Content inventory is an amazing tool for establishing a solid base for a successful content audit and content tracking. However, it can also serve as the foundation for yet another important content strategy deliverable; the content matrix.
Content Matrix Defined
Content matrix can assume a number of forms; it all depends on the producer and the project. Generally, this is a document of every piece of content like data, images and content modules contained in a site design and presented in an Excel spreadsheet. The content inventory can be converted into a content matrix by adding a few columns, depending on the structure of a content inventory spreadsheet.
Moving From Inventory to Matrix
Typically, you have to start with the content currently available in an existing site, unless you are designing a brand new website with all fresh content. Start off with an automated inventory like the ones generated by the DYNO Mapper content analysis tool as the shell for your matrix and some important pieces of data available.
The organization of a matrix is pegged on the location of every page in the sitemap. Therefore, if the current site’s URL structure is well organized, you can start organizing the pages by sorting by URL. Also included into the matrix are all images and related media associated with every page. The content analysis results brings out comprehensive data for every page that has been crawled including real file names, number of images, videos, documents, and the ability to click and view, and if you wish, you can even download. With this, you can review every image and file so that you can decide whether it should be removed or retained in the new design currently being developed.
Because the matrix is mostly relied upon by people updating current content or generating fresh content in the CMS, extra elements to be included into templates like every page’s metadata. The DYNO Mapper reports include descriptions, titles and keywords, and meta data which are both available on the .csv export as well as the dashboard. This simplifies copy-pasting into the new template.
How to Add Value to the Data
A matrix is more comprehensive than the typical inventory because of the extra data that is included, which typically varies based on the site’s design and project but cells filled with content owner names, copy guidance, review status are included. You can always include extra information using the notes field which is available on every page captured by the content inventory. All these are included in the final export which means that you have direct access to all the information the moment you start working on the Excel file.
Updating the Matrix
You should always keep the matrix, just like the inventory updated since it is a living document. As the current website evolves, ensure that the changes you make on the site are reflected on the matrix, especially what has been deleted and what has been added.
You can also re-fresh the inventory using DYNO Mapper by just clicking the re-fresh button on the sitemaps page. You can therefore see files that have been freshly added, modified or removed, information that should be used to keep the matrix up to date.
The Long Happy Life of a Content Inventory, Paula Land
Rethinking the Content Inventory: Site Inventories, David Hobbs
Taking a Content Inventory, Donna Maurer