Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook for Content Analysis, 2nd edition

Cover of Content Audits and Inventories, linked to
Content Audits and Inventories, 2nd edition
by Paula Ladenburg Land. $29.95 (print) $24.95 (ebook).

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The second edition of Content Audits and Inventories, by veteran content strategist Paula Land, updates and expands the first edition, focusing on the importance of the strategic, as well as the tactical, aspects of the content audit. This edition includes expanded chapters on planning and preparation, building a business case, getting buy-in from your organization, working with teams, selecting and defining audit criteria, incorporating audits as part of ongoing governance, and much more.

New in this edition are chapters on auditing social media channels, apps, brand/messaging, content structure, and accessibility. Also new in this edition are case studies from industry professionals who share their audit experiences and outcomes.

Successful content strategy projects start with a thorough assessment of the current state of all content assets: their quantity, type, and quality. The audit process begins with a data-rich inventory and layers in a qualitative assessment, empowering content owners and business stakeholders to make informed decisions.

This practical, tactic-filled handbook walks you through setting up and running an inventory using an automated tool, setting the stage for a successful audit. Specific audit tactics addressed include auditing for content quality, performance, global considerations, and legal and regulatory issues. You will also learn how to do a competitive audit and incorporate personas into an audit. Tips on presenting audit results to stakeholders will help you deliver effective strategies.

Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook for Content Analysis is a must-read for content professionals seeking to improve their content management strategy.

Inside the Book

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Setting the Context
    • Planning Your Audit Project
    • When Do You Inventory and Audit
    • Building the Business Case
    • Planning an Inventory and Audit Project
    • Ready, Set, Audit!
  • Building the Audit
    • Preparing for a Content Audit
    • Creating a Content Inventory
    • Selecting and Defining Audit Criteria
    • Selecting Tools and Templates
    • Onboarding the Team
    • Conducting a Pilot
  • Conducting the Audit
    • Getting Started
    • The Qualitative Audit
    • Auditing for Content Effectiveness
    • Auditing Content Structure–NEW
    • The Multichannel Audit
    • Auditing for Brand and Messaging–NEW
    • Auditing Competitor Sites
    • Auditing for Accessibility Issues–NEW
    • Auditing for Legal or Regulatory Issues
    • Auditing Social Media–NEW
    • Auditing for Global Issues
    • Auditing Apps and Single-Page Sites–NEW
    • Using Personas and Customer Journeys in Audits
  • Turning Analysis into Insights
    • Delivering Your Audit
    • Achieving Long-Term Change
    • Conclusion
  • Inventory and Audit Resources
    • Appendix A: Sample Content Inventory
    • Appendix B: Stakeholder Interview Template
    • Appendix C: Content Audit Checklist
    • Appendix D: Competitive Audit Scorecard
    • Appendix E: Defining Audit Criteria
    • Appendix F: Customer Journey Map
    • Appendix G: Sample Gap Map
    • Appendix H: Content Audit Report Template
  • Additional Reading
  • Glossary
  • Index

About Paula Ladenburg Land

Paula Land is a content strategy consultant and a technology entrepreneur. As founder and principal consultant at Strategic Content, she develops content strategies and implementation plans for private clients ranging from nonprofits to large e-commerce sites. Paula has also worked as a Senior Content Strategist at NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) group. As cofounder of Content Insight, she was the impetus behind the development of CAT, the Content Analysis Tool, which was designed to create automated content inventories.

Before founding her own businesses, Paula was a user experience and content strategy lead for Razorfish, a leading digital agency, where she led the content strategy on the development of enterprise-level websites, redesigns, and CMS implementations.

Paula has worked for over thirty years in content-related roles, spanning all aspects of the content lifecycle, with a focus on delivering large-scale, complex websites.

Paula is a frequent speaker at conferences and presents workshops and webinars on the topic of content inventories, audits, and analyses. She contributed the essay on content inventory to the book The Language of Content Strategy.

Praise for the first edition

“No other book provides such detailed, do-able guidelines for the all-important content audit. An invaluable resource for anyone involved with wrangling the realities of online content!”

— Kristina Halvorson, President, Brain Traffic and author of Content Strategy for the Web

“This book goes on my must-have bookshelf for anyone interested in content management, content strategy, or information architecture, as well as anyone facing a major content management system or Web site retooling.”

— Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra, Comgenesis, LLC, and past president of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). From her review in Technical Communication, Volume 62, Number 4, November 2015.

“This important work repositions the content audit as an ongoing process for organizations to adopt for performance-driven content. A must read for anyone working with content and making organizational decisions about content.”

— Kevin P. Nichols, Director and Global Practice Lead, Content Strategy, SapientNitro

Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook goes well beyond the promise of its title, while keeping the advice straightforward and actionable. With this book, you’ll be ready to thoroughly map out the dense content landscape of any digital project you undertake.”

— Rachel Lovinger, Experience Director and Content Strategist, Razorfish

“Paula has done for content auditing what no one has done before: curated, assembled and commented on every possible angle you need to know to make your content auditing process smooth and successful. Being great at content starts with a great audit and being great at auditing starts with this handbook.”

— Ahava Leibtag, President, AHA Media Group

“No one has covered this topic definitively before and Paula Ladenburg Land nailed it. Paula’s exceptional book has demystified the project manager’s bugaboo: the content audit. While a content inventory and audit are the foundation of any digital design project, this seemingly simple pair is often misunderstood, under scoped, and inappropriately staffed. Land clearly and concisely guides novices and experts alike through the audit process from the discovery phase to post-deployment governance.

Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook is just that—the book you will have in hand throughout the life of a project. It’s an indispensable manual for the bedrock documents of content strategy.”

— Marlowe Sarah Beckley, Manager of Content Strategy, SapientNitro

“Content quality matters and it doesn’t happen by mistake. Content Audits and Inventories: A Handbook gives content professionals a roadmap and a recipe for getting content quality right.”

— Joe Gollner, Director, Gnostyx Research Inc.