Who Should Audit Their Website?

Audit Website

 

Who within your organization or your client’s organization should be tasked with auditing your website content? Anyone with basics on content creation, organization and display can carry out a website content audit and the findings should be shared with all personnel and departments in the organization.

The main aim of a content audit is not only to simply collect data but also have the information you need to make informed decisions.  An individual can conduct a content audit and the process improved through the formation of a multi-disciplinary team.  All the experts involved in content audit gain greater insight into the site’s content by breaking down the audit process in respect to areas of expertise and using the services of a team who understand the technology, systems and standards involved in the content lifecycle of your website.

Content Strategists And Marketers

Members of the content team that is comprised of content marketers, content strategists and content writers are the owners of the content audit process and yields of undertaking content inventories and audits.  These processes are conducted, as they constitute very important strategy creation pieces. Audits provide the base for the current state of the content, help in identifying areas of low quality or poorly performing content, and allow for the creation of a gap analysis as well as the roadmap of how to get from where the site is to where you want it to be.

Information Architects and User Experience Designers

The insights got from undertaking an inventory and audit are also important and useful to information architects and user experience designers. Developing the designs of navigation systems, user flows, and taxonomies without the benefit of a thorough understanding of the existing content can give rise to designs that do not sufficiently support user needs or behave desirably in multi-channel and multi-device environments.

At some point, you may find yourself having to deal with undesired content lurking in the background of your website’s neat surface. This is because chances are that there will be content in your website that you have never thought about and consequently not developed any designs for. Such content has to go somewhere and in most cases, it becomes shoehorned into a website layout that it was not meant to occupy or even migrate to an outdated website with an unfriendly design.

Content Managers and Developers

For the site managers and technical teams that are planning to have a content migration, it is important to understand the type of content that exists, the amount of content present, and the changes that it might undergo when moving from one system to another. A content audit done before a website migration should be inclusive of a keep/kill pass, for purposes of ensuring that only the content fit for migration is migrated.  It should also take into consideration the content issues that can be fixed as part of or in advance of the actual migration such as coding issues that have an effect on rendering or non-consistent structure that will be difficult to migrate cleanly. Audit findings affect the design and production of features within the CMS, such as the content tree structure, the content input and rendering structures, and the taxonomy & tagging features.

Sharing your audit findings with the technical team as well as pairing with your UX counterparts for purposes of ensuring that the new CMS or site structure is configured properly for your content will save you unnecessary troubles and challenges during migration of content.

Business Stakeholders

Most likely, if you are undertaking a site audit, you are doing it for purposes of a larger business goal: a planned site migration, there are new business ventures related to the site, or there is a general need to give the site a good makeover.  Your audit should play a vital role in informing your stakeholders on which side of the house they are on, whether on the business side or on the technical side.

Customers

Though it may seem uncommon for customers to be site auditors, it is worth noting that they already are. Everytime a customer browses your website whether when buying a product or just browsing product, they are developing an opinion about the site. You should watch your website analytics to see the length of time they spend on your website, whether they come back later, or where and when they leave your site. These are valuable hints to the performance of your content.

Your site’s search log will provide you with first hand information on whether they are using the same language used in your website and if they are able to find what they are looking for. If you fail to pay attention to this data, then you may be missing priceless opportunities for your website.  If your visitors leaves comments on your content, share the comments and address the concerns they raise about the user experience of your site. Your customers and site visitors are the most valuable and honest site auditors as they audit your site as it is, with no bias whatsoever.

 


Additional Resources:

How To Do a Content Audit - Step-by-StepEverett Sizemore

How To Conduct A Content Audit, Rebecca Lieb

Content Audit

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