Content tracking

ALPHA. This guidance is provided as a general starting point for anyone designing online content, or working on digital projects that involve designing new content or reworking old content. It is a work in progress, and we welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the advice. Contact us with your feedback.

Take some time to consider how you are going to keep track of all pages you need to write, so you know where they are up to at any stage of the process.

The easiest tool to use is an Excel spreadsheet which mirrors your information architecture (IA) or structure.

For larger projects you may look at an online tool such as GatherContent which also integrates online page approval processes.

A content tracking spreadsheet can also be used after go-live to keep records of review dates, ownership and planned content extensions.

Content tracking spreadsheet template (XLS 34 KB)

What to capture

  • Reference number for each page.  This is a unique identifier, and if you use nested numbering — 1.0,  1.1,  1.1.1, 1.1.2  —  it can help you place pages within the larger structure.
  • Page name. The heading on the page - the h1.
  • Page type.  Identify the page template you need for each page.  Common ones are landing pages and info pages.
  • Status.  A common set of statuses to track could include: not started, drafting, subject matter expert (SME) review, Ready for CMS entry, testing, published.
  • Subject matter expert (SME).  Keep a record of who checks the factual accuracy of each page.  This may also be known as the approver or the owner.
  • Publish date.  Keep a record of when pages go live.

This is a starting point only, you can add columns as you need to.