Content Strategy

Content Inventory

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson

Brain Traffic
Content Strategy

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The "Content Inventory" Lesson is part of the full, Content Strategy course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

After discussing Content Inventory, which takes a look at current state of content, Kristina reviews the reasons for performing a Content Inventory.


Transcript from the "Content Inventory" Lesson

>> All right, who here has conducted a content inventory? Anyone? Chris, Chris has conducted a content inventory, okay? So content inventory is essentially identifying the content that exists. Most of the time it's for a website specifically'. You can do content requirements for a product for sure. From a micro-copy standpoint, sometimes this content requirements are just captured in the designs.

But in this instance, we usually do a content inventory to take inventory of current state content that can inform future recommendations. Or infact can also as I mentioned earlier on, identify for us redundant, outdated, or trivial content that can be scraped and scrapped. Okay, so the reasons that we do an inventory are to build a business case for content strategy, that is one option.

Sometimes we'll run an inventory to say, this website is a complete disaster, and you thought there were only 100 pages, but there are actually 600, which we see happen all the time. In preparation for re-architecting the site, preparing for content migration, to sort of inventory all your content assets, to determine who owns what, and then that redundant outdated and trivial content analysis, okay?

There are some tools that will run. Here's what a content inventory looks like, it's super awesome. We'll take a closer look at it here. A content inventory can basically play whatever role you need it to play in your project, or content management process. I will say that there are two tools that we recommend that can do an automated content inventory.

It's not perfect necessarily, we bet, ten years ago, we used to have to do these by hand. One of them is the Content analysis tool, and the other is called Screaming Frog. And those will actually spider your websites, spit out something that looks like this, so it's pretty fancy.

All right, let's take a closer look at this. So we have, in this instance, they decided this was a project that we worked on where they were consolidating a number of different sites into one URL. And so we had to, and it was a migration process project as well.

And so our content inventory became our master matrix, where we were keeping track of the pages that had been reviewed, and approved for migration or needed to get reviewed, and we're going to have new content etc. So we had the primary source, which they were showing based on the location on the website.

We had a page ID for every single URL, to keep track of in the migration and also to map to the new site map. We had the existing URL. We had some analytics that were associated with it, that informed whether or not we were gonna keep it or kill it.

We had search engine importance wait there. And we literally had a column called Keep or kill. So you'll see that, and that was literally are we going to migrate this, or can we just delete it from our entire matrix. With the page title, the existing page title, which is we migrated it, we rewrote the metadata there so that it was consistent.

But as you can see, this is completely inconsistent as it started. And then notes in this case from brain traffic specifically. So these are just any notes that we need to be aware of. Again, this can be whatever it is that you need it to be. If you don't need analytics associated with them, don't use it.

If you need to have a column for somebody's approval to keep it or kill it, great, add that column. If you don't need a Keep/kill column, and you need a redundant outdated or trivial column, or just a notes column, great, add that. But this is a tool for you to wrangle content or content requirements.

And this way it's incredibly helpful to have in conjunction with a sitemap, for when you are moving forward with new content requirements as well. This can also be a very useful tool for writers who are looking for source content. So that incentive digging through the site, they can just go here and do a quick find for a certain keyword, or whatever, and then just go straight to the URL Okay, In the olden days I used to make people inventory their websites in this workshop, but I'm not going to do that.

Okay, so those are some of the primary areas where we want to dig out information, for to sort of identify and measure a situation. Are there any questions? Or comments? Yes.
>> So after you do a content inventory, and you say, hey, this is for random content, or are giving it to point.

I guess my question is, what do you do with a content inventory, if you just bring it to a team at a meeting about the content inventory of the stakeholders? Or how to use it as a tool, i guess effectively?
>> Yep, so how do you use it as a tool?

That's a great question. You only use content inventory if, you only do it if you need one in the first place, right? So you identify the need for the tool first. So on that first slide, I sort of mentioned you can build a business case. So if you are like our website is complete mess, and we have a million pieces of content.

A content inventory sometimes just has a really great, what I call a funk factor, where you can bring it in and you can just be like, here's all the content on our website. And it is redundant, and it is a mess, and it's way more than the three of us should be managing.

And then you just pass it over, and then it becomes just a scary document that can spur somebody into action. If you do it, and you are preparing for a content migration, then it does become a point of reference for the project manager, the migration manager, the writers.

Potentially the lead editorial person, the strategists, any of the folks who are actually gonna be working with moving the content. If you are creating an inventory, it can be used by an Information Architect to map current pages to a new site map. For example, it can also be used to capture new content requirements.

In which instance, it would get handed largely to the project manager and the writers.

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