Content inventory and audit

Last updated: April 19, 2021

An inventory and audit are the first steps to reduce clutter and improve the usability of content. It'll give you a snapshot of the quantity and quality of pages you have. Which will help you plan life cycles and prevent duplication.

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What is a content inventory?

Inventories help you manage content and identify missing or duplicate information. An inventory should list all the pages and related online assets you and your team manage. It can also include information such as:

  • Page title
  • Current URL
  • File name and type (PDF, XLSX etc.)
  • Page type (theme, topic, etc.)
  • The type of record the file or page is 
  • Content type (policy, service, etc.)
  • Content author or publisher
  • Primary audience
  • Relevant metadata
  • Status (published, unpublished)
  • Key dates (publish, review, update, removal)

It's usually a large table or set of tables in Excel or Word that you regularly update. It typically includes each page and asset on its own row, with important information in columns. This allows you to easily see everything you have and plan your next steps. Make sure to include a column determining how often you will review the content.

You can use our content inventory template or create your own.

When to create a content inventory

If you do not already have one, you should do one now. Content inventories are required to know how much of what you have. It allows you to see how the content works as a whole.

What is a content audit?

A content audit is the process of reviewing each page and asset in your inventory for accuracy, duplication and relevance. It will help you manage your content and determine what needs to be updated, replaced, archived, merged or kept as-is. It may also identify where new content is needed.

Audit content to confirm it meets Web Content Standards.

When to audit content

Audits should be conducted at the beginning of a site redesign and should be included regularly as part of ongoing site maintenance. They're part of maintaining healthy content life cycles.

Audit high impact content more often than low impact content. High impact content has the most value for your audience and will often have the most visitors. Analytics can help you determine which content is high impact.