Auditing website content that isn’t there

Content audit missing content gaps
How do you audit missing content?

Website statistics can tell you a fair bit about what visitors are finding on your site.

But they cannot tell you anything about what they’re not finding.

And that is at least as important — probably more important, if the goal of your content audit is to make the site more useful to its audiences.

But where to find something that isn’t there.

There are clues in emails, messages sent via the site’s contact form, phone calls and discussions with the site’s content sponsors. Do an audit of:

  • Questions visitors ask by email or via the contact-us form?
  • Phone calls the organization gets?
  • Documents the organization’s leaders/reps/experts repeatedly send via email or (shudder) fax?

Auditing missing content involves tracking these inquiries — whether on paper, or a spreadsheet or any way with which you’re comfortable — for a short time: a week, a month, as long as you have.

Then look at the answers to those inquiries and determine:

  • Are they already on the website and if so why are they not being found?
  • If they’re not on the website, could they be?

If the answers are on the website, but they’re not being found, why is that? What’s the language the visitor is using? Does it match how the content is described? Is the content behind a menu item labelled something strange or something that visitors aren’t expecting?

If it’s just not on the website, can you write the answer in generalizable terms? Can you write an answer or answers that apply to most or all of your visitors?