Content planning and mapping guide

See bottom of this post for information on deadlines


Taking the time to develop a good project plan is one of the best investments you can make while transitioning content to the new Mass.gov. However, some organizations might not know where to start. Don’t worry, that’s a common concern.

While every organization is different, we think every one can benefit from focusing first on their top constituent-facing content. This guide can help you focus on content that drives 80% of your traffic. In many cases, it’s just a small part of your entire content landscape.

To get you started, we developed a Content Planning and Mapping Template you can fill in to point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Find your top content

  • Open the downloadable traffic dashboard.
  • Enter the directory shortcut for your agency that is used in Percussion in the “URL Filter” field. (Ex: /dph for Department of Public Health)
  • Click “Update Report”.
  • Scroll down until you see the first field that shows “80” or higher under the “% Cumulative Total” column to make sure it shows the pages that account for the top 80% of your page views. You may need to increase the page limit in the field labeled “Number of observations to view: Limit of 5,000” on the left side of the screen.

Note: Don’t click “% Cumulative Total” in the menu. It will sort the column, giving you the least trafficked pages first.

  • Click “Download Filtered Pages” at the top of the page to download a CSV spreadsheet.
  • Open the top content spreadsheet you downloaded from the dashboard.

Note: You may also want to use the content by agency dashboard to search for top documents your agency might have that generate a lot of traffic and could be turned into an HTML page. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and use the “Top 2,500 Documents” section to search.)

Step 2: Download and prepare your Content Planning and Mapping Template

  • Download and open the Content Planning and Mapping Template.
  • Copy the URLs from your top content spreadsheet and paste them into the mapping template. (Right click on Column A in the top content spreadsheet and click “Copy”, then right click on Column A in the Content Mapping and Planning Template and click “Paste Special”.)

Step 3: Map and plan content

Before you start mapping, it’s important to note that transitioning to the new CMS isn’t a 1 for 1 process in many cases. One page that’s currently on Percussion might fit more appropriately on edit.mass.gov as multiple pages. Similarly, several Percussion pages may need to be merged into a single page in the new CMS. Use your best judgment to decide what works and how your information fits into the content types. Add rows to the template if you think you need to build additional pages, and use the notes column to keep track of content that might be merged or expanded. Here’s how you can start mapping and planning:

  • Review our service suite resource to learn about our core content types.
  • Enter the Page Title used in Percussion for each URL in Column B.
  • Enter the appropriate Recommendation in Column C in the Content Mapping and Planning Template. Here’s what each means:
Redo Pages on Percussion that have important information that need to be rewritten to fit into the new content types in edit.mass.gov.
Keep — Pages that can be brought over as they are to edit.mass.gov. Note: Make sure parts of these pages don’t belong in other content types.
Leave — Pages currently living on Percussion that don’t need to be brought over to edit.mass.gov.
  • Filter out the content you marked as “Leave” by selecting the down filter arrow next to “Recommendation” in Column C. Then, uncheck the “Leave” box and click “OK”.
  • Enter the appropriate Content Type in Column D.

Step 4: Track the status of content

  • Update the appropriate Status of content in Column E of the Content Mapping and Planning Spreadsheet as you write, edit, and publish content in edit.mass.gov. This should be an ongoing task. Here’s what each option means:
TBD — This is the default setting and means this page has not been analyzed yet.
Reorganize — Content that needs to be reworked, reorganized, or rewritten to fit into new content types. There’s a notes column next to this to add any relevant information or related pages.
In CMS — Content that has been placed in the edit.mass.gov content management system. This can be drafted or published content. There’s also a column to track the URL for this type of content.

As you move ahead with your content planning, here are a few key dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

  • By July 7: Complete a first pass through the content planning and mapping exercise using the Content Planning and Mapping Template and email it to MassITDigitalServices@mass.gov. Read our Content Planning and Mapping Template Guide resource for detailed steps on how to fill out this template. (Unsure if you’re the person at your organization who should submit this? Connect with your communications director, chief of staff, editor, or editorial team to discuss who is responsible.)
  • July 10: We will begin populating real project tracking thermometers with real data.
  • July 13: Register for a live webinar that will walk you through all the different content types, including types we haven’t done trainings on yet, such as events, event listings, locations, location details, press releases/news, and regulations.
  • July 13 and 14: Sign up for office hours and bring your content plan to talk through content you’re not sure how to map to new Mass.gov content types.
  • July 21: Send a finalized content plan with a complete, up-to-date, countdown list to MassITDigitalServices@mass.gov. If there are holes or issues you don’t know how to resolve in your content plan, please let us know in this email.
  • July 28: Project plans and complete countdown lists are due. This is the last call for project plans before we populate the migration dashboard with complete numbers.

We want to make sure all organizations and content authors have what they need to transition to the new Mass.gov. Please reach out by emailing MassITDigitalServices@mass.gov if you have any questions about planning content or need some help using this template.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.