What is a content audit, you might ask? Essentially it’s going through your website page-by-page and evaluating the content on your website to make sure the content that is there reflects your organization in the best possible of lights.
It’s best to start a content audit in a methodical way so that nothing is overlooked. A good workflow is to do the following:
- Evaluate the homepage
- Don’t forget to evaluate the header and footer
- Don’t forget to check on the social media links
- Evaluate the sidebar(s)
- Evaluate your pages
- Work left to right across your top level menu and then the sections beneath each one before going to the next top level menu item
- If you have a special events plugin evaluate your recurring events. Has any of the boilerplate information like addresses, times, parking, etc. changed.
- Posts can generally be left alone since they are temporary by nature, but if you take comments, make sure the comments section is working.
It’s all how you say it
On each page, start with the wording. Ask yourself for every page:
- Has this information changed?
- Is this information still important and relevant?
- It is written in a pleasant tone of voice for visitors?
- Is grammar and spelling correct?
- Be on the lookout for dates. Does a deadline for this year reflect a date that was last year?
- Are staff members current? Have you told visitors to “contact” someone who is no longer on staff, or who no longer has that responsibility?
- Are the links on every page still going where you intended?
- If you’ve provided a download link (like a PDF) is the PDF still there?
Images and Videos
If a picture paints 1,000 words, you want the best 1,000 words.
- Are the photos dated?
- Do you have scanned and crooked photos/graphics?
- Are he images clear and crisp? Digital photography, smartphones, and computer monitors have improved greatly. A photo taken even 5 years ago can look blurry.
- Are videos embedded on your website in a player (ideal) vs. a link that sends people away from your website (not ideal)?
There’s a lot that can go wrong on a staff page, you want people to be excited and to trust your staff and their experience. Consistency is important, and it is often overlooked.
- Is everyone’s photo current?
- Is the style of everyone’s bio the same?
- Have you listed credentials and certifications form some and not others
- Are those certifications accurate?
- Do they all have a fun quote or fact? They don’t have to, but if one person has something, everyone should have it.
- Does everyone have listed:
- An accurate professional email associated with the organization
- An accurate phone number and extension
- An accurate social media link like LinkedIn
Do you have contact, order, request, sign-up, or other forms?
- Fill out all forms:
- Is anything broken?
- Is the completion confirmation correct?
- If the correct person(s) at your organization notified when a form is filled out?
- Does the person filling out the form get an email (if necessary) with correct follow-up information?
Are you relying on a PDF that people have to download, print out, and send back when you could have an online form instead?
The overall look
Websites generally have a 3-5 year shelf life before they look dated. A dated website reflects poorly on your website. Visitors start to question if your organization is strapped for cash, pays attention to details, or has a forward-thinking viewpoint if the website looks dated.
Websites that are older than 5 year start to have other issues, themes can no longer be update to match modern security and display specifications. Technology is constantly updating and improving. Various items will no longer work on older sites such as calendars, payment processors, and galleries.
Do you need to start thinking about a redesign? Start thinking about it earlier rather than later.