How to Conduct a Content Inventory Analysis

Content Inventory Analysis: Simply publishing online content is not enough to ensure good performance. While website content does need time to gain traction, it requires reevaluation from time to time. Once you start putting content out there, you can lose track of what you have. As facts, company objectives, and audiences change, it’s helpful to take stock of the topics you’ve developed.

You may find you have outdated or inaccurate content that needs some tweaks. There might be too many pieces on a specific topic that you should scale back. Or perhaps you identify opportunities for covering a subject in more depth based on the performance of existing pages.

Completing an inventory analysis of your website and online content helps you discover what’s working well and what’s tanking. An inventory analysis also provides a strategic roadmap for updating, removing, and creating content. Here are some of the core steps and activities involved in conducting a content inventory analysis.

Estimate Topical Authority

A website’s topical authority has to do with the volume and performance of content about a particular subject. If your company sells exercise equipment, you may have several blog posts and website pages about the benefits of physical activity. The amount of content about this topic is high, and so is its performance. Your site’s blogs and pages attract a good deal of organic traffic, bounce rates are acceptable, and conversions are decent.

Content Inventory Analysis

In this case, a content inventory analysis reveals your company has elevated topical authority. It’s probably going to be relatively easy to keep developing high-performing content about exercise’s health benefits. However, say your site only has a few blog posts about the benefits of engaging in more physical activity. Overall, organic traffic is low, bounce rates are high, and conversions are below par. Under this scenario, your topical authority is minimal.

Low topical authority signals a need to determine the why behind low-performing content. The information could be irrelevant to your audience. Blogs and other digital content might not cover the topic well enough or offer something unique to readers. You could be targeting the wrong audience, or your content could be challenging to digest. Once you determine the reason for low authority, you can identify ways to improve it, such as increasing unique value.

Use Inventory Tools

Taking inventory often means generating a list of every piece of published content you have. Ideally, a list should reveal or align with your website’s site map. A website site map is essentially its structure, showing how separate pages or pieces of content relate to each other. For example, an internet service provider’s website might have product pages, content about plans, and pages for subscribers’ accounts.

Spreadsheets are a simple tool you can use to list each website page or individual piece of content. On the sheet, you’d want to list out details like the URL and the team that created the content. You’d also include the content type, the initial goal, and engagement and performance metrics. Blogs, landing pages, and client testimonial videos are examples of content types. Objectives might be to increase organic traffic or authority, while metrics could include social shares and comments.

If you don’t want to use spreadsheets, there are website inventory and analytics tools that can automate the process. These tools generate a list of your site’s content, including unique URLs and which sections each piece belongs to. So if your site has three separate pages in the “About Us” section, the tool will categorize each URL accordingly. Inventory and analytics solutions will also break down performance metrics like bounce rates and organic traffic volumes.

Determine an Appropriate Scope

The more content you have, the more overwhelming an inventory analysis can get. If your website is relatively new, you might be able to handle a broader scope. Say you’ve been publishing content for a year and want to go over every detail of each piece. This is probably a realistic scope since there aren’t thousands of pages to review.

With a wider scope, you could address which sections of your site perform the best. You might decide to remove entire sections based on your inventory analysis. Likewise, some categories could benefit from additional pages or subsections. You may also scrap everything and rearrange the site’s sections and architecture based on what you uncover.

However, with an extensive content library, you might need to narrow your focus a bit. Perhaps you start with one or two sections of your site that are most relevant or critical to your audience. For instance, your FAQ pages might get the most hits, and customer surveys reveal clients rely heavily on this content. You could limit an inventory analysis to the FAQ sections, focusing on improving and refining the information on those pages.

Taking Inventory

Without online content, most businesses won’t generate sufficient brand awareness, leads, and sales. U.S. consumer surveys show that 56.6% prefer to shop online, and 59% perform online research before making a major purchase. Relevant and authoritative digital content increases the chance that your target audience will learn about your business and its solutions.

But poor-performing content or a lack of information can turn into missed sales opportunities and the loss of existing clients. By conducting an inventory of your digital content, you can help improve its performance and better meet your audience’s needs.

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