So you’re looking to boost your digital content. Great. Now you may be asking yourself exactly how to go about doing this. After all, it’s one thing to know that you need to write more content and another to figure out what to write. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
No matter if you are a food blogger by night or a content marketing director by day, your site’s success rests on the strength of the content. Audiences literally have millions of other places to find good content. If your site is lacking information, audiences will disappear. This may sound extreme, but it’s the truth in today’s constant newscycle environment. Writing fresh, up-to-date, and innovative content can ensure that your site is favorable amongst audiences and search algorithms.
But in order to create new, pertinent content you need to see what you already have. A content inventory analysis will tell you the breadth and depth of your content, allowing you to see any missing pieces. It essentially is a way to keep track of the content you currently have on site. This process can be done manually or through various digital platform tools. Keep reading to learn more about this analysis, how to get started, and why it can be a helpful exercise for your business.
1. Where to Start
They say the hardest part is starting, and that is certainly true with content inventory analysis. It can seem like a daunting task, but putting it off will only create more work for you in the long run. The key is really just starting. Obviously, if it’s a particularly stressful time at work or you are approaching a busy season, you may want to wait. Block off ample time in your work calendar to get started on the project.
The first step is deciding who will be running the analysis. If you are a business owner, it may just be you, and that’s completely fine. However, if you are running a larger publishing platform, you may need to have a few hands on deck. Once you have your team in place, figure out a system for cataloging and organizing all of your content. Creating a system upfront ensures no piece of content is missed and no one is doing duplicative work.
2. What to Include
Depending on your content, you will need to include a few key metrics. You will definitely want to include: the URL, publication date, and file type — such as written or video content. This practice alone will allow you to see when you’ve published the most content and of what type. If you have yet to put in place a strong content plan, you may notice some gaps. For example, perhaps more content was published at the beginning of last year than at the end.
If you have access to on-site analytics, it’s also a good idea to take note of those as well. Analytics can include everything from average session duration to unique visitors to page views to bounce rates. Knowing how your content is performing is the basis for a content audit, which you may decide to do once your content inventory analysis is complete. Together, these two practices can help ensure you know where the gaps are in your content and what content is performing best.
3. How to Interpret the Findings
Now that you and your team have gone through your entire site and documented each piece of content, the real work starts. Doing a content inventory analysis for the sake of crossing it off your to-do list isn’t helpful. Neither is dragging inventory out for so long that you are never getting to the analysis part. The purpose of this exercise, after all, is to establish how you can make your site better and provide more content for your audiences.
Analyzing your content will allow you to clearly see what you need to optimize. For instance, looking at your top-performing pieces may be a clue to what additional information you can report on. Alternatively, if the content that is performing poorly is around one type of subject or written by the same author, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate. You should spend just as much time – if not more – interpreting your findings as you did conduct your analysis.
4. When to Analyze Again
This may not be music to your ears, but a content inventory isn’t a one-and-done exercise. The analysis should be ongoing, depending on how frequently you update existing and create new content. It’s often recommended to conduct one whenever a new company initiative is in the works, such as introducing a new product or platform. If you’re undergoing a redesign, it’s a good idea to conduct an inventory analysis alongside it.
If you and your team are having trouble finding time to do it, schedule it in the calendar. Perhaps at the beginning of every quarter, you and your team spend half a day going through the past few months’ latest updates. Doing them in regular intervals will help your business continue to grow.
Content inventory analysis is a beneficial tool to have in your toolkit. It’s a way to see how much content you have on your site. In many ways, you may be surprised by the sheer amount of it! Once you’ve started the analysis and learned from it, remember to keep going back and updating it. Doing so is best practice and could lead to big payoffs in your content strategy.
Interesting Related Article: The Different Inventory Management Methods, and Why You Need To Learn Them