Perform an end-of-year website content audit with a free template

Many universities and professional learning platforms only conduct website content audits when they plan to make wholesale changes to their digital presence. While this does make sense, it is always better to conduct audits as a regular habit.

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the perfect time to assess what performs well, what can be improved and identify any threats and opportunities for next year.

Here we are going to show you how to perform an end of year audit for your website, explain why content audits are so useful and even give you a free template you can use.

I just want the free website content audit template, thanks.

Why are audits so important?

Audits are like snapshots of where your website content is right now, where you would like it to be and how far along it is towards reaching its goals.

Website content audits provide continuity from one period to the next. Performing a monthly audit is strongly advised but, if you can’t manage that, you should at the very least be conducting one at the end of the year. Otherwise you’re flying blind into the coming year and cannot speak with any certainty how the past year compared to others.

As an added bonus, website content audits allow marketing teams to track and see metrics important to their own project in an environment free from the bells and whistles of dashboards such as Google Analytics. It’s a lean and easy to read history of your website content performance.

Why conduct an audit?

Audits can highlight a number of potential problems as well as opportunities for growth that may be missed working with the content day-to-day. For example:

Outdated content - there’s nothing like a good purge of outdated content. Audits are a great chance to finally get around to this. Don’t forget to test URLs and include broken ones in your outdated content bucket.

Outdated content is often a symptom of too few resources or someone no longer being responsible for that page. This is an opportunity to revisit the roles and responsibilities of website contributors.

Duplicate content - audits are an excellent way to flush out any superfluous content and identify necessary changes to the way content is brought live. Perhaps more communication is required between staff members.

Conflicting content - sometimes an audit can show you have confusing or otherwise misleading information on your website. This is of course sub-optimal and a clear sign contributors need to be more aligned with defined guidelines on what is and isn’t correct information.

How do you plan a content audit?

First, consider how deep you want to go. Depending on resources it may not be realistic to go through every page in detail. This is OK. You may choose to audit only high-value or high-visibility pages. Perhaps you want to audit by page type and conduct a ‘representative’ audit. Alternatively, you could focus your audit by topic. E.g., focusing only on master level program recruitment pages.

Next you will need to define the criteria you will use to assess your website content. It’s best to keep things simple and look at a few key characteristics such as:

Necessity - do you actually need this page.

Relevance - how useful is this page for the intended audience.

Accuracy - how up to date is the information.

Quality - how well written or otherwise accessible is the content.

Brand - how strongly is your brand coming through in the content.

Set yourself a scale of 1 to 5 (doesn’t matter which end of the scale is good and which is bad), then get to work prioritizing your pages for auditing.

Conducting a successful audit

After conducting a successful audit you should have a much clearer understanding of how you roganise your content, which content needs to be removed (and how to make sure similar content doesn’t creep back in), as well as any future visions for new or revised content.

As you go through your prioritised pages, ask yourself the following questions with regards to the five characteristics mentioned above:

Necessity, Accuracy and Relevance:

  • Is this page integral to your efforts?
  • Do you or the user need this page?
  • Is it the only page of this type or are others similar?
  • Is it up to date?
  • Is the content correct?
  • Is the content relevant?

Content quality:

  • Is the content clear and effective?
  • Is it accurate?
  • Are you using titles and headings appropriately?
  • Is the content ordered in a logical way (for SEO)?
  • Are you speaking clearly with an active voice?
  • Are you utilising well-placed calls to action?


  • Does the content successfully convey your brand identity?
  • Is it making the right impression?
  • Are you sticking to your brand voice guidelines?

Risks & Liabilities

As well as these five major considerations, it is also important to look at any potential risks and liabilities your content could be exposing you to. These could be anything from broken links or outdated security certificates, to legally current data protection statements or business information.

Collect insights

Once you have completed your audit using your defined criteria it’s time to start looking into the numbers and identifying any large scale trends or recurring patterns. These are the red flags you want to pay attention to and create a prioritised list of improvements for either the web development team or content creation team.


Performing ongoing website audits is one of the most effective ways to increase ROI from your website and get ahead of development and CRM issues before they become a problem.

Conducting monthly website audits doesn’t have to be a large scale task. With each passing audit you will become more efficient in your processes and develop an intuition for what you want to improve. 

Lastly, your content audit isn’t just about checking the words, images and videos on your page are as optimised as possible, it’s also about pulling insights from your content and identifying overall strengths and weaknesses.

Need help conducting your end of year (or any other) website content audit? Words On Brand are here to help.

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