To ensure that your website is working at top efficiency, and has content that engages visitors and converts them into paying customers, you’ll often need to conduct a website review. Learn the first step in this process, the website content audit.

The heart of most digital strategies and the place where most activity takes place is the organization’s website. So ensuring that this is providing the right information and services to customers is key. Making certain that your website is working as efficiently as possible, engaging customers and converting them often requires a website review.

Bloated websites will have thousands of pages of content that are never or rarely visited. We often find that barely 200 pages out of 4,000 (that’s 5% of website content) account for 85% of website traffic. So it stands to reason that web managers should focus on that 5% and make sure it is perfect. 

The steps to take for a website review include:

  1. Web content audit
  2. Understanding your top tasks
  3. Organizing your website structure
  4. Defining user journeys
  5. The user experience and design
  6. Launch and promotion
  7. User testing

Conducting a web content audit is the starting point for completing a full website review and re-launch.

Feeling Bloated?

Web content management systems have become so easy to use that they often contribute to bloated websites. Without the necessary workflow and approvals, it can become too easy for all your devolved content contributors to create and publish new content, resulting in a content bloated website. This results in websites with thousands of pages, media items and out-of-date content all adding up to a difficult to navigate and search website. In the public sector this has been compounded by Central Government’s guidance (Central Government developed and promoted the Local Government Service List (LGSL), a list of over 870 navigation topic, each requiring content).

Content audits are often prompted by the need to deliver one of two outcomes:

  1. A new website
  2. A new website content strategy

A content audit will allow you to discover the full extent of all the content that you are managing, including copy and media. You can then evaluate each item’s worth and decide if you want to keep it, amend it or discard it.

Before you start the project, define the scope so you know what you are looking to achieve.

To get a good overview and action plan, use a spreadsheet to capture your content audit, with a line for each page/content item, and different columns for the attributes and rating of the content.