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Content Inventory: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

3 minutes

In this article, we explore what content inventory is and its importance. We also share our step-by-step framework for conducting it effectively for your website, with real-world examples. Read on to learn more.

content inventory

Content Inventory Explained

Content inventory is the process of cataloging and analyzing all the content on your website or digital platform. It provides a clear overview of your current content assets and their relevance.

Example: Tech Solutions Inc. recently conducted a content inventory for their website and discovered they had over 1,200 individual pages. Notably, 400 of these were outdated product descriptions.

What to Include in a Website Content Inventory

When conducting a content inventory, it's crucial to cover all essential elements to gain a comprehensive understanding. We cover the most important elements below: 

URLs: Every individual webpage's address. This allows you to locate and review each piece of content easily.

Page Titles: Helps in identifying the main focus or topic of each page. For instance, a title like "Product Specifications" indicates technical details about products.

Content Type: Categorizing content, whether it's a blog post, product description, or an FAQ section, aids in understanding the variety of content.

Last Updated Date: This highlights the freshness of content. A page last updated in 2015 might need a review to ensure relevancy.

Ownership: Identifying who's responsible for each content piece ensures accountability. The marketing team might own blog posts, while the product team handles product descriptions.

website content inventory

Importance of a Content Inventory

Understanding the significance of a website content inventory is key to prioritizing it within an organization. Here are some key reasons why: 

Content Relevancy

Keeping content updated ensures users get the latest and most accurate information. Outdated information can mislead users or impact brand credibility.

SEO Benefits

Regularly updated and relevant content can enhance search engine rankings. Irrelevant pages might negatively affect SEO performance.

Efficient Content Management

Knowing what content exists prevents duplication and aids in strategic planning. For instance, a company won't waste resources creating a new page if a similar one already exists.

5 Steps to Conduct a Website Content Inventory 

To gain the most from a content inventory, it's crucial to follow a well-structured and methodical approach. 

Here's our simple 5-step framework. Simply follow these steps to get started: 

Step 1: Start with a List of URLs

Every website's backbone is its sitemap, which contains the addresses of all its pages. Begin by extracting all the URLs from this sitemap to understand the website's sheer size and structure.

Example: Eco Web, a green initiative blog, commenced their inventory process by extracting 2,000 URLs from their sitemap.

Step 2: Categorize Content

Once you have the list, categorize each URL based on its content type. This will help streamline the next steps and ensure targeted strategies for each content type.

Example: On inspection, Green Tech Review, a tech magazine site, found that 700 of their URLs were detailed product reviews.

Step 3: Assign Ownership

Not every department or individual handles every content type. By assigning ownership, you ensure that content is overseen by the experts in that particular domain, promoting accuracy and relevancy.

Example: At Nature Walks, trekking experts manage and oversee the adventure itineraries to ensure authentic and safe information.

Step 4: Determine Content's Last Update

Stale content can harm a website's reputation and SEO. By determining the last update date, you can identify pages needing immediate attention.

Example: Sports Gear, an athletic equipment retailer, discovered that 150 of their articles hadn't been revisited since 2019.

Step 5: Analyze and Decide

With all the preliminary data at hand, make decisions based on the website's goals. Whether it's updating, archiving, or deleting, ensure that each decision aligns with the site's overall strategy.

Example: Recipe Galore, a culinary website, after meticulous scrutiny, decided to modernize the recipes found on 200 pages and altogether delete 50 pages that shared outdated and potentially unsafe food practices.

what is content inventory

Case Study

Ecofriendly Apparel is a sustainable clothing brand. They have recognized the need to modernize its user experience. With an extensive website of over 3,000 pages, they decided to follow our 5-step process: 

Step 1: Start with a List of URLs

Utilizing their Content Management System (CMS) and site mapping tools, they ensured every page, from blog posts to product descriptions, was accounted for.

Step 2: Categorize Content

Upon categorizing, they noted half the website was dedicated to showcasing their sustainable products, a testament to their diverse clothing range.

Step 3: Assign Ownership

The product department was given the mandate to review, validate, and optimize these pages, believing that those most familiar with the products should oversee the listings. 

Step 4: Determine Content's Last Update

Using the date-stamp feature in their CMS, they identified content that hadn't been touched in four years, indicating potential outdated information or products no longer in stock.

Step 5: Analyze and Decide

After thorough analysis, they updated 400 pages and removed 150 that were no longer relevant. The team found that some pages contained discontinued products, while others had information that no longer aligned with their brand ethos. 

A website content inventory is an invaluable tool for any organization looking to optimize its digital assets. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what content inventory is and how to conduct it for your website.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on manufacturing inventory or our article on raw materials inventory formula. 

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