Building a web content matrix

16 Feb
Content inventory

Your content matrix is most useful if it has been updated.

Every website content project, whether creating a content surge for a new website or revamping a dated site begins with building a content matrix.

Content inventory produces a content matrix that will list every existing piece of related content. This may be time consuming and exhausting but the information collected will provide a path forward. This information will show you exactly what needs to be changed and what needs to be developed – a key element in your content marketing efforts and why content marketing is so damn important.

Audit quantity and quality

You will list every piece of content (quantity) and give it a rating (quality). You can produce your content audit on a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is a great planning tool for future content, for layering appropriate content and for informing stakeholders and other development teams where and what content exists.

Your content matrix spreadsheet should contain information like:

  • Link ID – Cascading number system that shows the position or source of each page
  • Page title – How are long-term care programs rated by the state?
  • Page URL
  • Page category – Long-term-care insurance
  • Tags/keywords – What is this content about?
  • Package (was content created as a batch, series?) – NovLTCseries
  • Copy status (live, pending, or in development) – Pending
  • Image status (photo, video, or other – is the asset available or pending) – Photo
  • Content creator (author, author team, source) – J. Ryan
  • Description of content – How New Jersey rates and sanctions long-term-care insurance
  • Links from content (source) – Link to participating insurers, brochure, consumer booklet
  • Source (primary sources for information) – Attorney James Smith,
  • Non-post/functional (PDFs, forms, registration pages, etc.) – Post
  • Maintenance (will info need to be updated?) – Yes – refers to 2009 statute
  • Birth date (published or created) – Nov. 8, 2009
  • Quality (Outdated, redundant, trivial? Rate it 1 to 5 or A, B, C) – 1 or A

Build a hierarchy on your spreadsheet by listing live, pending and developing content. You now have a snapshot of your content and the ability to share precise information.

Don’t stop. The content inventory is dynamic. Your matrix is most useful if it is up to date.



12 Responses to “Building a web content matrix”

  1. Melanie February 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Nice! I’m new to the CS party, so I need practical info like this. Very useful.

  2. J. Todd Bennett February 17, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    I like the idea of the matrix because it helps show the interrelatedness of content. We use a similar spreadsheet for content inventories, but there are a few columns in yours we hadn’t thought about that would be helpful at this stage. Link from content is one of them.

    It occurs to me that creating a richer matrix like this can really identify gaps and inconsistencies in the overall taxonomy and metadata strategy. It would be interesting to do a card sort on the categories and tags for a content-rich site based on this type of inventory.

  3. klcesarz February 17, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Links from content help alert social media teams to build conversation around a post. Also, developers working on something like banner strategy would have a better idea on matching banner theme and post content.

  4. Janeile February 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Awesome! I am so going to start using a content matrix. Thanks for the info!

  5. long term insurance February 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Enjoyed reading this. Good work.

  6. Ann Diulio February 20, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    Thanks for the good information.

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