(Read full articles below or explore shorter posts on my blog.)
Hard to configure. Easy to get wrong.
But used correctly, Content Groups in Google Analytics are an incredibly powerful way to track engagement at a topic-level using 'Visits' – so you can finally drop misleading insights caused by 'Page Views'.
The bigger your shop, the more shelf stackers, stock takes and checkouts you need. The bigger your website, the more UX designers, content creators and production software you need.
Sounds easy - right?!
Web governance. Such a flexible and malleable term. Just like the old joke, if you ask 10 different people to describe it, you will get 11 different answers.
Laws that require you ask users for cookie consent are becoming more widespread.
The fear is that users will simply reject cookies wholesale - thus severely impacting your ability to deploy web analytics and other features.
This need not be the case. Recent lessons show how you can add consent management and retain high acceptance rates.
It's nice for a website to look nice. But it's not that important.
What's important is whether your users can find, read and understand the information and services you offer, and can complete actions with ease, e.g. online forms.
That's it. Everything else is secondary.
I'm predicting that COVID-19 will be followed by a clamour of expensive website redesigns in an attempt to solve problems that have been exposed by the crisis.
Here's my advice: don't do it.
Tell your bosses you're going to do something much more radical instead - tell them you're going to make your website better!
Underachievement is designed into digital government in Ireland. It's not a bug, it's a feature. The symptoms are manifest. Endless 'redesigns' instead of meaningful action.
Watch my new videos about Junior in Mom-n-Pop's Diner as he learns how to transform his web team, online processes and digital tools to cope with a massive growth in online activity.
The scale of demands placed on web teams far outstrips their ability to deliver. There is simply too much to do and not enough to do it with.
Underachievement is designed into many websites. Endless 'redesigns' instead of meaningful action. The cause is an absence of essential digital skills and resources.
FAQs are almost always the last place users choose to find information on a website - not the first. That's why you need to stop using them.
Digital management is opening up to scrutiny as never before as more and more tools gather insights about operations. ut there is a real danger that the quality of decision making will decline as data volumes increase.
Anxiety is one of the key hidden drivers behind the web. Our anxiety (fear of legal challenges, negative media coverage, etc) can make our content cagey, vague and stand-offish.
Those who are best at online in future will be those who are best at digital governance. The reason is that they will be the ones who can react most quickly to new circumstances, at the lowest cost and in a predictable way.
Lots of organisations *claim* to want better online operations, but really they're just going through the motions. No-one actually believes in it all. Converting your peers to Digital Governance can be done. The first step is to get the High Priests of senior management back onside.
Recently I spoke with Lawrence from Sitemorse about the incredible variety of tools now available to support online management - but also about the relative lack of sophistication of many. Could the providers of such auditing and monitoring systems be in danger of killing the start of the market?
Web Governance is finally catching-up with online needs, primarily as the result of 4 Megatrends. Underlying these Megatrends is a realization that if the trajectory of ever improving online experience is to be maintained, a better approach to governance is needed. And not just for aesthetic reasons. The real motivator is competitive advantage.
Local government is hard! Not only are budgets always under pressure, but you have to cater for a huge array of topics and accommodate diverse internal stakeholders. This new guide describes 5 practical ways an updated Web Governance Framework can help your local authority be more successful online.
One impact of the ongoing arms race in web technology is the diversity of tools now available to assist with online management. Not only does this includes dumb systems like CMS and newer "smart" technology that can both automate operations and act as decision aids.
Learn how Web Governance works how the concept of Website Scale can helps you plan a better system in this new infrographic.
Progress in Web Governance occurs in 3 steps: Discover, Organise & Optimise. Use the new Web Governance Roadmap to work out the distance you have covered on your digital management journey - and what remains to be done.
Recently I chatted with Lawrence Shaw (CEO at Sitemorse) about all things Web Governance. As a leading innovator in digital technology, I discovered him to be a treasure trove of insight - particularly regarding the effects of the EU cookie directive on online management.
