How to analyse your audit data and share your findings with your team or client.
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Analyse your data
So now you’ve done your audit and you’re getting to the good bit. This is where all your hard work is going to pay off.
Hopefully, you will have been taking notes and collecting screenshots of interesting trends, patterns, and examples as you went through the auditing process. These notes aren’t enough on their own though. You need to do some extra analysis and look at the whole data set for trends and patterns.
Go through the data in detail, filtering it, and comparing it in lots of different ways to see what you can learn.
Some of the things I look for are:
- The overall scores for the different categories of audit criteria, like strategy or findability. Which categories are you doing well in? Which aren’t you doing so well in? This can be a great way to get an overview of your content performance.
- How different content types or different areas of the site compare. Is one content type getting great conversion while another one does not? Is there a part of the site that’s not getting much traffic? Is there a content type that’s not strategically aligned? Or a section of the site that’s totally out of date? This can help you make choices about where to focus your attention.
- What’s the distribution of pageviews across the site? Lots of sites will have a handful of pages that account for the majority of traffic, and a huge number of pages that get little or no traffic. Spotting this can help you make a case for deleting lots of content.
Write your report
Once you’re finished with your analysis, you need to shape it into a report.
Writing up a report will help you communicate what you’ve learned to your stakeholders and get support for the next steps you want to take.
You might want to include:
- A big takeaway: The most important thing you’ve learned from your audit. This will depend on what’s going on with your site. It could be that the majority of content is out of date and represents a big risk to the organisation. It could be that the content is inconsistent as a result of siloed working. It could be that the content is great, but no one can find it. Make sure your big takeaway is something that connects to a strategic business goal/challenge – people are more likely to care then.
- Criteria category summaries: Individual sections on how content is performing in each of your audit criteria categories, like strategy, findability, usability, or engagement. This gives people an easy way to get an overview of strengths and weaknesses.
- Section and/or content type summaries: How do the different sections or your site/types of content perform? This will be useful in helping people understand the audit in more specific detail.
The audit report template in this toolkit will give you some ideas for how to structure your report and what to include. It also includes a section for recommendations, which we’re going to talk about in the next (final!) module. (If you haven’t made a copy yet, the report is linked on the content audit toolkit homepage.)