What is a content audit and why should you conduct one?
A content audit is an opportunity to understand what content you have on your site and how well it is performing. Content audits can be conducted for a number of reasons:
- To improve SEO
- Optimise content marketing strategy
- Improve your user’s experience
As experts in UX, it seems sensible for us to talk about option 3 today!
Website content needs to meet users’ goals to deliver a really good user experience. This means you need to understand who your users are and what content they want.
Without this knowledge, you may get users to your site but they are unlikely to stay long as the content does not answer their questions or help them achieve their goals.
UX Content Audit - how to do it
We break our UX content audit into four key parts:
- Quantitative analysis
- User discovery
- Expert review
- Content prioritisation
Step 1: Quantitative analysis
Begin by identifying and listing all content on the site. Then it is time to dive into site analytics to determine session and engagement metrics of all the pages on your website.
Where possible, you also want to begin identifying who is visiting the website and what content they are accessing.
Step 2: User discovery phase
While analytics are a great starting point for uncovering how well your content works for your users, this data alone cannot provide the whole picture. Now it is time to talk to some real users.
Individual depth interviews with target users are a great way to delve deeper into what your users want from your site and whether the current content meets these needs. Ask them what information they want to know upfront and see if they can find it. If they do, how well does that content then answer their questions. Is anything missing? Is it clear? Watch their behaviours and listen to their attitudes to really gain insight into what they are thinking or feeling.
Step 3: Expert review of content
When we conduct a UX content audit, we also bring our expertise to the table. Using insights gained from the first two stages of the process and our 20 years of watching users interact with websites, we will assess the content again the following questions:
- Does the content meet user needs?
- Is the content unique and sector-specific?
- Is the content accurate?
- Does the content use user-friendly language (no jargon!)
- Is the content up to date?
Step 4: Prioritisation of content
Steps 1-3 will unearth a huge amount of insight and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Step 4 is all about understanding what is most important so you can focus on improving the content that is going to have the biggest impact on your users.
The best way to prioritise the content needs of your users in to conduct a ‘top tasks survey’. Start by sending a list all the potential goals to a large number of target users and asking them to identify their top five priority goals.
Once aggregated, this insight will enable you to identify the priority areas for action.
What will I get at the end?
This approach to a content audit will give you rich, evidence-based insights into the content your users want and how effective your site is at currently delivering the content.
By the end of this process you will have a page-by-page list, assessing the content on its current effectiveness and giving you one of the following actions:
- Keep content – great content that accurately meets users’ goals
- Keep content but improve – important content but in its current state does not meet users’ goals
- Remove content from your site – content that does not meet users’ goals
- Add content – content that is currently missing from your site but required to meet all users’ goals
In a world of shortening attention spans, ensuring your content accurately and succinctly meets the needs of your users is paramount to making your site a success. Stop posting woolly content that is driven by internal pressures and start giving the people what they want!