Back in 2004 I was appointed Webmaster for a leading site and needed a bit of help to get things under control. Enter Siteimprove from Copenhagen who had exactly the tool I needed. A few weeks ago I caught-up with Torben Rytt (CEO of Siteimprove's US operation) whose insight into current governance pressures & trends is second to none.
Way back in 1997 TerminalFour CEO Piero Tintori speculated that content would soon become one of the biggest challenges of online business. He has yet to be disproved. Last week, he took some time to chat with me about current trends and challenges in Web Governance.
On a Web Team where everyone knows what they should (& should not) be doing, nobody has to worry about stepping on a colleague's toes. Find out how to achieve the industrial peace that clearly defined Roles & Responsibilities can bring.
The first step in changing Web Governance is often the hardest. Nevertheless, change must happen eventually. The framework outlined here provides a starting point for this conversation.
If you have to create a new system of Web Governance for your own site, there is no need to start from scratch! Simply work out the Scale of your site and build from there. There's lots of patterns to work from. Find out how!
Hire good people and they will generally find clever & innovative ways to get maximum bang for your buck. Yet for all their hard work, more thought often goes into buying some new technology than into creating a good team. This can't go on!
Sick with worry about your Web Governance? Popping pills to get some sleep at night? Time to get over it! Use this 3-Step Healthcheck to diagnose whether your Governance is fit for purpose - or in need of urgent treatment.
The elements of Web Governance are the same on all sites (the same primary activities, the same pillar resources) - it is merely their granularity & sophistication that change. The concept of Website Scale helps you plan for these differences.
In a busy household with several small children running around, it can be very difficult to take the 'time out' necessary to explore a website - especially one that requires new learning and figuring out. FAQs can help - but only sometimes.
What strikes me is not the differences between most intranets, but the similarities. In contrast to Jakob Neilsen, I find that the commonality of content from one intranet to another is remarkably constant. This feature appears on the iQ Content blog.)
A website archive prevents the loss of your hard-won online experience. It also preserves your site as a working model for the rest of eternity!
Webmasters! Feel like nobody cares?! Don't give up! The famous motivational poem 'Desiderata' has been rewritten to give you a new sense of purpose and belief.
Discover the wide mix of content features and formats you can deploy on your website. A key challenge is to choose the right formats for the list of features you are creating.
An important goal for Website Managers is to equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about online development. This feature appears in the May 2007 issue of AListApart.com)
There is an old saying in the consulting business. "We can give you 3 things: A high quality deliverable. High speed turnaround. Low cost. Now, choose any 2."
Do you know the legal constraints of the web? If not, you better find out before someone else's lawyers do! Remember "Ignorance is no defence!"
Guess what? The content on most intranets is supported by four pillars: Work, HR, Corporate and Social Content
There are just three types of website content: content that 'persuades', content that 'sells' and content that 'reassures'.
A well written corporate Website Manual or Standard can act as a powerful aid for guiding the activities of site management.
How many people? What skills? Here are some guidelines to consider when planning the manpower requirements of a web team. (This feature appears on AlistApart.com). Read all my articles on ALA
A Website Standard is a document that details the approach of an organisation to the management of its sites. In some ways, it is like a 'constitution', because it lists all the conventions by which online activity must be regulated.
Without Governance there is no-one to say what is or is not allowed on a site, and no standards to which Developers can refer. Ultimately, this means no control and no direction.
The responsibilities of site maintenance extend beyond issues of immediate operations - they are also concerned with developments that affect future integrity.
The objective of Infrastructure Performance Monitoring is to ensure procedures are in place for the supervision of site hosting.
Even if all site procedures are strictly adhered to, errors can still arise that reduce the standard of the online experience. The problem is that unless someone is checking for such errors, they may go unnoticed until a customer complains.
Website Maintenance encompasses all the activities needed to guarantee the operational integrity of a site. Yet, whenever these activities do not occur, the results can be embarrassingly visible.
An important goal for Website Managers is to equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about online development.
How many people? What skills? Here are some guidelines to consider when planning the manpower requirements of a web team.