Content evaluation checklist
Work with subject experts as well as content experts to check and evaluate the content in your audit.
Check for currency and accuracy
Work with nominated content owners and/or subject experts to review your content for currency and accuracy. This should include checking any technical terms, policy intent and legal requirements.
Questions to ask
- Is this content located elsewhere on your site or on another agency’s site? If so, consider removing it.
- Is this content the main source of information? If so, does it need to be updated?
- What content is missing?
- Are the links working and relevant?
- Are you publishing content or documents that are owned by a third party and on their website? If so, you should link to that site rather than duplicate the content on your site.
Check content quality
Quality content should support a user need when the user interacts with government.
Ask a content expert to evaluate the quality of each content item in the audit spreadsheet. They should assess your content against the following criteria.
- Who is the intended user of the content?
- Does your content meet a user need?
- Does the content outline what the user needs to know?
- Does the content have a clear path to a call-to-action?
- Is the user directed through the information with scannable subheadings?
- Are links informative?
- Can the user find or do what they need to do?
- Is this the best way to present the information? (For example, is the content outlining a process? If so, would the content be more usable in another form, such as a calculator?)
- Have you analysed and actioned your user feedback?
- Does the navigation help the user find information?
- Are the information architecture labels easy to understand?
- Is the meta description written as a call-to-action using relevant keywords?
- Is the information found using the site’s search?
- Is the information found using a search engine?
- Is the content in an HTML format?
- Is the content written using phrases and words your users are likely to use?
- Does this content link off to credible and authoritative online sources?
- Is each heading length optimised for search?
- Does the first sentence help users to decide if the page is relevant?
- Is the content written in plain English?
- Is the content written in active voice?
- Is a consistent tone used across the website?
- What is the readability level of each page? You can use a readability tool to estimate this.
Ensure content meets WCAG 2.0 requirements for content authors.
- Is the content written so that all users can read and understand it? Have you thought about people who speak English as a second, third or fourth language?
- Are the headings structured?
- Have you provided meaningful alt text for each image?
- Have you provided closed captions, audio descriptions or transcripts for videos?
- Can you turn off closed captions in videos?
- Does the link text identify the purpose of the link?
- Is the content responsive to mobile devices?
- Do you need documents or PDF formats or can they be condensed into web page content?
- If you do need documents or PDF formats, are they made accessible and accompanied by an HTML extract or description?
- Are any images decorative? If so, consider removing them.
- Are data tables formatted using table headers and captions?