Giving content audits a miss

Duncan Stephen
Wednesday 8 January 2014

When content audits are not a good idea

Gerry McGovern points out that sometimes a content audit is a waste of time, when you would be better just removing all content and focussing on users’ key tasks.

…the organization decided to do something different. It focused on content for its customers’ top tasks and just deleted the rest. Didn’t do any auditing, didn’t ask any questions, didn’t tell any content owners. 97,000 pages were deleted. Then they hunkered down and waited for the deluge of protests from content owners. They waited and they waited. Nobody protested. Nobody noticed.

Well, customers noticed. They noticed that the site was now much easier to navigate and search. All the Key Performance Indicators improved. Yes, traffic did drop but within 12 months, the 3,000 pages were getting more visits than the 100,000 pages originally were.

Sometimes you need to slash and burn. Otherwise a huge amount of your team’s energy will be spent on shoveling out the crap. Many web teams are simply focused on the wrong things. They spend more time on what is less important to the customer, and less time on what is more important to the customer.

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