Web Content Analysis and Inventories
A content inventory and analysis will help identify content that needs to be updated, edited, added, or removed for maintenance. They're also recommended prior to starting a website redesign.
EERE asks that all Web Coordinators and their teams review their websites' content at least once a year. It is an important part of website maintenance. Ultimately, it ensures that your team is:
- Aware of what they currently have online and what they're responsible for
- Confident that all of the content they have posted is relevant
- Actively removing content that is no longer helpful.
Content inventories help you review and analyze your content systematically. A content inventory is a document or spreadsheet that lists all of the content on your website. Most content inventories list all of the Web pages on a site along with summaries of what each page is about or its purpose. Inventories may also include lists of downloadable documents.
Content Inventory Tips
Here are some tips for creating useful content inventories:
- Databases often have hundreds or thousands of pages. It's seldom useful to list every page in an inventory. Instead, consider leaving a note that explains what kind of information is in this database and how many pages it has.
- In the Energy.gov Drupal content management system (CMS), to see a list of all your content, log in and click on "Office Content." Select the drop-down menu next to your website and select "Content." This will list every page in your section.
- If your website is not in the Energy.gov Drupal CMS, you can use the internal search engine to find all of your website's content.
EERE does not currently have an automated way to inventory your websites.
Content Inventory Template and Example
Download the content inventory template.
For an example of how to use this template, see the Communication Standards: FY 2014 Inventory. This content inventory was created in Excel. It lists URLs, page names, navigation, navigation hierarchy, and section placement for each page on the website. It also includes a notes field, which can be used for a Web content analysis.
When conducting a Web content analysis, go through the content inventory and review each page for accuracy, usefulness, audience appropriateness, EERE writing standards and best practices, user friendliness, and whether it meets an office's website goals. Also consider:
- Gaps. Are users looking for something that you don't have on your website? Are important topics not covered (or not covered in enough detail)?
- ROT. ROT is an acronym that means redundant, outdated, and trivial content. ROT should be updated or removed.
- Ways to improve popular content. What is your most popular and in-demand content? How can you improve it?
- Underperforming content. Are any of your pages valuable and accurate, but not performing well? Are there ways to improve how it performs in search engines? Are there best practices that can be applied to make the content more clearly written or more readable?
Google Analytics can be used to help you analyze relevant user behavior—such as page views and bounce rate—for each page.
Content Analysis Tips
Here are some tips for analyzing your website's content:
- On very large websites, it may be unrealistic to review all of your content at once. Consider reviewing it one section at a time.
- Use content analysis to identify year-long goals for website improvement.
- Identify pages (or websites) to archive early in your analysis process, when possible. Identify "quick wins" by finding what content, if any, can be removed immediately. See our Archiving page for guidelines on how to remove pages or create backups.