Publishing useful content

Are you publishing useful content on your website? Is content duplicated, out of date, unused? Are you publishing more than you can manage? Try these exercises and see if you can make some improvements.

Exercise 1

Get a list of all the pages of content published within your section of your website/intranet. (You may need to ask your web manager for a list, or you could use a tool like Xenu Link Sleuth.)

  • Were you surprised by the amount of content you’re responsible for?
  • Is there any duplication of content?
  • Is there important content missing?
  • Do any of the pages need to be updated or removed and archived?

Exercise 2

Review the usage statistics for each of your pages. (You may need to ask your web manager for the stats if you don’t have access.)

  • Are any of the statistics surprising? If some content is not well used, can you identify why?
  • Check the 10 least-used pages. Is the content redundant, outdated, unnecessary or trivial? Should it be removed and archived?

Exercise 3

On your site, search for other content related to the content you publish. (You can use Google for this, using the ‘site’ search limit like this: search topic site:.yourdomain.com).

  • Are other parts of the organisation publishing content that overlaps with yours? Is this appropriate? Should you be working with them to streamline the amount of content on this topic?
  • Did you find any duplicated content?

Exercise 4

Make a list of the enquiries you get (by phone, email, in person) over the next month.

At the end of the month, go and search for the content people contacted you about.

  • Was it there? Do you need to create this content?
  • Was it useful? Did it answer the questions your users asked you?
  • Can you make some improvements?

Exercise 5

Select an older piece of content you’ve published.

  • Can you clearly identify the business objectives for publishing this? Can you easily answer:
    • Why did we publish this?
    • What did we want this content to achieve?
    • Is it achieving its goals?
  • Does it need to be rewritten to focus more clearly on the objectives?
  • Should it be removed because it is not as useful as it may have been earlier?