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Web Design, Content Management

Conducting a Pilot Content Audit for Your Higher Ed Website

test checklistYou’ve committed to a major redesign of your college or university’s website, and while you have several ideas about improvements you want to make, so do other members of your redesign committee. What data should you gather, how can it help you identify concrete changes to make, and how complicated is your audit going to be?

These questions and more can be answered with a pilot audit. A pilot audit is a test run with your content audit team using sample content taken directly from your existing website.

5 Steps for a Successful Pilot Content Audit

Following are five ways to get your pilot audit off the ground:

  1. Divide and conquer. Ask each member of your team to evaluate 5-10 pages of existing content on your site. Make sure that each person has content in a variety of formats: student profiles, informational pages, events postings, and so on. You want to give each member a good idea of the various forms of content you currently have.
  2. Provide a loose framework for evaluating data. Early in the process, you want your team to be open to ideas. Provide them with general guidelines for evaluating content that can be used as talking points in later conversations.
  3. Discuss content as a team. A couple hours spent together as a team before your dive into a full-blown content audit will make the entire project go smoother. This is a chance for everyone to share their thoughts on what to include or delete from the current website. It’s also a chance to build comradery between team members and identify a unified goal.
  4. Identify specific data that the team wants and needs. Once everyone has had a chance to evaluate current content, it’s time to get specific about the criteria you want to identify in your comprehensive content audit.
  5. Set realistic expectations. A pilot audit gives you an idea of how long and complicated a full content audit will take. Your team can decide whether it’s best to gather as much information as possible—or to reduce the amount of data captured to speed up the audit process.

As with every major project, the more you can educate your team upfront and identify potential road blocks, the more successful and smooth your content audit will be.

To learn more about conducting a content audit, download our latest white paper, Website Audit: Cleaning Up Your Content Before a Redesign.

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