5 Things You Can Learn from a Content Inventory

Lists make everything simpler. And that’s really what a content inventory is: a giant list of all the content you have across your website and other channels you maintain, like social media sites. It’s time-consuming and complicated, but performing a content inventory is important. It is the first step in devising a content marketing strategy, but that’s not all a content inventory is good for.

We’ve listed below five things you can learn from performing a content inventory.

Free Bonus: For more tips on how to master content marketing, read our whitepaper, “Toolkit to Natural Marketing Automation: How Not to Look Like a Robot.”

You should also check out our content scorecard, an awesome little tool that can determine if your website is getting the traffic it should.

A Content Inventory Reveals What Is Working…

Some sites have hundreds, even thousands, of pages. How could one person, or even a team of people, know the contents of each page?

A content inventory can provide that all-encompassing look, especially what you’re doing right. Knowing what is working well provides a fact-based approach for generating new content or rewriting existing content. You can provide important examples to your content writers for them to follow, and you have an explanation if they question why they are writing content a certain way.

Additionally, knowing what is already on your site will ensure you don’t write content that already exists and allow you to cover any glaring gaps. Don’t forget that you can also catalog what is on your social networks, like your Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts. It’s useful to know what’s lurking on those sites as well.

…And What Is Not

A content inventory also can show you what content is less than stellar, including:

  • Content that need to be updated or completely rewritten
  • Pages or content that needs to be removed
  • Content that needs to be added
  • Content that is in the wrong place and needs to be moved

And, now that you know what is not working, you can rewrite it based on the content that is effective.

A Content Inventory Shows You the Scale of Your Audit

Once you get the lay of the land, you can then determine what it will take to perform an audit, or an analysis of the data you have collected. Based on the size, you can decide to conduct a top-to-bottom audit, or review groups of similar pages at a time. You can assign one group of people to do the whole thing, or appoint smaller teams to divide the work. You can even look into investing in automating future content inventories if your website is frequently updated. The point is, time, manpower, and other resources shouldn’t be allocated until you know the scope of the project.

A Content Inventory Can Make Migration a Cinch

If your company is planning to migrate to a new CMS, or perhaps planning a complete website redesign, a content inventory will help ease the transition considerably.

With a content inventory, you can figure out which pages are irrelevant, outdated, or otherwise don’t fit with your new site. That way, you won’t spend the time moving pages you don’t need. Similarly, you can determine which pages you will migrate automatically and which ones you will migrate manually.

A Content Inventory Can Help Drive Traffic to Your Site

Even high-quality content is useless if it’s not easily accessible. Performing a content inventory can show you if the content on your pages contains keywords and phrases that can drive traffic to your website.

You can also determine if those search terms need to be updated or expanded upon. One good way to supplement your efforts is through Audienti’s content scorecard.

Similarly, a content inventory of your social media networks can determine whether you’re actually reaching your target audience. Yes, each post’s engagement can be measured, but looking at the posts as a whole can give you a better picture of what content is working and what is not.

 

William Flanagan

CEO & Founder, Audienti. Former VP-Cognio, Founder-sentitO/Verso, SALIX/Tellabs, PrimaryAccess/3Com, CompuServe. Expert in data-driven marketing.

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