Applying Web Governance in Your Organization
No organization is perfect. Big or small, B2B or B2C, every company faces challenges when it comes to managing their online presence. Resources are scarce, money is tight, and office politics might make you feel like you’re playing the Game of Thrones. You need help to address these issues and find a solution that gets results. Enter: Web Governance.
Web governance is a combination of long-term strategies and systems that allow your web team to make the most of their time and energy.
There are four major commodities that typically impact how organizations maintain their website: people, time, tools, and money. Let’s dive into these areas and look at how web governance can help improve your online presence.
People are the most important piece of any web governance system. So what can you do to make up for a lack of (wo)manpower?
When you’re stretched too thin, it can feel like you’re constantly putting out fires and coming up with solutions that don’t actually solve the problem, they just slow the burn rate. A web governance strategy will help to clearly define the roles and responsibilities for your team, and help eliminate confusion or miscommunication when tackling website issues. You can put people in charge of specific tasks or sections of the website, either way they’ll be accountable for progress/success, and know exactly when to step in and address problems.
Once you’ve clearly identified the “who, what, when, where, why”, your team can be more proactive, and focus on improving your website’s quality and functionality, while leaving room and establishing a plan for handling unexpected issues.
There’s only so much in a day, and that thing you thought would only take ten minutes is now rolling into hour five and crushed any dreams you had of taking a lunch break. Organizations can hire more, spend more, and “synergize” more, but time is a finite resource, so you need to be efficient with how you use it.
A web governance strategy (and tool) will enable you to prioritize errors based on urgency and the impact they have on your website. If a broken link is discovered on your website, but you don’t know how many pages it’s affecting, or how long it’s been there, you might be wasting time and energy fixing something that no one else even knows about.
Web governance will help determine how these issues are prioritized, and how your team responds to them, meaning their time will be spent on projects that will have the greatest impact.
Carpenters need hammers, farmers need plows, and accountants need calculators. Without the proper tools, people will be less effective at their doing their jobs. The same goes for digital marketers.
By itself, a web governance tool is incredibly powerful; automating the time-consuming manual tasks of checking for broken links and misspellings, catching web accessibility issues, monitoring for SEO errors, and reporting on site performance and down-time.
Your web governance tool can also amplify the effectiveness of other tools, like your CMS (content management system). Your web governance tool can alert you to errors on your website, but also provide a seamless transition into your CMS, allowing you to address the error quickly and easily.
While your team is hard at work creating content, improving your web design, and dissecting analytics data, a web governance tool will be meticulously scanning your website for errors that would either take too long for your team to discover, or go unnoticed entirely.
Budgets are fickle creatures. Constantly shrinking and shifting, forcing you to find creative solutions in order to get things done. Since most executives speak the language of “results”, employing a stop-gap strategy for addressing your website issues probably won’t do you any favors when it comes to asking for a bigger allowance.
So, how can you use web governance to navigate the treacherous waters of corporate budgets, roadblocks, and red tape? By speaking the same language as the people holding the checkbook.
Lay out a clear plan for how your team will employ a web governance strategy (and tools) to help the organization reach its business goals. Let’s say your organization wants to increase the sales of a specific product. If you can demonstrate how your web team’s new strategy will provide the structure, stability, and focus needed to help reach that goal, you’ll be able to convince management to provide you with the resources needed.