Siteimprove Web Governance Blog

The Challenge of Maintaining Consistent Website Content

Posted by Steve Hennigs

4/30/14 11:13 AM

Sherlock Holmes

Updating your website with new content is essential for increasing search traffic, but it can also create content management headaches as your site grows and your content strategy evolves.

In the past we took a look at the Dollars and Cents of Web Governance which highlighted some pretty alarming statistics about the impact that inconsistent and/or error filled content can have on an organization’s bottom line. In this post, and the subsequent webinar, we are going to go beyond general errors like broken links and misspellings to spend some time looking at why organizations struggle so much in keeping their website content free of mistakes that are more unique to them, such as violations of a Style Guide or content that is missing but legally required.

The web is big, visible, easy to edit and hard to manage

Despite the importance of keeping clean web pages, most organizations have a web presence far too large to be managed by their marketing staff. Siteimprove’s 1,865 customers have an average of 4.4 different websites per organization, with a total of 5,975 pages.

If your organization has 10 people strictly devoted to content creation and content strategy, they would have to look after 598 pages on a routine basis along with all their other responsibilities. That is simply not feasible.

If no one were looking at that content it would not be such a big deal, but according to our data, large organizations have incredibly visible content. On average, we see nearly 235,000 page views per year across our customer base. That means that each individual page is seen an average of 39 times every year. According to a study conducted by TowerGroup Estimates, the average transactional cost of online banking was just $0.20, while the average phone call cost $2.40. Think about how much your business could save when employing effective web content to assist customers and clients.

Think about how many people you have updating your website content and how often those updates occur. The number of people editing your website content will vary depending on your industry, but many of you are updating content in some way on a daily basis. If you are a government or educational institution, it may range from 1 to over 100. For businesses, it is more likely to be between 1 and 15 editors.

This can lead to trouble

This truly poses a challenge to website content management, and publishing consistent, compliant content across all pages of an organization’s web presence. Here are a few examples of issues that can creep up:

  •          We just updated our tagline, is the new one on all our pages?
  •          We just changed location, do we have the right contact information everywhere?
  •          We prefer "healthcare" over "health care", are all our editors following this guideline?
  •          We are required to have a link to our Privacy Policy on every page, is it there?

There is a solution

In the upcoming Siteimprove webinar focusing on content consistency, we will further explore specific website content strategy issues that can harm your organization and walk through a four step process to help you mitigate your risk:

  1.        Have a Style Guide
  2.        Document policies for legally required content
  3.        Ensure everyone knows their role
  4.        Communicate and then over communicate
  5.        Monitor all your content routinely

Your web presence is big, visible, easy to edit and hard to manage. With a little work you can tackle this problem head-on and have the peace of mind that your organization is putting forward a consistent message while avoiding issues due to missing or incompliant content.

Download the content consistency webinar  

Topics: Web Governance, Content Governance, Content

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