Welcome to the first of many in a new blog series called “Peer Perspective”. At Siteimprove, we work with numerous talented web professionals across a variety of industries. In this series, we hope to inspire digital success through best practices from our customers, who are dominating the digital world with new, unique approaches to implementing web governance strategies at their organizations. In these blog posts, you can learn from your peers and apply new techniques to your own website.
Why Web Governance Matters in Healthcare
As a public healthcare organization, having the highest quality website and providing accurate information to website visitors is of the utmost importance. Regardless of whether you work at a public healthcare organization or not, your website is extremely important because it is the face of your organization. Depending on the web governance strategies in place, your site may be doing more harm than good because one minor mistake might look like a major one to website visitors.
We’ve shared this stat before, but believe it’s worth sharing again:
91% of users distrust a website that contains errors or mistakes. That’s why web governance and continuous website maintenance is so important. And with online searches for health information being the third most popular online activity, it’s no wonder organizations like Windsor-Essex County Health Unit are implementing web governance strategies and making quality information a top priority.
As a public healthcare figure, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit serves to promote and protect community health in the Windsor and Essex County region in Ontario, Canada. They are focused on having zero website errors, including no misspellings, no broken links, having SEO-optimized content, and a site that is accessible for all users.
How Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Implements Web Governance
Quality in Everything
Since Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s core goal is to promote health and well-being, quality means everything to their healthcare organization.
Andy Langmuir, web specialist at Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, knows the website requires constant attention. Although it can be challenging to maintain quality on the website with the breadth, depth, and scope of information, Langmuir performs quality checks on a daily basis. This frequency helps them consistently maintain quality, which makes the site more manageable long term.
Along with automated web governance checks and additional content review systems in place, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit maintains a website with zero misspellings and zero broken links on a regular basis.
“Monitoring and maintaining this level of content would be an enormous task without our content review systems and automated web governance solutions,” Langmuir said.
Making Great Strides in Accessibility
With Ontario’s stringent digital accessibility guidelines outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ADOA), organizations have certain standards to meet, with the goal of being completely accessible by the end of 2025. In terms of digital accessibility, the act is in place to remove any barriers in accessing information on a website or through other digital means.
The fact that Windsor-Essex County Health Unit communicates important healthcare information to communities in Ontario, Canada is the reason why Langmuir and his web team want to not only meet accessibility standards but surpass them. As many organizations are learning more about the importance of accessibility and how to make their websites accessible, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is unique and successful in improving accessibility because once again, Langmuir works at it every single day.
“Having an accessible website is very important to us,” said Langmuir. “We don’t just want to meet the accessibility standards – we want to exceed them.”
Similar to checking on the quality assurance of their website, Langmuir checks on accessibility issues daily utilizing automated web governance tools to assist in fixing errors and to create an accessibility strategy moving forward.
“I am working through all of the accessibility issues in the Siteimprove tool and will continue to do so to make sure everything is as updated as possible,” Langmuir said. “The explanations within the tool have been extremely helpful and will continue to be helpful as we think through how we’ll move forward to meet and exceed accessibility standards.”
The Big Picture
Web governance is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. It is more than broken links and misspellings, it is centered around providing the best user experience possible to website visitors. This is why Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is dedicated to making web governance a priority.
Langmuir’s strategy has been to tackle and fix as many website errors as possible and then continuously check for issues on a daily basis. This helps them remain proactive rather than reactive on their website.
Since using Siteimprove as their automated web governance solution, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has seen a 100% decrease in broken links and misspellings, and will continue to use the tools to maintain quality, reduce accessibility issues, and analyze data in the Analytics tool.
Want to know how you can be successful with web governance at your organization? Start by downloading the web governance checklist. Want to know more about Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's web governance success? Download the case study, "Making Healthcare Information Accessible for All".