Different types of content audits: What they are, when to use them, and how

  • By Team CSI
  • |
  • Jun 23 2020
  • |
  • Categories: Guides

Table of contents

Introduction to content audits

Carrying out a content audit feels to me a lot like working out. I want the results; the leanness, the culling of the inessential, the lightness. But getting there is one of the most tedious undertakings in existence in all of the universes combined.

If you’re here, there’s a good chance you know a content audit is what you need. Whether it’s because:

  • Your website has become too big, too cluttered, too confusing, or too disorganized;
  • You’re moving it and want to clean it up first;
  • You’re redesigning it and just want a fresh start;

All roads point to content audit, and there’s no way around it.

So we’ve created a guide that we hope can make a painful process a little less painful. You can download it here, and get a glimpse of what you’ll find in it below.

The three most common types of content audits

There are many different types of website content audits, but here, we focus on the three most common. It also sometimes makes sense to combine audit types, or pick and choose what’s important to your organization from each to take a hybrid approach.

We break them down individually so you can build a foundation, and then adapt your audit to your needs.

  1. Quality audits

    A quality audit is a type of content audit that evaluates your content against a set of subjective, pre-defined quality criteria. It helps you assess how well the content on your pages meets your user and business needs.

    If you’re planning a website migration or redesign, or some other large content initiative, it’s a good idea to do a quality audit during the early stages to help you refine the scope of your project. It will also help you get the most out of the initiative.

  2. Site structure and organization audits

    A structural content and organization audit is a type of content audit that assesses how well your website content is organized across the site, between pages, and within pages. It lets you know how easy it is for your audience to find things and complete tasks on your website.

    If you’re planning a website redesign or trying to analyze the way your audience uses your website, a site structure and organization audit is what you need. It will help you identify:

    • Strengths and weaknesses in the way the website is structured.
    • How content is categorized, and the pathways between information.
    • How page content is structured.
  3. Migration audits

    A migration audit is a type of content audit that takes stock of your content so you can streamline and improve how it’s used before you migrate it to a new site or system.

    If you’re moving your content, it’s best to conduct a migration audit during the design stage, after you’ve made high-level information architecture decisions. It will help you define what action needs to be taken with each existing piece of content so that there’s no confusion, and everything is accounted for.

Automating your content audits

As the role of content has expanded, more sophisticated tools are constantly being developed to help manage content. We want to make sure you know about some of the tools available that can help automate at least some parts of your content audit(s). In many cases, these tools can help you audit more efficiently, and can also offer additional insights you may otherwise not have gathered.

Imagine sitting back and letting a machine take on some of the tedious work, freeing up your team to focus on the things that only a human can assess. How luxurious! That’s what we’ll dig into in this section. In this section you’ll learn about:

  • How to use automation in your audit.
  • What skill sets you’ll need to get the most out of these tools.
  • Other benefits of using content audit automation tools.
Download the guide

We hope you find it useful. Please use the form below to download the full PDF guide: Content audits: How to conduct them effectively.