Collect everything you can find out about your content. This includes web pages and assets through to content types, content owners or subject experts, users and metadata.
Start a spreadsheet
Use a spreadsheet to create a complete list of the above data as evidence about your web pages and other content assets. (For example, images, videos and documents.)
Another option is to export your pages to a spreadsheet from a content management system (CMS) or analytics tool, to give you a complete list of all pages on the site. Remove any content that is not a true page (for example, search result query string URLs) and any pages not included in the content audit.
These templates are examples that you can tailor to suit your needs.
- NSW Department of Education: content audit spreadsheet (XLSX, 191KB)
- Department of Agriculture: content audit spreadsheet (XLSX, 146KB)
- UK Government Digital Service: content audit spreadsheet (XLSX, 44KB)
Categorise the data
Break the content down into content types for ease of reviewing. (For example, news content, legal content and article pages.)
You should also show the content hierarchy — that is, you should show the parent and sibling page levels for each content item.
Assign a page owner or subject expert to each item in the spreadsheet. To action the audit findings for each section of content, you will need to get that person's agreement. Also make a note if there is no owner for an item.
For maintaining and updating content metadata (such as the page owner), where possible, store this data with the content, within the CMS.
To validate your audit spreadsheet, consider testing it with others in your team to make sure:
- your colleagues are testing content against criteria in the same way
- you’ve chosen relevant criteria to measure your website
Once you’ve decided which content you're going to audit, begin your analysis. Add qualitative and quantitative assessments and any web analytics data.