It is a best practice to periodically review and evaluate each page, event and news story on your website. Done in a spreadsheet, the content audit will be an inventory of your webpages and a big picture judgment of the quality of those pages. A completed audit will give you a list of pages that:
- Are acceptable as is
- Need to be revised
- Should be deleted
Why is a content audit necessary now? A content audit is the best preparation for the rebuild of your current website into a new version of the content management system.
Benefits of a Content Audit
- You will be able to note the weaknesses in the organization of your webpages. The audit will help you improve the structure of your information.
- You can better estimate how much time you will need to ready your content for rebuilding because the audit shows the extent of the content revision and update work ahead.
- You are likely to find out that you have too many webpages. Some pages will be so out-of-date, they are no longer needed. Some pages are duplicates of other pages. You can often replace some pages with links to authoritative sources of information. For example, you should link to the official academic calendar webpage owned by the Office of the Registrar instead of recreating that calendar on one of your own webpages.
- You’ll know what to delete. During a website rebuild project, the number of pages on a website typically is reduced by one-third. Remember, the fewer pages you have, the fewer pages you have to maintain.
- You will be able to spot what content is missing. Perhaps you will need to write copy, or convert what is currently a PDF into a new webpage.