Taking Stock of Your Content
In light of the recent trend to de-clutter and simplify our homes, also known as the KonMari Method, we’re going to walk you through an exercise that will have you purging and simplifying your digital presence, keeping only those assets that spark joy! Consider it a type of digital spring detox for your website.
While the objective of the exercise may differ, the intention is to clean out the content cobwebs and bring new life to existing content while maintaining optimal performance of your website.
Step 1: Evaluate
If this is your first time conducting an inventory of your content, take a deep breath and pour yourself a big cup of coffee! While it may seem overwhelming, recording all your qualitative data in one spreadsheet is an easy way to map the assets that represent you and your brand online. If you choose to include quantitative analytics (i.e., a content audit), you’ll be able to monitor the performance of your content as well.
Fortunately, templates from content strategy experts exist to help guide you through this step. Doing so gives you the opportunity to evaluate the relevance of your content, from its purpose to its findability. Executed thoroughly, this exercise becomes much less daunting when you conduct your annual inventory. Yes, this should be at minimum, an annual activity! For bigger sites with copious amounts of content, a quarterly strategy will help you stay ahead of the content inventory curve. Just like a deep clean of your home, your business requires a deep clean to perform optimally.
Step 2: Eliminate
If you’re a sentimentalist, it’s time to put your practical hat on. Once all of your content is accounted for, it’s time to scrutinize said content line by line. For the purpose of this exercise, you’re looking for content that is:
- Irrelevant. Remove or update content that is out of date or displaying old information
- No longer representative of your brand or business
- Performing poorly
Prior to removing the content, consider what can be salvaged. Are there outdated statistics that can be easily updated? Do you have an existing explainer video that can be refreshed with updated slides, colours or statistics? Can a poorly performing piece of content be easily brought back to life (see Step 3)?
If the content in question can’t easily be updated, edited or changed, it’s time to remove it! Culling content from your website is a valuable practice that will help keep your message relevant and on brand.
Reluctant to eliminate? Evaluate what can be repurposed…
Step 3: Repurpose
Just like an old antique chest or a piece of vintage furniture, in some cases existing content on your site can be refreshed or repurposed. After completing Step 2, some content can be given an extended shelf life with simple updates or tweaks.
With the content that remains, review what is still valuable or in need of a minor makeover. Is there an existing product or service on your site that might “spark joy” for others that you can promote via social media? Does something you offer tie into a current trend or news story? Can you tease an existing article or blog entry in a new email campaign? Do you have a long form explainer video that can be formatted for social media?
What’s old can sometimes be new again when you view it through a fresh lens. Something to keep in mind during this step: if a piece of outdated or irrelevant content requires more too much work or a big budget to revitalize it, it’s probably time to start fresh.
Step 4: The Devil Is In The Details
This crucial step is less about the look and feel of your content and more about the oft-overlooked details that support its performance. In order to ensure things are running optimally on the back end of your website and you’re playing your strongest SEO hand, make sure that the content you keep meets the following criteria:
- Meta tags and descriptions included for all pages and images
- Keywords are included in your meta tags and descriptions
- All pages have ID’s or titles
- Links on pages that point to internal or external pages are still live / accurate
- Ensure functionality is working properly, including embedded video content, forms, surveys, etc.
- Does your website meet accessibility standards? For example, in Ontario websites must be AODA compliant.
- Are you compliant with privacy legislation, such as CASL and GDPR?
This step may require assistance from a third party or your web developer but it’s one that should not be overlooked.
All the steps above will help ascertain that your content is delivering a concise and consistent message on your website. If you’re ready to take things a step further, performing a similar inventory exercise of all the touchpoints of your business will help you achieve a consistent omnichannel strategy.
So pour that cuppa joe and dig into the contents of your website. You’ll be surprised at what you may find!
If after conducting this exercise you find that your video content is in need of a refresher (or you don’t have any at all!), contact us to discuss how we can create an explainer video that will most certainly spark joy.