Conducting a Content Audit

Content is used to describe the words, images, buttons, tables, and other information on your site. Quality web content is essential. We must provide clear, concise, and accurate information that supports the goals of the university. Additionally, content must be presented in a way that is accessible and easy to navigate.

As part of the university redesign, we are conducting a massive content audit and partnering with departments to review and update their websites. When the new website is built, we will migrate our current site content to the new site (which will have a new theme and improved functionality). This is why it’s imperative to clean up our content now, so that old, outdated, and irrelevant information isn’t brought over to the new site. We will not migrate sites that have not been reviewed and updated.

This process focuses on the content and minor design improvements. The theme and overall look will not change until the new site is built. Content comes before design.

Content Audit Process

A content audit involves reviewing every page and determining what information should be removed, combined, and/or rewritten. It’s important to make sure the content is written in the appropriate tone and for the correct audience, and that it supports the university’s brand.


We start this process by creating a spreadsheet that lists a site’s pages, posts, uploaded media, and a list of the site owners. It’s very helpful to see when a page was published and when it was last modified. The spreadsheet also includes data pulled from Google analytics, which lists the site’s most visited pages. This data is used to make informed decisions about how to reorganize the site’s navigation.

Phase 1

Using a spreadsheet is the most effective way to stay organized and keep track of any necessary changes. Our team will typically review the spreadsheet and make some initial notes and questions about the published pages and will then share it with the department’s site owners.

Spreadsheet example of a site’s published pages with added notes:

Content audit example

Once we share the spreadsheet with you and your department, you should use it to review every page and make notes about each page’s content. These could be notes about whether the content should be removed, updated, combined with another page, or you may make a note that the page is accurate and no changes are needed. This process can be done by multiple people and may take 1-2 weeks to complete, but often takes just a few days to tackle.

Phase 2

After reviewing every page and making notes, now is the time to go back and take action. If you determined that a page was irrelevant, you can remove the page (move the page to Draft if you think you may need that page later; move the page to Trash if you know it will not be needed). We are here to help you rewrite content, combine pages, and provide guidance. We will reorganize your menus to make sure the site is easy to navigate. We can also create updated imagery and branded featured images. This helpful guide shows how academic department sites should be organized.

Phase 3

After the edits are complete, we will review the code and make any final accessibility updates. You will still have access to your site and should continue to update content as necessary, though it’s important for site owners to not make any significant changes to things like menus, widgets, and/or buttons, and to be mindful of accessibility guidelines and image standards. We ask that the menus and site organization is not greatly altered, since the updates were based on analytics and improving the online experience.

We do encourage site owners to continue reviewing their pages and make text updates as needed (updating any deadlines, removing old information, etc). When the new website is built, we will migrate our current, updated site content to the new site.

How You Can Help

In 2021, we identified some high-priority sites and began working with departments to update their content. Many departments were able to start their content audits and we worked with them to complete the updates. Later in 2022, in an effort to expedite this crucial process, our team started meeting with departments to review their site and determine what edits are needed. Then our team works quickly to make the necessary changes.

When we contact you to start the audit, it is extremely important that you’re able to assist us in a timely manner. This will involve going through the spreadsheet with us, responding to our questions, and providing feedback and necessary information. We will rewrite pages, create branded imagery, and update the navigation (menus and links).

We encourage you to review your site now. Please submit a request and we’ll send you a spreadsheet that lists all your pages, posts, media, and site owners.

This collaborative approach will ensure we are able to complete your site’s audit and updates in a successful and efficient manner.

Completed Sites

The content audit work will span through several phases of the redesign. Here are some of the recently completed sites: