Chipping Away At The Hoard: Knowing Your Content

Organized Shelves

On Sunday afternoon, while my husband hunkers down in his man cave for an afternoon of football, I find myself at peak homeowner performance: Cleaning, fixing, and organizing.

There’s something satisfying for me when I pull out all the contents of a drawer or closet, decide what I need to keep and what I can donate to the local resale stores. It feels like a job well done: The clutter is out and sanity in my space is restored.

That’s probably why I enjoy being a content strategist.

Finding the joy in cleaning

No, I’m not expecting you to go home and scrub the floors and countertops while singing a happy song. But when it comes to your website, you can learn to handle the pile of pages in a way that makes you love them.

    • Dig into the hoard – Perform a content inventory: What is a content inventory? An inventory shows you ALL the pages you have on your website, along with other helpful information like page descriptions, PDFs, outbound links and more.
    • Find the value – The audit: Getting a feel for your content’s value – it’s age, location and why it was created in the first place – is an important piece to how you move forward. Outdated content is best archived, while content that matters to your visitors that needs to be refreshed should be tagged for editing. Don’t be afraid to make notes about each page of your inventory to decide its fate.
    • Establish order – Putting it back together: Now that you’ve analyzed what you have and if it matters, you’re ready to make some actions. Note the pages that need to be deleted (or simply archived) and make special detailed notes for pages that might require some editing or updates, and start refreshing your content ASAP. Pages that are looking a-OK are good to go, too. If you see pages that need to be written, fire up your writing engines and fill those content gaps.

Take a deep breath and marvel at your progress

So you’re probably thinking this is great…but where do I start?

First, you’ll need a handy tool to help you perform your inventory. There are plenty out there, but Geonetric’s recommendation is the Blaze tool, which allows for in-tool notes, comments and content rating.

Then, based on your inventory and audit results, you can compile a content matrix, also referred to as an editorial calendar. This document ensures you and your team stay up-to-date on the live pages, their audiences and the age of the content.

No matter what you decide to do with the pages you find, you should always keep your goals in mind. Content is best served (and appreciated) fresh, with the right source material and written in a way that speaks to your visitors wants, needs and desired actions.

Sometimes it helps to turn to a user experience expert. Just like when you’re cleaning your closet and a trusted friend can help you decide if something is still in style or not, an outside perspective on your content can help you prioritize and organize. Our expert team is ready to help give your content a qualitative and quantitative assessment and make sure it’s meeting your site visitors’ needs.

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This entry was posted in Admin Feed, Best Practices, Content, Homepage Panel by Erin Schroeder. Bookmark the permalink.
Erin Schroeder

About Erin Schroeder

Erin’s an engaging writer. And she’s an experienced teacher. Add in the fact she’s a talented interviewer with a decade of reporting under her belt and she has the perfect skill set for a content strategist. Erin loves meeting people and learning about their organizations, which is why she excels at helping clients tell their stories online through intuitive, user-friendly site architecture and engaging copy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from St. Ambrose University, a master’s degree in professional journalism from the University of Iowa, and a certificate in content strategy from Northwestern University. When she's not building better user experiences, this Beatlemaniac spends her spare time listening to her vinyl collection, road tripping, writing for Iowa City's arts and culture magazine Little Village, or volunteering with Families Helping Families of Iowa.

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