Improving our sight…er, site

Siteimprove web governance toolA while back I sent an email about this slick-as-all-get-out “web governance” tool — called Siteimprove — that the Saint Martin’s powers-that-be bestowed on the marketing and communications office, much like Glinda the Good Witch bestowed ruby slippers on Dorothy.

Now, your first question might be: What email?
Followed by: Web wha’?
Then: Aaaand what does it have to do with me?

In the spirit of short and sweet, here are my answers:

What email? Doesn’t matter. Forget this one.
Web wha’? Governance. Web governance.
Think of it this way: web governance is all the stuff we do to run the website and make sure it’s working well. From who works on the site (you, our glorious web assistants!), to how we get things done (workflow), what standards we adhere to (style and content guidelines), what our goals are (well, uh…goals) and the nuts of bolts of doing it correctly (no broken links, misspelled words, incorrect coding, accessibility issues, pages that aren’t being visited that we should get rid of, etc.). Hmm…maybe Wikipedia’s definition was better. Leaner anyway.

Slick-as-all-getout interface

Wow! That IS a slick-as-all-getout interface!

Aaaand what does it have to do with me?
You’ll be able to see where your site is broken so you can fix it. Cool, right? (Yes, I’m a geek.)

Through Siteimprove’s slick-as-all-get-out interface, we can see all the things on the website that might need a-fixin’ (say, broken links or misspellings) and clean ’em up. These fixes are important for a couple of reasons:

  1. Search engines, like Google, treat websites that are well-constructed and well-maintained much nicer than those that are not. Much nicer = higher placement in the search results. This is a good thing.
  2. A well-constructed, well-maintained website helps foster trust between us and our users. Just think about your own experiences. What happens to you when you go to a site and experience misspellings or broken links? Kinda yucky, right?

I’ve completed configuration of Siteimprove and next week, if you’re a primary web assistant, you’ll receive an email inviting you to complete your Siteimprove account setup. Once you do, you’ll:

  • Receive weekly status reports on the health of your website, seeing:
    • Broken links
    • Misspellings
    • (These are the big kahunas. Other things we’ll look at as time goes on.)
  • Be able to login to Siteimprove, see exactly what pages have problems and where the problems are on the .aspx page of your website. Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, you’ll fix it in SharePoint Designer, then send a publish request to Carl.

To help you learn how to use Siteimprove, I’ll be setting up a training. If you’d like to dive in on your own, please check out Siteimprove’s video tutorials or sign up for one of their weekly 30-minute training sessions.

Cheers team!

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