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Content audit has plenty of obvious value.  Not everybody likes to do it, but taking a proper, focused look over everything your organization’s been putting out is the best way to spot any inconsistencies or out-of-date messaging that could come back to haunt you.  If you don’t have time to look at absolutely everything, I recently came across an article that shares four simple steps to improve the bits that matter, which I’ve listed below:

AuditDefine your user journeys: People come to your website to take an action: read an article, donate to a campaign or maybe contact somebody.  Decide on a set number of journeys you want to look at, then create a profile for a typical customer for each journey.  Once you know who your customers are, then write a sentence from their perspective that sums up what they want to do on your website.

Talk to your colleagues: Along with defining your user types and journeys, you also need to be talking to key stakeholders who work closely with each type of customer.  Your customer service team will prove invaluable for this, but it’s also a good idea to talk with product designers, UX researchers, SEO specialists and anybody else that works directly with a specific user base.  Ask questions such as how much content they produce, what the goal of that content is, what works well with that content and what (if any) issues there are with the content.

Journey mapping: Once you’ve defined all your user journeys, move through your website as though you’re the customer.  Screen grab each page and plot them out in the order that they’d be viewed.  Just printing them out and sticking them to a wall will work just fine.  Take a step back and apply what you learned from your interviews to the journeys you have.  Write down any potential issue and cover your user journeys in notes, and you’ll find that people have lots of ideas about how certain areas could be improved.

Content workshops: Once you’ve figured out where your content isn’t working, you can think of ways to fix it.  Organize a series of workshops with people who can share their expertise, and you can come up with some quick fixes you can pick up right away, as well as any bigger pieces of work that might need more time.  These workshops should produce a list of real, tangible things you can do to improve your content and user experience, meaning more people are getting where they need to go on your website.