We have moved!
Just a quick heads-up - we've launched a new Trim Help Centre which contains everything in this guide in an easier to navigate and search format.
Setting up your account and connecting Google Analytics.
Enter your email address, a password, and the URL of the site you want Trim to scan.
So that we're definitely looking at the right content, make sure your URL includes http:// or https://
When you click 'Let's Go', Trim will scan your website - our web scraper looks at every link on the page you provide, and every subsequent link until it's found every page on the site.
Once that's underway, you can close this tab - you'll get a confirmation email when the scan is complete. Why not use this time to grab a coffee, delete your old content audit spreadsheet templates, or read the rest of this guide?
Connect Google Analytics
By adding your Google Analytics data, Trim will be able to show you much more information about how your content is performing. It's really quick:
- Head here (or click Settings, at the top right of the page, and select Google Analytics Setup).
- You may be asked to sign in to Google. Login with an account which has access to your site's analytics.
- Once you're logged into Google you'll be redirected to Trim. Select the project you want to connect, then the Account, Web Property, and View you'd like to add from Google Analytics.
- Choose the Date Range for the data you want us to show in Trim.
- Click Connect Google Analytics. Trim will automatically match up the URLs and data from your Analytics account with the URLs it found when scraping your website. If the import is not successful, try experimenting with different web properties and views, or contact us for help.
- The import may take a few seconds, then you'll be redirected back to the main Trim screen.
You can import updated data, connect a different view or change the date range at any time by repeating these steps.
What Trim looks at, and how it draws insight about your content.
Analysing the content on every page
When Trim scrapes your website, it looks at the text on every page, gathering information that you won't find in Google Analytics. Based on this, Trim calculates:
- Reading Age: A measure of the complexity of language on a page. We use the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Formula, which takes into account syllables, words, and sentences used to determine the approximate age someone needs to be to understand this text.
- Reading time: Based on an average reading speed (275 words per minute), this is the approximate time it would take to read every word on this page.
Word count: The total number of words we found on the entire page (including the header and footer). This will also include content hidden in carousels, rollovers, and accordions.
Smart Content Analysis
Trim's Smart Content Analysis uses information about the content on a page and performance data from Google Analytics to intelligently assess performance. Here's what Trim can tell you:
Looking at the proportion of visits to an individual page compared to the number of visits to the entire website. The higher the score, the more popular a page is, and the more people will be impacted by changes to it.
Engagement - the relationship between the number of words on the page and average time on page. This is an indicator of how well people are engaging with the content on a page.
Retention - what proportion of visits to this page were returning visits?
Performance - based on Popularity and Engagement, Trim assesses how pages are performing. You can use this to set priorities and to inform next steps
Read our blog on Smart Analysis to find out more about how we calculate these scores, and how you can use Trim's performance analysis to inform your content audit.
Using the Dashboard, Audit, List, and Structure views in Trim
An at-a-glance view of what Trim found on your website. You'll see how many pages are on your site, how many levels of navigation Trim found, the average reading age and average reading time across the whole site.
The Performance chart shows how your pages break down based on Trim's Performance Analysis (see the previous section to find out how this works). This is a quick way to assess the overall health of the site, based on its content.
Further down the dashboard, you'll see tables showing you the ten pages with the highest Reading Age, Reading Time, and Word Count. These are the pages on your site which are hardest or take longest to read. You're best-placed to determine what's appropriate for you audiences, so think of this as a starting point.
Audit view gives you just the key information you need to see how pages are performing, and the tools to decide what action to take.
Audit lists every page on your site, starting with the most popular (that is, the most impactful pages). Use this view to see how pages are performing and to efficiently make decisions about the actions you want to take, set Review Dates, and leave notes.
All the information you add in Audit view can be accessed in List and Structure views.
In list view, you can roll up your sleeves and dig deeper into how your pages are performing. You can select which columns to show or hide (see below), including the columns displayed in Audit view. Click the title of any of the columns shown to sort in ascending or descending order.
Try sorting by Unique Pageviews first of all - this will give you an idea of the pages people are looking at most. Click the title again to reverse the order and see which pages are getting the least traffic (you might want to Trim these pages first!).
Use the checkboxes at the left of the screen to make changes to multiple pages at once. Try checking a few pages and marking them 'Edit' using the Action column to see how this works.
Pages which have registered no views in Google Analytics in the chosen timeframe will not display any data in the table.
In List view, use the search bar to filter the table based on words used in the URL path.
Try searching for /blog/ to see only pages which include that phrase in the URL.
Structure view uses a page's URL to visualise where it sits in relation to the rest of the pages on the site - think of a traditional indented sitemap or information architecture diagram.
Click on pages with a '>' icon to expand a section of the site and see the pages that sit below it.
Rows which contain a '?' icon indicate a section of the site which, whilst not a page itself, has pages beneath it in the site structure. For instance, there may not be a page at /jobs, but there may be pages at /jobs/apply and /jobs/work-here. As these rows are not live pages, you won't see any data relating to them, and they won't show up in List view.
Click Edit columns to open a drop down menu of the columns you can view in Trim. Check or uncheck the boxes to select the columns you want to show.
Columns are displayed in the order you select them from the menu. You can unselect and reselect to change the order - this is great when you want to look at specific rows side-by-side.
Try looking at Reading Time and Avg. Time on Page side by side to get a feel for how people are engaging with your web pages. Naturally, the closer the two numbers are, the better!
You can create columns to cater for an endless number of use cases in Trim.
Head to the Create Column button near the top right of the page, next to the Edit Columns drop down.
Trim will ask you to enter a title, give you the option to create a tooltip.
Tooltips will appear when you hover over the title of the column - use them to remind you and your colleagues what a column is for and how it should be used.
Example column title: Tone of voice
Example column tooltip: A 1 to 10 score of how well this page meets our tone of voice guidelines (available on the company intranet). A score of 1 means the page meets little of none of the guidelines, a score of 10 means this is exemplar content. Use only numbers.
Next, choose your column type - they come in four flavours:
- Drop down list - create a list of tags you can assign to each page. This could be content type, target persona, a workflow, emoji, or even a page owner or author.
- Free text - add extra notes to Trim to capture more specific comments or tasks for later use. You could even enter numbers in these columns to score content against your own metrics, or set priorities.
- Date - you might want to add the date a page was last updated, or a migration deadline.
- Checkbox - there's nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list. This is great for task-focussed auditing - check each page off as you check tone of voice, and brand guidelines, for example.
Take a look at our blog on custom columns for more tips on how custom columns can supercharge your auditing.
You can assign actions to each page in Trim using the Action drop down. It's a handy way to keep track of the tasks you need to complete in your CMS as a result of your audit in Trim.
Click Select on any line to open a drop-down menu. Click any of the options shown to change the action of a page. Please note that this will not affect the status of the live page in any way.
Actions aren't shown in Structure view to avoid confusion around actions for pages within sections. You may want to add a note to capture your thinking around the action being taken (see below).
Notes and Review Date
You can add notes to a page in Trim by clicking 'Enter text' in the Notes column. After entering a note, click on the text of the note to change it.
Add a review date by clicking 'Enter date' in the Review Date column. Click the title of column to sort the table by review dates (and see what's coming up).