Redesigning a college or university website is an arduous task, especially when you consider all the different components that must be addressed. However, you’ll find that if you take time to really evaluate existing content and your content plan up front, you’ll avoid mistakes that can cost you time and resources later on.
What is a qualitative content audit?
A qualitative content audit evaluates the quality of your college or university website’s content. There’s no way to speed up this step in your redesign. Instead, you should comb through your existing content, page by page, and review it for quality, relevance, branding, and consistency in style and tone. Good writing should be easy to follow and convey information targeted specifically to your readers. It is always helpful to have subject matter experts review content that is relevant to their area of expertise.
How do I evaluate the quality of my website’s content?
Before you begin assessing your content’s quality, you should complete a content inventory. Using this spreadsheet, look at each page and make comments based on relevance, consistency, branding, and message. Don’t worry about design; this will be something you consider at a later stage. Score pages based on a predetermined rank and make notes about what works and what doesn’t on the page.
Flag content that may require a rewrite and keep notes on what might be missing as you read through your web pages. Finally, before deleting a page, check its data. Instead of deleting a high-performing page, revise it instead so that you don’t lose its ranking.
The reasons for conducting a qualitative content audit, along with everything you need to know about assessing your college or university’s website content, can be found in our white paper Website Audit: Cleaning Up Your Content Before a Redesign.