|How to: Do a content inventory|
|Thursday, 25 July 2013 23:26|
For some companies, it's a list of pages, and maybe some completely useless metrics like 'images per page.' For others, it's a set of documents so complex you're better off reading the entire web site, page by page, instead.
To me, a content inventory should tell me:
When we do an inventory, here's what we collect, why we collect it, and how we collect it:
Then, we plunk it all into a database, and pour it all into a spreadsheet. You can learn a lot from a high-level view like this. Plus, it provides a fairly solid list of all content assets.
What's an 'asset'?
Oooh, good question. We could store data on every image, video, page and all other bits and pieces of information on a site. But I rarely find that level of detail valuable. So, for me, an 'asset' is a single piece of content, including text, images, video or other embedded material that comprises the page or pages.
Yes, it's a little muddy. But it's worked for us so far.
What about videos?
We do have more and more clients who plunk a video on a page and leave it. These pages have no crawlable 'content', per se, unless the client has also gotten a transcript done.
Or do they? We can still grab the title and description, and much of the data listed above. We cannot get things like word counts or top words, until the client gets the transcription done. But we strongly recommend that anyway. If we simply can't get the transcript, then we make do with social media and tag-based metrics.
What about pageviews and stuff?
Yes, we'll sometimes pull pageview, time on page or page-related conversion data. But these stats can lead to some really bass-ackward conclusions.
Is a page that generates zero conversions necessarily a bad thing? Nope. It may be part of a long chain of content/contacts that lead to all sorts of good stuff.
Is a page the generates a kajillion pageviews a good thing? No guarantee. If it's generating lousy pageviews, then it's not helping.
Plus, marketers tend to latch on to pageviews like remora on sharks. Once they do, they refuse to let go. I'd rather present some other statistics, first, if possible.
If you're not a coding nerd, but want to pull the same data for your site or clients, here's how you do it:
Use Screaming Frog to get a list of URLs on a site.
Ask each worker to fill in the columns, by URL.
Voila: Content inventory, sans coding.
Get used to it
However you do it, you need to set up a content inventory process. More and more clients are going to start asking. And while you can get all the data I've listed from various tools around the web, you can't get it all in one place. You'll save yourself a lot of time, and look super-professional, if you can pull it all together for your client or boss.
|Last Updated on Monday, 29 July 2013 14:29|
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