Skip to main content

This is a new service. If you have questions or suggestions, send us your feedback.

Content toolkit

Audit your content

If you publish content in Defence, you must check it is still correct and needed. You can do this by running regular content audits.

Why you need to audit content

Defence publishes a lot of content in many different places.

Too much content makes it harder for people to find the information they need. Old or incorrect content is confusing and can be dangerous.

Content audits help you to:

  • improve the quality of your content
  • deliver better search results
  • manage your content more efficiently

Tell your team

If your team has never done a content audit, run a workshop to introduce how we do them in Defence.

Make sure you include people who:

  • create the content
  • own the content
  • manage the service or platform
  • are experts in the areas your content covers
To help you introduce content audits, download and use the content audit slides.

How to audit your content

You can follow the 5 steps to auditing content.

1. Agree your goals

Your goals might be different each time you do a content audit. Maybe users have told you that they need:

  • less content
  • updated content
  • content that is easier to read

You might have new requirements, like:

  • checking content includes changes to policy
  • getting evidence of what content is used
  • improving how accessible your content is

Find out more about accessible content.

2. Select the content

If you have a lot of content, your goals help you decide where to start.

You can start with a specific section or all the content about one topic.

For transactional services, like Apply for a medal, it can be difficult to select one area. It is best to audit all of the content in a user journey.

Some content can be archived without being audited, for example old news articles. If you archive content instead of deleting it, people should still be able to find it.

3. Collect data

For each piece of content, you need to check things like:

  • when it was last updated
  • who owns it
  • how it is tagged for search

Most services have a way of checking how often a piece of content is used. Analytics help give you evidence and confidence to delete content.

4. Assess quality and value

With the data, you can decide if your content is still useful. For example, out of date or duplicate content adds little value and can sometimes confuse people.

You can assess how well your content is written. For example, is it in GOV.UK style and plain language?

Content designers are familiar with GOV.UK and Defence writing styles. They can check how easy the content is to read.

If you do not have a content designer in your team, ask the content community for advice.

5. Make your recommendations

Based on the data and your assessment, you can recommend what happens to pieces of content.

In Defence, the options are usually:

  1. keep content as it is
  2. keep it but make changes
  3. merge it with other content
  4. keep it but move it elsewhere
  5. archive it
  6. delete it

You need to work closely with content owners. Remember to share the audit data with them.

Ask a question

If you have questions or suggestions, email the Defence Service Manual team.

Published November 2023

Did you find what you were looking for?