A content inventory is one of the tedious jobs a UX designer would like to do. A content inventory is a pure self-explanatory word that explains creating a catalog of the content of a website or application. We use it to redesign the applications or migrate to a new CMS or mobile platform.
It tracks your content and eliminates unnecessary ones. It is a start to finish process that helps you understand the content you started.
What is content auditing?
A content inventory creates a list of all content in the website or app into a compiled comprehensive list. The three ways to perform auditing are:
- Full content inventory:
The Full Content Inventory is the content of every item on the site. It includes the content of all pages and all assets, like the downloadable file or videos.
- Partial content inventory:
Partial content inventory includes a list of the subset content of a site. It comprises a few levels of the hierarchical site, the past six months of the content, or a certain period of the content of all sections.
- Content sample:
This is a detailed collection of example content from the site.
Content Audit produces a list of the site’s content in a spreadsheet. But why do we have to do this? The purpose is to get all the content of various project stages. With redoing information architecture, the content reminds of the details of each page. For example, in a blogging site, moving an author’s content to a new framework or system. The content inventory will help you with where your previous system left.
The comprehensive list of known content gives you insights and a better understanding of your user. You can figure out the unexpected things, find duplicate content, additional content previously added, and the relationship between different content. It also serves as a precursor to more comprehensive content.
Contents of “Content Audit”:
The content audit includes all the content in a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are flexible, to hold a good amount of your content in one sheet or file, share or format as your expectation. Every page has the below content and its recommended information from every page.
- Navigation title:
The navigation title contains the navigation name and link to the main page.
- Page number:
Display of the page title and URL
Here, you display the URL or link to a page
Collecting all the notes and URLs to migrate
- Content hierarchy:
It is a way of showing a basic relationship of content items.
- Addition information
Additional information like the content type includes basic page, news story, article, FAQ, publications, basic description of the page, topics tags category, the author, link, data last update, related information from sideboards, availability, and ultimately the numbering system.
Content auditing is all about collecting the different information of each content type. There is no particular way to do this. Each client may have a different data size and requirements, so it’s a normal process to change or adapt your strategies once you start the inventory process.
How to begin a Content Audit?
Getting started with it is easy.
- List the pages and the section of sites in the first column of the spreadsheet. This may contain the navigation, page title, and connections.
- Start with one page at a time and capture all the related information from that link.
- Include the sub-pages, their links. In case, the main page has subpages, make a list of them by repeating the same process.
Auditing isn’t a simple process. It includes writing the details on the current page, then listing the sub-pages, explaining the page builds, and also allowing to come back and explore each section one-by-one.
It’s easy to get lost with the site that generates a lot of content. Take this process step-by-step and finish each section.
Tricks and tools for auditing:
- Companies having lots of content run their site on CMS. CMS provides automated access to pages from its site, structured content with analyzes.
- Avoid capturing information that is likely to be the user. If you are not sure about the authenticity of the content and need more information, then note the content in a handful of pages and fill in a handful of notes to come back and take a call.
- Using CMS for content is easy, but if the site is using full-stack frameworks, it lacks the processing of the main section of the content. In the beginning, do a jump-fill in every link and the subsites. Just focus on getting the pages written.
- The content audit takes time and is confusing until you gain experience, especially with a large site with huge content.
- For brand new sites, the content audit can be useful. A list of a handful of resources is good for a start.
Benefits of content auditing:
Though content auditing is one of the tedious jobs, it has multiple benefits for the newly created website.
- Designing information architecture:
It creates a well-designed Information Architecture. The organized content is structured, labeled effectively, and sustainably.
- Determining the project scope:
It determines the project scope for new projects or websites. As the content of the website is checked. It gets you a better idea of the content and its scope.
- Content planning strategy:
It starts with top content to bottom content and creates a comprehensive list of every item or a simple selection. The content planning strategy gives you insights into content-heavy websites.
- Aligning the user and business goals:
The best of the content, aligned users’, and business goals help in good design decisions.
Creating content inventory does not require training, but involves patience, curiosity, and attention to detail. The UX designers undertake this task of content inventory process while migrating the site or creating a new site. The best content inventory is when the business and user goals map each other.