Welcome to part one of our 4-part series about content auditing. Every week, we’ll share valuable and practical information about audits. We hope that you will find this info as interesting as we do and that it ultimately benefits your team, content and workflow.
Who should conduct the content audit and when?
Here is what they had to say:
Anyone can conduct an audit if they have the time and motivation! Ideally, someone close to the property should do the audit. So if it’s a website, the managing editor could lead the audit and assign pieces of it to the web team or other stakeholders.
In fact, sometimes it’s helpful to pull in people who don’t normally work on your site but have opinions about it. Assigning them some defined audit tasks can be a great way of showing (vs. talking about) the challenges you’re up against and sharing ownership in success.
If you don’t have the capacity in-house or you want to make sure you’re scoping the job right, you can hire an outside content strategy consultant. Your content strategist should have a thorough diagnostic discussion with you about your goals and challenges.
The person conducting the content audit should have a strong connection to the content. They don’t have to be a content creator, but they should manage, lead or participate in the content they’re about to audit. While it may be tempting to pass this off to an intern or someone else who may have extra bandwidth, it is critical that content audits stay connected to the content owners. Conducting a content audit involves a lot of context and measurement, and that’s not something that’s always easy to translate to those who are not connected to content.
As far as timing goes, conduct an audit the minute you realize you don’t quite know what’s happening with your content, or you’re not sure how things are performing. After that, it really depends on how much content you’re creating. If it’s a couple of content pages or pieces per year, then an annual audit may suffice. However, if you’re creating content regularly, and it’s an ongoing effort, consider doing a quarterly audit.
It’s hard to be critical of something in which you have a vested interest. So ideally, someone who has no stake in the game should be involved in conducting the audit as well. Someone who finds it hard to throw things out will find it challenging and unproductive to clean their closet. They’ll say, “I may wear this when I reach my target weight,” or, “I should save that in case I get invited to a destination wedding.” A person who’s not as attached to the content can help with efficiency, reminding the auditing team that that there’s no point in holding on to something for just-in-case scenarios.
It’s especially important to audit before adding content. Make sure to really know what you have, both in quantity and quality, before creating more. This way, you start the content creation process with a clear plan, knowing what will be updated, what will be removed and what needs to be created.
Learn how Aha Media conducts content audits, assessments and competitive gap analyses.
Check out the rest of the series: