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co-founder at eQAfy | measuring, analyzing & benchmarking digital estates

Website content aging analysis can identify when updates are needed

Horizontal bar chart showing the relative age of content added to the corporate website of a major international corporation
Content age distribution for a corporate websites: April 2021

Let’s say you’ve mapped, surveyed or otherwise audited your digital estate and you now actually know how many hundreds or thousands of websites you own.

That represents a lot of content, but how much of it is still relevant?

On April 6th 2021, a snapshot of the online news section of The New York Times, showed it had 5,177 content items. 4,909 (94.8%) of those items had been updated that day. 258 (4.9%) of them had been last updated the day before and 10 items were actually two days old. …

Us, too. We weren’t sure how many was too many. So, we started counting them.

What’s a digital estate?

(First update: 1 April 2021, second update: 8 April 2021, third update: 15 April 2021 and final update: 22 April 2021)

Over the past month we ran a series of stress tests in conjunction with launching our Digital eQ* Insights service. We’ve been publishing the results here and on LinkedIn.

We wanted our platform to identify the five corporations and universities with the biggest website, social media and other content platform collections: their digital estates.

We scooped a sample of companies from the list we developed for our Top 20 Most Effective Corporate Digital Estates report. And combined it with…

The data this exercise produces drives the decisions that make online presences even more effective

image of spots of light representing a complex network of websites
(image source:

Major corporations and higher education institutions have invested heavily in constructing sophisticated digital ecosystems often comprising hundreds or thousands of websites, social media accounts and other online points of presence.

These digital estates represent significant asset portfolios, built to tell their organizations’ stories and meet their audiences’ information and online task needs. But, they can also be liabilities, by displaying no-longer-functional, dated, off-brand, inaccurate or inaccessible content. With the latter undermining confidence and organizational reputations that communications and marketing teams have worked hard to establish.

Moreover, organizations rarely have the data available to identify their digital estates’ assets and liabilities…

In assessing the investor relations sections of corporate websites we found three easy-to-implement fixes to boost effectiveness

Image of an iPad and the Financial Times to show investors looking for information

Addressing investors and analysts

Corporate websites, especially those of global corporations, are designed to fulfil multiple roles including serving the needs of many different audiences.

Current and potential investors and analysts are primary audiences for corporate websites. As a result, investor relations teams work hard making digital content available to meet the needs of private and institutional investors.

But it can be tough to know if the combination of content, design, information architecture and navigation implemented in a website’s investor relations section is effective.

So, it is…

Keep user surveys short and focused. Too many questions lead to abandonment, participant fatigue and unreliable data.

Who are the only people that know what they need from a website?

Visitors to corporate websites encounter great content assembled by skilled communications and web teams. And, to keep everything running smoothly, those teams carefully track visitor website activity and on-page behaviour.

But, Google Analytics (or its equivalents) can’t tell you what visitors actually needed to do when they landed on your site, only what they did and where they went.

To understand visitor intent, you need to collect high-quality feedback.

In the measurement phase of preparing our Top 20 Most Effective Corporate Digital Estates

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Confessions of Ignorance

When I was an engineering student I had a friend, Kate, who was taking a social anthropology course.

One day we met right after one of her classes and she asked: “How many shirts did Winston Churchill own?” I hesitated momentarily before confidently offering up: “two hundred”.

Why, two hundred? But, more inexplicably, why did I offer an answer? The number of shirts Winston Churchill owned is essentially unknowable. It would have made most sense to have said: “I have no idea”.

Kate listened to my answer, smiled and then explained social anthropologists observing highly developed societies have noted a…

A chart summarizing the number of websites found in our high-level survey of the global automotive sector

One Way To Fundamentally Improve Your Digital Estate’s Visitor Experience

We recently carried out a high-level study to measure the number of websites global automotive companies have in their digital estates. You can see the results in the image above

It turns out that major businesses in other sectors and many higher education institutions also have digital estates with very large numbers of websites (and social media presences and content on other external platforms).

Managing that many independent websites is challenging and over time organizations tend to lose track of their digital marketing and other online presences. …

high-level survey of global consumer goods companies and their websites

Almost every major business we encounter has a digital estate comprising hundreds/thousands of social media accounts, websites and content hosted on third-party platforms. The image above, shows a summary of our recent high-level global consumer goods sector survey: it’s just the estimated number of websites, and it’s likely on the low side.

In practice, almost every business with a significant digital estate has lost track of its overall digital presences. So, customers, business partners and other audiences face complex and confusing journeys as they seek to complete tasks or find information.

As audiences make those journeys they encounter, some, many…

image: Alexander Shatov at

The number isn’t really the issue. The larger question is: are they effective?

To start answering that question means knowing all the social media accounts used to reach audiences, because you can’t make more effective what you don’t know about.

Our research suggests that many organizations don’t know how many social media accounts they actually use to address audiences. Many have also lost track of the number of websites they operate.

A first step to making social media more effective is to run an automated social media account inventory. An audit can uncover all social accounts across all websites (relatively…

Or why you need to understand your digital estate

What is a digital estate?

We define a digital estate as the websites, social media and other online content collections that an organization owns or is technically responsible for.

Global corporations, higher education institutions and government are most likely to build substantial digital estates as they address their audiences and tell their stories with large amounts of content.

At the same time, audience information needs change, as does the organization’s. The tasks they want to perform evolve. Their content and channel preferences shift: text on a website, social media posts, TikTok videos. …

Paul Bradley

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