In Part 2 of our Guide to Content Planning we covered the best practices for performing a Content Audit. That process helped us determine the content to Keep, Revise, or Remove from our migration process.
With Part 3, we’ll teach you how to maintain a Content Inventory, a document tracking the status, structure, and other important details regarding your website’s content during an e-commerce migration.
Maintaining a Content Inventory during a website’s migration is important for a couple key reasons, the most important being to ensure that none of your content gets lost during your migration. It will also allow you to sort and categorize your content into your new site’s structure. Think of a Content Inventory as both a manifest and status tracker for your new site’s content.
As a manifest, your Content Inventory will be an exhaustive list of every piece of content that is to live on your new site. It will detail the title, URL, content summary, owner/author, metadata (description, keywords, and tags), template, and status of each individual piece of content.
The status portion of your Content Inventory will become your virtual to-do list during your migration. You’ll use it to track the current state of each piece of content involved in your migration. Some content may need revising per the findings of your Content Audit, others may need to be moved within your site’s structure, and ultimately you’ll want to track whether each entry has been migrated successfully. Below we’ll cover some of the tools which can help you create and track this various information during your Content Inventory.
Content Inventory Tools
There are a few software offerings which can aid in the process of producing a Content Inventory, such as Slickplan, Writemaps, or DYNO Mapper. These platforms allow you to make use of our old friend, the visual sitemap! While the visual sitemaps we used before were automatically generated based on your site’s structure, for the purpose of a Content Inventory we’ll create our new structure first and it will dictate where we sort our content during the migration process.
You may have used one of these platforms to conduct a Content Audit, which means that you’ve already laid a great foundation for your Content Inventory. If not, all of these platforms are capable of importing a technical sitemap so you needn’t manually enter every piece of content involved in your e-commerce migration. Either way, these platforms provide friendly interfaces which allow you to drag-and-drop pages to new sections, and edit a small subset of metadata (page type, section) on the fly.
To fully track all of the important information in our Content Inventory we make use of a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are versatile, allowing us to accommodate a wide array of metadata that will scale to migrations of any size. We suggest dividing your Content Inventory by content type into different tabs within your spreadsheet (i.e. pages, blog posts, products) to make this process easier to manage.
However you maintain your Content Inventory, it will act as a checklist to help guarantee you don’t accidentally leave important content out of your e-commerce migration. After all, what would your online shop be without its content‽
In the next part of our Guide to Content Planning we’ll dive into the most involved and crucial part of a proper e-commerce migration: Product Architecture. We’ll determine what data is requisite to your store’s products, and how to properly format that data to play nice with your online shopping cart’s structure!