

Sometimes we can get bogged down in what went before and we get hooked into improving what we already have. That’s admirable – improving a site always is. But what about ripping it all up and starting again based on what’s the most important thing now?

Work on the top 10

I’m going to give up content audits altogether. What about sitting in a room and deciding the top 10 things we want to say now? Then get the stats for the top 10 performing items on the site. If they match, that’s awesome – improve the content. If not, we need to look at that. Decide what’s important and then focus on it.

When we’ve published those 10 things, we look at the next 10 things we want to tell our audience. Then keep an eye on the first 10 things and improve/delete/change as necessary.

Obviously, we can’t take down a whole site – we’d lose an existing audience. But to prioritise what to work on next – why look back? Why not just look forward?

Crazy idea?

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