In her book The Content Strategy Toolkit, Meghan Casey (2015) lists 3 methods for identifying the problems and opportunities of a website’s content: a content audit, an analytics review, and user testing. This first option – a content audit – is what she recommends starting with.
For this post, I’ve conducted a sample content audit of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) external-facing website for the United States. The international mission of MSF is to “save the lives and alleviate the suffering of people in danger by delivering medical care where it is needed most.”
Casey recommends before starting a content audit to define specific criteria for which you are going to evaluate a site. In my audit I chose to look at the site’s search engine optimization: page titles, meta descriptions, and header elements; accessibility: image alt text, multimedia alternatives, text customization, keyboard access, and the labeling and error messages of forms; content types and distribution; writing: style, voice, and audience; and architecture: responsive design, search, and navigation.
Using these criteria, I conducted an audit using Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider application as well as an examination of a representative sample of the site’s over 27,000 pages. From my findings, I was able to conclude that overall, the site does well in most areas, but there are still opportunities for improvements. I compiled these opportunities, such as improving meta descriptions and adding alt text to images, into a list of recommendations for how to improve the site’s content.
Read my full content audit report to learn more about how I evaluated the MSF site and what I found.
Casey, M. (2015). The Content Strategy Toolkit [Kindle version]. Pearson Education. https://www.amazon.com/Content-Strategy-Toolkit-Guidelines-Templates/dp/0134105109